How to Be Happy: 10 Easy Steps to Live a Happier Life!

Roganjosh, public domain via MorgueFile

Be Positive and Look After Your Mental Health!

I’m in my mid-fifties or “middle-aged” as they call it, a term I hate, considering that I exercise a lot, am healthy, and feel like I’m a teenager! I’m not rich, but not poor either, and live a simple, frugal life. As we get older I think we get more thankful for small mercies and personally I reckon I’ve reached a state of solace in my life. Happiness I think is like the icing on a Christmas cake, a short-term buzz of pleasure. Solace is more like the cake proper, a state of contentment and consolation with what you have. And who wants to be eating icing all the time?

Ok, I don’t claim to be a psychologist or psychiatrist and a 10 step checklist may seem a simplistic solution, but these are my thoughts on how to be happy or gain solace, call it what you will, avoid the blues, and have good mental health!

1. Have Something to Look Forward To

There’s nothing better than having something nice in the future to look forward to and you can’t wait for it to happen! For instance, it could be a holiday, a shopping spree, a trip somewhere, a kitchen makeover or even something simple like a long cycle into the countryside in the summer sun. Maybe you could treat yourself to something online from eBay or Amazon and then anticipate its arrival? Seeing the mail man or courier arriving with a parcel can be fun.

2. Eat Well and Exercise

Exercise keeps your body healthy and a healthy body is a contributory factor to a healthy mind. It doesn’t cost anything to exercise, you don’t have to go to the gym. You can run, swim, cycle or dance — whatever takes your fancy. Exercise produces endorphins in your blood which are the happy chemicals that give a feeling of well being. You don’t have to exercise for a long duration or be a super athlete. Spend as much or as little time as makes you happy.

Stocksnap via

3. Keep Busy

It is often said of people who are depressed or stressed that they have “too much time to think”. Keeping busy and focusing on other things acts as a distraction to keep the blues away.

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4. Don’t Worry About Issues You Have No Control Over

Try not to worry about issues you have no control over. Mortgage interest rates, the number of COVID19 cases in the world, the economy, world peace etc, etc. No, you can’t stop that asteroid that just might collide with Earth next year!

Hucky via

5. Make Yourself a Garden You Can Care For

Tending to a garden and enjoying the beauty of nature is good for the soul. If you don’t have a garden, you can visit the local park or the countryside. Even if you have no space for a garden and live in an apartment, you can grow plants in pots and containers indoors or on a balcony.

Jill Wellington via

6. Make Friends in the “Real” World or on Social Media

Some of your friends may be good at listening, sympathetic, and listen to any problems you may have. It is true that “a problem shared is a problem halved”. “Real” friends are the best to talk to, but you can join or make your own group on social media platforms such as Facebook. The group could be relevant to a subject you’re interested in such as sport, science, craft, or your hobby. Then you can “talk shop” and compare notes with people that have like-minded interests.

7. Listen to Music

Listen to the music of your choice. Maybe the genre would be classical or easy listening? Or could it be heavy rock or metal? Whatever takes your fancy!

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8. Laughter is the Best Medicine!

Read a funny book, look at comedy shows on TV, relax in front of a movie and laugh; after all, laughter is supposed to be the best medicine!

Malina_Bogdanovskaya via P{

9. Give Your Time to Others

There are probably lots of people in your neighborhood who could do with help. Those living alone, bereaved, disabled, and depressed. People who just need someone to talk to or run errands for. There are lots of voluntary organisations and charities you can join such as Befrienders Worldwide who give emotional support to anyone in emotional distress. Helping others can make you feel good and help them at the same time.

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10. Be Creative

Explore whether you have a creative side. You never know, you may have an aptitude for painting or drawing or crafts. If you are creative, I can guarantee there’s a great feeling of accomplishment when you make something that you can be proud of.

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11. Fill Your World With Beautiful Things

They don’t have to be expensive. Maybe flowers or photos for your walls. Clothes don’t have to be designer label to be beautiful. How about giving your home a paint makeover?

Remember — Stay Positive

Once you have a roof over your head, enough food to eat, and are healthy, do you really need all the other trappings of wealth and luxury? Happiness comes from within. No one is likely to be 100% happy because of issues in their lives, but we can reach a state of solace and contentment with what we’ve got. Stay positive and appreciate what you have, not what you don’t have. Rejoice in your achievements and don’t look back with regret…….

Fight the Enemy That’s Depression

Instead of thinking “I am sad” or “I am depressed”, instead externalize the depression and treat it as an outside entity and an enemy. And you can fight the enemy by being happy and not letting it get the better of you! It’s just a different way of looking at things.

Klimkin via

How Do You Get Out of a Depression? — Reach Out For Help

If you are seriously depressed, nothing may make you happy and everything seems bleak and dark and you feel you are in a hole from which you cannot escape. You might think what’s the point in doing anything because nothing seems to bring any happiness into your life.
Try and seek help — Talk to someone who you can confide in. Visit your doctor and seek professional help. Clinical depression can be caused by chemical imbalances in the brain and often can be treated by medication or therapy.

Abraham Lincoln — A Quote

The other day, I spotted this quote attributed to Abraham Lincoln on Twitter and it sums up how being positive is one step on the road towards being happy

So you can choose to be miserable, or make the most of the life you have been given.

Original un-captioned image public domain via

Help Organisations

The Samaritans


This story was first published on on 25th July, 2012



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Eugene Brennan

Eugene Brennan

Eugene is an engineer with a BSc(Eng) degree in Control and Instrumentation. He’s passionate about gardening, DIY, making things, cycling & photography.