PRICELESS SECRETS TO HAPPINESS
You undoubtedly know someone who always seems happy, the co-worker who always has a smile on their face or the friend who stays optimistic and upbeat even in hardship and calamity. These are people whose presence radiates an amicable, kind, and cheerful aura. People you can confidently say are happy!
There is a famous quote by the psychology professor- Sonja Lyubomirsky, who describes happiness as: “the experience of joy, contentment, or positive well-being, combined with a sense that one’s life is good, meaningful, and worthwhile.”- This, a treasure so many aspire to achieve, yet frequently fall short in the buzz and commotion of everyday life and the hopeless pursuit of happiness.
So what habits do these cheerful, almost always happy smiling people embody?
1. They have a purpose, longing, and passion for life.
Take some time and ponder on this: what is your raison d’être, aka “reason for being“? What is the essence of your existence?
There is a more profound value when it engulfs that sense of being connected to, being part of, influencing, or contributing to something bigger than ourselves.
Research shows that people who have something to look up to and a mission to pursue and accomplish tend to live a more rewarding and fulfilling life as well as better deal with difficulties and problems. Take as an example, during the recent COVID-19 pandemic, having a deep meaning in life has been found to foster coping with the various discomforts people may experience, such as boredom, fear, loneliness, stress, anxiety, depression, despair, and much more.
This is so powerful that I would suggest regularly taking a step back to crystallize and evaluate your actions and choices if they genuinely align with your core purpose and desires. The famous wise Greek philosopher, Aristotle, touched on a foundation of happiness when he mentioned the ‘human good’ coined in the term eudaemonia, “an activity of the human soul in accordance with excellence and virtue,” which helps us strive toward the best within us.
While finding meaning and purpose might entail a profound contemplation, try simplifying it by thinking of various ways you interact and make a difference in your world. For example, you might be the school teacher who imparts the future generation with knowledge, or the farmer whose efforts enable a vast population to have nutrients, or say the parent who sacrifices their time 24/7 to provide for a helpless toddler. You might just be the friend who lends a comforting shoulder to someone in need and so many more trivial daily rewarding actions, deeds, and services. Though often taken for granted, appreciate these actions and fully cherish them.
2. They practice mindfulness and live in the moment.
The famous author Eckhart Tolle, in his classic bestseller‚ ‘The power of now’ superbly illustrates and elaborates on the magnanimity of living in the moment. This is an often-underestimated powerful habit with immense rewards. The truth is most of our concerns and worries in life only exist in our heads and minds. Life takes on a whole different meaning when one consciously begins letting these unpleasant imaginations and fantasies out and being truly present in the moment. Mind you living in the moment does not mean not caring, or not making plans, or having no worries at all. It means efficiently using your mental energy and thoughts to find solutions for problems that need to be solved and accepting what you cannot change with grace. It means being aware of your bridges, but only figuratively crossing them when you get there.
“If you want to be happy, do not dwell in the past, do not worry about the future, focus on living fully in the present.”
― Roy T. Bennett
Being mindful is a core recipe for well-being and contentment.
In fact, scientific research shows that the practice of mindfulness can significantly reduce stress levels and anxiety, help us manage our emotions, cultivate self-compassion and empathy towards others, and even strengthen relationships; – just imagine the awkwardness of sitting with friends for dinner and yet spending most of the time on your phone.
This character trait creates awareness and guides us in where we place our focus and attention mentally and emotionally.
One way of enhancing mindfulness is activating the senses, which I call “walking with the eyes wide opened.” Take time to appreciate your surrounding, notice the stuff present around, feel the taste of the food you eat, smell the air and the flowers around, feel the sand or stones underneath your feet, and listen and hear the ambient sound and voices of the quirking birds.
Furthermore, a practical way of being present in the moment might also be consciously scheduling time for your hobbies, pastimes, and passions amid all the responsibilities, projects, errands, expectations, and life goals. Giving ourselves a chance to experience those things we truly cherish is, giving ourselves a chance to experience life and staying true to our values!
