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What makes people happy? Habits of Happy People â€" Backed By Research

Happy people look after their relationships

Happy people look after their relationships
  • They spend ample time with friends and family.
  • They celebrate other people’s successes.
  • They engage in deep conversations.
  • They make the people around them happy.

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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

What makes people happy? Habits of Happy People â€" Backed By Research

What makes people happy? Habits of Happy People â€" Backed By Research

https://www.developgoodhabits.com/make-you-happy/

developgoodhabits.com

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Key Ideas

Happy people vs. miserable people

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. 

Happy People Experience Flow Often

Flow is a state of complete absorption and full involvement in the present moment. 

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.

Activities of happy people

  • They meditate.
  • They exercise regularly. “Surveys show that exercise may very well be the most effective instant happiness booster of all activities.”
  • They stop and smell the roses. 
  • They spend time with their furry friends.
  • They spend time outside.

Happy people look after their relationships

  • They spend ample time with friends and family.
  • They celebrate other people’s successes.
  • They engage in deep conversations.
  • They make the people around them happy.

Happy people are generous

  • They give freely.
  • They spend money on experiences.
  • They spend money to benefit others.
  • They forgive (themselves and others). 

The conscious attitude of happy people

  • They don’t compare themselves to others.
  • They practice gratitude.
  • They are hopeful and optimistic.
  • They practice mindfulness.
  • They comfort themselves in hard times.
  • They don’t overthink.
  • They remember the positive.
  • They try to be happy.
  • They act happy.

Having Things to Look Forward To

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.

Character Strengths

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.

Happy People See Their Jobs as a Calling

A calling is to view your work with the belief that it contributes to something larger than yourself, to the greater good.

‘The Paradox of Choice’

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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Happy people are well rounded people
Happy people are well rounded people
  • They savor the moment. They "stop to smell the roses".
  • They're busy, but not rushed. A healthy work-life balance is key.
  •  They don't sweat the small stuff...
Happy people invest in their relationships
  • They spend money on others. One reason is that it creates social connections.
  • They celebrate other people's success through "active and constructive" responding.
  • They treat everyone with respect and kindness. Kindness, like happiness, is contagious.
  • They're proactive about relationships. They work on maintaining their relationships.
  • They express gratitude. It improves mood and energy and decreases anxiety.
  • They engage in deep, meaningful conversations.
The attitude of happy people
  • They're optimistic. Bad things happen to all of us. Happy people don't complain, whine or let pessimism become a self-fulling prophecy.
  • They view problems as challenges. They focus on solutions to the problem and reflect on what they're grateful for.

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Be Busy, But Not Rushed

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.

Have 5 Close Relationships
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).

Happiness And External Events

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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Behavior is contagious

Context is the most powerful catalyst for changing your life. And the persons you associate with often determine the type of person you become. 

For people who want improved he...

Making friends = Making happiness

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.

Friends are family

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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Educate your mind to stop being unhappy
Educate your mind to stop being unhappy

Professions like the ones in accounting and law develop a sense of pessimism in the individuals practicing them. However, being obsessed with prudence at work and continue being like this at home i...

Remember the good

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.

Social comparison

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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Connection and belonging
Connection and belonging

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 reduces stress and anxiety

Meditation improves your quality of life and boosts your immune system.

Research showed that meditation decreases anger and improves sleep, even among prison inmates.

The positive health effects of religion and spirituality

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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3 kinds of happy lives
  • The pleasant life: you fill your life with as many pleasures as you can. This has hardly any contribution to lasting fulfilment.
  • The life of engagement, where y...
Habits Of Supremely Happy People
  • They surround themselves with other happy people.
  • They cultivate resilience.
  • They appreciate simple pleasures.
  • They devote some of their time to giving.
  • They get immersed in activities that bring joy.
  • They nix the small talk for deeper conversations. 
  • They make a point to listen. 
  • They look on the bright side.
  • They make exercise a priority.
  • They listen to good music.
  • They spend time in nature.
  • They laugh a lot.
What creates happiness in the brain
  • Dopamine: The happy chemical that our brain releases when we see reward or pleasure in sight.
  • Oxytocin: A hormone and a neurotransmitter, it gets released when we...
  • Happiness as a choice

    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.

    A practical philosophical school

    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.

    Events don’t upset you

    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. 

    Control what you can

    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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    Six Ingredients for Happiness

    The six key ingredients required for a happy society, according to The World Happiness Report are:

    • Income
    • Healthy Life Expectancy
    • Social Support
    • Freedom
    • T...
    From Outwards to Inwards

    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.

    Disease of More

    Used in sports to explain why teams who win championships are often ultimately dethroned, not by other, better teams, but by forces from within the organization itself. The players want more: more ...

    Our imagined "better"

    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".

    The hedonic treadmill

    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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