Brady

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Founder and Editor at Elite Happiness! I love my life and want to help you love yours too. If this isn't your favorite website on the entire internet, let me know why in the comments so I can make this your favorite place to be. As always, stay awesome. Have a great day.

Benefits Of Drinking Water

How To Get Motivated (And Stay That Way)

​​When it comes to the human body, not much else is more important than water.

Having the right amount can help your body and your mind to achieve levels of activity, intelligence, and power that others who are experiencing dehydration just can't achieve.

Not drinking enough water is shown to decrease our concentration, cause extreme fatigue, ruin our skin, and literally cause pain in the form of headaches and muscle cramps. (source).

​So with that out of the way, let's look at some benefits of drinking water.

1. ​Lose And Manage Your Weight

As you're aware by now, losing weight isn't quite as simple as visiting the gym twice a week and flexing in front of every mirror you see.

Water can help us out here.

Since water serves as a natural appetite suppressant, aiding the metabolism, with a glass of water or two before a meal you are less likely to gain weight and the job of losing it is all that much easier. (source).

​2. ​Get Rid Of Them Nasty Toxins

​There are many ways that water helps rid the body of toxins:

​​Sweating​, going to the bathroom, and even something as simple as breathing all play significant roles in the removal of body waste and water's presence is ​pretty much essential to all of these processes.

​In the times when we consume excess toxins (like that triple stacked cheeseburger you just ate), the body's organs are usually equipped with the capacity to get rid of these harmful materials.

​​But when aren't drinking enough water, we're subject to buildups of harmful chemicals. This is where your uncle's horror story about kidney stones comes from.

Not drinking enough water can also lead to increases in toxins or harmful substances in the eyes, nose, and throat since these substances aren't getting washed out like normal.

​3. Get That Smooth Skin You've Always Wanted

​Dehydration can make your skin look tight, flaky and dry. And not one person who looked like a Greek God has ever had tight, flaky, or dry skin.

It's bad news. ​

​Even worse, dehydration leads to an increase in oil ​in our skin which, besides sounding gross, causes more pimples than normal (seriously, you'll look like a pubescent 12 year old).

But drinking enough water ensures that our skin looks and feels healthy, plus it naturally limits wrinkles.

​4. Keep The Movements Moving

​Dehydration equals constipation.

Write it down, stick it on your bathroom mirror.

To keep all the movements moving quickly and easily, we recommend making water your absolute best friend.

And remember: true friends drink their best friends frequently.

​5. Keep Your Joints ​So ​Young​​​

Do you wake up in the mornings feeling like someone placed a voodoo hex on your back and knees?

Have no fear, water is here!

When you don't have enough water and are dehydrated​​, your body takes water from all the ​not real important stuff (joints, muscles) and puts it into the real, real important stuff (organs).

If you wake up in the mornings and feel joint pain that eases as the day goes on, lack of hydration may be a culprit. Try to drink more before bed or during the night to prevent this.

​6. Transform Into Tom Brady Through Your Athletic Prowess

Like we discussed above with your joints, inadequate hydration leads to decreased performance. The same applies for muscles.

And no, you probably won't transform into Tom Brady with adequate water. Aquaman is much more likely.

Whoever your preferred transmorphation is, the science is clear: less water means your muscles will basically begin to treat you like you're 80, which hampers in on all sorts of fun.

​Maximize athletic ability, decrease muscle pain, and increase recovery by staying hydrated.​

​7. ​Stop Bombs Going Off In Your Brain

If you​r head frequently feels like you have cluster bombs going off inside, we have good news:

​It may just be a signal that you need more water.

It also may be cluster bombs. We don't know.

But most likely it isn't, which means that your chances of your migraine or headache being water-related are all that more likely. 

​Drinking sufficient water is so powerful that one study called it a "cost effective, low-risk, and non-invasive intervention to reduce or prevent headache pain." (source).

So next time ya brain starts throbbin', go drink a glass. But if you've been drinking ​another​ type of glass...​​​

​​8. ​​​The Secret Ingredient To Hangover Cures

If you feel like I've been talking ​really loud​ this whole time, this tip is for you.

​​​Alcohol, being a diuretic, increases the passing of urine; in short, your body turns into a fire hydrant. ​

​To get fast hangover treatment, no need to use that ungodly brew from your grandmother passed down as a "family secret". Just drink a glass of water and you'll feel ready to go to your local watering hole again in no time.

​9. Literally Stop Your Brain From Shrinking

​Yes, this really does happen.

A recent study showed that dehydration caused by working out for 90 minutes without replenishing your fluids shrunk your brain as much as a year of ageing and months of Alzheimers. (source).

Drink your water people.

10. Literally Makes You Smarter

​The same study above showed than when we are dehydrated, we have to use more energy to achieve the same results.

Being without water literally makes you dumber.

Drink your water people.

​11. Have The Heart Of A Horse

​When we don't drink enough water, our blood gets thicker than your fat uncle's waistline after a holiday meal.

​This raises your blood pressure and puts a strain on your heart. While the strain may not be too bad in the short term, enough of these strains in the long term can cause serious heart problems.

​0/10. Would not recommend.

​12. If You Were A Superhero, You'd Be SuperOrgans

​We've talked about how water helps your skin, your kidneys, your brain, and your heart.

It also helps other organs attain all the vital chemicals they need so you don't develop chronic conditions.

Time to don your cape, SuperOrgans. Crime (of not drinking enough water) awaits.

​13. Have The World's Best Breath

I'm not saying that you can get rid of that foul stench of onions and garlic before you go on your first date just by drinking water, but it'll sure help you seem more human and less swamp creature.​

14. PH = Perfectly Healthy

​Your PH levels in your body are literally a measure of how acidic you are.

Not acidic as a person! I'm sure everyone loves to be around you. We're talking about literally acidic. Like, where you are on a scale of bananas to oranges.

Being too close to the oranges (meaning your PH is too high) can pretty much make all of your life horrible. Having a high PH is associated with everything from muscular cramps to bad breath to how ladies smell... ​erm​... ​down there​.

Just make sure to drink enough water that you don't start having acid spit and you'll probably be fine. But how do we know how much is enough?​​​​​​

​How Much Water Should I Drink?

​There ​are no official standards for how much water you should be drinking on a daily basis.

This is because of the variables like age, sex, weight, level of physical activities, the climate of your area etc. ​The 8x8 rule (8 glasses a day, 8 oz each) serves as a general guideline, but you may be needing more than that.

​This is an area where it's better to go a little bit over than a little bit under, but for the average person, your thirst is a pretty good gauge of how much water you need.

Pay attention to your body here. If you're thirsty or your urine is a yellow color, this is the body's way of saying "Hey dingbat! We need more water!"

And, if you're unsure, go ahead and drink another glass anyways.

​Conclusion

Thanks for reading!

​Water is, by basically every definition ever, pretty much the coolest stuff since sliced bread and peanut butter.

​Let me know in the comments: ​what are your drinking habits and what do you recommend for others?

Stay awesome. Have a great day.

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Copyright Information: Copyright Elite Happiness. This content may be freely reproduced in full or in part in digital form with full attribution to the author and a link to www.elitehappiness.com. Please contact us for permission to reproduce this content in other media formats.

What Are The Best Self Love Books Today?

​What Are The Best Self Love Books Today?

​​Self love is, at its essence, about forgiveness.

We never feel we're good enough. We can't get over that mistake we made. We don't like (and definitely don't ​love​) our bodies.

Self love is about seeing all of that... and offering yourself forgiveness.

Because no one is perfect. And in fact, your imperfection may be the most perfect thing about you.

Who Needs ​​Self Love Books?

​​​​Short answer: anyone who isn't a narcissist.

(don't give these books to a narcissist)

Longer answer: Self love books are all about getting your relationships right, starting with your relationship with yourself.

Self love books are written for those who struggle with:

  • ​Guilt
  • ​Depression
  • ​Anxiety
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    ​Stress
  • ​Shame
  • ​Body hatred
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    ​Feelings of not being good enough (insufficiency)
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    ​Feelings of not being as good as someone else (inferiority)

​​If you feel like you struggle with one or several (or, in my case, all) of these, then a self love book may be for you.

What ​Self Love Books Do

Self love books help remind you that you are actually kind of stinkin' awesome.

These books remind you that you are ​not​ your flaws, you are ​not​ your failures.

You are you.

And you are valuable.

Self love books help you see that your faults do not define who you are, whatever those faults may be.

​Once these books have helped you see your own value, they show you how to ​believe ​in your own value using cutting edge techniques straight from the science books.

These books take you full circle from seeing your faults truly and realistically to overcoming your own self doubt.

These books help you become the person you have always known you could be.​​​

​How To Choose The Best ​Self Love Book For You

​We all come to the table with baggage, and all of our baggage is different than all of someone else's baggage.

So you're going to want to pick a book that best solves the problem ​you ​are facing.

Some books specialize in dealing with emotions like self doubt or self hatred, while others are geared toward accepting your body.

Other books have an emphasis on relationships, while others are about achieving freedom through bravery.

The best book for you will be the one that helps you see your own specific issue in a new light and overcome it.

And don't worry, I've ​made it easy to identify which book does what 🙂

​​Our Picks For Best ​Crossfit Shoes

​​I've chosen ​the ​best ​self love books in the world to help you step up your game. These books were graded based on:

​1)​ ​The quality of the information

​2) ​How ​practical the book is

​3)​ ​Whether or not the book covers all that needs to be said about an issue (called "scope")

​For each of these metrics, we've assigned a star rating and then given our own rating, which is an average of all the metrics above.

Best ​For Dealing With Destructive Thoughts

​Information

​Practicality

​Scope

Our Rating

​​​Self compassion is at the heart of what it means to love yourself. 

And if you are dealing with thoughts or emotions that are destructive in nature, that are slowly consuming you, then this is the book for you.

First off, this book is grounded in high quality scientific information. It is ​not ​your​​​​ typical "think happy thoughts, say happy things"​​​ that could be sold in Walmart as Diet Science.

Dr. Gerner, the author, is an acclaimed psychologist to the point where he's often found speaking at Ivy League schools like Harvard.

