(I read this article on WikiHow and really wanted to share it. It has such amazing advice and I hope that I can follow through and use this in my life.)
[also this is not the full article, just the points I wanted to share. To read the full article go HERE]
So happiness - isn't that the thing that all of us strive to find and keep? Nobody is happy all of the time, but some people are definitely more fulfilled than others. Studies on what makes people happy reveal that it doesn't have much to do with material goods or high achievement; it seems to whittle down to your outlook on life, and the quality of your relationships with the people around you.
Be optimistic. In the 1970s, researchers followed people who'd won the lottery and found that a year after they'd hit the jackpot, they were no happier than the people who didn't. They called it hedonic adaptation, which suggests that we each have a baseline level of happiness. No matter what happens, good or bad, the effect on our happiness is only temporary and we tend to rebound to our baseline level. Some people have a higher baseline happiness level than others, and that can be attributed in part to genetics, but it's also largely influenced by how you think. So while the remainder of this article will help boost your happiness, only improving your attitude towards life will increase your happiness permanently.
Follow your gut. In one study, two groups of people were asked to pick out a poster to take home. One group was asked to analyze their decision carefully, weighing the pros and cons, and the other group was told to listen to their gut. Two weeks later, the group that followed their gut was happier with their posters than the group that analyzed their decisions. Now, some of our decisions are more crucial than picking out posters, but by the time you're poring over your choice, the options you're weighing are probably very similar, and the difference will only temporarily affect your happiness. So next time you have a decision to make, and you're down to two or three options, just pick the one that feels right, and go with it.
Make enough money to meet your basic needs: food, shelter, and clothing. In the US, that magic number is $40,000 a year. Any money you make beyond that will have negligible effects on your happiness. Remember the lottery winners mentioned earlier? Oodles of money didn't make them any happier, and it won't make you any happier. Once you make enough money to support your basic needs, your happiness is not significantly affected by how much money you make, but by your level of optimism.
* Your comfort may increase with your salary, but comfort isn't what makes people happy. It makes people bored. That's why it's important to push beyond your comfort zone to fuel your growth as a person.
* Don't assume you're the exception, as in "Sure they didn't use their lottery money wisely, but if I won it, I'm spend it differently, and it'd definitely make me happier." Part of the reason many people are unhappy is because they don't think research-based advice about happiness applies to them, and they continue chasing more money and achievement and material goods in vain.
Stay close to friends and family. Or move to where other members are- so you can see them more. We live in a mobile society, where people follow jobs around the country and sometimes around the world. We do this because we think increases in salary will make us happier, but the fact is that our relationships with our friends and family have a far greater impact on our happiness than our jobs do. So next time you think about relocating, consider moving back to your childhood area of the country to spend time with your siblings and aging parents, before it is too late. Stop expecting your job to make you happy. Many people expect the right job or the right career to dramatically change their level of happiness, but happiness research makes it clear that your level of optimism and the quality of your relationships eclipse the satisfaction you gain from your job. If you have a positive outlook, you'll make the best of any job, and if you have good relationships with people, you won't depend on your job to give your life a greater sense of meaning. You'll find it in your interactions with the people you care about. Now that doesn't mean you shouldn't aspire towards a job that'll make you happier; it means you should understand that the capacity of your job to make you happy is quite small in comparison to you outlook on life and your relationships with people.
(In conclusion: Smile more and enjoy life, you only get one!)