Have you ever wondered what makes genuinely happy people happy? It’s not that their lives are less stressful or that they have more money or friends. No those do not have a bearing on happiness. There are several things, however, that really happy people do and 11 of them are listed below. These habits, ways of being and rituals are keys to what makes happy people happy.
1. They Rest
Happy people cultivate rest. They know when it is time to take a break and slow down. They are great at getting things done, but it is only because they are well-rested. Incorporating rest and relaxation as a mandatory part of the lives of truly happy people. They take the necessary time to rejuvenate.
2. They Think
Happy people use their brains. They know this is one of their biggest assets. Happy people know that thinking is important to making good decisions and having fruitful relationships. They think through what they’re doing and how they’re doing it. Likewise, happy people consciously think about choosing happiness, what that means to them and how to do create true joy in their lives.
Happy people love technology just as much as the rest of us, but they are not addicted to it. They know when it is time to set down their phones, tablets and laptops. They make the effort to engage with the people around them face-to-face and without distraction. Similarly, they also take time to soak up the world around them, not just through technology, but with their actual senses in the present moment.
4. They Move
Happy people know that our bodies were made to move and they move their bodies. The human body needs to move to maintain health. Likewise, it helps people to feel good and happy when we move regularly. From walking to stretching to high intensity interval training to yoga – if you want to feel happier, start moving your body. See also Spark by John J. Ratey for more information about how moving improves mood.
5. They Do Things They Love to Do
An essential component to being happy is taking time to create time to engage in doing the things you enjoy. Happy people know that it is crucial to make the time to do the things they love and then they do it, happily and without guilt. To figure out how to do more of the things you enjoy, read Take the Leap by Heather McCloskey Beck.
6. They Eat Well
Do you ever see truly happy people downing junk food or fast food? No, you don’t. You just don’t. Truly happy people are also health people fueling their bodies with nourishment. Science is now linking mood to food with sugar being a major culprit in depression and anxiety. Happy people take care of their bodies. It’s not to say they don’t indulge occasionally, but for the most part, eating well is important to them and contributes to their happiness.
7. They are Deeply Grateful
This is one of the most common characteristics amongst the happiest of people – they are deeply grateful. Happy people recognize what they have. They also see the silver lining in all situations, no matter how grim. Further, they express their gratitude openly. They are thankful for the things they have, the people in their lives and their experiences.
A great way to get started on cultivating more gratitude is to keep a journal and write down a few things each day that you are grateful for. At first it might seem trivial or even difficult for you, but over time, it becomes part of who you are.
8. They Plan
Happy people love the present moment, but they also plan ahead so that they are prepared in life situations. They are good with their money too. This keeps their stress lower and allows them to enjoy the present moment without the worry that so many people feel on a constant basis. Happy people have a flexible plan in place all the time.
9. They Read Stuff
Happy people are learners and are known to read things that develop them as humans, increase their skills or that simply inspire them. Whether it is fiction or non, happy people are quite often also readers. They like to constantly learn, better themselves and be entertained through reading.
10. They Play
Happy people know that play is a huge part of happiness. Play is defined by Brene Brown as time spent without a purpose. It is just being. Goofing off and fooling around. Tied down to nothing and with no expectations, happy people incorporate regular play into their lives. See The Gifts of Imperfection for more details.
11. They Purposefully Choose Happiness
Not all experiences in life are happy ones. Likewise, people are not just automatically happy. It takes effort and one of the most common traits among really happy people is that they purposefully choose happiness. They make the most out of all experiences and choose to find joy in all points of the journey. If this is new to you, try this – just tell yourself you’re going to choose to be happy. Try it out for even just a day and you will see the difference it can make.