The secret to happiness: Now that’s a topic worth exploring. And explore it we have – over and over – in self-help books, articles, classes, faith journeys. Happy is an industry onto itself. It’s something that everyone seeks and less tend to find. But we keep wanting it. It’s natural. In looking into this topic more deeply, in my meager attempt to write about it, the thing I’m struck by is that happy people tend to do a few similar things. So here’s my consolidated take on what happy people have in common…
1. Happy People Have Positive Relationships and Engage With Others Regularly
It’s probably safe to say that the troll under the bridge wasn’t tremendously happy. He had no people in his life and the only engagement he had with others was to yell at them for crossing his bridge. One thing happy people have in common, however, is that they have positive relationships in their lives. Happy people limit their time with the Debbie-Downers and spend quality hours with Patty-Positives. People who report being the happiest also engage with others regularly, at work, at synagogue, church or mosque, in a classroom or at their local consignment store. They speak with people and laugh with people. Then, when happy people have occasion to be unhappy, they have the support they need for a good cry.
2. Happy People Practice Gratitude and Kindness
A few weeks ago, in my blog, My Reasons to Be Grateful, I talked about my own gratitude after a recent health scare. That’s a good start for me, but happy people practice gratitude all the time. Maybe they keep a journal with the reasons they are thankful? Or, perhaps they make a habit out of writing notes of thanks regularly? They may even simply just say thank you – always. Gratitude breeds gratitude and it keeps happy people happy. The same is true for kindness. Happy people have kindness in common. They say that you get more flies with honey than you do with vinegar. Kindness works the same way for happy people.
For more on kindness, check out my blog: How To Support Small Business at The Holidays.
3. Happy People Have Self-Care in Common
Self-care has been so over-used as a term that it’s almost become a joke. This is really too bad because no matter how much you direct your life toward taking care of others, you can not do it effectively without taking care of yourself first. Happy people apparently have this in common. Happy people take time to exercise or knit. They get a monthly massage or make a habit of self-reflection at some point each day. Self-care doesn’t need to be elaborate it just needs to be regular.
For more on self-care, check out this informative article from the National Institute for Mental Health on Caring For Your Mental Health.
4. Happy People Have Well-Defined Purpose and Meaning in Their Lives
Whether it’s through their work as a doctor serving the elderly or their volunteer hours building homes for the poor, happy people have meaning and purpose in common. Happy people pursue their passions to travel or to read every book they get their hands on. They find their calling in being a parent or a cat Mom. Whatever they hold dear and meaningful is what they spend time doing. Purpose + Meaning = Happiness.
For more happiness inspiration, check out my previous blog: 5 Encouraging Quotes to Inspire You To Live Your Best Life.