Everybody has their “thing” that they do very well. Mine is being happy. Since we all view the world through our own lens, it took me a while to realize that everyone doesn’t wake up happy. I’m sharing my list of things that happy people have in common in hopes that it will help those who want more to have more. Happy people have habits. Cultivate these habits and you will have happiness too.
See your life as abundant
Abundance is not about money. It’s about your attitude surrounding what you have access to, share, and receive. A person who is miserly holds tightly to everything. He may not lose things, but he keeps good things from coming in.
A person with an attitude of abundance gives freely because there is a knowing that the things that matter in life can never be exhausted. They just cycle back around. As a result, there is never a feeling of something lacking.
Even when you don’t have exactly what you want, you have other things that are valuable. It’s very difficult to be sad or worried when life is abundant.
Disappointment is inevitable. Resentment and bitterness occupy space in your heart and life where others things could be. Let it go. Forgive. Open the way for happiness to live inside you instead.
You can focus on what you don’t have or be grateful for what you do have. Our view of life changes based upon what we focus on. See the world through the lens of gratitude and watch happiness increase.
Don’t chase happiness
There is a saying that goes, “All unhappiness is based on unfavorable comparison.” That is what chasing happiness is all about. You always feel that someone else is having a better time than you or that if you aren’t having as good of a time as you could be, something is wrong. So you are always looking for the bigger, better thrill. The problem with that is that all there is is now. You can’t be in the now if you are time traveling to the future looking for more. Be still. Enjoy the now. Happiness is right here.
Surround yourself with people who do good
It’s pretty awesome that you don’t have to do good to feel good. All you have to do is be around it. This produces an effect called “elevation” that motivates you to do good deeds too. So the love chain just keeps on growing!
We all have something to share. It could be money, time, a smile, advice, labor, or ideas. When we make others happy by contributing to their lives, it makes us feel good too. Happiness increases when you give it away.
Negativity is energy. When you focus on it, it grows. This can influence other people to be negative, bring you down, sap your drive, and leave you feeling unhappy and hopeless. Don’t engage in it! Nip it in the bud. See the bright side. Focus on solutions. Be positive.
Being yourself is a way of showing self-love. If you feel the need to hide yourself, it can be a sign of low self-esteem or shame. Don’t be afraid to be authentic. Being genuine is a way of validating yourself. When your actions show others that you are respect yourself, they will too.
Do what you love
I don’t have to tell you that you are happy when you do what you love. You know that, right? What you might not know is that there is science to support this. Engaging in activities that are fun and absorbing creates changes in the brain that actually make your happiness measurable!
Laugh often and robustly
Laughter boosts the immune system, releases endorphins that inhibit pain, reduces stress hormones, increases well-being and reduces feelings of anxiety, depression, anger, grief, and irritability. It’s also infectious. When we laugh, other people tend to join in. People like people who make them happy. So happy people have more friends.
Happy people don’t point fingers, blame, criticize or condemn others for their problems. They take responsibility. While this may be hard at times, it gives them a sense of control over their lives that keeps them from feeling like helpless victims.
Believe in something
Having faith that your life has meaning and value is a key part of happiness. Without this, it can be hard to believe that anything we do is worthwhile. Believe in something.
A person can tell the difference between a real and a fake smile, but your brain can’t. When you smile, your brain produces physiological changes that create feelings of calmness and well-being. If you have nothing to smile about fake it until you make it. Since your brain can’t tell the difference, your body will benefit anyway.
Play is any activity that is done for the pure joy of it. There is no goal and no reward. In western societies where success and work are so highly prized, it’s rare for adults to engage in play. Perhaps that is why so few of us are really happy. Play more.
Loving someone who loves you too may be the single most important influence of happiness. People are social creatures. We long to connect. It doesn’t have to be a romantic relationship. You can connect with a friend or your dog. Connection is a primary drive for all people. We all need to feel a sense of belonging.
Happiness is a habit. It is cultivated moment to moment by how we choose to think, feel, act, and what we choose to focus on. If you want more happiness in your life, forget about getting more stuff or more status. Those things are not on the list and won’t make you happy. Pick one or two of the habits of happy people and practice doing them until they are your habits. Then tackle another one and another one. Soon you will find that you too are habitually happy too.