What is happiness, anyways? How can one find out how to live a happy life? We all have deeply personal (and different) definitions of happiness. But here’s how scientist see it — Happiness is a combination of: How satisfied you are with your life and how good you feel on a day-to-day basis.
Here are some scientific ways to be happy.
- Meditate to rewrite your brain
- Practice smiling more
- Get enough sleep
- Practice gratitude and be happy with what you have and not what others have
- Help others as much as you can
- Exercise daily at least 7 minutes
- Go outside and enjoy a nice walk or run
- Move closer to work to avoid traffic
- Use the public transportation and read/listen /meditate while you travel
- Spend more time with friends and family
Happiness varies from person to person:
- 40% of your happiness is controlled by your thoughts, actions and behaviors.
- 10% is determined by your circumstances
- 50% is genetically determined
Contrary to popular belief, we get use to our circumstances, so they don’t play as large of a role in our happiness level as we might think. Happiness is a skill that you can build with consistent practice.
Here is what happiness is not: Feeling honky-dory all the time, having all the money you ever want, refusing to see all the negative stuff in the world and a having a final destination.
Happy people are healthier due to the following reasons:
- they have lower rates of cardiovascular disease
- they have better immunity
- they heal faster after injuries
- they are more likely to have a healthier diet
- they live longer
It’s healthier to have steady levels of moderate happiness over a period of time thank spikes of extreme happiness.
Why your happiness isn’t just about you! Happy people are more productive at work, typically have deep relationships with others, help others and volunteer more, are more likely to donate to charity and are more creative at solving problems.
Anyone can increase their happiness in the long run by nurturing relationships, having new experiences, helping others and being grateful for what you have.
Savoring experiences makes us happier, more grateful and more hopeful while reducing levels of stress, guilt and depression. The strengthen the parts of the brain connected with happiness
10 Truths You Need to know for Inner-Peace & Happiness
- It’s impossible for anyone else to define you, you’re the only one who gets to say who you are.
- You were born with everything you need, you’re not missing anything.
- Perfection is a man-made illusion, we’re all beautifully imperfect.
- You are not your thoughts, you are the calm awareness behind the noise in your mind.
- Your beliefs can be modified to lift you up, you are fully in control of your happiness.
- The past and future don’t exist anywhere except in your mind. Now is the only real moment.
- Your calling in life is to fully express who you already are and shine your light.
- Challenges are gifts for your growth and can unlock your full potential.
- Forgiveness is a gift you give yourself, to be free.
- Surrender is the gateway into sustainable inner peace. Let go.
Start a “Happiness Jar”. Write down something that made you happy everyday for a year, then open the jar and read about all the amazing things that happened.
15 Things To Give Up If You Want To Live A Happy Life
- Give up your need to always be right. Wayner Dyer — “Would I rather be right, or would i rather be kind?”
- Give up your need for control. Lao Tzu — “By letting it go, it all gets done. The world is won by those who let it go. When you try & try, the world is beyond winning.”
- Give up on blaming others. John Burroughs — “A man can fail many times, but he isn’t a failure until he begins to blame somebody else.”
- Give up yourself-defeating self-talk. Eckhart Tolle — “The mind is a superb instrument if used rightly. Used wrongly, however, it becomes very destructive.
- Give up your limiting beliefs. Elly Roselle — “A belief is not an idea held by the mind; it is an idea that holds the mind.”
- Give up complaining. Ziggy — “You can complain because roses have thorns, or you can rejoice because thorns have roses.”
- Give up the luxury of criticism. D. Larsen — “Spend so much time improving yourself that you have no time left to criticize others.”
- Give up your need to impress others. James R. Fisher, Jr. — “Don’t try to impress others. Let them have the fun of impressing you.”
- Give up your resistance to change. Joseph Campbell — “Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors for you where there were only walls.”
- Give up labels. Wayne Dyer — “The highest form of ignorance is when you reject something you don’t know anything about.”
- Give up on your fears. Franklin Delano Roosevelt — “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”
- Give up your excuses. George Washington Carver — “99% of failures come from people who have the habit of making excuses.”
- Give up the past. Christian D. Larsen — “Forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future.”
- Give up attachment. Bill Vaughan — “The wise individual doesn’t get too attached to any of life’s pleasures, knowing that wonderful science is hard at work proving it’s bad for him.”
- Give up living your life to other people’s expectations. Denis Waitley — “The world is a mirror and reflects back your expectations. What you get is what you see. You create your own reality.”
