According to a 2012 study of identical and fraternal twins conducted by scientists from top universities all around the world, only about a third of our happiness levels can be attributed to our genes. That means the rest is up to us.
But what does this really mean? The happier you are comes down to how you choose to live your life.
I recently moved to Hawaii to finish my next book, and I’ve found inspiration everywhere. Yes, coming to paradise is great, but you don’t have to plan a vacation to make your life feel like a holiday. It's the little things that lead to true happiness — these bliss boosters are all easy to do. Plus, by practicing them, you can reap tremendous rewards.
You can add more fun into your day by adjusting small things, such as your daily habits.
These are my go-to simple habits inspired by my time in Hawaii, and they can change your life if practiced daily.
1. Make every day the weekend.
Sure, you have work demands and adult duties to tend to throughout the week, but we all know we are happier on the weekends. A 2010 University of Rochester study proved that it is not just the time away from your desk; it’s the freedom to make your own choices that lifts your mood. We all crave freedom, so add some spontaneous moments into your week.
Awesome Action: If you want the TGIF buzz, plan to not plan every evening. Give yourself freedom throughout the week to let the day naturally unfold.
2. Play with a furry friend.
Dogs, cats, horses, hamsters — furry friends are happiness bubbles. When I adopted my Golden Retriever in 2009, he helped pull me out of depression.
Awesome Action: Volunteer at an animal shelter, hug your own furry friend, or take them out for extended playtime.
3. Don’t go to bed angry.
Holding on to a grudge hurts you more than it hurts the person you are angry with. Don’t ever go to bed angry; you don’t want to bring that energy into the next day.
Awesome Action: Say you're sorry and let it go!
4. Fake it until you feel it.
Feelings will always follow actions. If you feel blue, smile and you will instantly feel more joyful. Sometimes we think we have to get happy before we can feel it, but if you simply act with gratefulness, you’ll see how your life becomes more manageable.
Awesome Action: Smile! Right now! (Made you happy didn’t it?!)
5. Go before you know.
We learn the way on the way. Waiting for the storm to pass, or seeking confidence before you take action will only keep you stuck. Take a step forward, and watch as the clarity comes.
Awesome Action: What one thing can you do today that your future self will thank you for?
6. Get lost.
Getting lost is actually the fastest way to finding ourselves. Metaphorically speaking of course! When we take the road less traveled, leave the job we hate, sleep in past our alarm clock, or give ourselves time to explore our passions, we often find what we are really looking for, the substance and connection that makes life meaningful.
Awesome Action: Give yourself time to get lost and explore the unbeaten path.Your future self will look back with thankfulness!
To create your own list of simple habits that will change your life check out this free guide on happiness.