But this book isn't ​all research. The Mindful Path To Self-Compassion really has a lot of ​​​practical, step by step instructions on how to begin eliminating negative thoughts and emotions from your life.

Finally, this book really covers a lot of ground. There aren't many types of mental or emotional sufferings that won't be addressed, but a few may get less focus than others.

All in all, if you are looking to heal from trauma, stop believing you aren't worthy, or conquer your feelings of self doubt, this book could really go a long way towards helping you out of the pit you've found yourself in.


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    ​Does a great job of giving science without giving ​too​ much and getting bogged down​​​
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    ​Practical tips
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    ​Covers a large portion of types of mental and emotional suffering
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    ​Great for those experiencing destructive thoughts or emotions
  • Does not cover every possible type of emotional and mental burden


Best​ For Those Who ​Have Unrealistic Expectations Of Themselves

​Information

​Practicality

​Scope

Our Rating

​​​​If you consistently find yourself alone, trying to take on the world, you may be setting expectations too high for yourself.

Feelings of loneliness have a ton of horrible effects on us (​we discuss them in this post) and always lead to us feeling burned out and betrayed by those we love.

The Gifts Of Imperfection takes that problem and tackles it head on.

This book is filled with up to date research helping you solve the real problem, not just the symptoms. The author uses a ton of quotes and paraphrases from others to help you get the best information on how to overcome this suffering.

​And then it shows you how to use that information.

This book gets top score on practicality. ​Every single chapter ends in a D.I.G. where the author sums up what you just read and then gives you step by step guides to start doing what you need to do.

That alone is an incredible resource.​​​​​​

And finally, this book does a great job of presenting the entirety of what you need to know to succeed while reading it.

​The only critique is that the author may have leaned a little too heavily on ​her personal life experiences, which some may love and others not so much.


  • ​Great science
  • ​Uses the voices of a ton of experts
  • ​D.I.G. at the end of each chapter will make sure you know how to implement what you just read (that's ​super ​useful)​​​
  • ​Author says all that needs to be said
  • Great for those setting expectations too high for themselves
  • ​Author may lean a little too heavily on personal experience


Best ​For Those Who ​Don't Love Their Bodies

​Information

​Practicality

​Scope

Our Rating

​​​​If you looked in the mirror this morning and said "Eww" then this is the book for you.

We all struggle with self image sometimes and it's easy to get discouraged after trying so hard and not seeing a difference in the mirror or the scales.

This book digs deep to find current information about both physical and mental health, and this book does a good job at showing the link between the two.

​This book isn't just a how-to book, instead it ​helps you address the root of you not loving your body (your own beliefs about how you look and, more importantly, who you are).

From that cornerstone, the book gets practical. It gives effective tips on how to most effectively love your body by being kind to it. Treat your body well, and it will slowly become the body that you love.

And this book really covers a lot of ground. It covers all the bases of body love, addressing what you can do, how you should feel, who you truly are (you are awesome), and helps you see the value in connecting with others who share the same ​goals in life.

The only critique is that some of the tips for health are already included in other books (which, if they work, makes sense).


  • ​Extremely high quality information
  • ​Tons of practical and useful tips
  • ​Talks about the full range of health both mental and physical
  • ​Goes ​beyond other health books by addressing the need for your beliefs to be right and your community to be helpful
  • ​Best for those struggling with body image
  • ​​Some health tips already mentioned in other books (to be honest, I just have to put something here so other people think I'm being fair)


Best ​For Those Who Want To Improve Relationships

​Information

​Practicality

​Scope

Our Rating

​​​​This is the only book on this list that is specifically written with women in mind.

That said, it's probably a book that a ton of people, both men and women, need to read.

If you aren't happy single, you won't be happy in a relationship. And until you get your relationship with yourself right, you will struggle in relationships with other people.

This book ​includes some great information on how to know what you really want from yourself and from your relationships.

Powerful questions frequently asked help you see whether or not you're on the right track.

Once the book has helped you see where you want to go and who you want to be, it gives you practical guidance towards becoming more and more of that person.

And after that, this book offers a step by step approach to finding or fixing the relationships of your dreams.

​Best of all, this book says all that needs to be said about your relationship with yourself and your relationships with others.

Some Amazon reviews mentioned that the author is a little repetitive and that she uses a lot of personal experience.

But even so, this is a great book for finding who you are before you search for who you want to be with.


  • ​Real and encouraging
  • ​Includes great questions for self discovery
  • ​Nicely written and easy to read
  • ​Helps you align with who you want to be and who you want to be with in your life
  • ​Great for those who are in or searching for relationships
  • ​Can be a little repetitive
  • ​Author may use too much personal experience


Best ​For Overcoming Fear And Being Brave

​Information

​Practicality

​Scope

Our Rating

​​​​Daring Greatly confronts the issue of fear with brunt force: 

Until we are vulnerable, we can never be brave.

Daring Greatly expertly combines the research and tips from a ton of different fields all into this one powerful book.

It is filled with well written research, analysis, quotes, and stories of personal triumph (and failure).

And sprinkled throughout the powerful information are pieces of practical advice that are both important and realistic.

The author does not waste time with ineffective or impossible tactics.

This book also does a really great job of talking about everything related to the issues of self-doubt, fear, vulnerability, and courage.

All that said, a few mentioned that the book may have been a bit boring.

All in all, this book checks all the boxes someone who struggles with fear or self-doubt needs. It is a great purchase.


  • ​Does a great job of giving science​​​
  • ​Approaches the concepts of fear and bravery from a new angle
  • ​Easy to read and easy to implement in your life
  • Says all that needs to be said about the topic
  • ​Great for anyone struggling with fear, anxiety, or self-doubt
  • ​Some reviews mentioned it may be a bit boring


Best ​Overall

​Information

​Practicality

​Scope

Our Rating

​​​​If you aren't exactly sure what the problem is, but you know that you need a solution, then this is the book that I recommend for you.

This book serves as a sort of catch-all, and could easily substitute for every category on this list. If you don't know where to start or feel like you have ​lots​ of books you need to read, I suggest beginning with this one.

First, it's loaded ​​​in great, well-researched, practical info. No rah-rah "everything will be fine" stuff here (unless, of course, ​you ​make everything fine with your actions).

Speaking of actions, this book gives you some great ideas on stuff to do. And not only does it give you action tips for a few things, it gives ​universal​advice.

This means that whatever situation you find yourself in, this book gives advice that can help you identify your mental surroundings and take advantage of the situation presented to you.

Whatever that situation may be.

This book is broad, and for that reason, it can lack focus on specific issues. While it may be your best option if you want to tackle several issues or don't know where to begin, you may be better off with another book on this list if you have only one deeply rooted issue.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​


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    ​Does a great job of discussing lots of issues
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    ​Well researched and high quality information
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    ​Universal practical tips that can help you in every situation
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    ​Best overall
  • ​May not be as good for dealing with one specific issue as others on this list


C​onclusion

​​Thanks for reading! Since there are so many variables in different workouts, I recommend different ​books for different circumstances. That said, if I only had to recommend one, I would recommend Self Compassion as the best book overall.

​Self Compassion deals with a wide range of various circumstances and is guaranteed to help you in some part of your life.

Let me know in the comments below: ​what is your favorite self love book?

Stay awesome. Have a great day.

​Are We "Best Content On The Internet" Worthy?

​No annoying popups, no frustrating spam begging for your email address.

If you don't think we publish the best content on the internet, we don't ​think we deserve to get to know someone as great as you.

If you do, well here ya go.

Copyright Information: Copyright Elite Happiness. This content may be freely reproduced in full or in part in digital form with full attribution to the author and a link to www.elitehappiness.com. Please contact us for permission to reproduce this content in other media formats.

How To Deal With Depression And Conquer Negative Emotion

How To ​Deal With Depression

​And Conquer Negative Emotion

Depression is a destroyer.

​​And even though depression is usually only associated with feelings of sadness and feeling down, the reality is much more complicated. It is one of the most common, yet, sadly, one of the most misunderstood conditions.

​As to just how prevalent the problem is, The WHO (World health Organization) estimates that a staggering 300 million people suffer from depression around the world.

Not only this this a huge number, but this means that around 15% of the adult population has to deal with a major depressive episode at least once in their lifetime. (​source).

Yet to understand what depression ​is​, first we must understand what it ​isn't​.

We need to have a little talk about myths​​​​​​.

The misconception surrounding depression is still quite prevalent and can pose a huge challenge for people going through a depressive phase: their symptoms, more often than not, are disregarded as "feeling blue".

​This lack of understanding has stigmatized this very real mental health issue which has provide quite detrimental to raising awareness and trying to cure the actual condition.

It is absolutely essential to be clear on the nature of depression, if we are to propose ways to cope with it.

​Myths About Depression

​​Misconceptions surrounding depression is still quite prevalent and can pose a huge challenge for people going through a depressive phase as their symptoms, more often than not, are disregarded as ‘feeling blue’.

​This lack of understanding has stigmatized this very real mental health issue which has proven quite detrimental to raising awareness and trying to cure the actual condition.

​It is absolutely essential to be clear on the nature of depression if we are to propose ways to cope with it.

Misconceptions are important for people going through depression, and people who know someone going through depression, to understand.

If you are going through it, we have to ensure that you aren't falling prey to the cultural idea that you're just feeling down, or that something is wrong with you.

So here are some myths... and the truth.

​Myth

  • ​"Depression is not an actual condition, just an excuse by people who are too lazy or can’t deal with their emotions"

Reality

  • ​Depression is very real. Though feelings of sadness may be the most obvious symptom of depression, it is by far the only one. People with depression may suffer from lack of concentration or poor memory. Since these are easy to overlook and attribute to other things ("maybe I just have ADHD"), this can mean a diagnosis may never really happen. This just magnifies the problem since sufferers already feel depressed emotionally and the only way they can explain their failures to pay attention or retain information is by blaming themselves. The self-blame and shame only aggravates the problem. ​​Additionally, it is not the feeling of “sadness” that is most heart wrenching, but the lack of any feeling, the emptiness and void that cannot be filled no matter how much happiness surrounds people with depression.

