Happiness is the desirable position in life for many people (probably everyone). But, what is happiness to begin with or, how do you get there? What do you need to possess to have happiness? Where can you find happiness or, are you looking for happiness in the right place? These are only few questions that you may ask yourself in your pursuit for happiness.
The fact is that only around 10 percent of people reports that change in their level of happiness as a result of a change in their circumstances. That means that around 90 percent of the people reports no change in their level of happiness as a result of their situation. As such, science concludes that happiness is driven not by external circumstances (amount of money you have, the size of our house, the kind of car you bought, etc.) , but rather happiness is driven by your personality, character, disposition and more importantly thoughts and behaviors that can be changed. So, if you want to be happy, rather than looking outside, you should bring your focus internally toward yourself and continue improve the way you think and act. If you learn how to do it, you can learn how to be happy, or better said how to be happier.
Personal growth in the number one factor that leads people to happiness. Science found out that people that are happy cultivate healthy and positive thoughts and actions and adopt certain attitude and way of thinking.
The following are few of the following scientific findings that make people happy:
Appreciate What they Have
The Talmud has a well known verse that states “Who is rich? He who is contented with his lot.” Appreciation for what you have and expression of gratitude is key for happy life. People don’t need to wait for a disaster or lose to appreciate what they had. For this reason humility, compassion, self restrained and appreciation are empowering guidelines for healthy life. Recognizing our good fortune, allows us to live happily in present moment without being upset about the past or expecting for more in the future.
So, commit yourself to develop and practice gratitude. Each day identify at least one thing that you have that you need to appreciate. This exercise is good before going to sleep as it serves as platform for a good sleep and also a better mood when you wake up in the morning.
Create Healthy Relationships and Invest in them
When you surround yourself with happy and fulfilled people, it positively affects your mood. At the same token, your happiness, affect other people feelings. Invest in friends and family as it helps you celebrate life’s successes and support you in difficult times. Don’t take close or intimate relationships for granted, any relationship, particularly intimate relationships need cultivation and nurturing. Learn how to influence the people around you and let them know that you’re glad they are part of your life, while appreciating all they have done for you.
Adopt Optimistic Perspective
The benefits of an optimistic outlook are many: Optimists are higher achievers and have better overall health. Pessimists, on the other hand, are more likely to give up in the face of adversity or to suffer from depression. Developing the habit of looking at the half glass full and seeing the bright side of events in your life can be very rewarding and beneficial. Don’t let the negatives color your outlook on life. Changing attitude from pessimism to optimism might be challenging to many and might take some time. First, be aware about the nature of your thoughts (positives or negatives), then work on changing the negatives to positives. The following are few questions that can help you transform your thoughts: Is the situation really as bad as you think?; Is there another way to look at the situation?; What can you learn from this experience that you can use in the future?
Create a Purpose
Most of the successful people who are considered to have successful lives would say that one of the main factors that led to their success is simply having a purpose or a mission. Having a purpose is seeing the light in the end of a dark tunnel. It is like turning your engine and move toward your purpose with motivation and confidence. The purpose is the driving force and serves as an igniter in the success mechanism. Purpose provides the fuel and the energy to move in a positive purpose and create more fulfilling life.
The purpose is not to be attached to achieving your goal, but rather for serving you as compass; as a pointer toward the desired position. As such, the journey and the process in which you take toward your purpose is the most important thing, while you enjoy the ride despite the challenges. If you reach your goals in the end, consider it as a bonus. But ultimately you need to live and enjoy each and every present moment in the journey that you ultimately responsible to create.
Live in the Moment
Ram Dass, summarizing essential Hindu teaching, advise “Be here now.” What you want and fear is in the future. What you regret is in the past. What you have is right here, right now. So, live in the moment. “Let go of the past and don’t worry about the future” attitude can serve you well. It is not easy to do, yet very possible. Meditating and being present while enjoying the moment can improve that philosophy. Don’t postpone joy or wait for a day when your life is less busy or less stressful. That day may never come. Focus on the positives in the present moment and increase the number of you happy moments.
Remember, happiness is not something that happens to you. It is something you cultivate and commit as a way of life.
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