Happiness in 2023

Do you want to be happy? Of course, you do. Happiness is the holy grail of life. But what defines happiness and how can we boost it in 2023 to transform our lives from mundane to amazing?

We have all experienced perhaps the most challenging years of our lives during the pandemic. It has significantly affected all of us in different ways and severity. Early on during the pandemic, Yale offered its most popular course for free through Coursera, on how to be happy. As of today, over 4.1 million people have enrolled in this course. Clearly, figuring out how to be happy is essential for most people, especially during times of crisis.

What Do These Studies and Books Say Makes Us Happy?

1.Physical Well-Being

A sick man only wants one thing; a healthy man wants a thousand things.


It should not be a surprise that having good health is one of the main factors to happiness. What is surprising is how many times people forgo taking care of their health. Taking the time to eat healthy, exercise, and get enough sleep are all known to help us be healthy, but we constantly neglect these areas. Health is key to being able to do the things you want to do and go where you want to go.

2. Learning and Growth
By prioritizing learning throughout your life, you will continue to grow and evolve. This will increase your happiness as you move forward, not allowing yourself to become bored with your own life. Be curious. Ask questions and read. Listen. Learning about the world and people around you can help you put your own life in perspective. You’ll learn what strengths you have and where you can improve.
There are so many ways to learn and grow. Learn from talking to others with different viewpoints, from different backgrounds, from different countries. Listen to Ted Talks and podcasts. Take a course to learn a new skill or new language. Travel, travel and travel some more. Keep growing. Find what sparks your curiosity and passions and foster them.

‘The more you read, the more things you will know. The more you learn, the more places you’ll go.’ – Dr. Seuss

3.Quality Relationships
Good relationships are ones where you feel you can count on the person in times of trouble. This type of relationship protects you from feeling lonely, reduces stress, reduces pain, and protects your brain functions including memories.

Quality relationships include those with your family, friends, and your community. These are the people who love and support you no matter what. Having time together to talk, laugh, and enjoy doing things together, has a big impact on your life.

Make sure the time you spend with friends and family is quality time. Time spent doing fun, new, or interesting things together. Not only is that time enjoyable, but it also creates bonds that will help you through times that aren’t so good.

On top of your family and friends, being part of a community is also important. That can be the community where you live or perhaps the people with whom you work, go to church, or volunteer. You may have a few different communities. Spending time with your community provides purpose to your life and creates a positive life for everyone.

From Psychology Today, ‘Mindfulness is a state of active, open attention to the present. This state is described as observing one’s thoughts and feelings without judging them as good or bad.’

Taking time to be mindful can mean different things to everyone. To some it is yoga others meditation or prayer. It is being present and savoring the moment. There have been so many studies done on the benefits of meditation. See this article in Forbes which talks about 10 Science-Backed Benefits Of Meditation – Forbes Health. Try meditating even for 5 mins. There are many apps that can help you meditate. I use both OURA and The Mirror.

In addition to mindfulness, being grateful has also been proven to significantly improve a person’s mood to appreciate the everyday small things in life. When you are looking for the good, you see the good. Take time at the beginning or end of your day to think of at least 3 things you are grateful for. Don’t forget to teach your kids to be grateful too. See my article on How Gratitude Can Make you a Better Parent.

5.Give to Others
Serving others in whatever capacity you can, will significantly increase your happiness. Give others the use your talents, your time, and or your money. Pick a charity that is meaningful to you. Or help out at your church or your child’s school or help a neighbor. Volunteering as a family has double the happiness factor, helping others and spending quality time with your family.

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