Myth

  • ​"Depressed people are failures"

Reality

  • ​That is again far from the truth. Several well-known people, who appeared seemingly quite happy and successful have to deal with the demon of depression throughout their life. Winston Churchill is a famous example of a high-functioning individual suffering not just from bouts of depression, but also periods of mania. He personified his depression as the ‘black dog’ that kept coming back to him, which is why the black dog is the international symbol of depression.
  • Other famous individuals include Robin Williams, Anthony Bourdain, Kate Spade, and Kim Jonghyun, all apparently individuals who were at the top of their game when they took their own life after losing a lifelong battle with depression.

Myth

  • ​"Depression can easily be cured by taking anti-depressants"

Reality

  • ​While anti-depressants definitely help individuals suffering from depression by producing "happiness inducing" chemicals such as dopamine and serotonin, they are by no means the ultimate answer. Most sufferers need additional tools to help them combat their depression. This only sheds light into the complicated nature of depression and the many layers it has. It also means that a sufferer of depression does not have to be dependent upon anti-depressant drugs throughout the course of their life.

Myth

  • ​​"Depression is triggered by sad and traumatic events"

Reality

  • ​​While this statement is true for certain other conditions, most notable PTSD (post-traumatic stress syndrome) which is caused by the sufferer going through extreme and repeated traumatic events such as childhood abuse and war, this is not true for depression. Feelings and bouts of sadness are a hallmark feature of depression, yet the cause in most cases is an unaccounted for. Depression patients do not go experience anything exceptionally sad as compared to non-sufferers, yet they react different to the same situation as non-sufferers. A bad grade in a class test can drive people going through depression into a whirlwind of emotions where they beat themselves up for "being an utter and complete failure".

Myth

  • ​"People eventually find a way out of this condition"

Reality

  • ​This is a huge misconception, one that prevents people from seeking help and can sometimes have extremely adverse consequences. Depression is not a switch that a person can just eventually "turn off", it is a debilitating and painful condition which recurs throughout a person’s lifetime if goes untreated. The feelings of absolute helplessness and hopelessness are real and at time interfere with a person’s normal life. The ultimate consequence, if left untreated, can be suicide where the person finds the only way to escape the depressive state is to end one’s life entirely. Intervention and proper treatment as soon as possible is absolutely essential and can lead to suicide prevention.

​The True Nature Of Depression

​Once the myths are busted and one faces the reality of the issue, its breadth and depth, the urgency to cope with the disease comes into perspective.

In the developed world, where science has eliminated most viral diseases, such as polio and measles, or found cures for many others like tuberculosis, depression as a mental health issue still poses a serious challenge.

Depression is not simply an organ malfunctioning or a viral disease that can be combated using anti-biotics. It is more like a cancerous tumour, which is malignant and keeps coming back and which requires multiple techniques to cure or, at minimum, to cope with.

So how do we deal with this malignant black dog that gnaws at us every chance it gets? Since the nature of depression is quite complicated and multifaceted, the treatment must reflect this complexity.

Depression can be recurring. So one day an individual may feel fine, but the very next day the onset of depression may be so bad that they find it impossible to get out of bed. Also there are different kinds of depressions.

Aside from the major depression which is hard to ignore and quite obvious, a lot of people suffer from the persistent depressive disorder which is more hidden.

It can be a silent killer, sucking away the happiness in an individual’s life over extended periods of time. Sufferers can go through life without ever figuring out what is wrong with them. (source).

There are other kinds as well. Bipolar disorder is an affective disorder where the sufferer has episodes of deep depression intervened by episodes of extreme elation or mania.

In their manic state people feel they can conquer the world, but in their depressive state they feel like utterly useless and worthless. Winston Churchill is a famous example of a person with bipolar disorder.

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is the kind of depression which is triggered by changes in the weather. Usually as winter approaches and the natural light of the sun is present for shorter periods of time, this can have an adverse effect on the mood and emotions of people.

​Occasionally, there is a view that only women suffer from depression. This is totally wrong. 

Yet there are types of depressions that are only experienced by women: these include peripartum depression, which is depression felt by women during or after pregnancy, and premenstrual dysphoric disorder, depression preceding a woman’s period.

Since women’s bodies go through major hormonal changes at certain periods of their life, the hormonal imbalance can result in mood swings and in some cases be magnified into full-blown episodes of depression.

Whatever the cause may be, we want to show you something:

There is hope.

​The Light Before The End Of The Tunnel

​​​​​It can feel like depression is all consuming and impossible to escape, but we have good news:

It isn't.

It can be beaten.

​The good news is that although it is just as serious as one imagines it to be, depression is nonetheless curable. There is light ​before​ you get to​​​ the end of the tunnel, no matter how dark or how long that tunnel might seem.

​The dark clouds of depression can eventually part and shine a ray of sun shine. Make no mistake though;​ it is not an easy road.

Extreme effort will need to be made at times when effort feels nearly impossible. For sufferers of depression, taking action can be especially difficult as they find doing daily task a huge burden.

But depression’s very own nature is a downward spiral and the only way to get out of it is to push oneself up. The road to full recovery consists of a number of different steps, including these:

​Medical Assistance

The use of antidepressants has grown popular in recent years.

Antidepressants are medications used to alter the brain chemistry and alleviate the symptoms of depression and it's not hard to see why they're popular:

Research has shown that ​70-90% of patients report alleviation of their depression with antidepressants. (source).

However, there are many different kinds of medications available and some are better suited than others for each individual. Also, in general, drugs should be used with caution.

​Not only do they have side effects but they can also result dependency and addiction. Antidepressants in particular can have some negative side effects, including withdrawal problems, weight gain, sexual dysfunction, and "emotional numbness". (source).

​So while antidepressants may help alleviate symptoms, the intake of antidepressants, especially in children, needs to be closely checked, specifically for suicidal tendencies. (source).

The bottom line is that drugs should be used with caution and their effects need to be monitored. In addition to this, many patients do not respond to medications alone. ​There is often a need for more than simply popping a pill. Other options include...

​Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Cognitive therapy is a type of psychotherapy that aims at improving the thinking of people suffering with depression.

​Since negative thought processes and bad thoughts are common in depression, cognitive therapy is targeted towards changing those thoughts.

The patient works along with a therapist in identifying the negative thought processes and realizing how unrealistic they are. (source).

Apart from documenting negative feelings and false perceptions, patients are required to act out difficult situations. While this may sound strange, it is surprisingly useful.

​The idea is to help the patients view difficult and depressive situations by simulating them and analysing them in the absence of the emotional stress involved the first time those emotional events occurred.

For example, a patient might be asked to re-enact an argument with their spouse which may have aggravated their depressive state.

Since the argument is now being acted out in a different setting, with different environmental and emotional cues, the level of stress felt may be lower.

The patient is able to achieve a greater level of clarity and understanding.

This reprocessing and reassessment ability enables a patient to change the way they think. Their fundamental beliefs, self-perceptions and the behaviors that stem from those negative thoughts need to be changed.

Once negative thoughts and self-deprecating beliefs are altered, the patient’s emotional state greatly improves. Self-inflictive behaviors, such as cutting, self-harm, etc, may also change as person realizes their own self-worth.

While CBT can be effective and involves little to no side effects, ​it is not ​always​ effective​​​. CBT relies heavily upon a patient’s own willingness to co-operate and change.

​As a result, motivated individuals do far better than those lacking in motivation, which is common in depression.
 
​CBT is also a long-term process and results are not apparent overnight.

It is a slow (sometimes painful) process as the patient tries to delve through the layers of pessimism and self-hate and attempts to re-evaluate their basic beliefs about the world around them.

Other solutions may be needed.

​Exercise

Being active and getting a move on can do wonders for patients suffering from depression. Regular exercise not only helps maintain physical well-being by increasing stamina, toning the muscles and increasing flexibility, it also has positive effects on the emotions. When a person exercises the brain releases chemicals called endorphins. These endorphins improves the mood and gives a feeling of happiness. Exercising provides a kind of a high self esteem.

Aside from the neurochemical impact, regular exercise can lead a person to feel motivated about taking care of their body. Patients with depression tend to ignore their well-being and may not practice proper hygiene as they do not feel worthy. A simple thing like daily exercise can help change that self-perception and encourage the individual to focus on improving their health both physically and mentally.

​​​​​​Being Social

People with depression tend to feel cut off and trapped. The poet Sylvia Plath described her episodes of depression as being held under a bell jar, which made her unable to communicate with people outside the bell jar (basically everyone else) and them being unable to understand her.

While it is true that depression is hard to explain to someone who hasn’t experienced it and it can result in feelings of being misunderstood, isolation is not the answer.

Socializing and talking to people may seem like the most difficult thing to do. However, the things in life that seem most difficult are often the things that we need to do the most.

​Socializing is so effective at eliminating depression that, while not being the only cure, Johann Hari's research in his book Lost Connections indicates that strengthening our social connections may be the strongest tool we have in the fight against depression.

Strengthening social connections works in several ways. ​Once we get to know more people, we can open up and see that we are not the only ones struggling with life. We can see that our hopelessness and feelings of helplessness are unrealistic. Once that realization is achieved, it is easier to take steps to change harmful attitudes.

​Just talking about feelings and sharing our despair with loved ones can be a very positive thing. People with depression commonly feel embarrassed of their condition, as they believe they are somehow weak or abnormal. They try to hide the fact that they are dealing with crushing depression. Patients try to put on a brave face and act normal. 

While "toughing it out" is a short-term solution, it can be very detrimental. As a person fakes happiness, the feelings of emptiness only grow. The hopelessness and helplessness only build up. That p​erson will feel increasingly isolated and cut off from the world because they are withholding a storm within their mind.

In many ways, it is ​impossible​ for a person who is hiding their true emotions to make authentic friends: how can your friends love you for who you are if they don't know who you are?​​​

​For that reason, being expressive, crying, shouting, and letting it out is much better. Sure, you may lose a few friends. But any friends who leave you because of how you feel aren't truly friends anyways. Keeping emotions bottled up is not a healthy solution. Having just a single confidante that ​you can reach out to is enough. 

The power of social connection is so powerful that ​the simple act of keeping a pet can impact a person’s life positively. Caring for a pet takes mind off harmful thoughts and helps form true loving relationships.​ And since animals are not judgmental, there isn't any reason to fear social isolation from them.

