It seems that all cultures and civilizations around the world and throughout the ages have collectively placed an enormous amount of significance on their individual search for happiness. It is apparent that happiness, even on the individual level, claims to be humanity’s innermost desire.
For those in search of happiness, it can appear that happier people must have some secret knowledge or ability which allows them to overcome the inevitable suffering we all endure. Well, that’s true actually! So, what secrets do happier people live by? Read 6 secrets that happy people never told you.
When we take care of ourselves and recognize and address our individual needs, we are reinforcing and confirming to ourselves that we are important and deserving of love and care. This contributes to happiness.
It is not surprising that the most depressed individuals often neglect their own basic needs. What is surprising, however, is that we typically fail to recognize the message we are sending ourselves when we do this.
By not caring for yourself, you dismiss yourself as the important person that you are. This further misery and sadness within. Happier people secretly realize that they are deserving of self-love and they remind themselves of this by recognizing and tending to their basic needs and wants.
2. Help Others
Helping someone else enriches your sense of empowerment, belonging and purpose. By making a difference in someone else’s life, you are reminding yourself how important, needed and loved you are and likewise doing the same for them.
Helping others doesn’t have to take up lots of time or be in the form of formal volunteering. Rather, it can be simple things, like the mere act of truly listening or just checking in o see how someone is doing.
When you take the time to help others, you remind yourself that you can positively improve someone else’s life. These acts can also help us feel more grateful and appreciative for the luxuries we are able to enjoy.
Research has shown that caring for another’s wellbeing can extend past emotional benefits and can even positively impact our health. Though happiness measures vary between cultures, it is a worldwide truth that happier people are more giving, kind and even live longer.
3. Differentiate Between Pleasure and Happiness
This may be the most highly treasured secret that happier people understand. Pleasure is a temporary rush of euphoria we feel in reaction to external conditions or events, whereas happiness is an internal state of being.
Too many people confuse the two and continuously seek out pleasure thinking it will result in or is comparable to happiness. Many things that bring fleeting pleasure result in a lower overall state of happiness. Happier people more accurately distinguish between the two and prioritize their happiness.
4. They Focus on How They Respond
All people will inevitably face a certain level of failure and distress in life. Our personal control over such external goals is limited, and some goals are unachievable no matter how hard we try.
Happy people secretly know that focusing on the goal itself is setting one’s self up for heartache. Even when we are able to meet external goals, the purpose and happiness associated with that achievement are often temporary.
We may not have control over the tides of life, but we all have full control, however, over how we respond to life. Happier individuals recognize this and spend more time focusing on how they respond to the ebbs and flows of life.
5. Focus on the Bigger Picture
On the same note, rather than focusing on fleeting life circumstances, happier people tend to view life as a whole and see most suffering as temporary. It can be very easy for an unhappy person to fall into the mindset of life as unescapable suffering and dismiss any happiness or pleasure they experience.
Happier people do just the opposite and embrace their suffering by acknowledging it as part of their growth. They focus on the bigger picture or the lesson to be learned during negative experiences instead of letting the experiences define them.
They follow the rule that everything in life, no matter how dim, is here to help you.
Happier people secretly rely on their own sense of intrinsic personal value regardless of how the outside world sees them. In other words, they make it a point to love themselves. This self-love makes them much more resilient to inevitable clashes with co-workers, family and friends.
People that need the approval and love of others to feel better about themselves often lack a true strong sense of self. Without relying on your own sense of self-worth, you can quickly become dependent on external validation in order to feel happy.
Learning to become self-reliant is difficult for most, and no one person can be completely self-reliant. The difference is that happier people will rely on themselves when external validation is not present and unhappier people do not have anything to fall back on in these times.