Some people seem genuinely happier than others. Even in the midst of a world full of doom and gloom, they manage to spread sunshine wherever they go. Scientists say that happiness may be inherent to our DNA, however studies have shown that there are certain habits shared by happy people.
- They set appropriate goals. According to Fast Company, studies suggest that people are happiest ― both at home and in the workplace ― when their goals reflect a broader base of connecting and helping others. Instead of setting competitive or comparative goals, happy individuals focus on cooperative objectives that lift up friends, family or neighbors.
- They accentuate the positive. Like the old Bing Crosby tune says, “You’ve got to accentuate the positive. Eliminate the negative.” During an evening out, happy people will focus on the delicious dinner served and forget about the hassles of finding a parking spot outside the restaurant. By focusing on the desirable parts of a memory, it will be a happy recollection instead of one fraught with frustration, says Fast Company.
- Happy people like themselves. They are satisfied and appreciative of who they are, says Dr. Abigail Brenner, for Psychology Today. Other traits of happy people include confidence, optimism, and resilience.
- They are self-reliant. Happy people find their own answers and solutions, says Brenner, and do not look for others to complete them, dictate to them, or impose their beliefs on them.
- They forgive others. The act of forgiveness releases unwanted memories or details that can make you sad. According to Fast Company, forgiving someone for the emotional or physical harm they have inflicted doesn’t mean you have to deal with them in the future. Forgiving helps you move on past those interactions without harboring negative feelings that bring you down.
- They practice gratitude. Dr. Robert Emmons, a professor of psychology at the University of California, Davis has often been called the “guru of gratitude.” He has conducted numerous studies that show people who practice gratitude consistently have higher levels of positive emotions, are more alert, alive, and awake and enjoy more joy and pleasure in life.
- They take care of themselves. Happy people exercise to relieve stress, anxiety, and depression, says Brenner. “They know how to unplug, distancing themselves from the stresses of life,” she says. “Many happy people have a spiritual practice, whether it’s taking a walk in nature or meditating.”
- They pursue their passion. Brenner, a psychiatrist, says that happy people control their own life and destiny by not allowing a bad situation defeat them. “They don’t sweat the small stuff,” she says. “They accept what happens in life, especially what can’t be changed, and then they move on.”
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