​Connecting To Meaningful Work

Following ones’ passions and taking up a new hobby can have a positive effect on the mood of a depressed individual. Knitting, reading books, cooking, basically anything a person enjoys can give a feeling of happiness and fulfillment that can be extremely rewarding.

The act of doing something that one likes not only makes a person happy but also drives away the laziness commonly felt in a bout of depression. Traveling, picking flowers, watching birds, fishing, etc are all activities that connect us with the world, with nature and give a feeling of calmness.

​The internal turmoil of a depressive mind can be pacified, it only requires a bit of effort and help.​​​​​

​The Bottom Line

​What is extremely revealing about depression is its intensity and prevalence. The stigma attached to depression makes it hard for people to understand it and for the sufferers to accept it.

​But the road to recovery only begins with the recognition of the problem.

Identifying one’s mental state as depressive is key. Once that step is taken, the path, in no time, becomes easier. In fact, it becomes extremely pleasing. Then, with the medication, emotional support, and self-motivation, it can be overcome.

​But there is no silver bullet that can be used to counter depression; it is complex condition requiring a ​mixed set of complementary treatment techniques. Treatment must be consistent and, if the depression is recurring, constant.

​But it is treatable. With the right tools and right tactics, depression can be defeated. The big, bad black dog can be tamed and chained.

​Conclusion

Thanks for reading!

​Depression is not an easy battle, and certainly not a fun one, but it is a struggle that can be conquered; it is a journey where, at the end, you will be much stronger.

If you'd like to read more on the topic, I recommend our post How To Be Happy With Your Life to bring a lot of these tactics to life and make them easy to follow (including tactics to make friends).

I also recommend Lost Connections by Johann Hari. In my opinion, it is the single greatest book for understanding, diagnosing, and overcoming depression.

​Let me know in the comments: ​what have you found that helps your depression?

Stay awesome. Have a great day.

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How To Be Happy With Your Life

How To ​Be Happy With Your Life

​​From the dawn of time, humanity has been burdened with pain.

From modern philosophers like Thomas Hobbes (​life is "solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short,") to evangelists like Billy Graham ("We live, we suffer, and we die,"​​​​​​) to world-renowned ancient thinkers like Aristotle ("The aim of the wise is not to secure pleasure, but to avoid pain,"), the pursuit of happiness has always been core to the meaning of what it is to be human.

​To help you be happy, I've organized the best tactics, the most up to date science, and the surprising ancient philosophies that humans have been using for millennia to teach you how ​to be happy in all the circumstances of life.

This is a big post, ​but I recommend reading it in order, as each section builds upon the last. I've organized this post into three sections: 

First, we start with the science of happiness, looking at in depth research that provides a basis for the rest of our topics.

Next, we take a look at philosophies and teachings of the ancients, reminding ourselves of concepts that can be forgotten in the modern hustling world.

Finally, we look at the tactics you can apply to be happy where you are in life. We cover how to conquer overwhelming sadness, pessimism, remind yourself that your life matters, and show the best way to make new friends.

If you would like to skip to a section, click below.

Science

Philosophy

Tactics

The Science Of Happiness

beakers and jars

​On Being Punched By Strangers And The Good News About Instagram

​Johann Hari was, by most accounts, quite depressed.

​Beginning antidepressants as a teenager, at the ripe age of 18. In his book Lost Connections: Uncovering The Real Causes Of Depression, Hari says about his depression:

​"I would often have to absent myself, shut myself away, and cry. They were not a few tears. They were proper sobs. And even when the tears didn't come, I had an almost constant anxious dialogue thrumming through my head. Then I would chide myself: It's all in your head. Get over it. Stop being weak."​​​​

Yet when almost 13% of people are on antidepressants, is being unhappy really just in your head? (source).

Perhaps it isn't.

Perhaps unhappiness is a detectable scientific phenomenon pervasive in Western culture.

And if it isn't just in your head, if it is more than a chemical imbalance as we are so often told, then perhaps another fact is also true: it can be fixed.

Hari says that in large part, sadness we feel in every day life comes not from genetic chemical imbalances in the brain, but from ​created​ chemical imbalances in the brain.

And one of the leading causes of chemical imbalance?

Loneliness. In studies reviewed by Hari, he found that loneliness increases the stress hormone cortisol as much as being physically attacked.

In Lost Connections, he says:

"Feeling lonely, it turned out, caused your cortisol levels to absolutely soar—as much as some of the most disturbing things that can ever happen to you. Becoming acutely lonely, the experiment found, was as stressful as experiencing a physical attack. It’s worth repeating. Being deeply lonely seemed to cause as much stress as being punched by a stranger."

There's some conflicting information about how many people feel lonely. A Gallup survey in 2004​​​ concluded that Americans are, in general, satisfied with their number of relationships. While the average number of close friendships has decreased since 1990, the average correspondent reported having almost 9 close friends. (source).

However, another study suggests that humans can actually max out the number of close friendships: we struggle maintaining more than five intimate relationships at once. (source).

​​And perhaps another study takes us even nearer to what we need to be looking at. When people were asked how many friends they could have important conversations with, the average answer wasn't nine, and it wasn't five.

It was zero. (source).

From a research standpoint, it looks like people ​claim​ to have several close friends, but when asked questions that are more specific (such as how many friends they are comfortable having intimate conversations with), the number drops dramatically.​​​

​We are lonely.

And loneliness is deadly.

Specifically speaking, not being lonely makes us emotionally healthy ​and it even makes us smarter​. (source).​​​

When it comes to loneliness and social interaction, I think we need to have a talk about social media (​and no, I'm not going to tell you to uninstall Instagram).

Depending where you go on the internet, you'll either see sycophants worshipping at the feet of the social media giants or people who are basically the Luddites of the 21st century. (The Luddites went around and destroyed technology in the 19th century - imagine if Mark Zuckerberg or Jeff Bezos had an evil twin)

Both of these approaches are a misguided, yet at a surface glance, supported by the research.

For example, one study shows that no ill effects were recorded as a result of social media use. People continued talking with friends and family, having social interactions, and didn't feel increased emotional negativity. (source).

Another study says that when social media is used too frequently, ​people were twice as likely to have feelings of social disconnection. (source).

A third study brings this two conclusions together nicely. This study concludes that when social media is used to establish meaningful connections, it has several positive effects without any negative ones; think of this useful social media as simply a new way to share your life, hear from your friends, and connect with new people.

Yet when social media isn't used to connect, ill effects begin to happen. This was observed happening at about the two hour mark each day; once participants crossed two hours, social isolation began to creep in. (source 1​) (source 2).

So by all means, use social media. Just remember that it's best used for genuine connection, and that too much of a good thing isn't really a good thing.

friends at a picnic with small dog

Hot Spouses And Big Houses (And Why Having One Choice May Be The Best Thing To Ever Happen To You)

​Any self-improvement book, course, or website (that would be us) will tell you to set goals. Know what you want and get it!

But research is increasingly showing that just ​setting​ goals doesn't help. You have to set ​the right​ goals.

​Specifically, the more materialistic your goals are (I want a nice XYZ, a salary of [six+ figures here], and a spouse that is a twelve out of ten), the more likely you are to be depressed.

Quoting from a study done by Tim Kasser in The High Price Of Materialism,​​​​​​​​​ Hari writes:

​"It really did seem that people were having a worse time, day by day, on all fronts. They felt sicker, and were angrier. 'Something about a strong desire for materialistic pursuits,' he was starting to believe, 'actually affected the participants' day-to-day lives, and decreased the quality of their daily experience.' They experienced less joy, and more despair."

So what does work?

Intrinsic goals. Goals that are less about how others see you and more about how you see you; less of an emphasis on appearance or "being better" and more of an emphasis on living a fulfilling life.

In Heidi Grant Halvorson's book Succeed: How We Can Reach Our Goals, she defines an intrinsic goal as one focusing on your own self-improvement (whether it be mental, spiritual, or physical) or a goal focused on your relationships in life.

​Intrinsic goals are more valuable and lead to more happiness than extrinsic goals because extrinsic goals are based in comparison. In Eric Barker's bestselling book Barking Up The Wrong Tree, Barker analyzes a study for the purpose of happiness:

​In a real life study of when people were presented with multiple options, the study found that the end result was usually better with increased options. When people were given options of multiple careers, for instance, their respective salaries usually ended up higher.

Yet even while options and absolute results increased, happiness and satisfaction decreased when people were presented with multiple options.

The more that people had opportunities to do, the less satisfied they felt with their ​final choice.

​On the flip side, studies show that comparison helps us to achieve extrinsic goals. If you're looking to bump your salary, rise higher in life, or just generally overachieve, then I have some advice for you: compare away.

Comparison acts as sort of a turbo boost when it's used. It causes us to want more and strive to be more even though "being better" doesn't actually make us much happier. (source).​

As with all things, going to either extreme is rarely the correct solution; you don't need to be a miserable world ruler or a happy person that can't afford clothes. Compare your life when you need a boost, stop comparing when you need to be happy.

So while limited comparison can be good for you, don't allow comparison to consume your life. Focus less on being the greatest musician ever and more on being a musician who can bring joy to yourself and others. Strive less to be the greatest salesperson in the world and more ​on being someone who can help others get what they want.

When we take the focus off of beating others and place more value in being happy with who we are (especially if that leads to desires for self-improvement), we may beat others less... but we'll be a lot happier about losing, about loving, and about everything else.

Keep the focus on what matters: yourself and your relationships.

goals sheet

​​Questions With Friends

Man's search for meaning probably began when the first humans started organizing words and yet this drive is so powerful that it continues to haunt us even today.

"Why am I here?"

"What am I doing?"

"What's my purpose?"

Each question only reflects a greater truth: we innately feel like there is more to life than what meets the eye. Even though we work at a job, that job is not our identity; though we have emotions, we can rise above them; though we think, we can think better.

Tom Rath cites a study in his book Are You Fully Charged? about meaning in the workplace. His research led him to see that when people are working on meaningful tasks in their jobs, their average engagement increases by 250%.

But why do we need meaning to make us happy?

Well, to put it simply, searching for happiness isn't enough.

In fact, searching for happiness may be making you unhappy.