28 Steps To Improve Your Happiness
- Stay In Contact With Friends – it’s easy to lose contact with your friends and even family. Make an effort to stay in touch, or reconnect with old friends, and you will feel better for it.
- Try New Things – Do things that scare you, or open your mind to new things. Opening up to new experiences can be an extremely positive influence.
- Surround Yourself With Positive People – You are a reflection of the company that you keep – to be happy, surround yourself with a close group of positive people.
- Have fun – All work and no play? Sometimes it is okay to blow off responsibility and do things you love with the people you love!
- Be Generous – Giving selflessly, making everybody involved happier. Generosity costs nothing but can have a huge influence.
- Take Social Media With A Pinch of Salt – Social media gives a distorted reality of life – don’t take everything you see on social media channels as gospel, everybody is human behind the filters.
- Don’t Beat Yourself Up – When things don’t go to plan, don’t focus on the negative. Learn from you mistakes and move on.
- Celebrate Success – A win is a win. When things go well, congratulate yourself and your team and celebrate with those around you.
- Don’t Take Yourself Too Seriously – Everybody is human, having some humility will help to stop you fretting over the little things and endear yourself to others.
- Prioritize Tasks – It is easy to stay busy with urgent tasks that are not important. Prioritize and make sure you get the important things done.
- Get More Sleep – Sleep is associated with the repair of your body, as well as refreshing your mind for the new day – cut back on late nights and feel the benefits.
- Exercise – Not only does exercise get you fit, but it release endorphins that can improve your mood. Join a club to make friends and keep things fun.
- Set Goals – Goals are important to stay on track – Something to work towards will keep you going in those difficult times and can be celebrated when achieved.
- Be Consistent – Motivation can come and go, but consistency and habit will render results. Get into positive habits and you can change your life.
- Smile – Smiling has been shown to reduce stress as well as showing you to be friendly and open person – so get smiling.
- Practice Mindfulness – The ancient Buddhist practice based on paying attention to the present in a non-judgemental way is still as relevant today as ever before.
- Read More – Reading can improve your vocabulary and open you mind. Whether you enjoy fiction or non-fiction, reading should not become a lost art.
- Unwind – Don’t feel guilty about crashing out in front of the TV or mindlessly browsing the internet sometimes – everybody needs to unwind sometimes.
- Take Control – Believe in your ability and make things happen for yourself. Don’t be passive and let life happen to you, take control.
- Get Inspired – Find people that inspire you in all walks of life. Learn from them and let them inspire you to grow and be happy.
- Make your House Your Home – Fill your house with pictures of those close to you, flowers and sentimental objects. Positivity around your house will rub off on you and make it a home.
- Prepare Your Meals – Planning meals and preparing lunch for the next day can save money and promote healthy eating. Less greasy pizza and more amazing meals – feeling great.
- Let The Daylight In – If you are in your house a lot through the day it is important to let in light. Sunlight boosts the mood, kick-starts vitamin D synthesis and illuminates the room.
- Unplug – Technology is great, but don’t let it get in the way of spending time with your loved ones. Nothing beats personal interaction – so put your phone down.
- Plan Ahead – With any big project that you undertake, plan as much as you can. Those who fail to prepare, prepare to fail.
- Don’t Be Afraid to Start – The first step is often the hardest, but once taken it is rarely regretted. Start a journey and don’t look back.
- Invest In Yourself – Start working on your dream, invest time and effort into making things happen, if you don’t, who will?
- Be Grateful – Showing gratitude is a choice which makes us focus on the positive things in life. Happiness and gratitude go hand in hand.
The Search For Meaning To Live A Happy Life
To feel connected to a deeper purpose or mission in life is key for our well-being. People who report having more meaning in their lives are more likely to have stable moods and show social behavior. People of all ages report being happier when they have more meaning in their lives.
Here are some different ways people find meaning to live a happy life.
- Through a fulfilling career – People who find meaning at work, show more motivation and engagement on the job.
- Through spirituality/religion – Studies show that Americans who are spiritual or religious tend to be happier. Besides meaning, it also gives people a built-in social network.
- By raising kids – 85% of parents think that their children bring them the most happiness and fulfillment of any relationship.
- By pursuing goals that align with their core values – Goals that include commitment to something outside ourselves (such as our friends, family or community) promote life satisfaction.
- Find your how – Many people are happiest in a “flow state”, engaging in an activity that’s enjoyable, requires a degree of skill, and is just enough of a challenge that you can feel “in the zone,” losing all sense of time.
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