Check this out: How to Meditate for Beginners
3. They are open-minded, curious, and willing to learn and self-improve.
Being eager to try new things and learning can positively impact how happy one feels. It creates a chance to build valuable relationships and enhances the feeling of self-worth and value to oneself and society at large.
Life is a continuous learning process, which offers the chance to improve and broaden one’s horizon. It does not have to be extra degrees or diplomas but rather varying skills, insight, and knowledge to spur and enrich the intellect. It might entail curiosity to explore new ideas, places, or activities. It could be increased creativity, mastery, and competence in a new or existing field. Research shows the desire for self-improvement thwarts idleness and depression by creating excitement and curiosity. Needless to say, an excited individual barely has time for boredom. When faced with setbacks to boost self-motivation, apply the “I’m not good at this…yet” mantra to better condition your Mind for improvement and Perseverance, which increases your confidence, resilience, and chances of success.
4. They are kind, generous, and giving.
Once, I took a trip from Vienna-Austria to Frankfurt-Germany. On that particular day, the weather was dull; I had missed an event I planned to attend. My night’s sleep was disturbed by some rowdy hotel guests. In short, I was having one of those gloomy days. For some reason trying to modulate my thoughts to come up with something nice and get myself cheerful had been fruitless. As I headed up to the platform to wait for my express train, I spotted an elderly lady struggling to carry her luggage up the stairs as the elevator was out of service. I offered to help her: she was very grateful. She thanked me with such grace and sincerity that when I finally boarded the train, I found myself beaming with a sense of accomplishment with a significantly improved mood despite only having carried someone’s luggage up some stairs. It made me understand and appreciate what researchers have long observed; doing a good deed to your fellow human with no expectation of reward is a potent source of joy and happiness.
Studies have indeed shown that when we do kind things to others, we spread joy both to the receiver and ourselves.
Furthermore, we foster humanity and feel connected to others in special way-This triggers, by default, a greater sense of meaning and purpose. And how about this: when we help others, they are more likely to want to be generous too, even if not in the same art and manner—what an excellent way to start a chain reaction of kindness and humanity.
Mind you; It’s not always about money or material things; there are lots of different ways we can show compassion, be helpful and kind to others: from trivial stuff like; giving our attention, offering up our seat to an elderly or physical disabled individual, volunteering at a shelter, offering encouraging words to someone in mental pain, being friendly, respectful and polite and much more.
And when it comes to monetary donations, you do not need to be a Jeff Bezos or Elon musk to make a significant influence; You would be amazed how many lives one could impact with a small amount. Think about this; a simple dollar is enough to feed a hungry child in several developing areas worldwide.
On the slip side, It is also worth mentioning; Do not be too proud to ask for help too when you need assistance-This is a character trait sometimes tainted with excess pride and pseudo-self-sufficiency. I often say give someone the chance to reap the joy and benefits of helping as well.
Secondly, there is no gain in violating your core values and wearing yourself to offer a gift. Another formulation would be “Do not give what you do not possess.” Be a happy and cheerful giver and receiver!
5. They try to find some good in bad and challenging situations
The American writer and motivational speaker Dale Carnegie once said: “It isn’t what you have or who you are or where you are or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy. It is what you think about it.” There is a human tendency to focus on hardship and ill luck, overseeing any good therein. Try to grasp the lesson in this true story. I recently took care of 2 middle-aged female patients who had newly diagnosed early-stage breast cancer after a screening exam:
-The first Patient’s Reaction was as such: she was so overwhelmed and considered herself so unfortunate, lamenting why them on every hospital visit, having sleepless nights, and anxious about the chemotherapy treatment and the prognosis.
-The other person reacted by saying: How fortunate that my cancer was caught early before it could spread to other parts of my body, and how nice I live in a country where my health insurance will cover all the chemotherapy and surgery expenses. I will seek help and counsel from specialists and support from friends and fight the disease step by step.
Mind your cancer is a terrible diagnosis, I would not wish anyone, but one thing is for sure: Like so many other life’s challenges, as illustrated in the above contrasting reactions, how one reacts clearly affects one’s overall coping mechanism, resilience, and ultimately contentment and satisfaction.
