You can’t force yourself to feel a certain way, but you can lead yourself there. Avoid substances. Alcohol is a synthetic happiness facilitator and not like fun activities that bring natural joy. You’re happy when you drink, but when you sober up, it’s like the happiness you got from the drink is more than doubled with depression, sadness, apathy, or the hangover that results. They say booze is a joy thief.
Well, the same is true with other substances when they’re used specifically as an anodyne rather than in a celebratory capacity, or in some other positive way. To be happy—truly happy—you need to have a quiet contended joy even when you’re cold sober. Certainly, that sounds hard, but here’s the thing: you can do it, and collaterally.
You can’t force yourself into happiness, but you can trick yourself into happiness through fun activities. The key is establishing a cycle of activity that makes you feel content. It’s hard to be content when you’re not healthy, so that’s a great place to start. What’s your diet like? How sedentary are you, and what level of technology characterizes your day-to-day?
It turns out there’s a link between over-using technology and mental health deterioration. If you catch yourself aimlessly cruising Facebook, stop abruptly and go read a book, or see a movie, or take a walk, or ride your bike, or call a friend, or visit a neighbor—do something else. Even supplementing with chores is good, owing to the positive feeling of a job well done.
Getting Body And Mind Aligned
Next, look at your overall physicality. To flourish as an individual you must eat right and exercise in a balanced fashion. This is in addition to keeping your mind clear by not overdoing it on technology. The thing is, it’s hard to keep yourself in shape by hitting the gym. Even if you’re already healthy, that gym can be intimidating, tiresome, and impersonal.
A better idea is finding a regular physical activity you can involve yourself with that’s healthy. Do you like cycling? Make a mission of cruising all the paths in your hometown. Do you like boating? Maybe get a kayak and go down the river. Do you genuinely like to run? Do so outdoors in a beautiful area. Sports are also one of the great fun activities that give entertainment and exercise, as is the dance.
Activities like theater, or dance, usually involve a high level of physical activity in a collateral way; an artistic or celebratory effect being the primary aim. With dances like ballet, the idea is to make dancers appear as gracefully weightless nymphs gloriously emphasizing the human form.
Ballet is to dance as classical piano arrangements are to music. But there’s hard rock guitar, and there’s an interpretive dance. If you’re going to do something like dance, you’ll need to choose your dance shoes carefully. If you’re doing tap, you’ll need some noisy shoes. If you’re doing ballet, you’ll want slippers with a blunted toe. Different dances have different shoes which best compliment them.
Additional Fun Activities as Happiness Alternatives
Also, dance is by no means the only worthwhile physical activity. There’s hiking, there’s parkour, paintball matches, disc golf, regular golf, scuba diving, surfing, horseback riding, construction, yoga—the list goes on. Something exists out there which is physically exerting, and which you will legitimately enjoy.
Do that, do that regularly, and you’ll make your body healthier. Collaterally this will make you feel happy. Exercise releases compounds in the brain which naturally make you feel good, keep your body healthy, and promote good rest. Cumulatively, there’s a win-win to consider here. Find a way of having fun, and using your body, and contented happiness will be natural to you.
Still, not everyone has such a luxurious suite of options available to them. Other means of facilitating contentedness involve creation and refinement. You create things and keep creating them in a way which becomes more qualitative as you go. Such fun activities not only give you happiness but also help know yourself by bringing the best out of you.
What you create continues to get better. Human beings are designed to create, and doing so is quite fulfilling. When you’re fulfilled, you’re content. When you’re content, it’s easier to be happy. Find what you’re good at, and do it as hard as you can.