How to be happy in all corners of your life

Whether it’s at home, at work or in your wider circle of family and friends, it’s important to build happy relationships.

In the lead-up to International Day of Happiness on March 20, we asked experts for their tips on being happier in all facets of our lives.

With your partner

Prioritise love: “Life gets busy,” says Caroline Anderson, a psychologist at Jean Hailes. “Make time for a classic date night or to share mutual interests.”

Show you care: Grab some micro-moments of love, says psychologist Barbara Fredrickson. Have a hug or text your partner so they know you are thinking about them.

Work it out: Don’t give up on your relationship when things become stale. Support each other in trying new things.

With your children

Listen: “Ensure children feel they are heard and respect their opinions,” says Helen Poynten, Relationships Australia Queensland regional manager.

Slow down: “Be present with your children – turn off the TV and put away the mobile,” Caroline says.

Don’t have unrealistic expectations: Children don’t have to be perfectly dressed and they don’t have to try every activity.

With your friends

Make time: Remember, it’s not how many friends you have but the strength and quality of connections that matter,” Caroline says.

Mix it up: Friends can be under-valued in terms of helping our mental health, says Helen. “We make friends through schools, work and hobbies,” she says. “Varied friendship groups are good.”

Listen: When friends are going through difficult times, don’t be afraid to ask how they’re coping.

With your colleagues

Network: “Accept invitations from workmates that you think would bring opportunities for connections,” Helen says. “It’s good for your workplace wellbeing.”

Pay attention: Remember details of your colleagues’ lives so you can ask meaningful questions.

Lend a hand: “Do your colleagues a five-minute favour,” Caroline says. “Perhaps share your knowledge or introduce them to another colleague.”

With your parents

Appreciate them: “Ask yourself: ‘In 10 or 20 years, when Mum and Dad have passed away, how do I want to look back on the role I played?’” Caroline says.

Respect their time: Don’t expect your parents to take care of your children – just because they’re retired doesn’t mean they’re going to work for you, Helen says.

Make time for them: Social connections can be lost as people age, so maintain regular contact – perhaps a monthly Sunday lunch with family.

Written by Sarah Marinos.