“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.”

Mahatma Gandhi

Answer this question with 100 percent honesty: Are you happy?

To understand that, you need to know what happiness truly is. What are the universal things we share that embody the concept of being happy? Sometimes the answer isn’t as obvious as we think.

One thing’s for sure though: happy people do things differently. They think differently. They act differently.

This happiness checklist is a good place to start if you’re seeking happiness, or you just want reassurance that you are, in fact, truly happy.

Do you give and receive love abundantly?

Perhaps the most common bond that happy people share is they love and are loved. Whether it’s your family, your spouse, your friends, or your pets, those who have strong relationships are happier and live longer.

Do you not sweat the small stuff?

Happy people live in the present. They turn challenges into opportunities for growth. They may still get angry or upset sometimes about things that are out of their control … but they express their anger or sad emotions and move on. They don’t dwell on stuff.

Do you spend time doing what you love?

Truly happy people are passionate and they find ways to fulfill those passions. This doesn’t necessarily mean you love your job. But it does mean you find time to do the things that you really enjoy — the things that melt away your stress and put you at ease. So whether it’s writing, environmental activism, golf, or knitting, if you carve out some time in your weekly schedule to do the things you’re passionate about, you’ll be a happier person.

Do you perform random acts of kindness?

Research shows that happy people become even happier when they’re kind. That’s because doing nice things for others releases serotonin, a neurotransmitter that is your brain’s “happy chemical.” Happy people seek to make a difference in the world around them. They know that performing selfless acts of kindness is key to living a happy, fulfilling life.

Are you an optimist?

Happy people see the glass as half full, not half empty. They create their own optimism and have a positive attitude most days. They have days when they’re down or sad, too. But overall, they choose to focus on the good rather than the bad, especially in trying times.

Are you healthy?

Eating healthily and exercising can have a direct impact on your happiness. People who eat poor quality food and are sedentary are more likely to be unhappy and depressed. On the other hand, eating healthy foods can have a direct impact on your mood, and getting in shape increases your confidence and self-esteem levels. So make exercise and healthy eating a part of your daily routine and watch your happiness levels soar.

Are you honest with yourself?

Happy people know who they are. And more importantly, they know who they’re not. They also don’t waste their time trying to be someone they’re not. Happy people hold themselves accountable for their actions. They don’t make excuses; rather, they take action. They’re honest with themselves and with others, even when the truth hurts.

Are you alive?

Want to know “the secret” to being truly happy? Here it is: You won’t find happiness in external things. It comes from within. Your mind is very powerful, and you can use it to create great things in your life — or you can waste it complaining, sulking, and being pissed off all the time. If you’re alive, you can be happy. So choose happiness. It’s really that simple!

Think being happy is something that happens as a result of luck, circumstance, having money, etc.? Think again. 10 Things Happy People Do Differently

Featured photo credit: Happy and beautiful young girl jumping high in a summer field via Shutterstock

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