What makes people happy? Habits of Happy People â€" Backed By Research
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Happy people engage in more happiness-boosting habits while unhappy people engage in more misery-inducing habits.
You can choose which habits to cultivate in your life. If you want to be happier, simply install more happiness-boosting habits.
That means that your happiness lies in your very own hands. You can choose which habits to cultivate in your life.
It is marked by intense concentration, a sense of timelessness, and a loss of self-consciousness. It’s a deeply healing and enjoyable state and one that greatly contributes to our happiness.
Happy people tend to live active and somewhat busy lives. They meet up with friends after work, go on a hiking trip with the family on the weekend, and play tennis every Wednesday morning with a friend.
This busy lifestyle provides an unintended but powerful source of happiness: anticipation.
Each one of us has certain distinct character strengths. Some people are particularly courageous, others are very honest, empathic, loyal, intelligent, optimistic or integer.
Research has found that using our biggest strengths – what they call ‘signature strengths’ – makes us incredibly happy and fulfilled.
More choices don’t equal more happiness, but less.
Research in recent years has shown over and over again that an overabundance of possibilities to choose from can have terrible effects on our well-being, especially when combined with regret, adaptation, social comparison, and concern about status.
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Being “rushed” puts you on the fast track to being miserable.
Live a productive life at a comfortable pace. Learn to say no to busywork.
National surveys find that when someone claims to have 5 or more friends with whom they can discuss important problems, they are 60 percent more likely to say that they are ‘very happy’.
Excerpt from the book Finding Flow.
True friends really are worth their weight in gold. Check in regularly with close friends (around every two weeks).
Self-esteem is good for confidence, but self-esteem that is bound to external success can be quite fickle.
Think of yourself less and avoid the trap of tying your self-worth to external signals.
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Context is the most powerful catalyst for changing your life. And the persons you associate with often determine the type of person you become.
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Time spent making friends has a higher happiness Return on Investment than time spent making money.
Also, introduce friends to friends. Friends becoming happy increases your chance of happiness by 45%. Keeping the network happy protects you against unhappiness.
A few studies looked at the genetic similarity between friends and found that on a very deep level you resemble your friends genetically.
What this means is that, basically, your friends are kin that you choose.
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In order to be happy, you must first train your brain to perceive the good that happens to you.
One way to do this is by writing down three good experiences you live on a daily basis: appreciation comes from within, just like happiness.
While comparing yourself to others might not be extremely helpful, comparing yourself to people who are in a less good position than you might actually lead to you feeling better.
So, if you really feel this need, try not comparing yourself but to the ones in an inferior position.
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These are essential for a healthy and happy life.
Humans need close connections to be healthy, no matter the form they take: friendship, marriage, or family.
Meditation improves your quality of life and boosts your immune system.
Research showed that meditation decreases anger and improves sleep, even among prison inmates.
People with strong faith release control of their struggles and worries to a higher power, which helps to relieve anxiety and stress.
Religious groups also offer a strong source of community and friendships, which is critical for health and happiness.
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Once you realize that happiness is predominantly an internal process, you will gradually understand that happiness is also a choice, and you will be able to transcend the limits of what it is that makes you happy.
Stoicism became popular in the Roman Empire. Slaves like Epictetus, rich people like Seneca or emperors like Marcus Aurelius found guidance for life in it.
Beliefs about events do. Bad feelings are caused by irrational beliefs, so if you’re feeling negative emotions, focus on the belief you hold about what happens.
For stoics there is no good or bad, there’s only perception. And you control perception.
Ignore the rest. We worry about things that we have no control over. But worrying never fixed anything.
The stoics are saying that if you focus your energy on what you can change, you’re going to be a lot more productive and effective.
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The six key ingredients required for a happy society, according to The World Happiness Report are:
Happiness seekers have to go beyond the notions of good or bad and learn to accept things as they are.
A mature approach to happiness is to focus less on the circumstances that make people happy, and more on how people can achieve happiness in uncertain and insecure conditions too.
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Regardless of our external circumstances, we live in a constant state of mild-but-not-fully-satisfying happiness. Things are pretty much always fine. But they could also always be better. And that's why most of us live most of our lives constantly chasing our imagined "better".
It's the constant chasing of pleasure.
People who are constantly striving for a “better life” end up expending a ton of effort only to end up in the same place.
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