In Ph.D. holder Christine Carter's book The Sweet Spot, she looked at a lot of science to determine what really makes us happy. Her findings were stunning:

“Compelling research indicates that the pursuit of happiness — when our definition of happiness is synonymous with pleasure and easy gratification — won’t ultimately bring us deeper feelings of fulfillment; it won’t allow us to live in our sweet spot. Although we claim that the “pursuit of happiness” is our inalienable right and the primary driver of the human race, we humans do better pursuing fulfillment and meaning — creating lives that generate the feeling that we matter.”

This raises a question: how do we actually stop pursuing happiness and start pursuing meaning?

What even is meaning?

Lucky for us both, there are answers to both of those questions. To stave off any incoming existential crises, let's first take a look at what meaning actually is.

In Emily Esfahani Smith's book The Power Of Meaning, she analyses what meaningful lives actually look like: when people say that they feel fulfilled, what are they actually doing differently?

Her conclusions led her to believe that a meaningful life is characterized by three things:

1) Connection and contribution to something beyond yourself (connection and contribution)

2) Doing activities that generate positive emotions (positivity)

3) Deepening social connections (social connection)

Let's take a look at each of these.

Connection And Contribution

Activities that promote connection and contribution to something beyond yourself can be anything that you feel is working for a greater good.

It can be coaching your local little league team, working on a project with your family, or going to the gym with your friend.

Tasks like these help us feel like we are creating a legacy. These tasks help us to see that life is only meaningless if we don't share it with others; that everyone (yep, even you) has talents and abilities that can benefit the world.

And you don't have to build the next Microsoft or Apple to feel like you are contributing; even small tasks like cleaning the house for your family, volunteering a couple of hours a week, or spending time with your child can all activate this feeling of meaning.

So go out and take part in something bigger than you.

Positivity

I don't need science to tell you that humans avoid doing what is good for us. Instead, we do what is easy. (but here's the source if you want it anyways)

Yet the tasks that are easy rarely bring us much happiness at all. Just ask yourself the last time you finished binge watching a show on Netflix and said "Wow, I'm so glad I did that!"

Probably exactly never. If you're like me, you finished binge watching to go into a horrifying panic ​mode because you remembered that you're an adult with responsibilities and that if you don't do something ​with your life you might ​never accomplish anything at all.

A little dramatic, but it's how I feel.

One of the key elements of a meaningful life is a life that consistently does activities bringing positive emotion, not just activities that are easy.

I recommend putting down the remote and start doing a hobby. Not convinced it's worth it, or don't have a hobby? Then it's probably time to look at the research and get one.

Having a hobby can...

  • ​Make you better at work (source)
  • ​Increase job satisfaction and decrease burnout (source)
  • ​Lower blood pressure, cortisol, waistline, BMI, and make you believe you're in better health (you are)​ (source)
  • ​Put you in a better mood, increase interest, lower stress, and decrease your heart rate (source)

​So opt for things that make you happy, not things that numb your mind of offer an escape from reality for a fleeting moment of time.

​Social Connection

As mentioned earlier in this post, humans are social creatures and loneliness is deadly. So deadly, in fact, that loneliness is one of the ​most regrettable things about life.​​​​​​​​​

In Bronnie Ware's book The Top Five Regrets Of The Dying, she recounts the many people she took care of as they passed on. ​And as people lay on their deathbeds, many of them said a sentence that was becoming more and more familiar to Bronnie:

"I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends."

One of the keys to a meaningful life is staying connected with those around you, deepening those connections, and building new ones.

When you feel like you are connected and contributing to a higher cause, are doing things that actually make you happy, and are building deep relationships, you won't have to search for happiness.

You'll already have it.

​Road Rage, Thank You Notes, And Why (Kinda) Being A Control Freak Lowers Stress

​Be honest: are you a control freak? Because if you're not, you should be.

Kinda.

Here's what I mean. ​If you want to be stress free, you need to have control over your environment. When people believe that they have both direct and indirect control over their environment, their stress levels are shown to plummet.

​On the same note, when feelings of control are taken away, stress began to increase. (source).

But here's the kicker: these results held true even when participants only ​thought​ and ​felt like​ they had control over a situation. How much control the participants actually had was unimportant.

The amount of control participants actually had was irrelevant as long as they felt like they were able to influence an outcome. (source).​​​​​​

​And if you're really trying to avoid stress, avoid ​embarrassment in situations where you don't have much control.

In a study of people who were driving to work, drivers who had the more difficult commutes showed higher blood pressure and decreases in behavioral performance (duh). Interestingly enough, the increases in blood pressure and decreases in behavioral performance were especially severe when the driver had other people in the car. (source).

So avoid stress and avoid being embarrassed in front of others. Gotcha. But how do we actually do that? What do we do about situations where we don't have much control?

In situations where there isn't much you can do (such as driving to work or handling your boss), it's best to stop focusing on what you can't control and remember what thing you can take control of:

Yourself.

The positive control freak is not a freak because they worry about everything, but about nearly nothing. It isn't helpful or particularly productive to fear over problems you can't control, so the positive control freak doesn't do it.

​And while you can't make people like you, can't make every client buy from you, and may not even be able to pick what you're going to eat for dinner, you can always control your response to these situations, of which the list is short:

​Gratitude and optimism.

Optimism is its own beast, so we tackle it right here in the Tactics section.

​Gratitude, however, is pretty easy to talk about:

Do it.

In an eight month study looking at the long term effects of optimism and gratitude, researchers found that the effect gratitude places on you is pretty powerful. It makes you happy.

And the researchers were quick to specify that gratitude worked both in the short and long term as a producer of happiness and was not just a placebo.

Gratitude had a real, measurable effect on making the participants happy, not just in the moment, but for a long time after. (source).

Of course, the most simple way to show gratitude is to tell someone thank you.

So who do we thank when life gets rough and gives us situations that are out of our control? First, thank yourself. Appreciate the fact that you are someone who can handle tough situations and a tough life.

Thank yourself for getting you through one more day and then go thank others who helped you become who you are today.

​Taking control of our situations by controlling our response is the only way we can always feel like we're making an impact, so be sure to congratulate yourself and give some gratitude to the people who made you how you are today.

They​ appreciate it and it makes you happy.

To sum up this section on the science of happiness, here's an incredible TEDx talk about one the longest studies ever recorded: the study on happiness.

With that said, let's get out of the studies and move into the minds of the greatest thinkers humanity has ever known.

The ​​Philosophy Of Happiness

Ancient Greece - ​The Art Of Being A Pretty Decent Dude

Perhaps no period in history, with the exception of the Enlightenment, produced as much powerful philosophy as during the time of ancient Greece.

Particularly, Greece had the power trio: Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle. While tons of philosophers were produced during the lives of these three men, as they were all attentive teachers, these are the three that you'll probably hear about in high school and college history classes.

So let's look at what a few of these master thinkers had to say.

In his book The Republic, Plato uses a conversation with Socrates, his teacher, as a discussion on what justice truly is. Plato believed that if we could adequately define justice, then we could improve economics, government, and human rights.

And, he argued, we could be truly happy.

Most relevant to our discussion is how Plato believed that people could achieve happiness. Plato defends the idea that for a person to be truly happy, that person has to be a moral person, fulfilled all of their social duties.

Social duties and "cardinal virtues" played a big part in Plato's thinking. He thought that to be truly happy, people had to be wise (being able to discern the right course of action), courageous, fair, and have control over themselves.

He paid a particularly large portion of attention to the concept of self-control, saying that until a person could reject power and reject the things that didn't make that person happy (such as money or fame) then a person could never be truly happy.

It's worth remembering in today's world.

Aristotle believed similar things, but himself believed that if you were left with nothing and lived completely in a vacuum, that wisdom, wealth, or fame wouldn't have much value to you.

The only thing that would be left is your character: who you are.

He believed that to be happy, we must become people who are happy with ourselves, pleased with our own character. Of course, he argued, to truly have an excellent character, you must be a just person.

(Some philosophers throughout history have criticized what they consider to be a contradiction here - Aristotle first says that being just isn't ​extremely important, and then he says that if you want to be happy, being just is the most important thing. I've tried to reconcile these beliefs in the paragraph below)

​Aristotle believed that you must be a person of virtue. Even though wisdom, courage, self-control, and restraint are not the most important things in life, he argued, these are the only things that can make you a person who is truly happy with who you are.

So be a person of virtue.

Ancient China - ​Be Happy Because I Said So. ​Now​.​​​

Ancient China's philosophers were so impactful that their teachings still impact the world today. Confucious in particular is still adhered to, encouraging people to maintain the correct level of intimacy and respect with those around them.

Confucious taught respect as a major emphasis in his teachings: the respect between student and teacher, parent and child, older and younger siblings.

Confucious would argue that appropriate respect for your environment and those around you brings you the good life, which sets you on the path to happiness.

In particular, Confucian teachings say that you can create happiness; it does not need to be brought to you. Confucious believed that if you focused on the reasons in your life to be happy, that you would eventually achieve joy.

And once you have joy, a beautiful cycle of renewal begins. For each reason you have to be joyful, Confucious says, you can always find one more.

The happier you are, the happier you will be. It all begins with one step in the right direction: respect and optimism.

Another powerful ancient philosopher is recorded in history as Lao Tzu, literally translated as "old man".

This old guy has a lot to teach about how to eliminate stress, eliminate worry, and produce happiness.

Lao Tzu's big contribution to the philosophy of happiness is the idea that your thoughts should be focused on the present if you want to be happy.

While focusing on the future may make you achieve more, it doesn't bring true happiness.

It only brings worry.

This goes back to what we learned about comparison: comparing does make us accomplish more and compete better, but even winning doesn't ever make us truly happy.

And Lao Tzu believed similarly of the past; he said that staying focused on what has already happened won't just make us anxious, it makes us downright depressed.

So focus on the present, be thankful for the past, and expect the future to work out when the time is right.

​Middle Ages - ​​The Real... Uh... Reality

​In the times of the Middle Ages, theology and philosophy were often considered ​as closely linked, with guys like Thomas Aquinas ​believing that philosophy is the servant of theology.

Much of philosophical debate during the Middle Ages was made about the question of which is more powerful: faith or reason? Which should be adhered to the most?

