11 Things Happy People Do Differently
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Ask yourself this question now: Are you really, truly happy?
If you struggle with feeling happy at times, you’re not alone—in fact, according to a Harris Poll survey taken in 2016, only 1 in 3 Americans consider themselves as “very happy”.
While some people seem like they were born happy—the rest of us come into this world with a deep desire to become so. We’re all united by this undeniable urge to seek satisfaction and contentment in our lives, however, some people are better than others at actually achieving it.
The good news is that by making a few simple changes in the way you behave, think, and act in life, you can drastically transform your life for the better.
So what do happy people do differently from those that struggle to find joy in their lives? Here’s a list of 11 things that happy people do that set them apart from their less-joyful counterparts.
Happy people have great relationships with others
According to Harvard Psychiatrist and researcher Robert Waldinger, a 75-year study on happiness revealed that people that are well-connected to community, family, and friends live longer, happier lives. “People who are more isolated from others find that they are less happy, their health declines earlier in mid-life, their brain functioning declines sooner and they live shorter lives,” Waldinger said in a 2013 Ted Talk on happiness.
In other words, let go of grudges and make amends with the people that mean something to you. If not for them, then for yourself and your own happiness and longevity!
Happy People Have a Pleasant Morning Routine
Whether it’s a morning yoga class or a hot cup of Joe in your favorite café, happy people have morning routines that make them feel excited to start the day.
Not a morning person? No worries—a simple but very effective routine that many people swear consists of making the bed every morning, as soon as you roll out of it.
Happy People Count Their Blessings, Out Loud or On Paper
Even during a tragedy, happy people still find things to be grateful for==and they take time every day to write them down, say them out loud, or even just consciously recognize their blessings in thoughts. As the saying goes, every cloud has its silver lining—and finding these silver linings in life and expressing gratitude for them do wonders in making someone feel happier about their lives.
Keeping a gratitude journal is a wonderful way to easily improve your level of happiness. Writing what you’re thankful for can be an incredibly impactful exercise. A gratitude journal “trains your brain” to replace negative thoughts and feelings with positive ones—a surefire recipe for overall happiness.
Journal available at: Amazon.com
Happy People Can Laugh at Themselves
It’s hard being around someone that takes his or herself too seriously. What’s even harder, however, is actually being that person that can’t take a joke. Oversensitive people that can’t laugh at themselves tend to be less happy (and much less fun to be around) than people that have taken their daily chill pills.
Happy People Learn from Criticism
While criticism can oftentimes be unpleasant to hear, happier people tend to learn from criticism whether they think it’s warranted or not. Learning how to examine other people’s thoughts about you and respond to them in a constructive way is a lifelong practice, but once mastered, you can really grow as a person and become happier in the process.
Happy People Are Motivated by the Success of Others
Sometimes it’s hard not to feel envious of other people, however, as Margaret Thatcher said, “The spirit of envy can destroy—it can never build.” It’s no surprise then that happier people feel inspired by other people’s successes—which leads to a more productive lifestyle.
Jealousy is a powerful emotion that can quickly become overwhelming if we let it take over. Learning to eliminate this ugly aspect of human behavior by replacing it with positivity will help us become happier people in the long run.
Happy People Exercise and Eat Healthier
Everyone knows that regular exercise and healthy eating habits are good for you, and it goes without saying that happier people tend to be physically fit and health-conscious. Even just ten minutes of exercise every day can be life changing for a person with a more sedentary lifestyle, and eliminating junk food and processed snacks from your diet can make you feel like a million bucks.
Happy People are Kind and Thoughtful
This may seem like a no-brainer, but people that are nice are much happier than people that live for themselves. Even the smallest acts of kindness seem to ricochet back to you, putting you in a wonderful mood for the rest of the day.
Happy People Believe in Karma
What goes around, comes around—we’ve all heard the saying. Happy people tend to believe that their actions will come back to them in a full circle, and this belief helps to reinforce good, honest behaviors.
Happy People Get Enough Sleep
In addition to a zillion other health benefits, getting enough sleep at night is crucial to your mood. Even so, many of us find it difficult to “shut down” early enough at night, in order to wake up feeling great in the morning.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, the hours of sleep a person needs vary according to their age. “If you’re feeling low,” it says on their website, “you may not realize that lack of sleep is the culprit.” The foundation even goes on to say that a sleep deficit can eat away at your happiness levels over time, affecting not only your mood—but your personal relationships, work performance, and overall health as a result.
Happy People Aren’t People Pleasers
Constantly putting the needs of others before your own is detrimental to your happiness. While doing nice things for others can definitely make you a happier person, there’s a fine line between being nice and being a pushover.
Happy people make time for themselves and value their ability to say “no” when necessary. They understand that their time is important and they’re masters at finding a balance between taking care of others and taking care of themselves.
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