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    You may believe happiness is a somewhat precarious emotion that comes and goes, depending on the circumstances. In a way, the description fits. Joy is transient, and events can change your mood from positive to negative, or vice versa, at the drop of a hat. Nonetheless, the idea happiness is only a feeling does you no favors. The truth is, it is a way of life.

     

    Happiness is not just an emotion

    You could inadvertently mistake joy for happiness. After all, they seem similar, and people use them interchangeably. Nonetheless, joy is the fleeting high people experience when elated. On the other hand, happiness is a lifestyle, or you could describe it as a state of mind. But it's not just a feeling. Instead, it's a stable, solid way of living and a mindset you can procure.

    If you think happiness is only a feeling, you must rely on circumstances and events to bring it your way. However, when you recognize it's more tangible, you can take steps to secure it.

    You can choose to live in a way that creates happiness

    If happiness were just an emotion, you'd have little control over it. But when you see it can come from a set of actions and with the right attitude, you have the power to take charge of it and create it.

    Living in specific ways can make you happy or unhappy, and you can select happiness-producing actions and routines. Of course, other factors come into play, like hormones and events you can't control. But you stand a good chance of making yourself happy if you avoid behaviors that detract from happiness and employ those that do the opposite.

    For example, drinking too much alcohol, eating a poor diet, and avoiding exercise can decrease your happiness. In addition, having a lack of personal boundaries, putting up with unhealthy relationships, and entertaining worries can make you unhappy too.

    Do the opposite things, and your happiness level will rise along with a positive state of mind that increases your well-being.

    How to increase happiness

    One way to boost happiness is to keep an eye on what you do that detracts from or increases your well-being. For example, you could keep a well-being journal and note events or thoughts that make you sad, angry, or bored.

    Also, of course, note things that ramp up contentment and make you feel optimistic about life. Then, repeat what works for you and stop doing things that reduce your happiness.

    At the same time, your happiness will rise if you ensure you adopt helpful self-care methods. Doubtless, you know some activities are healthy and can improve your lifestyle. Maybe they seem hard to do, though, so you avoid them.

    To increase happiness, consider what gets in the way of engaging in happiness-boosting actions. Do you avoid exercise because you lack motivation, for instance? The answer could be to find a friend to exercise with and boost your enthusiasm to get moving.

    Another way to increase your happiness is to develop positivity-boosting routines. For example, make sure you rise early, meditate, and prepare for the day. And in the evening, wind down gradually and enjoy relaxing activities before going to bed well before midnight, so you gain adequate sleep.

    It's unhelpful to believe happiness is a transient emotion and out of your control. Happy people will tell you their happiness stems from what they do and think mostly rather than uncontrollable events. You can ramp up your happiness level if you seize control over your routines and mindset, priming them for consistent contentment.

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