Saturday, March 7, 2015

Things Happy People Do Differently

Happy People...Find Balance in Their Lives 
Those who are happy have something in common-- they're content with life and don't over think, or stress over, things. Unhappy people do just that - they over think everything and stress over everything causing a lot of pain and unhappiness. This simply means that happy people live balanced lives. They know how to control the busy and the stress without it impacting their happiness. Happy people can focus more on what or who is important to them - family, friends, career, health, religion, hobbies, etc.

Happy People...Express Gratitude 
When you appreciate what you have, you seem to see the world in another light, and be happy. If you aren't thankful for what you already have, you will have a hard time being happy. In Sonja Lyubomirsky's The How of Happiness: A New Approach to Getting the Life you Want, she refers to the gratitude as "a kind of meta-strategy for achieving happiness."
"Gratitude is many things to many people," she says. "It is wonder; it is appreciation; it is looking on the bright side of a setback; it is fathoming abundance; it is thanking someone in your life; it is thanking God; it is 'counting blessings.' It is savoring; it is not tang things for granted; it is coping; it is present-oriented."  I think Lyubomirsky perfectly described happy people. If gratitude is all of that, that gratitude is happiness.

Happy People...Practice Acts of Kindness
Happy people abide by the rule "Do unto others as you would have them do to you." Happy people embody that and through that rule comes acts of kindness to the fullest. Whether be random acts or just opening yourself up to be a kinder person in life...happy people are kind. Many studies have shown that people who participate in random acts of kindness are profoundly more happy than those who don't. The reason? I think that by having a person interact with another, already boots the happy. Happy people treat others with respect, they are sensitive to the thoughts and feelings of others and they show compassion. If this is how you live life, than that is how you will be treated in life.

Happy People...Take Responsibility for their Actions 
This past Monday, it was super sunny outside, which made it increasingly hard to sit in my office filled with windows. 4pm rolled around and I was was bummed I had another hour to work and not be in the sun. So I left and went for a run. It was the best part of my day. The next day, I came into work an hour early to make up for the fact and told my boss. I was straight up with her. I told her I
left to go running. I took responsibility for my action of leaving work early to go do something drastically less important than the work I was doing. I had to tell her, because I'm a happy person and I want her to trust me. Happy people aren't perfect, and we know that. When happy people mess up, they admit it. They recognize their faults and try to improve on them. Unhappy people tend to hold it in or blame others for their faults.

Happy People...Live in the Present
I have had many challenges in life. I had had my heart shattered to pieces and during that time, I obviously wasn't happy. I kept thinking of scenarios, what could I have done differently in this situation to not have this happen? What is I see him again? I was so focused on the past and the future, that I missed the fact I was an emotional wreck in the present. I was an unhappy person, living in everything but the present. Like me back then, unhappy people tend to dwell on the past and worry about the future. Happy people live in the moment and are grateful for the time that they have now. Happy people's philosophy is: "There is a reason it is called 'the present.' Because life is a gift."

Happy People...Savor the Joys of Life
Lyybomirsky states that, "Yet the ability to savor the positive experiences in your life is not of the most important ingredients of happiness." When I went abroad, I had this mantra of saying yes to everything, because in reality, you you only live life once. How many chances am I going to get in life to take months off and go travel and explore the world? I hope many, but that may not happen, so I wanted to savor every moment of every day. I did things that I typically wouldn't do, such as skydiving and bungy jumping. Although I was the most scared I have ever been in my life when I was bunny jumping, I new I had to savor that moment. Savor the fear and the feeling of falling, because that is a joy in my life. The fact I had the opportunity to go abroad and try all these new things created me a strong, happy, woman. So, savor the joys, savor the small things in life, they'll make you happy! 

Happy People...Take Care of Their Body 
Happy people take care of their mind and body and not just by exercise. Happy people actually act like happy people. Happy people smile, are engaged and bring the optimal level of joy to every situation. Healthy people take care of their minds in tough situations by seeking the good that might come from challenging times. According to Lyubomirsky, there is a growing body of science suggesting that religious people are happier, healthier, and recover more quickly from trauma than nonreligious people.

Unhappy people, are you sold yet?

I am 100% confident there are more things that happy people do differently in life...these are just the ones I am comfortable sharing because they are things that I, a happy person, have in everyday life. My question is why are there so many unhappy people in life? Life is a wonderful thing, it's a gift and you should live it. Bad things happen, that's a part of life and growing up, but your quality of life can change dramatically based on how you respond to the bad.

My challenge for you becomes: how do you want to live this gift of life? Do you want to dwell on the past and the bad, or do you want to seek the joy, kindness and compassion of the present that comes with the life of a happy person?

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