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Attitudes Of Truly Happy People That You Can Learn

Attitudes Of Truly Happy People That You Can Learn

Without realizing it, you may be inviting a serious threat to your happiness into your psyche every day.

Unchecked, it could take hold of your upbeat mood and plunge it into darkness.

I’m talking about social media.

A double-edged sword if ever there was one, social media gives us connection with one hand and takes away contentment with the other. We hold up our lives in comparison to these sanitized images and needlessly find our own lives wanting.

To keep a cheerful perspective, it’s important to remember that nothing on social media is ever the whole story, that the messy and chaotic part of life is usually hidden from public view.

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For instance, that joyful photo of your friend with her new baby won’t reveal that she’s suffering from postpartum depression, and the photos of your coworker’s active social life won’t reveal his painfully low self-esteem.

Comparing your life to others’ lives is always risky. But to compare it to the “photoshopped” version of others’ lives is downright dangerous and could sink you into a funk for no good reason at all.

It’s time to do a reality check. Below are 16 signs that genuinely happy people can’t help but show. You might very well be happier than you think you are.

1.  Happy people celebrate others’ success

The concept of degrading others in order to elevate themselves is not in their repertoire. In fact, watching the people they care about succeed lightens their mood. Happy people like seeing other people happy.

2.  They use a variety of coping strategies when they’re stressed out

Whether it’s calling a friend, writing in a journal, going for a walk, hitting the gym or simply meditating, they have more than one tool in their stress-relief toolbox.

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3.  They are content with what they have right now

The Buddha teaches that wanting is the source of all suffering. Happy people are able to accept their lives as they are in this moment. They might wish for something, they might be striving to obtain something, but if that something never materialized, they know they’d be fine without it.

4.  They problem solve instead of worry

Worry is a gerbil wheel—it requires lots of energy but gets us nowhere fast. Positive, happy people feel empowered to effect change; they may still feel the fear, but it galvanizes them to action.

5.  They forgive easily, especially themselves

They don’t spend time berating themselves or others for normal screw-ups. Happy people are able to feel compassion; they can see the big picture and understand human frailties.

6.  Happy people sleep well

That gerbil wheel of worry is quiet, and their bodies are centered; they are able to fall asleep naturally. Good sleep is not only a sign of happiness—it’s also critically important to becoming happy. Sleep is so crucial to health and happiness, it should be everyone’s #1 priority (with a special dispensation for new parents, who should be napping every chance they get!) Only when we’re deep asleep does the “sanitation crew” come out and do all the daily maintenance and clean up, invigorating us for the next day.

7.  They laugh easily

Laughter flows effortlessly out of them when they see a child giggling uncontrollably or when someone makes an especially ironic observation. They are able to experience spontaneous moments of joy.

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8.  They hang out with other happy people

They have a circle of predominantly happy friends. Gone are the whiners, the critics, and the cynics. In their place are optimists and enthusiasts—people who love life and nourish their optimism.

9.  They truly and deeply love someone

It doesn’t matter who—it can be a child, a grandchild, a lover, a parent, a best friend from high school—but whoever it is, they genuinely love and accept that person. Happy people gladly take the risk of being vulnerable that comes from loving someone with their whole heart.

10.  They’re looking forward to something specific

We’re not just talking a cruise or tickets to a Broadway play. Happy people look forward to all kinds of smaller events, too, like the sound and smell of brewing a fresh pot of coffee every morning, a dinner date with an old friend, or just having a whole day to binge watch a favorite show. Having a positive sense of future is the hallmark of a happy person.

11.  Happy people are able to smile, even when they’re alone

No social mores at play here, no one to win over. Just a private moment of pleasure. Happy people can feel joy even when there is no one else around.

12.  They have a sense of satisfaction from something in their lives

Maybe it’s something they wrote, created, painted, or constructed. Maybe it’s the success they’re having within their business, family, or studies. Or maybe they tackled and survived a major health issue. Whatever it is, it brings them a lasting sense of satisfaction—a sense that they have done something they’re proud of. Happy people take stock in their accomplishments without guilt or shame.

