The happiest people have habits that raise the odds of feeling happy. Unhappy people have habits that result in less desirable feelings. It can be that simple. If you’re not as happy as you’d like, take a look at your habits.
If we know what habits happy people tend to have, why not try adopting some? It could yield positive results.
1. Optimism. Obviously, if you believe good things will happen, it’s much more likely that you’ll be happy. Expecting the worst does nothing to improve your mood! Realistically, it’s not even important to expect a positive outcome (although that doesn’t hurt), only to believe that everything will be okay. Optimism is also a form of belief in yourself. If you believe that you can handle any outcome, you can be optimistic and have the mental freedom to be happy.
2. Altruism. Doing things for others provides multiple benefits. You can see firsthand that you have a lot to be grateful for. You can feel good about yourself for assisting others. You have a good reason to get out of the house. You also feel useful. Make a list of at least three ways you can help others and make room in your schedule to do them.
3. Gratitude. Do you realize how many great things and people you already have in your life? By maintaining focus on the things you don’t have, you’re making yourself unhappy. Experiencing gratitude helps to create feelings of happiness and contentment.
4. Create an exciting future. Maximum happiness requires that you have something to look forward to. It can be graduating from college, having a baby, retirement, a vacation, or a hot date on Saturday night. Have a few goals that give you a reason to be excited. Have goals that are both short-term and long-term.
5. Success. Spend some time doing things that you’re good at. It feels good to do well at something. It doesn’t have to be a competitive event. You can hit golf balls at the range or play the guitar and feel great about yourself. Make a list of the things you excel at and try to spend at least a little time each day doing one of them.
6. Resilience. It’s impossible to avoid challenging times. Sooner or later, something will happen that threatens your progress, success, or happiness. Resilience is the ability to continue forging ahead. Some people have a knack for making obstacles seem bigger than they really are. Others are able to maintain their composure and continue making progress.
7. Forgiveness. How can you be happy while holding a grudge? Forgiving others quickly and easily make happiness possible. You might feel that some people don’t deserve forgiveness, and maybe they don’t, but holding that thing over them only keeps you emotionally snagged. Free yourself, be gracious and let it go.
8. Authenticity. It’s hard to be happy and at ease when you are not comfortable being yourself. Being guarded with others consumes a lot of energy. Why not let your guard down a little and let your uniqueness show? You might be surprised at how others respond, and you might find that being yourself is easier and more enjoyable than playing to others expectations or to your own fears about not being accepted. Accept yourself, love yourself, and be yourself.
9. Presence. Focusing too much on the past leads to regret. Focusing only on the future can lead to anxiety. Both scenarios cause you to miss out on enjoying right now! Acknowledge your past, plan for the future and stay in the present if you want to live a happy life.
10. Self Care. Taking care of yourself and making that a priority doesn’t mean you are selfish. It’s hard to help or care for others when you are not taken care of yourself. Ensuring you get the things you need to feel good and be healthy will add to your overall sense of happiness. Rest, exercise, good nutrition and down time are all part of a healthy self-care plan.
There’s nothing complicated about happiness. Forgive others, be yourself, care for yourself, give of yourself, and be grateful for the things and people you already have. Now those are some happy habits.