Essentially, Middle Age philosophy came down to the question of whether the world was essentially spiritual or essentially physical.

Since happiness is a part of reality, how each philosopher viewed happiness depended on how they viewed reality.

The famous philosopher Augustine, who was so influential that he is still hailed today in Christian circles, believed that love was the key to happiness. ​Augustine believed that love (whether it be love of ourselves, of others, of possessions, or of God) was the missing element to ethics; that it was impossible to be truly ethical without being truly loving.

And the most important love of all, he said, was love of God. Without a connection to God, Augustine argued, all was for naught.

Other philosophers also shared the belief that to be truly satisfied in life, we must satisfy our spiritual element.

Al-Ghazali, a Muslim philosopher and theologian, believed that one must have both an intellectual and spiritual understanding of the world and of God and that only by using logic, a God-given ability, can humans attain joy.

Al-Ghazali believed that true happiness came from an understanding of the four essential knowledges that humans needed: Knowledge of self, knowledge of God, true knowledge of this world, and true knowledge of the next world.

And then finally, another, slightly later philosopher, brings us into the contemporary period: the Jewish philosopher Maimonides.

Maimonides shows the moving answer to philosophy's great​ debate of faith vs reason during the Middle Ages.

While earlier philosophers are almost without fail at least partial believers in the power of faith, Maimonides sticks out like a sore thumb.

His argument is that only by deep critical thinking can one attain true happiness. Happiness, he says, is purely and completely intellectual. Knowledge evolves into joy.

So love deeply, believe what you will, and always be willing to learn more.

​This thinking leads us nicely into the Modern Age (which, actually, isn't modern).

​Modern Age - Ingredients: Unlimited Power And A Dash Of Nothing

​The unmodern Modern Age was a time of incredible increases in knowledge of all sorts. Knowledge of ​science grew vast and there was an increase in arts of all sorts. Many famous people, including Christopher Columbus, Leonardo da Vinci, Napoleon, and the founding fathers lived during this time span.

It was an age of heroes.

It was​ an age of tragedies.

The Modern Age was a time period when philosophy grew in exponential levels and became inextricably linked to science. The philosophers ​were​ the scientists.

One of these men, Friedrich Nietzsche​​​, is particularly well known. Nietzsche had a lot to say and much of what he said revolved around, well, the more basic human needs (that means sexy stuff).

Nietzsche was a little bit obsessed with turning the lights down and putting some good Bach on, but that doesn't mean he thought you had to get between the sheets to be happy.

In fact, Nietzsche believed that basic human happiness was solved by a solution we've already discussed: control.

Nietzsche argued that once humans have power over their environment and are not subject to the whims of the unpredictable world around us, we experience true joy.

Another philosopher had quite a different view.

John Stuart Mill was a British philosopher who contributed a lot to the idea of individual liberty and was an early adopter of the belief that women should be able to vote.

His view on happiness is surprisingly ​spartan.

Mill believed that true happiness did not come from being able to do whatever you wanted. Instead, it came from not wanting so many things.

Mill was a minimalist.

In a way that would have satisfied the Buddha himself, Mill believed that more desires only caused suffering and greed, and that the only way to truly thrive was to thrive with only a few things.

​Live with only what you can really afford, only what you c​an really enjoy.

But what both of these men have in common is the same solution, they simply approach it in different ways.

Nietzsche believes that control over the environment is essential to happiness. Mill believes that the only way to truly control the environment is to control yourself.

​However you get there, mastery of self is the true way to unlimited joy.

But how do we actually master ourselves?

Well, I'm glad you asked.

The ​Tactics Of Happiness

​How To Activate Your Real Life Friend Finder

​By far, the best way to happiness is to have quality relationships with people you care about.

​As mentioned in the video of the TED Talk above, the number one indicator of someone's happiness is how they feel about those around them, so the most important step for you is to develop personal relationships.

But making friends is difficult, and takes a long time. In fact, becoming friends can take a ​really​ long time.

In Jeffrey Hall's study of friendship, he found that just to be a casual friend with someone, you're gonna need 40-60 hours with that person, preferably within a few weeks of initially meeting them.

To develop a new best friend? About 200 or more hours. (source).​​​

Making friends is obviously difficult, and takes a lot of time. But with relationships being so essential, this is the first area we should focus on.

​And you c​ould go downtown, hold up a sign that says "Looking For Friends", and see what happens...

(I don't think I would take you up on that)

Or you could do ​follow our little cheat sheet below and be swimming in friends in under a month.

​Go Where The Happies Are

The first order of business is to start going where happy people congregate. And to do this, your best option may be, well, a congregation.

Research shows that just ​being ​physically close to happy or sad people will turn you into the same kind of person that they are. And happy people tend to gather in two places: churches and in gyms.​​​​ (source).​​​

​Working out and participating in religious services give people disproportionate amounts of happiness compared to other activities. One study even says that consistently participating in these two activities can boost your entire well-being from physical to emotional to mental. (source).

​​​We aren't exactly sure why these two things in particular provide big boosts to happiness, but the best guess is that these are simple tasks that can be done consistently.

So you should go where the happy people are (maybe starting in a church or a gym), but you should also...

​Do What The Happies Do

A key element of friendship is a feeling of camaraderie, the feeling of being in something together.

One study where two participants had to ask each other 36 intimate questions showed that just after asking these intimate questions, the participants felt closer to one another. (source).

(here are the questions if you'd like to read them)

And remember earlier where we talked about the importance of hobbies?

Find a hobby, but don't do it alone.

Do it with others.

This can be anything: exercise (I enjoy jogging with someone), knitting, video games, martial arts, golf, fishing, a cooking class, you name it.

And in this hobby, try and surround yourself with people who you want to be like, people who are happy and successful in the same ways you want to be.

So find a hobby you enjoy and find others to do it with.

​Talk How The Happies Talk

So you're surrounded by people, you're doing what they do, and you're beginning to build friendships.

But how do you really take friendships to the next level? How do we really get people to genuinely like us?

Well, we talk.

Talk about them some, talk about you some.

This is an area I struggled with for a long time; I always thought that since people ​love​ talking about themselves, that I should rarely talk about myself.

Research slaps me in the face once again:

One study shows that you ​should ​​​​​​​​​talk about yourself with people. In fact, the research gets pretty specific: about 30-40% of your communications should be talking about yourself, and another 30-40% should be talking about the other person. (source).

​​​Be sure not to go overboard and hit only talk about yourself, but also be sure not to ​never​ talk about yourself.

​For people to be your friend, they have to know who you are.

And people have always been a lot more accepting of that than I thought they would be, once we got to know each other.​​​

Go where happy people congregate, do your hobbies with them, and don't be afraid to open your mouth, just not too much.

​Do these things and in less than a few weeks, you'll be swimming in new budding relationships.

You'll be swimming in friends.

​Learning Luckiness And 3 Important ​Beliefs

​​Being an optimist is strangely reminiscent of having superpowers.

Seriously.

Optimists have a lot of advantages over people who are pessimistic or just blatantly neutral. For one, optimists are happier. An eight month study found that optimism and gratitude literally change people's mindset to feel more joy. (source).

Not only that, but optimists tend to make friends more easily (source) and according to Richard Wiseman's book The Luck Factor, optimists flat out have better luck than the rest of us.

Further, optimism contributes to another happiness producing factor: control.

When you are optimistic, you by definition believe the future will be better than your current situation.

This belief, when stubbornly ingrained, allows us to control our responses to painful events. And the more we feel like we have control, the less stressed we are. (source 1) (source 2).

But how do we become more optimistic? By chanting meaningless platitudes ("each day, in every way, I am getting better and better")?

Well, no.

Not at all.

In fact, Martin Seligman's book Learned Optimism studies enough research to show that most of those platitudes are worth about as much as a cup full of dirt.

That's to say, not very much at all.

​Seligman's research shows that when you're looking at people to determine whether they are optimists or pessimists, what you're really looking for are stories.

When things in life happen, what stories do these people tell themselves?

Pessimists say that bad things are obstacles.

Optimists say that bad things are opportunities.

Pessimists believe that bad things are often unpredictable and, when they happen, are often long-lasting.

Optimists believe that not every bad event can be predicted, but that we have control over a large portion of the results of our lives. When bad things do happen, these bad things can be conquered.

In Seligman's research, he saw that whether you're an optimist or a pessimist isn't determined by some divine balancing scale, but is actually a learned behavior.

You trained yourself to be an optimist or a pessimist.

And since you trained yourself in, you can train yourself out.

One of the ways to start training yourself to be optimistic is to start listening to the stories you tell yourself.

When bad things happen, do you say ​statements like these?

​"This is never going to work out."

"I don't think I'll ever find the right person."

"Maybe I'm just not meant to be happy."

You can't begin to change your self talk until you begin to listen to it. When you can hear it and notice what you're saying to yourself, then you can begin to adapt.

Change "This is never going to work out," to "This isn't working yet, but if I either change my approach or keep trying, I can do this!"

"I don't think I'll ever find the right person," becomes "There are over 7 billion people on the earth, one of them has to be right."

"Maybe I'm just not meant to be happy," suddenly can change to "I deserve to be happy, I'm just not there ​yet​."​​​

Your self talk is the most important aspect of your optimism. Begin to hear it, then begin to change it by believing:

​1) ​My problems are not unsolvable

​2)​ I can be the solution to my problem

​3)​ I am not conquered yet

If you'd like to read more about self talk, we talk a lot about it in this post on motivation.​​​​​​​​​​​​

​Conquer your self talk and you conquer your emotions. You can literally create happiness.​​​

​​Why Lottery Winners Bankrupt Fast

​One of the greatest obstacles that people face when trying to be happy is that we often don't do what makes us happy.

We already discussed that people often do what is easy (watching Netflix) rather than what is best (focusing on your new business).

But to fix this, first we must ask the question of ​why​ people do what is easy instead of what they know is best.

I believe that people do what is easy because we often do not at all know what makes us happy.

And even if we do know, we often do not consciously remember it.​​​

The first step in pursuing your happiness is this: ​know what you want​.

Do you really want Netflix? Or do you want financial freedom?

Do you really want to check your emails and look over that project you can't do anything about for the third time? Or do you want to do meaningful work?

