What defines happiness? It’s something that everyone strives to obtain, but what exactly is it that we’re trying to seek? A recent article through Huffington Post asked people how they defined happiness and these were a few of the ways people described this difficult to define state of well-being.
“ Being at peace with everything around you
Liking yourself and not explaining why
A slice of pie with no one hassling you
Following your bliss
A healthy body and peaceful mind ”
One of the biggest attributes to happiness, according to Americans, is success. American Express found through a survey of over 2,000 participants that the top factors relating to the feeling of being successful were good health, a healthy marriage or relationship, managing personal finances, a good balance of work and life, loving their career, and most importantly, having an open-mindset. They also found only 27 percent of Americans believe that money buys happiness.
A study in Psychological Bulletin also found that happier people are more successful. Meaning these two components, happiness and success, go hand in hand. That being said, here are some ways to not only be happier with who you are and what you are doing, but to also discover success while doing it.
Do this first:
Make an effort to actually be happy. The Atlantic found through a study where participants were forced to smile by the use of chopsticks moving their cheeks into a smile position, that a conscious effort to actually be happy is 40 percent responsible for obtaining happiness.
Now, do this!
- Have a theme song. Cheesy? Maybe. But by having a song that picks you up when you’re down can drastically improve your mood.
- Give your body the TLC it needs. Not just by eating right and exercising, but also realizing when your body needs a break and time to relax.
- Try something new. Exposing yourself to different ideas and activities can boost your creativity and add depth and enjoyment to your life.
- Keep a picture around that makes you smile as this can serve as a great reminder of what is important in life and how to appreciate what you have.
- Go with the flow. If you’re the type who wants to control everything, stop. You can only control so much before you allow the control freak inside of you to take over.
- Do something nice for someone else. Not only does this make them happy, it ends up making you happier as well knowing you helped someone out.
- Be positive. For every negative thought you have (about yourself, your job, your life, someone else), turn it around and find a positive side to it. Try waking up every morning and telling yourself “Today is going to be a great day.” Starting out the day with a positive attitude will impact your outlook throughout the rest of the day.
- Surround yourself with positive, happy, optimistic people. You are who you hang out with, so why would you want to submerge yourself in negativity?
Stop doing these…
- Blaming others and whining. Realize what you may have done wrong, or what inevitably went wrong. Then analyze it, rather than point fingers and complain about it, and think about what you can do better next time to learn from it rather than dwell on it.
- Trying to impress others. Do you really need to check in at the gym and tell everyone you’re working out? Or do you really need to buy another designer hand bag? Think about if you’re doing something to make you happy, or if you’re doing it to get a reaction out of others to make you happy.
- No more grudges. Studies have shown that those who forgive have a reduced stress level and better cardiovascular health.
- Holding back. Some of the greatest feelings of happiness and success comes from the excitement when we take chances and succeed (or don’t succeed the first time but continue to try and grow from these chances).
- Rushing and interrupting. Give yourself adequate time to get things done so you aren’t always rushing from one place to the next, increasing your stress level for unnecessary reasons. Take the time to listen to what people have to say and engage in genuine conversations and discussions.
- Stop procrastinating and be proactive. Putting off things to the last minute may add pressure to get the job done, but it also can increase your stress level and cause unwanted anxiety.
- Taking yourself so seriously. Laugh, have fun, be goofy! Release those endorphins and try not to make everything such a serious situation
Most importantly, find what makes you happy and try to incorporate this into your daily schedule. Make time for yourself at the end of a busy day and try to boot out the negative and replace it with the positive. Realize that….
What makes you happy?