How to achieve happiness without money
If you have ever been a student, you definitely know how stressful money can be. Conciliating studying and working can be extremely tough as you need both of them to survive, but both of them require lots of time. That’s why you need to actively search for happiness, whether or not you do have money in your life.
Here I suggest 11 simple ways to work on this journey:
- Working out.
Sport has always had a heavy impact on people’s life, whether they practiced it or watched it. Activities help you to keep in shape and improve your health but not only: they improve your inner self too. You will learn to be more patient and kind with yourself and your body, you’ll learn how to breathe correctly and this will improve your ability to control stress too. Last but not least developing a new passion will restore your brain. Therefore you should definitely try working out, plus it’s free.
- Family and friends.
Finding the time to have a lovely day with your friends or family is difficult nowadays, where our whole day is completely occupied. However, finding even just 30 minutes to grab a coffee and have a chat with your friends will brighten your day. Social behaviours improve self-esteem, relieve stress and create solid bonds. Remember that it’s quality over quantity.
- Free hobbies.
There are lots of activities that we would love doing and don’t require money: go to your local library and read a book there, compliment a stranger, meditate and meet new people, these are all low-cost activities that will help you keep your brain busy. Keeping busy comes with many benefits such as increased energy and consequently increased productivity: having a schedule will also help you in setting your goals and prioritizing them.
- Healthy diet.
People tend to say that following a healthy diet is extremely difficult but they are wrong: eating healthy doesn’t equal constrictions and forbiddings but it means balance. Plus it has both short-term and long-term benefits: not only will you look and feel better, but it will make you save money on future medical expenses.
Opt for local fruits and vegetables that are probably pesticides-free and do not contribute to global pollution.
- Practice optimism.
Try finding your ray of sunshine even when the situation is dramatic. Being optimistic doesn't mean ignoring problems and the reality of the situation but it means to try and take the best out of every situation: after a job loss, for instance, people might feel defeated but an optimistic person would try to see this situation as an opportunity to reset its goals and search for happiness.
Optimism, like pessimism, is infectious: make an effort to be optimistic and surround yourself with positive energy.
- Connect with nature.
Different studies demonstrated that spending time in nature has several benefits. We all know the pleasant feeling we get from a walk on quiet, tree-lined paths. Scans of “nature walkers” showed that these people have a quieter brain, meaning that they have less blood flow to the area of the brain connected with rumination.
Sunlight is essential too, in order to produce vitamin D : studies show that the seasonal affective disorder is spreading through the population.
Last but not least, spending time in natural light boosts your mood.
- The 1 minute rule.
One of the most efficient hacks to feel better comes from Ms. Rubin, author of “Happiness at Home”. This rule basically means that you should do any task that can be completed in 1 minute or less.
Here are some example to help you understand better:
- Pick up a coat.
- Read a letter and toss it.
- Read and answer your emails.
- Fill in any form.
- Put the dishes in the dishwasher.
- Pick up phone messages.
- Change the batteries of the remote.
This method will work wonderfully for two reasons: you will get a boost of happiness for completing so many tasks in such a short amount of time, and you’ll find yourself with less work and a tidier room.
- Be grateful.
Even just feeling gratitude towards life boosts your happiness. Studies show that by actively practicing this emotion, people feel hopeful and happy.
Start every day by acknowledging one thing you feel grateful for: do this while you’re having breakfast or brushing your teeth.
As the day goes on, try to spend some time thinking of different pleasant things; they could be big ones such as the thought of someone you love and who loves you back or a promotion at work. But they can also be the small things such as a coworker who offered you a cup of coffee, a stranger who smiled at you on your way to work or the great weather of that day.
Practice this feeling of gratitude.
- Reevaluate your goals.
As we change, goals change with us. Try and think if the goals you set in the past correspond to the goals you would like to set right now; if the answer is no, go on and change them, there is no shame. This is part of actively trying to change your future in order to feel happy.
- Listen to others’ point of view.
The effort you make each time you try to put yourself in others’ shoes can make you and others feel better about your and their lives.
In this way you’ll exercise your feelings of empathy and compassion, which are an illimitate reserve of happiness.
- Acknowledge bad moments.
Bad things happen, whether we want it or not, it’s just another aspect of life. Whenever you get bad news or feel sad (even without any reason), don’t pretend you’re happy. Repressing your feelings and faking your happiness will not eventually lead to a better state, on the contrary it could have the opposite effect.
Instead try to acknowledge as a part of yourself those feelings of emptiness, anger or sadness that you’re feeling. Then shift your thoughts towards the reasons behind these emotions and the countermeasure you could take.
Remember that nobody is happy all the time.
Let that moment flow and take care of yourself.