Do you want relaxation for ten minutes now or do you want retirement ten years early later on?

Life comes down to the tiny, minute choices we make. And if I'm allowed to beat us all over the head with reality for a minute, I want to say something you won't hear elsewhere.

You ​can't​ achieve your dreams tomorrow.

Probably not the next day either.

Maybe not even ten years from now.

But you know what you can do?

​You can achieve your dreams​. We simply must switch our mindsets from event to process.

Your dream life won't happen in an event. It won't happen overnight. It will be the cumulation of a thousand tiny decisions day in and day out, but understand this:

Until you go through the process, you probably aren't ready for the event.

​​​​​​​​​Jack Whittaker was, by all accounts, an extremely lucky man.

Already a millionaire at the time he bought a winning lottery ticket, Whittaker supplemented his current wealth with over $100M more.

Now ​that​ is a lot of money.

It's even more money today than it was when Whittaker won in 2002. Today, his winnings would be worth almost $150M.

And yet in 2016, Whittaker, now broke, says "I wish we had tore the ticket up." (source).​​​

Why is it that lottery winners, who can take home up multiple millions of dollars, are twice as likely to file bankruptcy as the average person? ​Lottery winners are so bad with money that 70% of them go bankrupt within 5 years. (source).

Not only that, but lottery winners are neither happier nor healthier after winning. (source 1) (source 2).

The reason why is simple: these "lucky" people experienced an event. They missed out on the process.

​And because they missed the process, these people were not emotionally or mentally strong enough to handle the event.​​​

When you think of your happiness, don't wish for an event. When we aren't strong enough to handle the event, then the event can ruin our lives.

If you want to be happy, be willing to dedicate your life to the process: dedicating moment after moment to becoming the person who ​deserves​ success in whatever metric you define.

Become a person who deserves to be rich.

Become a person who deserves to have a great spouse.

To achieve your dream, you have to be someone who is worthy of achieving your dream.

To be happy, first you must know what you want.

​Then you must chase it wholeheartedly, committing to the process.

And make no mistake, the process can be a ton of fun.

If you have never experienced what it is to wake up one day and know that you are better than yesterday, know that you are one step closer to your dream, I want to tell you that there aren't many greater joys in all the world.

Know what you want and pursue it day in and day out, each day enjoying the victories, each day remembering that the defeats teach you lessons.

That's the only way you'll really be happy.​​​​​​

Because life really ​is​ about the journey, not just the destination.​​​

​Conclusion

Thanks for reading!

​Happiness may seem far away, but it is always worth pursuing.

​You can achieve it​.

Develop your relationships, avoid focusing on the wrong things, and improve yourself every day. You'll get there in no time.​​​

​Let me know in the comments: what are you doing to be happy?

Stay awesome. Have a great day.

​Are We "Best Content On The Internet" Worthy?

​No annoying popups, no frustrating spam begging for your email address.

If you don't think we publish the best content on the internet, we don't ​think we deserve to get to know someone as great as you.

If you do, well here ya go.

Copyright Information: Copyright Elite Happiness. This content may be freely reproduced in full or in part in digital form with full attribution to the author and a link to www.elitehappiness.com. Please contact us for permission to reproduce this content in other media formats.

How To Get A Job (No College Necessary)

​How To Get A Job

​(No College Necessary)

​​At a stage in everyone’s life, there comes a point when that person realizes that if they don't get out of their room, turn off Netflix, and get a job, they probably aren't going to eat next week.

It's a sad day.

Or, probably as the result of another sad day (or a series of sad days), you might find yourself wanting a change in your career.
But where to begin?

In a world where college graduates are struggling to get jobs, how do you go about not only finding a job, but finding a job that you love and that you feel allows you the opportunity to make an impact?

There are many steps you can take to put the odds in your favor. As many people have often affirmed, getting a job can feel like a job itself. The process can seem long, daunting and stressful.

But with​ some determination and strategic application, you can land that dream job you have always wanted.

Here's how.

​Get Talented

One of the ways to prepare yourself to get a job is by learning new skills. It is not enough to rely on what was taught on the four walls of the classroom to prepare you for the right job. You have got to develop yourself with adequate skills.

Thanks to technology, there are many ways one can learn a new skill. ​Websites like Udemy offer ways where people can learn valuable marketplace skills inexpensively.

​You could attend conferences and seminars. The idea is to learn a skill and be very good at it. With time, the skill might one day be your pass to a good paying job.

Do be careful, however, not to go all in on a skill that won't get you very far. ​Remember that the world is ​selfish​. While you may be passionate about something, the rest of the world may not care.

Choose a skill that solves a need for others and you will never know what it is to go jobless.

man and woman with computer

​Don't Forget To Remind People How Cool You Are

​Of course, I want to believe you already have a good resume that showcases your skill, ability and what you are capable of.

But many people leave stuff off their resume that may be worth a hire later on.

Think about including unique skills or life experiences on your resume that are unique to you.

Have you traveled to other countries? Explain how doing so has taught you independence, how to adapt and think outside the box, and negotiation skills.

Have you learned to play an instrument, or had your writing featured somewhere interesting (like here)? Explain how you had to learn to be determined, willing to get the job done no matter what.

​Alongside your resume, it is a good idea to keep your LinkedIn profile updated as well. Include every detail as some details might be what will get you to the interview table. Some recruiters prefer going on LinkedIn to source for qualifying candidates.

It is a good idea to let your resume reflect what you are able to do and bring to the organization of your choice, so don't be afraid to include the things that make you ​uniquely you​.​​​

 Also, resist the urge to immediately click apply and send over your resume at every job you qualify for. Taking the time to update your resume and customizing it to the specifics of the job could single you out for success.

resume

​Delete Ya Dumb Tweets

​​​​​And while we're talking about social media, be mindful of what you post. There is a huge chance that prospective employers are doing a background check via social media profiles.

​A report from CareerBuilder survey in 2017 revealed that 70 percent of employers are using social media to research prospective candidate. (source).

The implication of this is obvious if you have a bad online presence; it could cost you the job.

Inappropriate or provocative information, contents or photographs is definitely a turn off to potential employers. Other habits on social media that could jeopardize your chance of being hired are:

  • ​Revealing information about doing drugs or drinking
  • ​Giving derogatory remarks about others
  • ​Being an internet bully
  • angle-right
    ​A non-professional screen name (@kittyloverboo)
  • angle-right
    ​Revealing confidential info
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    ​The things you say or said about your previous jobs and bosses (this is a big one)

​So be careful. If you aren't sure whether or not you should put it on social media, you probably shouldn't put it on social media.

social media apps

​​Master The Art Of Timing

​There are some seasons that favor job seekers compared to others. We understand that you might not have the luxury of waiting for a job. However, if your goal is to switch jobs, it is recommended that you commence your job search to when companies recruit.

​According to a recent TopResume survey, the best months to be in the job search are from January to May and during ​the Fall months. (source).

If you are seeking a job in the summer, consider using the period to prepare yourself. Update yourself, gain important skills, update your social media profiles, build networks, learn new skills, and so on.

​This will pay off by the time the hiring kicks off fully.

girl thinking at computer

​Friends And Jobs

​​​One of the most powerful forces on the face of the planet are when people work together.

When you're in the job search, you are right in the middle of the perfect time to reach out to long lost friends and relatives, distant cousins that are in good positions, college advisors, and others who can help you find a job.

With your huge network, there is a big chance someone in your network might be aware of an open or more importantly put in a good word for you. Letting everyone in your network know that you are searching will make them consider you, should there be an opening.

You can also network by seeking events in your chosen industry. There are cites with professional networking associations that have members that meet regularly.

Getting an opening via networking increases your chances of getting the job tremendously. Thus, you have a direct connection to the job rather than being a random applicant.

As the old saying goes, "Your network is your net worth."

​And don't be afraid to reach out for fear of not being able to give anything to the other person; one day, your friends may need something from you that only you can give them.

​That's what friends are for. So don't be afraid to reach out to the people you know.

friend network

​How Free Work Can Make You Rich

​​When you volunteer, you are making yourself more attractive and desirable to Human Resources Managers. Volunteering can help you develop skills, make new friends, and even makes you happier. (source).

Thus, dedicating your time to causes and helping others greatly increases your chances of getting a job. Even if all you can afford in a whole week is an hour, ​that hour will be well spent in the long run.

Volunteering demonstrates to employers that you have the required skills needed on the job, skills that might not be developed while in school. With volunteering, you show ​that you are willing to go above and beyond what is expected.

You show that you are willing to learn, able to serve, and always dedicated to the cause.

​If you have those traits, you're an ideal candidate for top tier jobs.

​​Play A Long Game

​If you are really serious about getting a job, recruiting agencies could also be of tremendous help.

Recruiters are usually informed on several jobs that are suitable for you and your desired skill sets. They could get you straight to the front of hiring managers thus, saving you time for searching for jobs.

You can also consider temporary jobs to get a quick job.

Although it is only temporary, it is a way to make some money. ​These temporary jobs can help you learn new skills and put some more stuff on your resume.

No one ever starts out at the top. Be willing to work a low level position now so that later, your dream job will be right there waiting for you.

Try to do whatever it takes to get your foot in the door with the company you want to work at. Instead of trying for a C-level position your first interview, play long term. Be willing to get down and dirty now so that you can rise high later.

handshake for a job

​Conclusion

Thanks for reading!

​Obviously, getting a job can be a job in itself. Some could see it as a daunting task, but the good news is that all the effort invested will pay off in the future.

And remember: the less people who are willing to do the tasks we've outlined above, the more likely you are to succeed by following them.

You are just a few steps away from your dream job. 

​Let me know in the comments: ​what job are you trying to get?

Stay awesome. Have a great day.

​Are We "Best Content On The Internet" Worthy?

​No annoying popups, no frustrating spam begging for your email address.

If you don't think we publish the best content on the internet, we don't ​think we deserve to get to know someone as great as you.

If you do, well here ya go.

Copyright Information: Copyright Elite Happiness. This content may be freely reproduced in full or in part in digital form with full attribution to the author and a link to www.elitehappiness.com. Please contact us for permission to reproduce this content in other media formats.

What Are The Best Shoes For Crossfit?

