5 Steps to Becoming a much Happier Man
Happiness in its simplest form is a feeling of contentment. Some men are happier than others, and some poor souls never seem to experience much happiness no matter how hard they try. Some would say we’re as happy as we make our minds up to be – but are they right?.
Life is a mixed bag of emotions, but any man losing out on his fair share or happiness is losing out on life, and that’s nothing short of tragic. So the question is can he control his mood? One world renowned Buddhist monk thinks so.
“Happiness is not something readymade. It comes from your own actions” ~ Dalai Lama XIV
What makes a Man Happy and Sad?
Sometimes people lose their ‘happy’ due to unfortunate circumstances or a series of ill-fated events, but more often than not, these men will bounce back to their old self given time.
A Male Midlife Crisis doesn’t help!
It is those who rarely have, or never have had experienced true happiness that need it the most. And men over 40 are particularly vulnerable to losing the glee from their character as transition into middle age takes hold and proves difficult to accept – for some.
Even in a worst case scenario, most guys us can do something to lift their mood. Maybe they can’t reach a state of prevailing joy, but they can certainly become happier than they are by practicing a few simple steps. But as with all suggestions, nothing works unless it’s worked!
“It’s been my experience that you can nearly always enjoy things if you make up your mind firmly that you will.” L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables
5 STEPS FOR ACHIEVING MORE HAPPINESS
1. Get some Exercise
There is nothing that lifts the spirit more than regular, moderate, exercise. The short term benefit is that exercise produces an adrenalin rush that also releases dopamine, (a neurotransmitter helping control the area of brain that acts as a reward and pleasure center).
In the long term, regular exercise helps you to feel good about yourself. Very unhappy people tend not to exercise, or certainly not with any frequency. Experts on fitness will tell you there are only 2 times when a man needs to exercise:
- One is when he wants to
- The other is when he doesn’t
2. Adopt an Attitude of Gratitude:
Unhappy men find it difficult to be appreciative of much. They may well have justifiable reasons for their ingratitude. But reflecting on the positive, and perhaps making a short gratitude list daily – with gritted teeth if necessary – can definitely have its benefits. Over time, this list can help prevent the mind focusing naturally on all the negativity in ones life.
3. Embrace and Nurture Relationships with Family & Friends
People need people. Some men might think they are better off disconnected from their fellows, but this is just the mind playing tricks on the psyche.
Men who are in regular contact with family and friends are not only happier overall, but they’re healthier and live longer too, according to research.
It’s not that people make you happy by what they do or don’t do per se. Simply by being in the presence of others helps us to connect minds and so removes the loneliness of self. It’s all to do with a sense of belonging, or fitting in if you like. Being a-part-of as, opposed to apart-from, is crucial component of human contentment.
Widening your social circle and surrounding yourself with people you like and love can only help, not hurt, your pursuit for happiness.
“The quality of your life is the quality of your relationships” ~ Anthony Robbins.
4. Be Good to YOU
One of the biggest reasons people become unhappy and stay miserable is by beating themselves up. Blaming yourself for anything and everything that doesn’t go your way makes it impossible for you to like who you are. And if you don’t like YOU, that usually means others will find it difficult to enjoy being around you too, adding to yet more melancholy.
Too many men are hard on themselves and display this by either putting themselves down – constantly – or by blaming the world and its people for their crap life. Perhaps becoming mindful of the quotes below can help put the good back into your worth:
- Accept yourself – gratefully.
- Balance yourself – harmoniously.
- Be yourself – truthfully.
- Bless yourself – abundantly.
- Empower yourself – confidently.
- Express yourself – radiantly.
- Forgive yourself – completely.
- Give yourself – enthusiastically.
- Love yourself – wholeheartedly.
- Treat yourself – generously.
- Trust yourself – confidently
- Value yourself – joyfully.
“You, as much as anybody in the universe, deserves your love & affection”. ~ Buddha
5. Be mindful of your posture.
It might sound daft, but the way in which a man carries himself can have a huge impact on the way he feels and functions. There’s no question of doubt that a good stance and posture reflects a wholesome state of mind. Try holding the shoulders back, keep the head high, and wear a smile (fake it if you have to). Now watch as your mood lifts despite yourself.
A ‘correct’ posture also stimulates physical and mental wellbeing by portraying a more confident image of you. It also improves breathing; enhances circulation and digestion; gives out a better and more confident voice; benefits muscles and joints; assists a healthy spine; and of course, improves frame of mind.
As you can see, lifestyle contributes to how we feel and function as men. So whenever possible, a simple tweaking of routine can make the world of difference.
(If you’re having mental of physical health issues, please visit our Health Related Resources for Middle-aged Men, where you will find a list of useful organisations).
Article Written By Toby Strowger | 50ish Site Contributor
Toby Strowger is a men’s lifestyle writer for 50ish.org