Happiness Hack

Recently, a friend of mine asked me what I do to stay happy.

That’s a Hell of a question right?

So, I began to think… and well, here’s what I came up with.

It doesn’t take four years of University, half a bottle of gin, or late, lonely nights to draw the conclusion that everyone and their brother (Cousins too) seemingly wants to be happier.

People seem to crave the smiling faces, the sunsets, the sense of purpose and the camera-ready memories with close friends. It’s the dream and it lulls you away.

I’m the same way, I’ve always searching for things I could do to improve my level of happiness. That said, over the course of my life, I’ve found five hacks that I personally use to be a bit happier. Read on to find out what I do.

#1 Be Grateful

It only takes a walk in the hospital to remind myself how well I’ve got it. You know the bullshit I was mad about yesterday? It doesn’t matter when I’m seeing people fight for their life. Frankly, when I wake up and am not grateful, it makes me seem petty. Today is the only day I have, so I’m thankful for it, I’m grateful for it and I’m giving my praises for it. Period.

#2 Make my plan about what I want to accomplish for the day

Call me crazy but if I don’t know what I want, then how in the fuck can I expect to accomplish it? Planning added much needed clarity to my foggy mind. Simply taking the time to map out what I wanted to accomplish for the day allows me to have a greater sense of control and focus which I’ve enjoyed immensely.

#3 Do something active.

You know the kid who was bouncing off the walls in daycare? That kid grew up. If I don’t move around, I’m a fucking liability. Doing something physically active, a walk, jog, bike ride etc allows me to obtain a natural high and burn off energy.

#4 Play a Game

Kickball, basketball, connect four, videogames, pin the tail on the neighbor…err my mistake, donkey – cards, whatever. Playing a game and letting my inner child out is important to me and I make time for that.

#5 Talk to a friend.

Simply chatting with a good friend allows me to blow off steam, tell far-too-stupid jokes and catch up on the time I’ve missed. What can be better than talking to a good friend?

Please like, comment and share. What do you do to make yourself happy?

49 thoughts on “Happiness Hack

      1. Thanks Tony :). It’s amazing what struggles we can muddle through when we look at them from a positive view. A personal lesson I learned when I was unemployed for 6 months and in a LOT of debt because of it.

  1. I need to do at least one planned activity (even going to the mailbox) in order to blow off the rest of the day in a happier fashion. It’s always more fun to do nothing if there is something else you should be doing. Having nothing to do is not at all the same thing.

  2. Think of what you can do instead of what you can’t. Any negative reaction I have I try to reframe it.
    Takes a while,works slowly. All thoughts do I need this?

  3. Being grateful and learning to trust in the Lord. Allowing Him to take your hand and lead you through. This brings peace, joy, and immense happiness.

  4. Gratitude is key! And humility. And also mentally/spiritually visualizing my day before I go out into it. Reminding myself to say yes to life and to be tolerant – of others and myself. And, yes, GRATITUDE again – so grateful that God keeps giving me a chance to get it right. 🙂

  5. Spot on. Its a mindset. Don’t let your surroundings dictate your mood. Choose to be happy, stay busy! As a good friend (The Big Ragu) recently reminded me, “An idle mind & body is the devils workshop” Stay busy, don’t get complacent, and never settle for mediocrity. Whether it be personal goals or business goals, try, try and try again and never ever give up. Its always worked for me. The more mistakes I made the luckier I got!

  6. I like the comment about being grateful. I think that’s 99.9% of the battle. Rather than focus on the negative, (God knows, there’s enough of that to go around. don’t believe me? check out the 6 PM news.) focus on what’s good.

    Giving of yourself is another, I believe. Changing the world, even if it’s just a little. Here’s an example.

    Many, many years ago (sometimes feel like about the middle of the 1800s when it was merely the 1960s), I was an altar boy. I met one of the most influential men in my life, and old priest named Father Verde. Father Verde had been a guest of the Nazi’s during WW II in a little vacation spot we know as Dachau Prison. A casual reading of what happened there would make Hannibal Lecter throw up. he spend four years there, came out the other end sick, walking with a permanent limp, and a mile on his face. I asked him one time what his secret was, and he said, “God has never forgotten you. Whatever you’re going through, he’s going through it with you. and you have to know that somehow, someway, he’ll work it out for your good. Even if it means dying, then the problem is solved.”

    Sounds a little cold, and esoteric, but years later I got to visit Dachau. As I walked through it, I couldn’t help but think of the horrors he’d witnessed there. As I walked around, I noticed an old man leading a bunch of school children through. He was speaking German, I understood the language, so I just kind of fail in to listen to him. Within seconds, it was clear he’d been there also as an inmate. During the course of walking this, one of the children asked how he ever kept pushing himself towards survival. He responded by saying that in the barracks he was in, there was a priest who every night would remind them the “God has never forgotten you. he’s going through this with us.”

    I was thunderstruck by the comment. I asked him if he remembered his name, and he said, no he couldn’t, but while he wasn’t a believer, and many in the prison weren’t either, everyone hung to the priests every word. When he got out, he dedicated himself to preserving the memory of what had happened there.

    I told him I knew a man who had been an inmate there as well, and he was priest, and he said the same thing.

    He nodded wisely, said, that’s probably him, and asked I extend his greetings and thanks for getting him through this. He said, “I don’t know how many lives he changed, but he sure changed mine.”

    But my old friend passed away before I could ever deliever the message. I wonder if he knew how much he’d changed this mans life

  7. I’d go along with 1 and 5. The rest wouldn’t do anything for me. I’d add living in a beautiful place if you can – happily I do, so I only have to look out of the window each morning and I’m happy!

  8. On those days when I’m feeling cranky, I try to come up with an answer to the question: What’s good about today? It doesn’t take me long to come up with answers and it puts things in perspective for me.

  9. Hi tony. thanks for liking my post, over there. . . i find myself feeling much better about life when i make lists, like you, a plan for the day of sorts… and when i start the day with writing… making sure i carve out that little niche for myself each day… hope you are well… kate

  10. I agree with all these points. You’ve got to appreciate the small things in life, and try not to take anything for granted.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog, too.

  11. All good habits to practice. I like to sit in the garden at least once a day. Find something to laugh about. Share that laugh with another person.

  12. Oh I’m loving this and wowza you’ve got a follower in me! I like what you say and yes, doing something active is completely crucial for me. Yesterday I had to stay in and was a grumpy old cow all evening and this morning I’m lacking the motivation … so it rather serves me right! I shall take heed of your suggestions therefore and crack on! Thanks so much for the boost. Katie

  13. I love that post Tony.
    I totally agree with you from #1 through to #5.
    I recently had a whole lot of 1st world crap happen to me and I was feeling a bit low and then I realised I had to turn it all around and be thankful that each incident couldn’t have had worse outcomes and I was lucky to be able to realise that and move on.
    I do often allow the meanness and selfishness in the world to get me down but then I realise how lucky most of us are to be here and if we keep reminding ourselves of that, and embrace the good in people – and the humour (my personal trademark) – then we should be OK.

    I look forward to reading more of your posts.

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