​What Are The Best Shoes For Crossfit?

​(For Men And Women)

​Crossfit, by almost every definable metric, has pretty much taken the world by storm. In fact, there are now more Crossfit gyms worldwide than there are Starbucks. (source).

​Since Crossfit is all about maximizing performance, it only makes sense that you'd want the best shoes in the world to maximize your effort in the gym.

We've got our full reviews down below, but here's a table made if you're just looking for the best.

Who Needs ​Crossfit Shoes?

​​​While everyone needs shoes to ​do ​Crossfit, not everyone needs shoes specifically ​for ​Crossfit. Particularly if you're just getting into it and not sure if you will continue, a pair of shoes specifically for Crossfit may not be worth the effort.​​​​​​

If, however, you are:

​1) ​Serious about strengthening your body, mind, and spirit

​2)​ Committed to exercising

​3)​ Wanting to maximize your performance in the gym and on the track

​Then a pair of shoes for Crossfit will undoubtedly by a great investment in terms of time, energy, and money.​​​

​​​What ​​​Crossfit Shoes Do

​​Crossfit shoes solve a problem that many Crossfitters face: your shoes aren't ideal for running, or they aren't ideal for lifting.

Often, your shoes aren't much use for running ​or ​lifting.​​​

But a good pair of shoes really makes a difference. In 2017 during Nike's Breaking2 project, a project using the world's greatest runners attempting to break the 2 hour marathon, one of the key pieces of equipment that Nike outfitted ​their runners in was nothing other than a new shoe geared for speed. (source).

In the same way, weightlifting shoes offer support for your feet and ankles and help assure that your heel (and, by extension, your entire leg) stays perfectly aligned with the floor.

​Crossfit shoes conquer both of these dilemmas by producing an ideal shape for running while also ensuring you have the support and stability required of weightlifting.

Crossfit shoes will:

  • Give you stable footing not found in normal running shoes
  • ​Allow you to biomechanically have a better lift due to construction of the shoe
  • Endure rigorous runs, rope climbs, or the other challenges Crossfit provides
  • check
    ​Be comfortable in and out of the gym
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    ​Be significantly more lightweight than a weightlifting shoe to optimize running performance
  • check
    ​Help you have better form on leg exercises due to lower heels (this means less strain on your back)

​How To Choose The Best ​​Crossfit Shoes For You

Crossfit is a sport with a lot of different variables; how much you run, lift, climb ropes, or run around pounding the ground and shouting after a successful lift will depend on what cage you're a part of.

​With all the possible variation in the mix, the best shoes for you may not be the best shoes for your buddy going to the cage across town.

​​Likewise, if you want to focus more on one area, there are shoes that will be able to help you accomplish that.

​The best Crossfit shoes for you will undoubtedly be the ones that help you do the lift, run the mile, climb the rope, or make you an all-around better athlete.

Pick the shoe that most closely matches what you'd like to get out of it and will provide the most value for you. If running is your favorite part of Crossfit and you do it outside the gym, (if you don't, here are five reasons you that are basically guaranteed to make you want to start) then you may want to get a pair that helps you beat the clock all the more while still providing support for the big lifts in the cage.

If you're an avid weightlifter and love snatches, cleans, and lifting heavy things, then there are shoes that get your heels closer to the ground (keeping strain off your back), give ankle support, and will still speed up your mile time.

Whatever you're looking for, don't be afraid to stand out among the crowd and get the shoes that you (not your friends or your buddies in the cage) want.

There are Crossfit shoes out there with fitting your style and those shoes have your name on them. Don't be afraid to do a little digging to find them; we promise it will be worth it.

​​Our Picks For Best ​Crossfit Shoes

​​I've chosen ​the ​best Crossfit shoes in the world to help you step up your game. We've graded these shoes based on:

​1)​ How much they help your runs

​2) ​How much they help your lifts

​3)​ How durable these shoes will be

​For each of these metrics, we've assigned a star rating and then given our own rating, which is an average of all the metrics above.

​We have sections for both men and women and we start our reviews with the ladies. Click below to jump straight to the reviews:

Men

Women

And if you're not looking for a review and just want to get straight to the best options, here is a neat little table below where you can click and go straight to Amazon.

Enjoy 🙂

Best Crossfit Shoes For Women

​Running

​Lifting

​Durability

Our Rating

​​The Nano 8.0 is ​one of the absolute best shoes in the world for those Crossfit lifts, rope climbs, and sprints.

The Nano has a wide toe box, allowing you to stabilize during lifts, and a low rise from roe to heel meaning that your heels are that much closer to being on the ground.

This is ​great​ news if you struggle with form on higher weights, have knee problems, or experience back pain while lifting.

The Nano is also super durable, meaning that it will last you more than a few rope climbs without you having to tear the soles out. It'll also do you well if you do a lot of running on gravel or other rough surfaces.

Running is probably the Nano's biggest weak spot; while you can definitely run in these while staying comfy, these shoes aren't designed with much more than a mile in mind.

If you're doing sprints of any kind, you'll never know the difference. If you're looking to clock a 5k, 10k, or marathon, you wouldn't be bad off to look for other shoes dedicated to running.

​This shoe is also super fashionable. It has a huge variety of colors and the reviews say that it fits true to size.​​​


  • check-circle
    ​Wide toe box for stability
  • check-circle
    ​Low toe/heel rise - will help with form, knee pain, and keep stress off back
  • check-circle
    ​Very durable - you won't have any problems with ropes or running on rough surfaces
  • check-circle
    ​Extremely lightweight and great for sprints
  • check-circle
    ​Fashionable with wide variety of colors
  • ​Low toe padding, so not the most comfortable shoe for long runs


​Running

​Lifting

​Durability

Our Rating

​​​The Tazon 6 is a shoe that very few Crossfitting women will ever regret getting.

First off, this thing is great for running. It includes toe padding and heel padding to ensure that you won't start feeling the miles later on in your run, and may even help with your speed a bit due to light weight and aerodynamic design.

​The Tazon is also packing in the durability: it's surefire that this shoe won't give out on you during your brutal punishments. This shoe can climb rope, run around, and box jump with the best of them.

​Due to its great design for running, this shoe suffers a bit on weightlifting. It does have good support for your feet and ankles, including feet padding to ensure that you aren't moving on the edges of your feet.

Keeping you off the edges of your feet while lifting really helps to keep your knees out, protecting you from injuries. 

Yet this shoe doesn't have anything stellar as far as a wide toe box or low toe/heel rise. The toe box isn't super necessary, but the low toe/heel rise can be helpful if you struggle with form, are going for high weight, or have pains.

All in all, this is an incredible shoe for Crossfit and one of the better options for those whose emphasis is running.

This shoe looks good and has several color options. Some said it fits true to size, others say it fits a bit small. I would say if you're between two sizes with most brands, go up a size, but otherwise you are probably fine.


  • ​Toe padding makes running comfy
  • ​Heel padding also makes running comfy
  • ​Lightweight and aerodynamic
  • ​Extremely durable
  • ​Fashionable with variety of colors
  • ​Helps you stay off the insides of your feet - great for injury protection while lifting
  • ​No toe box
  • Times Circle
    No low toe/heel drop


​Running

​Lifting

​Durability

Our Rating

​​​The Cell Raize Heather is meant to be a cross-training shoe and it delivers spectacularly.

​While this shoe is not the best shoe on the market for either running or lifting, at time of writing it is the shoe with the lowest price tag by a significant margin, making it the value pick of this review.

The Cell Raize Heather comes with padding for both toes and heels plus has a light weight and aerodynamic feel to it.

This shoe also comes with some foot support and helps you avoid the inside of your feet when you're lifting.

​The Cell Raize Heather does not come with a wide toe box for heavy lifts and doesn't have much to brag about in the way of toe/heel rise, so don't expect any miracles when you try this shoe on and go for a deadlift.

This shoe has some serious durability. Whatever you intend to put it through, it will last with the best of them and you'll be laughing when all your friends go to buy new shoes.

The Cell Raize Heather also lost half a star due to lack of s​erious ankle support.

Many ladies said it was comfortable, but may have been sized a bit too small. Several reviews mentioned the wish that they'd have bought half a size up.

The Cell Raize Heather looks great, but doesn't have a lot of color options.


  • ​Toe padding makes running comfy
  • ​Heel padding also makes running comfy
  • ​Very durable - you won't have any problems with ropes or running on rough surfaces
  • ​The value pick
  • Helps you stay off the inside of your feet while lifting - great for injury protection
  • ​No wide toe box
  • Times Circle
    ​Nothing to brag about as far as toe/heel drop
  • Times Circle
    ​Not much ankle support for side to side moving
  • Times Circle
    ​Not a wide variety of colors


Best Crossfit Shoes For Men

​Running

​Lifting

​Durability

Our Rating

​​​​The Nano 8.0 for both men and women consistently have the highest reviews and the best performance for Crossfit shoes.

This shoe, like the women's version, has a wide toe box and the toe/heel rise is made for people looking to set PRs in all forms of Olympic lifts. The low toe/heel rise is also great for anyone who suffers from knee, hip, or back pain as the low toe/heel rise keeps stress off these areas.

This shoe was also made to endure the tough trials of Crossfit; specifically made to last during rope climbing sessions, the Nano 8.0 won't wear out on you whether you're climbing the rope, lifting, or cranking out some more sprints.

While the Nano 8.0 excels at lifting, it's not the greatest shoe in the world for long distance runs. It has enough padding where you won't have any problems at all in short bursts like sprints, but you probably don't want to run a marathon in these.

But as long as you aren't going much more than a few miles, these shoes are comfy, durable, and made to set records in your cage.

Most people say that these fit true to size, but a few say purchase a half size up. I would say purchase your size and return them if they're a fuzz small for you.

This shoe looks really good and has tons of colors available.


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    ​Wide toe box for stability
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    ​Low toe/heel rise - will help with form, knee pain, and keep stress off back
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    ​Very durable - you won't have any problems with ropes or running on rough surfaces
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    ​Extremely lightweight and great for sprints
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    ​Fashionable with wide variety of colors
  • ​Lack of a lot of toe and heel padding means that these aren't the most comfortable shoes for long runs


​Running