Free things that make you happy

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Happiness.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Can free things really make you happy?

We hear that money can’t buy happiness but we all know that a lack of money can bring you down.

Turns out that happy people are more successful in life, but success, especially money, does not by itself make you happy.

Here are some things that are free but can greatly improve your happiness if only you would use them.

Going outside increases happiness.

Spending more time outside, in nature makes people happy. The beach, the mountains, almost any place but the city makes most people feel happy. Despite all our desires to have bigger houses and more things, being away from those things man makes has turned out to make people happy in study after study.

Plan a trip to the country. Visit a local park or just walk along some local streets. Make sure you pay attention to the trees, the birds, and the flowers to increase your happiness.

The ideal happy temperature is 57 degrees Fahrenheit.

Strengthen happiness by getting more exercise.

Walking can improve your mood as well as, sometimes more than, most medications. A goal of many treatments for depression is to get people to the point that they are able to get up and get moving.

Exercise does not need to be strenuous to make you happy. Just simply moving around can begin the process. Consider taking up yoga. Look for events that get you moving. Sharing that exercise with other people can increase the happiness benefits.

Get more sleep for more happiness.

Most of us are chronically sleep-deprived. Not enough sleep results in depression, poor memory, and impaired learning abilities. Sleep is not a bank account where you make a deposit one night a week and then live off that sleep all week. Think of sleep more like food you need to eat a healthy diet every day rather than bingeing on food.

There is one form of depression in which people eat and spend too much time trying to sleep, that is not because of too much sleep. What happens is that when depressed you may find it difficult to get out of bed and do anything. If you are in bed a lot of hours and still feel tired try getting up and doing something and see if your mood doesn’t improve.

Socialize more for more happiness.

Spending time with family and friends should not cost you. If it is, take another look at that relationship. The more time you spend with others the more likely you are to create a happy life.

Friends can give your happiness a real boost. Don’t have many friends you can spend time with? Get involved in something and you will make new friends. Most friendships begin around shared activates. You make friends at school, your place of religious practice or the places you do your sports and hobbies.  Join a group, take up a new activity, look for ways to meet new people, and in the process, you can make some new friends.

Let go of the past to increase your happiness.

Holding on to the past, ruminating about those things that made you unhappy in the past is a sure way to prevent happiness in the present. Let the past go and you will see improvements in the now.

Hard to stop thinking about the negative? Train your brain to avoid those repetitive memories. When your thoughts head down a bad street, tell your mind to knock that off. Make a conscious effort to stay in the now and focus on the positive. What you look for expands. Look for happiness.

Happiness is contagious – get infected.

Being around happy people makes you happy. Read funny things, watch happy videos, and laugh all you can. Share those cute-cat-videos with your social media friends. Spread wanton happiness wherever you go.

Slow your pace down and savor the happiness you do find.

Become a happiness watcher.

Happiness is all around you but may go unnoticed if you are not on the lookout. Just like people watch for birds and find them, you need to be on the lookout for happiness and throughout your day you are likely to see small snippets of happy all around you.

Get a pet to share your happiness.

This may not be totally free but it is certainly reasonably priced for most people. Having an animal in your life makes us all feel a little more loved. Get a dog, a cat, or some other creature and see if your happiness does not improve.

The size or breed does not appear to make a difference. You do need to think ahead though because while you may get a pet for little or no outlay over their life they will require some food and other expenditures.

Doing something for someone else can make you happy.

Being of service can boost your happiness. Recovering people know that happiness is one of those things you need to give away to keep. Anytime you have done something for another, not for what you will get out of them but for the sheer pleasure of being helpful, you will become happier.

A warning. Do not do for others expecting them to appreciate you. Things done because you want others to like you will leave you feeling cheated when others do not appreciate what you have done as much as you expected. Things done for the pleasure of doing them always pay dividends.

There is my list of mostly free ways to increase your happiness in the place you find yourself. Being happy where you are has some side effects. You may find yourself more energetic and productive and your life may start to change for the better.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Seven David Joel Miller Books are available now!

My newest book is now available. It was my opportunity to try on a new genre. I’ve been working on this book for several years, but now seem like the right time to publish it.

Story Bureau.

Story Bureau is a thrilling Dystopian Post-Apocalyptic adventure in the Surviving the Apocalypse series.

Baldwin struggles to survive life in a post-apocalyptic world where the government controls everything.

As society collapses and his family gets plunged into poverty, Baldwin takes a job in the capital city, working for a government agency called the Story Bureau. He discovers the Story Bureau is not a benign news outlet but a sinister government plot to manipulate society.

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Dark Family Secrets: Doris wants to get her life back, but small-town prejudice could shatter her dreams.

Casino Robbery Arthur Mitchell escapes the trauma of watching his girlfriend die. But the killers know he’s a witness and want him dead.

Planned Accidents  The second Arthur Mitchell and Plutus mystery.

Letters from the Dead: The third in the Arthur Mitchell mystery series.

What would you do if you found a letter to a detective describing a crime and you knew the writer and detective were dead, and you could be next?

Sasquatch. Three things about us, you should know. One, we have seen the past. Two, we’re trapped there. Three, I don’t know if we’ll ever get back to our own time.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Author Page – David Joel Miller

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

For videos, see: Counselorssoapbox YouTube Video Channel

Do you believe these happiness lies ?

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Happy children

Happy.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Do you tell yourself happiness lies?

Most of us have some lies we tell ourselves every day. You may have been told these lies by others. Some are little ones and keep up hope. The big ones can make you miserable unless you face them.

