What makes people happy? What’s the difference between happy people and miserable people? It’s simple. They have different habits – they act and think differently. You see, it doesn’t matter whether you’re rich or poor, whether you drive a Lamborghini or Honda Civic, whether you’re good-looking or plain, you can be equally happy or equally miserable. And I guess that’s pretty good news! Because it means that your happiness lies in your own hands. If you want to be happier, simply implement more of the following habits into your life.
Number 1 – Be Optimistic
Encountering negative situations and having to deal with bullshit is part of life. But, this doesn’t define you! You can always try to find the silver lining in every situation, and you CAN change the way you think. Positive emotions inspire feelings of trust, and allow you to connect with others. They also give you the motivation for longer term life changes and can help against daily stress. So drop your negative thinking, and learn to see problems as challenges and opportunities. Instead of pondering over what’s impossible, think about what IS possible, and how you CAN make it happen!
Number 2 – Focus On What You Can Control
So many people worry about things that are beyond their control. Whether it’s a debilitating illness, a disastrous storm, or an unstable job market. This kind of exhaustive thinking will drain your energy, and you won’t have any left to be positive and happy! Next time you catch yourself thinking this way, turn your thoughts instead to things that you CAN control. And take action rather than fall victim to circumstance.
Number 3 – Practice Self-Acceptance
Accepting yourself means being comfortable with who you are. If you constantly compare yourself to others, or focus on your own flaws, it can color your
world in a shade of negativity. Remember, we all have flaws. Embracing this fact will not only make you happier with yourself, but will also help you accept others as they are.
Number 4 – Be Kind To Others
This is one of the most practiced habits of happy people! Doing things for others and small acts of kindness give you more than just fuzzy feelings. There is a very real effect on happiness when it comes to being kind to others. And there’s more to it than just giving money to charity! This includes donating your time, energy, and experience for the benefit of others. Along with boosting happiness, it can help strengthen social connections and even improve your health.
Number 5 – Pursue Meaningful Goals
Think about some of the happiest people you know. Chances are that they live very active lives, right? They are always doing something. They have big plans and new ideas. In other words, they have goals they are pursuing. And for good reason! Goals give you purpose, meaning, a sense of enthusiasm, and a reason to get up in the morning. And most importantly, they make you incredibly happy. Go ahead, set some goals for yourself, and start working towards them.
Number 6 – Let Go Of Grudges
Forgiving and forgetting is necessary for happiness! Holding onto grudges, only makes anger and resentment grow. It prevents happiness from flourishing.
Our inability to forgive, harms us more than our wrong-doers. You need to learn to forgive yourself and others, and to let go of negative emotions of anger, hate, hostility, grief, vengeance, resentment, and so on. The next time something goes wrong, instead of dwelling on what happened and how you feel about it, reframe the experience as something you can learn from.
Number 7 – Stay Socially Connected
The social connections you have in your life are a big part of your happiness. I don’t mean the imaginary friends on Facebook, but actual relationships with people – even if it’s just a select few. Happiness is just as much a collective phenomenon as it is an individual one – it is contagious! If you want to be happy, surround yourself with happy people. And of course, take the effort to make those around you happy, too. Invest in growing and nurturing your social circle. Hone in on your conversation, listening, compassion, and empathy skills, and always remember to make time for friends and family.
Number 8 – Spend Money On Experiences
What makes you happier? A new car, or an exciting trip with people you love? Research confirms that “it’s the trip.” If you think about this, it makes sense.
After all, it’s the experiences that have a lasting place in our memories, not material items. Value them, because they’re much more likely to lead to happiness than possessions ever could. So spend some money on experiences. Go on holidays with your family or friends. Visit the local museum. Learn a foreign language. Take a trip somewhere you always wanted to go. Get out there and experience as many things as possible!
Number 9 – Limit News Consumption
Do you ever notice when you watch or read the news, it’s almost always negative events and stories? How do they make you feel? Not very happy or optimistic, right? Watching the news is a surefire way to feel unhappy, miserable, and pessimistic! In fact, multiple studies are now proving the detrimental effects news has on our psychological well-being. The message is clear. If you care about your happiness and well-being, limit your consumption of news.
Number 10 – Make Health A Priority
Our general state of health is a good predictor of our happiness. However, we usually don’t notice how big of a role our health plays on our happiness, mostly because we don’t pay attention when things are normal. But as soon as you get sick, it immediately affects your attitude, mood, and outlook. This can range from simple headaches, to chronic pain or other health issues. If you want to be a happy person, you need to take care of your health! Getting enough sleep restores your vital bodily functions. Eating nutritious food keeps your body and mind functioning. And regular physical exercise keeps you in shape, and releases key endorphins that ease depression and enhance mood.