Here are ten habits of extremely happy people
If you practise these daily, they will allow you to take control of your own happiness and enjoy greater personal and professional fulfilment in your life.
Happiness is what we all crave. It often seems that it’s just around the corner if we can just work hard enough. We work hard to get a good job, get married, buy a house, start a family – but what if you check all these boxes and you’re still not happy?
The problem is that we have been looking in the wrong place for happiness. Research in positive psychology shows that while a portion of our happiness is due to our genes and life circumstances, a full 40% is determined by our daily thoughts and emotions and behaviours over which we have complete control.
Taking control of your own happiness
This is fantastic news which suggests that the best path to happiness can be found by examining the characteristics of happy people. You probably know some of these people. It’s like they have taken out a happiness subscription. Instead of waiting for happiness to come into their lives they make their own.
1. Live your life your way
A hospice nurse wrote a book called The Top Five Regrets of the Dying. The number one regret was, “I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.”Don’t let the expectations of others rob you of your own dreams and goals. Live the life you want to live. Make the choices that are right for you and then take action today.
2. Use your strengths
Gallup polls reveal that only 1 in 4 people use their strengths every day. When you do use your strengths, not only are you six times more likely to be engaged in your job but you also feel generally more confident, energised, and happier about life. Identify your strengths by listing those things you enjoy doing and which you do effortlessly, and which make you feel alive and fulfilled.
3. Live with a meaningful purpose
It’s amazing how people come together as one in times of national tragedy. A sense of meaning is suddenly given to people’s lives and they respond magnificently. Your best self has a chance to shine when you live with a meaningful purpose. Create your own purpose by identifying a cause that you passionately believe in and which allows you to utilise your strengths and energies.
4. Cherish your health
Exercise releases a cocktail of chemicals that helps keep your heart healthy, reduces weight, aids sleep quality, and bolsters self-confidence. It also alleviates stress and makes you more resilient. Remember to include a balanced diet and seven hours of sleep.
5. Cultivate optimism
The happiest people put an optimistic spin on whatever happens in their lives. They ditch the notion of something being fair or unfair, instead just accepting what is. Every situation is a life-learning opportunity.Optimism leads to less stress, longevity, better performance, and healthier relationships.
6. Tune into happiness
Tune into good news and not bad news. We live in a society that sensationalises unhappy events because it sells.So make the choice to focus on the positive things in your life that uplift you –with the books you read, the movies you watch, the web sites you visit, the friends you spend time with.
7. Live in the present
We spend 47% of our waking hours thinking about something other than what we are doing. We’re either regretting something we did yesterday or we’re worrying about something we might do tomorrow, but happiness is in the now. Practise mindfulness activities when eating a meal, listening to a friend, exercising, or when reading.
8. Be grateful
Gratitude is one of the kings of happiness. It reminds us about what we have, instead of what we don’t have. We recognise our accomplishments, our life teachers, our supportive family and friends, our health, and our freedom to make choices and to change our life.
9. Nurture your relationships
Surveys reveal that people with five or more close friends are 60% more likely to be very happy. To maintain our relationships we need to nurture them through regular face-to-face contact where we practise spreading good news, listening, and showing compassion.
10. Help others
The best way to feel instantly happier is to help someone else. It releases chemicals associated with well-being leading to a ‘helper’s high.’ The act of kindness positively affects the helper and the receiver. Also, when you help someone else you are distracted from your own worries and you learn gratitude for your own circumstances.
Article image: Kal Visuals, Unsplash.
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