When it comes to happiness lies a few of these critters can wreck your happiness. How many of these happiness lies do you tell?

Once X happens then I will be happy.

More money, a new relationship or finally reaching a goal all sound like things that should make you happy. The truth is more like, if you are not happy while traveling to this place, you will not be happy when you get there.

Learn to be happy while you are working to earn that money and then you can enjoy the happiness and the money. If you are miserable on the way to the money you will still be miserable when you arrive.

Once you become a success nothing bad will happen.

One thing people in recovery learn is that life keeps happening. You work hard on your issues and then life gets better. But then something else happens and things get tough again. Successful people still get sick. Their families break up and their children get in trouble.

Plenty of highly successful people develop addictions or get arrested. There is nothing out there you can get that grantee’s permanent happiness unless maybe that thing is a proper attitude towards life.

Life is fair or someone should make it fair.

Life is not always fair. Bad things happen to good people. No one can make life be fair. What you can do is learn the skills to get through hard times and how to keep a positive attitude when things look darkest.

There is something you can do to guarantee safety.

You can be constantly on the lookout for danger and still it can overtake you. It is reasonable to take precautions and watch out for danger, but do not fall into the trap of thinking that there are things you can do that will assure your safety. Insurance does not stop accidents it just pays you money to compensate for your losses. Excessive worry about what might happen robes you of the happy moment now.

Not taking chances will keep you safe.

Everything in life requires a measure of risk. Apply for a job and you may not get it. Avoid falling in love and you will not have to go through a break-up. You will also never know the joys of being in love.

If you want to have the good you need to accept the risk of things not always going the way you want them to.

You are or should be in control of everything.

The great illusion of control takes many forms. One is the belief that if you work hard enough and insist loudly enough you can get control over everything and everyone in your life.

No one ever has control of life. It rains whether you want it to or not. Weather happens. People in your family get sick whether you eat the right foods or not. No matter how hard you try to control your children some of them will turn out well and some will not.

You are in control of anything.

No matter what thing you believe you have reduced to your control that control is probably temporary. The only thing that may, in fact, yield to your control is your attitude towards the uncontrollable.

You are not good enough.

You are plenty good enough. We all can do better but do not tell yourself that the fault is that you are inherently defective. This belief is just a sneaky way of letting yourself off the hook and allowing you to stop trying.

The whole world is no good.

There are good people and bad people. Sometimes good people do bad things and bad people do good things. Things keep changing. There is good all around if you look for it. The most beautiful flower may have some dead leaves. Even a weed can have beautiful blooms.

Believe in your worthwhileness and accept yourself scars and all.

The future will never be any better.

There will always be another tomorrow. Some of those will be better and some few may be worse. Do not create a negative future by only looking for the defective. You will find what you are seeking but only if you believe that happiness is out there just waiting for you to find it.

You are the only one with this problem or issue.

Hang out in any recovery program and you begin to swear those people were following you around recording your story. Troubles seem to come at one point or another to most of us. Listen to the ways in which others have struggled and you may decide that you are not so different from others.

You should not have to tell others what you need.

People stay hungry or unloved because they don’t talk up. No matter how hard you try you will not always know what others around you need and want. They will not be able to read your mind. Give yourself permission to ask for what you need. Telling those in your support system what your needs are, helps them to be able to feel the joy of knowing how to help you.

You can’t take any more or can’t stand this situation.

If you say you can’t – you won’t. Most of us can take more than we think. Tell yourself that this too shall pass and much more becomes bearable. If your situation is intolerable take action to change it. Can’t change all of your life obstacles? Work on the changes you can make first and then reevaluate.

Your happiness depends on people, places, or things.

Happiness is an inside job. You can be happy no matter where you are if you permit it. You may wish things were different. You might prefer them to be different, but your ability to find happiness does not depend on having the right things or places in your life. No matter how much you miss someone who was in your life and is now gone out of it, do not let that absence rob you of the good times that you had. Do not let the loss of one person cheat you out of the relationship with the other people who could enrich your life.

Some other posts on finding and keeping a happy life are listed below

5 mandatory skills for a happy healthy life

16 Ways to create a happy life

17 Habits of unhappy people

Pretending to be happy?

How to be Happy

Find out the truth about happiness and stop telling happiness lies.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Seven David Joel Miller Books are available now!

My newest book is now available. It was my opportunity to try on a new genre. I’ve been working on this book for several years, but now seem like the right time to publish it.

Story Bureau.

Story Bureau is a thrilling Dystopian Post-Apocalyptic adventure in the Surviving the Apocalypse series.

Baldwin struggles to survive life in a post-apocalyptic world where the government controls everything.

As society collapses and his family gets plunged into poverty, Baldwin takes a job in the capital city, working for a government agency called the Story Bureau. He discovers the Story Bureau is not a benign news outlet but a sinister government plot to manipulate society.

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Dark Family Secrets: Doris wants to get her life back, but small-town prejudice could shatter her dreams.

Casino Robbery Arthur Mitchell escapes the trauma of watching his girlfriend die. But the killers know he’s a witness and want him dead.

Planned Accidents  The second Arthur Mitchell and Plutus mystery.

Letters from the Dead: The third in the Arthur Mitchell mystery series.

What would you do if you found a letter to a detective describing a crime and you knew the writer and detective were dead, and you could be next?

Sasquatch. Three things about us, you should know. One, we have seen the past. Two, we’re trapped there. Three, I don’t know if we’ll ever get back to our own time.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Author Page – David Joel Miller

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

For videos, see: Counselorssoapbox YouTube Video Channel