22/06/2015 10:50 BST | Updated 22/06/2016 06:59 BST

How to Increase Happiness and What Really Matters

When it comes to aims and ambitions in life, most people admit that their main aim in life is to be happy. This will mean different things for different people, but when you feel happy, you are relaxed, you are content and you are more confident. This means that being happiness can lead to success and naturally success can lead to happiness. This means if you take steps to increase your happiness, you will find it easier to maintain, develop and build your level of happiness.

Some scientifically approved ways to be happier include:

  • Focus your mind and daydream less
  • Get more good quality sleep
  • Experience more things in life
  • Reduce your commute
  • Smile more often

No matter what things in life make you feel happy, these are aspects that can help to improve your state of mind and make you feel more content with life. This is why it is of benefit to add these elements to your day and normal routine, because it will give you a stronger platform to aim for general happiness.

There are also many ways in which you can improve the way that you feel about life and one of the best things about increasing your happiness is that you can do so with a lot of small steps. You may think that you need to make massive changes in your life to increase happiness, but this isn't the case. Making a big change can be difficult, and it is easier to fail in your aims, so it may be that making numerous small changes to your outlook and life will help to increase happiness.

Some aspects you should focus on include:

  • Don't worry about minor matters
  • Not everything has to be perfect, "very good" can be enough
  • Find a purpose in life
  • Be true to yourself
  • Help others
  • Spend time with other people
  • Appreciate what you have in life
  • Don't wish your life away - always enjoy something that is taking place today
  • Forgive others and forgive yourself
  • Declutter your life

So many of the ways to increase happiness in your life revolve around making things simpler and seeing the positive in things. While it may be that you associate happiness with wealth or material possessions, you will find yourself happier with these items if you have moved forward with your life in a positive manner. There are many people who have achieved riches and/or fame through illegal activities and while they get to enjoy the trappings of their status, they are continually looking over their shoulder. This means that they are not at peace with themselves, which means that happiness isn't really about what you own or what you achieved, it is more about the way you achieve things and how you feel about yourself.

What really matters?

This is a personal question but the most common replies with respect to what matters in life include:

  • Health
  • Relationships
  • Meaning or Purpose
  • Wealth
  • Achievement

While wealth is regularly cited as something that makes people happy, it is usually the free time or the ability to do more of the things that you like that makes people feel happy, as opposed to wealth by itself. Material possessions are important but in reality, people would swap these items to be in good health and to have their family and loved ones around them, which suggests that these are the things that really matter in life.