The truth is that happy people actually work to be that way. They practice certain habits that keep their minds relaxed and the moods content. The following habits are some great examples.
Habit #1: They count their blessings.
Happy people acknowledge all of the things in life to be thankful for. No matter what their circumstances there are, they always take time to feel grateful for the good. It is good practice to write down all of the wonderful things about your life and express appreciation for them to yourself daily.
Here are some examples:
- I am alive, and life is an amazing gift.
- I have a home. I am very lucky to have somewhere to live.
- I have (name of person) in my life, who is a wonderful (friend / sibling / parent etc) to me.
- I have enough food and drink to keep me very healthy. I feel very fortunate for that.
Habit #2: They are optimistic.
We all have that negative voice inside our heads sometimes. They tell us things are bad when they really aren’t so bad, or aren’t bad at all. Happy people make an effort to turn those negative thoughts into good ones. Positive thoughts tend to cultivate general contentment, especially when you surround yourself with optimistic people.
Here are some examples of changing a negative thought into a positive one:
NEGATIVE: People are terrible. I can’t stand anybody.
POSITIVE: There are plenty of kind and generous people. There is a lot of good in this world.
NEGATIVE: I hate school.
POSITIVE: I am very lucky to have an education.
NEGATIVE: Nobody cares about me.
POSITIVE: I have family members / friends / teachers who care about me.
Habit #3: They help others.
Happy people go out of their way to show kindness and generosity towards others. Charity has a positive effect on the person who is giving almost as much as the person who is receiving. It warms the heart when a person is being selfless.
Some things you can do to help others include:
- Volunteering at a soup kitchen, hospital, nursing home, etc.
- Complimenting people throughout the day.
- Helping someone carry groceries.
- Mowing the lawn for a neighbor (free of charge).
- Helping a classmate study for a test.
- Giving a gift to a friend.
Habit #4: They don’t compare themselves to others.
Happy people are proud of who they are. They aren’t constantly judging themselves based on the other people in their life. They realize that everybody is different and extraordinary in their own ways. They understand that things like success, beauty, strength, popularity and pleasure are all subjective.
These are some things to remind yourself when you find you are comparing yourself to others:
She is much prettier than me. Why can’t I be pretty like her?
Beauty is subjective. I am a very beautiful person and I like the way I look.
Other people have a lot of friends. I should have more friends.
Popularity is subjective. Quality, not quantity, is what really matters with friendship. I love the friends that I have.
I am so weak. I should be big, like him.
Strength is subjective. I am not weak at all, because I have a strong mind and heart.
Habit #5: They take care of themselves.
Exercising and eating well are miracle-workers for the mind and therefore our moods. Scientifically, aerobic exercise (running, swimming, bicycling) releases chemicals that make us feel happier. So much so that it is often compared to anti-depressant medication in effectiveness. Eating the right foods can also have a mood-lifting effect, especially ones rich in protein and omegy-3 fatty acids (think fish, nuts, seeds, and lean meat).
On top of eating and exercising, people often forget another way to take care of themselves… Relaxing! Laughing. Taking time for yourself. This can come in the form of a bubble bath, a good book, meditation, hanging out with friends, or whatever you like do to unwind.
The following are some simple ways that you can take better care of yourself:
Go for a light jog several times per week.
Or try a brisk walk.
Reduce sugar and caffeine from your diet.
They are anxiety-inducing substances.
Eat more vegetables, fruits, and whole grains.
Your body and mind will feel better.
Do yoga in the morning before breakfast.
It’s calming and detoxifies the body.
Take a hot bubble bath every night before bed.
While listening to your favorite music.
Read a good book.
Something that really engages you.
Habit #6: They set goals and pursue them.
Happy people have at least one significant goal they strive to achieve. The goals can be short-term or long-term, as long as they are important to you. The journey should be as enjoyable as the destination, so be sure your goals are related to your interests. Note that happy people also do not let themselves get too down when they don’t achieve their goals. They dust themselves off and move on.
- Complete a 5K.
- Learn to speak Spanish.
- Learn to play guitar.
- Get an A in Physics.
- Get into (college of your choice).
Habit #7: They forgive, and they don’t blame others.
Happy people don’t allow themselves to hold grudges. Sure, they get angry, just like everyone does sometimes. But once that initial anger has passed, they let go of any hurt or resentment they feel. It’s a freeing and relieving feeling that really liberates your mind.
Along those same lines, happy people do not blame the world for their problems. They accept things that happen, own up to it when it’s their own doing, and find solutions for their problems.
These are some examples of things that might make us angry, and why it’s alright to let go.
I failed a test because the teacher didn’t give me a study guide.
There was nothing on the test that wasn’t covered in class. Failing a test isn’t the end of the world, but I will take better notes and study harder next time.
I found out my friends are talking about me behind my back.
There are plenty of other people at this school to be friends with who will care about me enough to not talk about me behind my back. I will start socializing with friendlier and happier people.
My parents took my internet away.
There is a lot of unpleasant stuff on the internet. It’s understandable why my parents want to limit my time using it. I still have leisure time I can use to watch a show, read, call my friends, or practice my hobbies.
Habit #8: They have fun.
Happy people often participate in activities they really have fun doing. Psychologists have a term called the “flow” state that occurs when you are totally focused on something you are doing. This tends to be automatic when we are doing something we enjoy. It’s an activity that you simply love, and you feel very fulfilled when you are done.
The following are some great examples of activities that may bring about your “flow” state:
Playing a sport.
This could be a solo sport, like golf, or a team sport, like soccer.
Playing an instrument.
Jam with others to enrich the experience.
Painting, drawing, and writing are activities enjoyed by many.
If you’re really good, this is a hobby everyone benefits from.
Try singing with a group, like a choir or an a cappella group.
If you take note of all these habits, try some of them for yourself, and stick to them, we bet you will find yourself feeling happier each and every day. These are great tips to live by, and we strongly suggest that you do!