“Happiness is a butterfly which when pursued, is always beyond our grasp, but if you sit down quietly, may alight upon you.” –Nathaniel Hawthorne, author.
Most people will agree that being happy is a desirable goal, but achieving that goal may be as elusive as trying to catch that butterfly.
According to Psychology Today, Dr. Martin Seligman, often called the “Father of positive psychology,” found that 60% of happiness is determined by genetic factors, leaving the rest in our hands.
Experts say that while seeking pleasure may appear to be the goal of happiness, it is really about finding true meaning and engagement in our lives.
“True happiness comes when we align ourselves with the things that bring us joy, which typically involves experiences with other people or time spent by ourselves in nature,” says Dr. Heidi Hanna, the best-selling author of “The SHARP Solution” and “Stressaholic.”
People often think that when they reach a certain goal they will suddenly become happy. But according to a study from Northwestern University, the happiness levels of big-time winners and those of regular people were about the same. The authors explained that once the winners adjusted to their new level of income, the novelty and temporary euphoria wore off.
The Big Qs: What are the secrets of truly happy people?
The Big As: Here are some traits they share:
- They take care of themselves. Dr. Judy Kuriansky, a noted psychologist and author of “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to A Healthy Relationship,” writes that “research shows that that if you give to yourself, you have more energy and aptitude to give to others.” This includes slowing down to appreciate life’s little pleasures, exercising, eating nutritious food, and getting enough sleep.
- They practice being happy. No one wakes up being happy and supremely happy people are no exception. “Teach yourself to be happy,” says Dr. Kuriansky. “It takes effort to evaluate your emotions and make decisions with happiness in mind.”
- They surround themselves with the right people. Happy people surround themselves with like-minded people. Surrounding yourself with happy people builds confidence, stimulates creativity, and it’s flat-out fun.
- Happy people do not see themselves as victims and have learned what is important to them. They do not allow others to dictate or impose their beliefs upon them.
- Happy people known that the secret to bliss is liking themselves and working on developing a harmonious relationship with oneself.
- Happy people live in the eternal moment, they trust that change is inevitable and appreciate everything that happens to them.
- They stay positive, Why? Because bad things happen to everyone. Happy people do not spend time complaining about what happened to them but try to find a solution and move on. Pessimism fuels unhappiness.
- Faith is the Keystone of happiness. Religious, spiritual, and positive psychology practices have been scientifically proven to create a greater sense of well-being. Dr. Kuriansky adds that whether or not you are religious, a strong belief system is important to build happiness. “Have faith in yourself,” she says.
Eat healthy, Be healthy, Live lively