February 2019 Knowledge Newsletter
Many people struggling with the day to day realities of life don’t feel happy. We all desire to feel happy and some people even believe we are supposed to be happy all the time. But what is happiness and how can we achieve it? On a scale of 1 to 10 with10 being the happiest, what score would you rate your happiness?
How to be Happy
Do you believe happiness is achieving some long awaited goal such as publishing your book, finding the love of your life, taking the trip of a life time, or buying your dream car or home? Research shows that the excitement you feel when such events occur, only make you happy for a short while. Happiness derived from such sources makes you dependent on external events or people, over which may not have any control.
Real happiness is how satisfied you are with your life and how good you feel on a day-to-day basis no matter how your life changes or your mood shifts. This is because happiness is an inside job. While certain outer events can certainly make us happy, ultimately we are the only ones who determine our level of happiness.
New research has shown that our genes influence our happiness. A Dutch study found that how happy a person feels about his or her life can be influenced by the changes in their DNA. This new field of epigenetics isn’t about the DNA you’re born. Researchers have discovered that our DNA is not fixed but is influenced by our emotions and how we chose to relate to environmental experiences, relationships, health, careers and life changes.
The lifestyle choices you make can actually change your DNA, and that can lead to long-term changes in your health and your happiness. The good news is that with consistent effort, you can develop life-long habits for a happy life. Here are some positive habits of happy people. It has been found that people who have mastered these “happiness” habits are able to maintain their happiness every day and with consistent practice, so can you. So what are these “happiness” habits?
Happy people spend time helping others as this makes them feel good about themselves as they experience a “helper’s high” according to scientists. Helping others also has other benefits for the giver. It improves their health and reduces depression while increasing their life satisfaction tremendously.
Generosity also makes people happy. Happy people will share their money with others. It doesn’t matter how much money they spend on others; it is the very act of generosity which makes them happier and subsequently more content with their lives. When people share their wealth, it creates a social connection with others, which is good for their happiness levels. Happy people have a tendency to genuinely commit to spending their time and money with their friends and family.
Happy people spend their money on experiences, not just material things. While a new sofa will give you happiness for a month or so, a holiday trip with your family will create lasting memories. Happy experiences usually involve others because we are inherently social and these experiences are much more valuable and long lasting than material possessions. Experiences are unique, they reflect our personality, and they can even get better over time as we relive them again and again.
Happy people can be busy, but they don’t spend their day rushing around which can leave them feeling stressed and unhappy. Happy people find a healthy work-life-family balance, and they focus their energy on things that are truly important. They don’t stress over things they can’t control. It comes down to learning how to let go and not be consumed by things you can’t change.
Happy people also find the time to slow down and appreciate the little things in life. They know the importance of relishing every moment, and they live with gratitude for these simple pleasures—like savoring ice cream, breathing in fresh air when they step outside, playing with their pet, and enjoying a conversation they just had.
Happy people make good sleep a priority. They know what it feels like to be sleep deprived and how it can impact them at a much deeper level. There is enough research out there to tell you that the quality and quantity of your sleep is paramount. Sleep deprivation can adversely affect your health, impair your attention, and reduce your productivity. Lack of sleep also increases stress which then leads to other problems. That is why happy people have good sleeping habits so that they wake up feeling energized, refreshed, and ready to face the day with a spring in their step and a positive attitude. If you have trouble getting enough sleep, start by developing a good sleep routine.
Happy people know that exercise releases endorphins and these “happiness hormones” make them feel better. They schedule regular exercise and keep active. Most people are aware of the many benefits exercise has for their health, and they also know that a good dose of physical activity reduces depression, anxiety, and stress—thus improving their well-being.
Happy people also savor their time in nature. They get out and connect with nature. In fact, a study has shown that being outside in nature for just 20 minutes in a day is enough to boost your happiness level and resilience to stress.
It’s no secret that a happy relationship and a vibrant social life are components for being happy. Happy people know this, and they take the time to nurture their relationships—whether with their partners, friends, or family members.
Happy people celebrate others’ successes, and they treat everyone with kindness. They know that being kind to others makes them happy and that kindness is contagious. That warm fuzzy feeling that you get when someone does something for you makes you want to do something for someone else, and happy people thrive on that feeling.
Happy people develop meaningful relationships by respecting others, which is an essential aspect of a good relationship. They do this by actively listening to others and engaging in deep meaningful conversations. That’s how they strengthen emotional connections with others while enhancing their well-being and the well-being of others. Most relationships, especially marriages, decline over time, and happy people work at maintaining these relationships. They know that every time they check in on a loved one, they are strengthening their relationship further and boosting their happiness.
Happy people have goals and a growth mindset. They are always pursuing something meaningful and learning something new that are intrinsic and personally significant to them. Happy people enjoy the process of achieving their goals because they resonate with their deeply held values and contribute to their personal growth, their health, and their relationships with others. Planning and pursuing meaningful goals makes them happy and helps them wake up looking forward to the day.
People who are happy also have a growth mindset. They believe they can improve through learning and effort. They also adapt better to new challenges than those with a fixed mindset They know they can overcome difficult situations and this makes them happy. In fact, happy people treat challenges as opportunities for learning and growth.
This is because happy people are also positive people. When things go wrong, they don’t complain or look for someone to blame, but instead, they are grateful and go about looking for a solution. Happy people find a way to deal with stressful situations and move on.
Happy thoughts lead to a happy mind. The song by Bobby McFerrin “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” sums it up. Feeling happy depends on you. According to Kevin Horsley, author of The Happy Mind, there is no one key to happiness for everyone, you have to find what works best for you. Start practicing these habits to bring more happiness into your life and in time you will notice how amazing you feel.
If you have difficulty to feel happy and don’t know the cause, please feel free to contact me. I am available for personal, telephone or readings over Skype, relationship coaching at any time by clicking on www.sharoncheney.com or calling me at 505 474-6363 or 514 312-2451.
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May your life be filled with peace, love and abundance and showered with blessing throughout the year.