25 Little Things Happy People Do Differently
Well, here’s a secret: you can be happy right now. It’s not always easy, but you can learn how to do it, just as you can learn any other skill. Ask any happy person, and they will tell you that they …
1. Choose to be happy
The most important thing happy people do is choose to be happy. They do this by choosing positive thoughts and following through with positive action. Happy people know it is through control of their thoughts, emotions, and actions that will help keep them more happily situated.
2. Treat everyone with kindness
Did you know that it has been scientifically proven that being kind makes you happier? Every time you perform a selfless act, your brain produces serotonin, a hormone that eases tension and lifts your spirits. Not only that, but treating people with love, dignity, and respect also allows you to build stronger relationships.
3. Say thank you
Happy people say thank you. They say thank you to their barista, the cab driver who dropped them off, and to the person who let them through on that busy intersection. For them, life offers many occasions to show their gratitude.
4. Give back
Happy people live in a gracious state of being and pay it forward often. They do nice things for people naturally. There is no pretense. Happy people just want to make other people happy. Happiness is infectious in their eyes.
5. Never make excuses
Benjamin Franklin once said, “He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else.” Happy people don’t make excuses or blame others for their own failures in life. Instead, they own up to their mistakes and, by doing so, they proactively try to change for the better.
6. Say “no” when they need to
Saying “yes” to everything puts you on the fast track to being miserable. Feeling like you’re doing busywork is often the result of saying “yes” to too much. So stop saying “yes” when you want to say “no.” You can’t always be agreeable; that’s how people take advantage of you. Sometimes you have to set clear boundaries and put yourself first.
7. Use their personal strengths
According to Martin Seligman, leader and author in the field of Positive Psychology, happiness is not the result of good genes or luck. Real, lasting happiness comes from focusing on one’s personal strengths rather than weaknesses—and working with them to improve all aspects of one’s life.
8. Don’t hold grudges
Happy people understand that it’s better to forgive and forget than to let their negative feelings crowd out their positive feelings. Holding a grudge has a lot of detrimental effects on your wellbeing, including increased depression, anxiety, and stress. Why let anyone who has wronged you have power over you? If you let go of all your grudges, you’ll gain a clear conscience and enough energy to enjoy the good things in life.
9. Be confident
Happy people do what’s called “power poses.” These poses help their body relax, feel more confident, and of course make them even happier. Psychologist Amy Cuddy has studied these power poses and confirms that they have the ability to change hormone levels in the body to produce a more positive state of being.
10. Commit to their top priorities
Happy people commit. If you’re interested in something, you will do what is convenient. If you’re committed to something, you will do whatever it takes. Period. And ultimately, it’s commitment that creates outcomes worth smiling about.
11. See problems as challenges
The word “problem” is never part of a happy person’s vocabulary. A problem is viewed as a drawback, a struggle, or an unstable situation while a challenge is viewed as something positive like an opportunity, a task, or a dare. Whenever you face an obstacle, try looking at it as a challenge.
12. Go offline
Obsessing over social media sites is a bad habit that we all have, but looking at pictures of other people’s amazing vacations and delicious desserts isn’t doing anything for you. Make a pact with yourself to unplug every day — you can read a book, call a friend, or even just choose to paint your nails — but just signing off allows you to live your life instead of watching other people live theirs.
13. Don’t sweat the small stuff
Happy people ask themselves, “Will this problem matter a year from now?” They understand that life’s too short to get worked up over trivial situations. Letting things roll off your back will definitely put you at ease to enjoy the more important things in life.
14. Avoid comparing themselves to others
Everyone works at his own pace, so why compare yourself to others? If you think you’re better than someone else, you gain an unhealthy sense of superiority. If you think someone else is better than you, you end up feeling bad about yourself. You’ll be happier if you focus on your own progress and praise others on theirs.
15. Choose friends wisely
Misery loves company. That’s why it’s important to surround yourself with optimistic people who will encourage you to achieve your goals. The more positive energy you have around you, the better you will feel about yourself.
16. Never seek approval from others
Happy people don’t care what others think of them. They follow their own hearts without letting naysayers discourage them. They understand that it’s impossible to please everyone. Listen to what people have to say, but never seek anyone’s approval but your own.
17. Take the time to listen
Talk less; listen more. Listening keeps your mind open to others’ wisdoms and outlooks on the world. The more intensely you listen, the quieter your mind gets, and the more content you feel.
18. Nurture social relationships
A lonely person is a miserable person. Happy people understand how important it is to have strong, healthy relationships. Always take the time to see and talk to your family, friends, or significant other.
19. Eat well
Junk food makes you sluggish, and it’s difficult to be happy when you’re in that kind of state. Everything you eat directly affects your body’s ability to produce hormones, which will dictate your moods, energy, and mental focus. Be sure to eat foods that will keep your mind and body in good shape.
Studies have shown that exercise raises happiness levels just as much as Zoloft does. Exercising also boosts your self-esteem and gives you a higher sense of self-accomplishment.
21. Tell the truth
Lying stresses you out, corrodes your self-esteem, and makes you unlikeable. The truth will set you free. Being honest improves your mental health and builds others’ trust in you. Always be truthful, and never apologize for it.
22. Establish personal control
Happy people have the ability to choose their own destinies. They don’t let others tell them how they should live their lives. Being in complete control of one’s own life brings positive feelings and a great sense of self-worth.
23. Accept what cannot be changed
Once you accept the fact that life is not fair, you’ll be more at peace with yourself. Instead of obsessing over how unfair life is, just focus on what you can control and change it for the better.
24. Express gratitude for what they already have
There’s a popular saying that goes something like this: “The happiest people don’t have the best of everything; they just make the best of everything they have.” You will have a deeper sense of contentment if you count your blessings instead of yearning for what you don’t have.
25. Live the best life they can
Finally, happy people want to live the best life they can. They know inherently that it’s a multifaceted approach. In order to stay happy you need to think good thoughts, live in gratitude, move often, eat well, make commitments, and make a conscious choice to be happy.
You may also like:
“Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.” Abraham Lincoln
Want to Engage, Empower and Inspire students for their future careers?
MyCareerMatch is the ultimate career assessment for students – helping them connect who they are with what they’ll love to do. MyCareerMatch empowers students by delivering positive information about themselves and the qualities they have. It encourages self-discovery and provides ‘must know’ information to plan for a successful and happy future.
About the Author
Nathan Chanesmanis Founder & Chairman of online career assessment company www.myprofile.com.aucreators of www.mycareermatch.com.au for student career planning and www.myresume.com.au for resume writing.