Can’t get enough of Pharrell William’s hit number ‘Happy’? Nor can many others. What is happiness? Happiness is a state of mind. Happiness is what a person defines for himself. Happiness is when you achieve that very thing which keeps you up at night. Happiness for some is being in a relationship, for some it would be making a bit more money, to others it would be losing some weight successfully.
Martin Seligman, the person to theorize positive psychology, says that while 60 percent of happiness is determined by our genetics and environment, the remaining 40 percent is up to us. You can view his TED talk below, where he talks about the psychology of happiness in you lives and the three stages – Pleasant life, life of engagement, and the meaningful life.
While there is no limitation for expectations, that is the cause of distress and unhappiness among most of the people in the world. As Buddha was quoted – “The We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves.”
Most of the people are with the wrong impression that Happiness arises only when one has lots of money, a seven-figure job, own all the latest gadgets and so on. But the simple truth is that there are actually a number of factors and habits that make a person happy. The way of perceiving things and events around one determines happiness.
The state of ignorance of a person, according to me, is very high if one considers that they can’t learn something from observing others. Observing the habits of highly happy people is a great way to learn a thing or two about the feeling that evades many for most of their lives.
10 Habits of the highly happy & Positive people
Below, are the best actionable and effective habits of the highly happy people.
They have mastered the art of ‘Busy-ness’
Doing things at a perfect pace matters more than rushing through things. Busy-ness is all about hitting that perfect pace of doing things that wouldn’t make you feel overwhelmed with the things at hand.
Rushing through things is a surefire way to being miserable, while at the same time, doing nothing like in Office Space is also a misuse of your capabilities. Expanding one’s own comfort zone at one’s own pace is the secret to happiness.
Busy-ness is when you keep on saying ‘Yes’ to everything that comes your way and it will only leave you drained out. At the same time saying ‘No’ to everything is also not a viable option. So, expanding your comfort zone at your own zone is a must for feeling happiness.
They Embrace their limitations
“Struggle is the evidence of progress”.
Composer Leonard Bernstein once said that in order to achieve great things, two things are needed: a plan and not quite enough time. There’s never enough to get around. Not enough time, not enough money? This should be seen as an opportunity to nurture your creativity instead of dragging yourselves down with disappointment.
Happy people identify their limitations and embrace them with grace. Coming up with creative solutions to complex problems occur during these times of limitations; so make the most of them instead of cursing it.
They don’t let external events determine happiness
Happy people don’t tie up their self-esteem to external events. As C.S.Lewis said, Humility is not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less.”, happy people do not let their self-esteem to hurt with the events occurring around them.
Linking self-esteem to external outcomes could be a definite way to unhappiness. Research shows that people who tie self-esteem to external events are more likely to get disappointed when things don’t go according to plan.
Correct levels of self-esteem will ooze confidence in a person, but excess of it will be a hindrance to one’s happiness.
They value experience over materialistic possession
What do you happen to remember better – An electronic device that you own five years back or the thing that you experienced anytime before? Happy people are the ones who value spending money on experiences higher over materialistic possessions.
According to research, happiness of a person was found out to be higher among those who spend their fortune on experiences that are once-in-a-lifetime, than people who spent that fortune on gathering possessions that are obsolete over time.
Experiences can be relished for years and they are unique. No person will feel your same experience when you went for bungee jumping or that trip to Italy!
They value close relationships
Having good relationship with people and fewer close relationships are the mark of a happy person. These close relationships are really worth their weight in gold for you, given that they are the ones responsible for your higher quality of life.
You can read the book Finding Flow, which is quoted:
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’.
Happy people have 5 or less close relationships who matter the most to them and the ones who really care about them.
They give away their time and money
“We making a living by what we get, but we make a Life by what we give.”
- Winston Churchill
You won’t find a soul on the planet who experienced sadness by giving away their time and money for a greater than life cause. Will Smith puts it in his book, “If you’re not making someone else’s life better, then you’re wasting your time. Your life will become better by making other lives better.”
Volunteerism and charity has been scientifically found to have a positive effect on the native by releasing dopamine, stimulating the reward center of the brain. People on the side of giving experienced little depression and unhappiness compared to their self-obsessed compatriots.
They appreciate simple pleasures of life
The reason why kids are the most happiest people on the planet? Because they find the good in everything, no matter how minuscule they might be. I remember to-date how my mother tells me the way I sat and giggled at the very sight of the rattling of leaves on a tree with guzzles of wind!
Life is about finding happiness in the smaller pleasures that it has to offer. Here’s an article at ZenHabits about the best small pleasures you can experience in life. If you happen to find satisfaction in these little pleasures of life, you are living it on the positive note!
Eating well, meditating and exercising are the secret to a happy persons life. Keeping your body and soul in great shape should be of a higher priority over other tasks. Meditations is found to to keep one’s mind focused, calming nerves and finding your inner peace.
Exercising also has a positive impact on one’s mind that relieves stress and all types of depression. Exercising is more about reducing stress levels and feeling happier rather than losing weight or building muscles.
They play to their strengths
According to Martin Seligman, happiest people are those who have discovered their strengths and make the most of them. Happy people make the most of the strengths and virtues to serve a bigger purpose, greater than their own personal goals.
This virtuous use of strengths and virtues is known as ‘Signature strengths‘. Research has found that people who make the most of these signature strengths were much happier and successful than their compatriots.
It states that one is more likely to value the things in life like job, hobby or a relationship that aligns to your own personal strengths and allow you to utilize them. It also indicates that the best way to boost your personal happiness is to play to these strengths in newer and inexperienced situations.
They have a Positive outlook
Coming back to the saying – ‘Happiness is a state of mind‘, your outlook on life and the things it has to offer are the determining factors of one’s happiness. Having a positive outlook on life is the only way you could feel happy about your life.
Encountering negative outcomes in life is pretty common, and one should look at it with optimism instead of cursing your life. Find your silver lining in life, and replace your negative thoughts with positive ones. Eliminate your negative outlook while learning new tasks and challenges and instead focus on mastering it with resilience and hard work. Bonus video:
Positive outlook is focusing in things you can control rather than worrying about things out of your own control. Avoiding the notion of ‘What If’, is a first step towards a positive outlook toward life.
Do you believe in a habit or a virtue of happy people that didn’t find its place in here? Shout out your experiences and thoughts on happiness.