Other simple everyday situations could be the equivalence of saying on a rainy day; It’s such a wonderful day for farmers; these are the people who grow healthy food to feed the masses.
Or something I recently said to a friend who was dumped by his girlfriend, whom he had been madly in love with:-Instead of feeling lovesick and depressed for losing the love of his life (an experience he considered the best time of his life)… that, he in his disappointment be also grateful that he could have the privilege to fall so madly in love- after all many never get to have such a wonderful experience.”
Even negative emotions could be embraced with poise;
Guilt could be viewed as an opportunity to be remorseful and practice and appreciate forgiveness
Sadness could indicate a significant loss; A reminder to not take anything for granted. An important concept highlighted here is the act of reframing. One of the greatest motivational speakers of our times, tony Robins, gives an excellent illustration of this concept in his classic bestseller “Unlimited Power.”
Fear could spur caution and care.
“The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts: therefore, guard accordingly, and take care that you entertain no notions unsuitable to virtue and reasonable nature. “
6. They take care of their Mind and Bodies.
This may seem trivial, but like mentioned above. A healthy mind fosters a healthy body and vice versa. Consciously engaging in habits that nourish the Mind and body indirectly caters to lasting happiness. That means resting enough, avoiding drugs and other risky attitudes and behaviors, etc.
It means consciously deciding to be happy. To think and choose happiness as a way of life, i.e., consciously strive for happier days head-on.
Quoting The marcopera personally: “Your body is like a plant. Where you sow the seed, how fertile or stony the soil is, what manure or fertilizers you put to it, how often you water it, and how much sunshine or shade you provide will ultimately determine the greenness, bloom, and brightness of its shrubs and flowers. Make use of your three fundamental manures diligently: proper food, regular exercise, and rest.”
Taking care of the body involves emotional, and mental just as physical fitness-particularly movement and activity. Happy people tend to stay active. Across several areas of life, movement and exercise are hailed as a recipe for good health and well-being, so too happiness. Being active has several benefits intertwined with each other; first of all, exercising creates happy hormones ( endorphins )
Secondly, it keeps you healthy by boosting the immune system. Broadly speaking, the Mind and body work symbiotically to one another . which means a healthy body supports a healthy mind and vice versa. So, when next you go for a run or outdoor walk, appreciate the residual contribution this plays in your well-being and overall state of Mind. Mind you; there are so many other trivial things one can do to keep the body active. such as stretching, dancing, swimming, biking, trekking, and much more
Taking care of a garden involves adding manure just as well as removing weeds. – The marcopera
7. They have genuine and rewarding relationships.
Countless studies show that lonely people are more likely to be depressed. Mind you; one can be in a crowd and still feel lonely.
We generally feel closer to others when we feel understood, belong, and valued. When we feel safe and not threatened, and in line with meaning and purpose, we can positively impact and add true meaning to other people’s lives.
We know life is made up of ups and downs.
Having genuine relationship serve as a pillar of support in good times and turbulent moments. It is no secret that it is better to have a few trustworthy and good friends than to have a ton of superficial pals.
“True happiness consists not in the multitude of friends, but the worth and choice. “
8. They are grateful and appreciative as a core character trait
This is a profound tenet of happiness. Interestingly it is often underestimated. Regularly practicing gratitude is a habit I only recently adopted in my morning rituals.
Various research and studies on happiness often have one indisputable commonality: gratitude is fundamental to a happier life.
Consciously reminding yourself of reasons to be grateful is like putting yourself on steroids and autopilot for happiness. Why would you not be happy when you regularly remind yourself or reminisce about your blessings. The truth is, there is always something to be grateful for each day. Make this a genuine new habit and observe how your outlook of life shits drastically. We recommend you journal your thoughts and reasons to be thankful.
Check out these practical and useful Happysimus gratitude journals.
Someone once nicely said, “When we flex our spiritual muscle and connect with ourselves, it gives us access to an inner abundance of wisdom and knowledge.”
