I want to share with you the secret to happiness and the 7 habits of people who are authentically happy! Surprisingly it is not based on positive thinking but on research carried out by Harvard over 75 years – for the full details click here.
Personally I love evidence based research as it lets you know what really works!
Happy people are literally a magnet for more good experiences and likely to attract a similarly happy person. If you want to find that perfect person for you (as there is no such thing a perfect person) look at making yourself happy first, this will make all the difference because I can tell you that happy people are genuinely hot!
Here are the 7 habits of people who authentically happy:
- Close Relationships
The study found that close relationships, more than money or fame, are what keep people happy throughout their lives. People make us happier than things and the people who have close relationships are happier and proven to have a better quality of life than those who don’t. Your most important happiness choice is to invest in your closest relationships, now I am not just talking about a romantic relationship here, it can be a family members, friends as well as a relationship. Genuine relationships matter to your happiness and the research has found that people who have 5 or more friends who they can talk to about their problems are 60% more likely to rate themselves as happy.
- Happiness is not outside of yourself
Feeling good about yourself should not be dependent on external factors. External factors can easily change and destroy your happiness. If you base your opinion of yourself on that promotion, on your job, your success in sport, your relationships, etc it may make you happy in the short term but has been proven to be fleeting and not cause long term happiness. The key is to have a healthy opinion of yourself and be able to love yourself regardless.
- Being good at Something
Research found that how you feel about what you do is important to your happiness. It found that if you do more of what you are good at and less of what you aren’t you will be happier. Simple!
Surprisingly enough the research showed that the happiest people are those who exercised and took care of themselves. Exercise releases endorphins that make you feel good, it improves your health and ultimately how you feel about yourself and it also improves your body image. So choose an exercise you enjoy and do it regularly – it doesn’t matter what exercise you do as long as you do it.
- Experiences over things
Research found that experiences make people happier than spending money on things. Experiences generally involve other people so they are social and create memories. Remembering happy experiences increases happiness. So chose the holiday over the new couch!
- They don’t ignore negative emotions
Happiness comes from being able to be in touch with your emotions – the good and the bad. Resisting or not feeling emotions causes unhappiness. It is normal to have happiness and sadness/light and darkness. You can’t have one without the other. If you bury your emotions they come out down the track and it usually causes damage and has the potential to get ugly. Emotions are there to tell you something, so take the time to listen to them. For more on how to deal with your emotions read Emotional Intelligence and the Ability to Recognise your Feelings.
- They are busy but not rushed
The research found that if you are forever feeling rushed you will be unhappy and if you have nothing to do you will also be unhappy. The happiest people are those who have a meaningful productive life and life it a nice pace. Basically you should be getting outside of your comfort zone but not to the point of where you feel overwhelmed! This also comes back to doing more of what you love.