Everyone wants a happy life. Happiness such a simple concept, but yet it seems so difficult to achieve.

But when it comes to true happiness, we may be our own worst enemies. When all is said and done, you are the only one who can control your emotions. This means that you are in charge of your own happiness, regardless of what happens around you.

Now that we’ve covered that cold, hard truth, let’s explore the quickest and easiest ways to achieve the happy, healthy life you’ve always wanted.

Take care of your body
Happiness may seem like a purely emotional state, but a gray area emerges when we dig a little deeper. For example, how do you feel when your sinuses are congested? Aside from the feelings of congestion, you’re probably not in the best of spirits.

The body and mind are connected, and so your happiness depends on the health of both. Achieve physical health and emotional well-being will come easier.

Taking care of your body includes things like eating right and exercising. But it also means cutting out bad habits. If you smoke cigarettes or binge drink, stop. If you have trouble quitting, get medically treated for addiction.

Exercise your mind
You may have heard that your mind is like a muscle. This isn’t literally true, but it’s true that your mind behaves like a muscle in many ways. Just like you can train your muscles to get stronger, you can do the same for your mind. When you work on certain skills, you can improve things like memory or math skills. You can also train your mind to be happier by becoming more mindful.

Meditation is the best-known way to increase your mindfulness. Through meditation, you’ll learn to avoid wandering thoughts and spend more of your time enjoying the present moment. And if you think about your biggest happiness block, it’s probably linked to wandering thoughts.

You're sitting in your doctor's office waiting for your appointment and recalling the hurtful things your spouse said in last night's argument. Or you're worried about what the doctor will say about your health. Your mind is either in the past or the future. It's not in the present. In the present moment, right there in the comfortable office chair, there’s no danger. No one is currently hurting you. All the pain and worry exists only in your mind.

Meditation can help you enjoy more moments in the present, so you can eventually find happiness.

Let go of expectations
Think about the last time you were angry. There’s a good chance that you were angry because your expectations did not match your reality. You expected your friend to show up on time. When he was late, you got angry. It’s a natural reaction that most of us have, but it’s not exactly productive.

What would happen if you learned to enjoy each moment and live without expectation? This isn’t about letting other people “off the hook.” It’s actually about preserving your own health and happiness.

In this example, you might focus on the benefits of your friend being late. Maybe you had a few minutes to enjoy your tea in silence. And maybe you even got to practice mindfulness.

Letting go of expectations doesn’t mean accepting bad behavior. You don’t have to continually put yourself in a position where you’re forced to choose between happiness and anger. But when you choose happiness in the moment, it’s a win for you.

Give more often
If charity isn’t part of your life now, try to find ways to incorporate giving. You can start with friends and family, and then later work up to volunteering if you feel inclined.

You don’t have to give money. Oftentimes, your time is a more valuable and rewarding resource. Try to do something every day that puts a smile on someone else’s face. Not only will you spread joy to their lives, but you will also feel good about your deed.

Get out of your comfort zone
It’s easy to get into a rut. When this happens, we’re basically going through life on autopilot. But when you step out of your comfort zone, you learn new things, your brain makes new connections and you walk away with new memories.
And you may be happy to learn that you don’t have to jump out of an airplane to get out of your comfort zone. You can do something as simple as taking an alternate route home from work or hiking a new trail on the weekend.

If you’re not healthy or happy, try these small shifts to help enhance your enjoyment of life. After all, that’s what it’s all about.

Author's Bio: 

Trevor McDonald