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How To Be Happy

May 20, 2016 | No Comments » | Topics: Life

photos guaranteed to put a smile on your face

Happiness—”it’s what we all strive to find and keep, even when it’s as elusive as ever. Nobody is jolly and elated all the time, but some individuals are definitely more fulfilled than others. Studies reveal that happiness has little to do with materialistic needs, goods, or wants, or high achievement; it boils down to your outlook on life, the quality of your relationships, and basic amenities like good governance and community resources.


1. Be optimistic
 

In the 1970s, researchers followed people who’d won the lottery and found that a year afterward, they were no happier than people who didn’t. This hedonic adaptation suggests that we each have a baseline level of happiness. No matter what happens, good or bad, the effect on our happiness is temporary, and we tend to revert to our baseline level. Some people have a higher baseline happiness level than others, and that is due in part to genetics, but it’s also largely influenced by how you think.

2. Follow your gut

In one study, two groups of people were asked to pick a poster to take home. One group was asked to analyze their decision, weighing pros and cons, and the other group was told to listen to their gut. Two weeks later, the group that followed their gut was happier with their posters than the group that analyzed their decisions. Now, some of our decisions are more crucial than picking out posters, but by the time you’re poring over your choice, the options you’re weighing are probably very similar, and the difference will only temporarily affect your happiness.

3. Own yourself

 This means accept and embrace your habits, your personality, mistakes, the way you talk, looks, your voice, and most importantly ‘You’. Try to be comfortable in your own skin and subconsciously communicate to others that, ‘This is me take it or leave it’. It means don’t apologize to anyone for something which is a part of you, like your personality, your voice, habits (good or bad), basically anything; remember there is always someone who likes you for the way you are. For example if you want to wear something which is weird but you find it cool, wear it, no one is stopping you. Its a deeper step towards building a good relationship with yourself.

4. Make enough money to meet basic needs —” food, shelter, and clothing

In the US, that magic number is $60,000 a year. Any money beyond that will not necessarily make you happier. Remember the lottery winners mentioned earlier? Oodles of money didn’t make them happier. Once you make enough to support basic needs, your happiness is not significantly affected by how much money you make, but by your level of optimism.

5. Treat your body like it deserves to be happy

It may sound cheesy to say, but your brain isn’t the only organ in your body that deserves to be happy. Researchers have found that exercise, healthy diets, and regular sleep are key factors in growing more happy and staying that way.

6. Stay close to friends and family 

Or move to where they are, so you can see them more. We live in a mobile society, where people follow jobs around the country and sometimes around the world. We do this because we think salary increases make us happier, but in fact our relationships with friends and family have a far greater impact on happiness. So next time you think about relocating, consider that you’d need a salary increase of over $100,000 USD to compensate for the loss of happiness you’d have from moving away from friends and family.

7. Be compassionate

Compassion is all about doing something kind for someone in need, or someone less privileged than yourself. A brain-imaging study (where scientists peek into people’s brains while they act or think) revealed that people gain as much happiness from watching others give to charity as they do receiving money themselves!

8. Have deep, meaningful conversations.

A study by a psychologist at the University of Arizona has shown that spending less time participating in small talk and more time in deep, meaningful conversations can increase happiness. So next time you’re beating around the bush with a friend, instead cut right to the chase. You’ll be happier for it.

9. Find happiness in the job you have now 

Many people expect the right job or career to dramatically change their level of happiness. But research makes it clear that your levels of optimism and quality of relationships eclipse the satisfaction gained from your job.

10. Smile

Science suggests that when you smile, whether you’re happy or not, your mood is elevated. So smile all the time if you can! Smiling is like a feedback loop: smiling reinforces happiness, just as happiness causes smiling. People who smile during painful procedures reported less pain than those who kept their facial features neutral.

11. Forgive

In a study of college students, an attitude of forgiveness contributed to better cardiovascular health. You could say forgiveness literally heals the heart. While it is unknown how forgiveness directly affects your heart, the study suggests that it may lower the perception of stress.

12. Make friends

In a 2010 study published by Harvard researchers in American Sociological Review, people who went to church regularly reported greater life satisfaction than those who didn’t. The critical factor was the quality of friendships made in church. Church-goers who lacked close friends there were no happier than people who never went to church. When researchers compared people who had the same number of close friends, those who had close friends from church were more satisfied with their lives.

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