10 Ways To Be Happier And Feel Good (Science-Based)

Happiness: More than a state of mind

We are taught that having joy is the purpose of our existence (see 2 Nephi 2:25 ); so why does happiness seem so elusive at times? Maybe it’s because we don’t understand what happiness really is … and what it isn’t.

What is happiness?

In its simplest definition, happiness is the temporary elevation of the mental state to a more intense level than that of the usual emotional balance 1 . In other words, it means feeling good.

There are many ways to provoke a rise in emotional level – joking around with a friend, playing a fun game, or even eating a piece of cake – although it never lasts long. Frequently, we end up jumping from one source of satisfaction to another in an attempt to recapture that emotional intensity. But is there no happiness that lasts?

Yes, although it is much more subtle than we think, which explains why we often err and do not hit the target. The world tells us that a worthwhile life must be full of adventure, that your days must be a constant roller coaster of emotions that travels a simple path full of satisfaction. However, the truth is that you don’t need to be constantly enthusiastic in order to live “in a happy way” ( 2 Nephi 5:27 ). Enduring happiness — what we might call truehappiness – it is, rather, a calm and constant feeling of well-being, rather than an obvious feeling of euphoria. Fun and pleasure fade, but true happiness is not a passing mood, it lasts much longer. While experiencing satisfaction raises emotions above balance, achieving true happiness is like raising balance itself . 2

We might think that stable happiness requires constant prosperity and a lack of pain or trial. However, there are studies that indicate that favorable circumstances do not guarantee happiness and that unfavorable ones do not prevent it. Rather, among all the factors that influence one’s happiness, our decisions have the greatest influence 3 . Elder Ulisses Soares of the Presidency of the Seventy taught: “Happiness is determined by habits, behaviors, and thought patterns that we can direct directly through intentional actions.” Happiness is more than just a good mood or a carefree life; it is a way of thinking and living that we can control. It is true that our genetics and our upbringing influence general mood levels, but our personal decisions play an important role. In short, “happiness is a decision that anyone can make” 4 .

How can i be happy

In what specific way do we “decide” to be happy? What is the secret ingredient of our happiness cake? As Elder Soares explained, true happiness requires “sustained effort over a long time in pursuit of something more important in life.” Similarly, Viktor Frankl, a well-known psychiatrist and Holocaust survivor, stated that happiness is the “side effect of a personal dedication to a cause greater than oneself” 5 .

And what cause could be greater than that which the only God has ordained for us? In our search for happiness, we don’t have to search outside of Heavenly Father’s plan. After all, there’s a reason it’s called the “happiness plan”! Alma 42: 8, 16 . Scripture passage after passage testifies that following God’s plan brings happiness (see 2 Nephi 2:13 ; Helaman 13:38 ). Although living a righteous life will not save us from all sorrow, it will put us in a position where we will be better able to experience happiness in this life, and will lead to our exaltation and eternal joy in the world to come.

Much like what happens with faith, happiness can be weakened or strengthened, depending on our actions. If we dedicate our time to seeking momentary rejoicing, our happiness will be “[carried] by every wind” (see Ephesians 4:14 ). However, if we strive to live righteously, we will cultivate a constant and inner feeling of peace and well-being that can weather any storm. And when faith is given priority over fun, we can discover true joy; the kind of joy that can only be found by “he who truly repents and humbly seeks happiness” ( Alma 27:18

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