3 Psychological Tricks To Live A Happier Life

Small changes in your thinking can have a significant impact.

Matt Lillywhite
Mar 17 · 4 min read
Photo by Tobi from Pexels

I remember this life-changing moment like it was yesterday.

I was looking out my bedroom window at the night sky a few years ago. The bright stars and a full-moon dominated the horizon. For a few seconds, I was in awe and completely overwhelmed by the sheer beauty of the universe. But then, I felt miserable. I couldn’t help it. I hated my life and desperately wanted it to change. The only problem? I didn’t know where to start.

Looking up at the night sky changed my life forever. It made me recognize how lucky I am to live on the only (known) planet to sustain life in the entire universe. It’s gone through some pretty difficult times (Asteroid impacts, ice ages, and volcano eruptions to name a few). And if our planet could go through adversity and come more prosperous on the other side, then so could I. Well, that’s what I told myself.

But since then, I’ve managed to accomplish my goal of living a pretty damn good life. The type of life where I wake up smiling each morning because I’m grateful for everything I already have, instead of thinking about what I don’t.

Here’s how you can do the same:

First, Write Down Your Definition Of A Happy Life

This strategy helps me to remember that a better life is within my grasp. Because when a dream is written on a page, it’s no longer in my head. Instead, it’s out there in the real world, waiting to be realized. Quoting an article published by INC Magazine:

“Writing your goals down not only forces you to get clear on what, exactly, it is that you want to accomplish, but doing so plays a part in motivating you to complete the tasks necessary for your success. The process of putting your goals on paper will force you to strategize, to ask questions about your current progress, and to brainstorm your plan of attack.”

A happy life means different things to different people. Maybe it’s to make a full-time income from writing, singing, or anything else that you enjoy. Or, perhaps it’s to fall in love and settle down in the suburbs of your favorite city.

Writing down your goals is a great way to remind yourself of what’s possible when you consistently work hard towards the life you desire. Because as long as a specific goal isn’t impossible, it’s within the realm of possibility. So, you just need to find ways to increase the odds of making your dreams a reality.

Then, Break Down Your Big Goals Into Tiny Habits

My days used to have zero structure. In essence, I did whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. Looking back, it’s not a surprise that I barely made any headway towards becoming a successful writer for such a long time.

But once I started breaking my goals down into small habits, it suddenly became much easier to make consistent progress towards the life I desire. Quoting an article published by Harvard Business Review:

“It’s great to dream big, but the way to achieve big is to start small — through micro habits. Micro habits are small components of a larger habit. By breaking down an ambitious job into smaller, more achievable ones that you build over long periods of time, micro habits help you complete big goals.”

Identify the habits that will enable you to create a happier life. For example, if you want to fall in love, it might be a good idea to meet new people every weekend. Likewise, if you’re going to become a successful content YouTuber, filming new videos every day is certainly an excellent place to start.

Finally, Try To Make A Little Bit Of Daily Progress

If you want to create a better life, focus on the small improvements each day that can have a massive impact. Chances are, you’re not going to improve your life overnight. If today sucks, tomorrow probably will, as well. But if you continually put one foot in front of the other, you’ll eventually reach your desired destination.

If you want to live a better life, adopting a better mindset is certainly a great place to begin. Because when you improve your routine, have faith in your ability to succeed, and make smarter choices, it’ll only be a matter of time before you find yourself living a much better life than you ever thought possible.

I’m going to leave you with a beautiful quote from Darren Hardy, who perfectly sums up what I’m saying:

“The first step toward change is awareness. If you want to get from where you are to where you want to be, you have to start by becoming aware of the choices that lead you away from your desired destination. Become very conscious of every choice you make today so you can begin to make smarter choices moving forward. To help you.”

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