9. They accept and cherish their being and conditions in life with grace.
This could mean self-acceptance, situation, or unconditional acceptance.
Truly accepting oneself- blemishes and imperfections, just as getting that to err is human, that we have strengths and weaknesses, shortcomings and toughness: that sometimes we shall win just as definitely fail or fall short is a virtue of profound strength and valor.
This does not mean striving for mediocrity or being complacent with defeat; instead, it means putting in your best and still being ecstatic and /or graceful even if the outcome is a silver or bronze medal or less.
We often beat ourselves or are overly self-critical, expecting perfection even though we know that is surreal!
Nowadays, with the ever-growing influence of social media, it is not uncommon for teenagers and adults alike to feel hopeless and dejected for not looking like some size A model as if we were not special in our own unique way. We get paranoid into believing the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.
When we learn to truly accept and love ourselves, embracing every life’s condition with grace while making the best possible amends, we set an ideal stage to be happier and more contented.
Other virtues and values might serve an uplifting role as well e.g
optimism to anticipate the best possible outcome
hope, to expect with confidence and want something to happen
Endurance and Perseverance to keep “keeping on”
“Be calm, cool, and gentle. You are on your life’s Journey alongside several other billion individuals. Yesterday is gone, and like it or not, today is indeed the beginning of the rest of your Journey and thus your life on earth. So whatever your age or condition, respectfully move on and make the REMAINING TIME worthwhile. !!!”
— The Marcopera
10. They laugh and smile often.
Laugher is free and so rewarding that one would be unwise not to tap into its potential. Whoever said becoming an adult meant moving around with a serious-looking, and staunch face got it wrong. A burst of genuine laughter and a sincere smile are in themselves revealing of a pleasant demeanor.
Interestingly this simple gesture is very contagious. Even a fake smile might evoke a resulting smile or laughter…Smile more and laugh more.
Some powerful not-so-well-known benefits Benefits of laughter.
Watch little children play and jump around, and then you would grasp what joy and happiness reside in humor and laughter. There is pure value in reliving your “inner child” Be merry, be silly, don’t take yourself too seriously, and let life flow through you in the fullest form possible.
Eight great not-so-well-known benefits of laughter
11. They hang out with other happy and optimistic people.
It is true that who you spend time with ultimately dictates what you become.
Spending time with people who have a favorable view of life leaves us lively and
upbeat. Imagine often being in the orbit of someone who is often nagging, complaining, and sucking your energy. -You end up drained and exhausted!
Strive to block out what drains you, letting in those individuals and situations that keep you uplifted and upbeat Researchers have found that good vibes tend to spread within social networks and communities, leaving others with a net gain. , Do not miss out on the next happy hour in your local community.
“Even if you cannot change all the people around you, you can change the people you choose to be around. Life is too short to waste time on people who don’t respect, appreciate, and value you. Spend your life with people who make you smile, laugh, and feel loved.”
― Roy T. Bennett
12. They consciously choose to be happy.
It may sound cliché, but truthfully if you change your thought patterns and some essential habits, you may just be on your way towards mirroring that “happy person” you so often admire. The moment we make this choice, we strengthen our capacity to feel happier and pave the way to possibilities where there were seemingly no solutions.
Many great scholars and philosophers have elaborated immensely on how and what we think significantly dictates our feelings, actions, plans, general well-being, and life in general.
As a matter of fact, every thought can set a chain reaction of further thoughts, emotions, and reactions that dictate our every experience. Undoubtedly, the great American author-Napoleon Hill confidently posited in his classic novel- Think and grow rich ( An inspirational Masterpiece worth reading ) that “thoughts become things.”
When we ultimately realize that happiness is a choice, we take control and, in a way, empower ourselves, whether it’s in our relationships, jobs, thought patterns, conscientiousness, or emotions like worry, doubt, fear, or guilt.
So I implore you to choose kindness, choose joy, choose love, choose happiness- humanity’s universal quest and desire!
In that light spread the vibe, spirit, and mantra of happysimus:
“Happy Self, Happy People, Happy World, Happy Life”
Happysimus Happiness Manifesto