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13.  They frequently experience gratitude

This is not just being able to see the gifts they’ve been given in life—housing, clean water, a working brain, life itself, and so on. It’s also seeing the infinite ways in which things could have gone horribly wrong in their world, but didn’t, and being grateful for having been spared. Because of this, they have a rare sense of perspective that keeps them grounded.

14.  They rarely get angry at small stuff

They pick their battles. They get angry over injustice or violence or narcissism, but not at a waiter who has forgotten their water.

15.  Happy people are rarely bored

Happy people have both energy and curiosity. They have little trouble finding ways of engaging their brain, body, and spirit in the world around them.

16.  They take care of their bodies

People who have a positive outlook on life take care of the vessel that carries their soul. Even if they’re not the picture of health, they haven’t given up and deserted their bodies. They might be in pain or have a chronic illness, but they still care about their health and do things that support their own version of wellness.

So, the next time you want to catch up with friends and family via social media, take a moment to ground yourself before logging in. Think through all of the signs that prove you really are happier than you think. It’ll help you keep the social media blitzkrieg in perspective.

Featured photo credit: Profile of a Couple of Man and Woman Breathing Deep at Sunset via 123rf.com

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Last Updated on October 16, 2018

The Ultimate Guide to Help You Sleep Through the Night Tonight

The Ultimate Guide to Help You Sleep Through the Night Tonight

It’s well past midnight and you’ve got to get up in less than six hours. You toss and turn all night. Before you know it, another hour passes by and you start panicking.

If I don’t get to sleep in the next 30 minutes, I’m going to be exhausted tomorrow!”

One thing is for sure, you’re not alone. Over 70M+ Americans have stated that they don’t get the proper sleep they need at night.[1] So what could possibly be causing this insomnia epidemic?

Throughout my entrepreneurial journey of building my language learning company, I have experimented and researched dozens of best sleep practices. Some have flopped but a few have dramatically improved the quality of my life and work.

In this article, I’ll look into the reason why you’re sleep deprived and how to sleep through the night tonight.

Why you can’t sleep through the night

The first step to improving anything is getting to the bottom of the root problem. Different studies have shown the reasons why most people cannot sleep well at night.[2] Here are the main ones that the average person faces:

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Stress

If you’ve ever stayed up at night worrying about something, know that it’s a major sleep inhibitor. When you’re feeling stress, your mind and body becomes more activated, making it incredibly difficult to fall asleep. Even when you do manage to sleep, it won’t be deep enough to help you feel rested the next day.

Exposure to blue light before sleep time

We’re exposed to harmful blue light on a daily basis through the use of our digital screens. If you’ve never heard of blue light, it’s part of the visible light spectrum that suppresses melatonin, our sleep hormones. Other harmful effects include digital eye strains and macular cellular damage.

While daytime exposure to blue light is not very harmful, night time exposure tricks our brain into thinking it’s daytime. By keeping your brain alert and suppressing melatonin, your mind is unable to shut down and relax before bedtime.

Eating close to bedtime

Eating too late can actually be an issue for many people, especially those who are older than 40. The reason is, eating before laying down increases the chances of Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), in which stomach acid backflows into the esophagus.

Another reason not to eat too late is sleep quality. Even if you manage to sleep right after eating, it’s likely that you’ll wake up tired. Instead of letting your body rest during sleep, it has to digest the food that was entered before bedtime.

Rule of thumb: eat 3-4 hours before bedtime.

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Medical conditions

In some cases, it could be medical conditions that cause your sleep problems. If you can’t relate yourself to the above reasons or any of these common sleep problem causes, you should visit the doctor.

The vicious sleep cycle

The biggest danger to repeating the bad habits mentioned above is the negative cycle that it can take you through. A bad night’s sleep can affect not only your energy but your willpower and decision making skills.

Here’s an example of a bad sleep pattern:

You get a bad night’s sleep
–> You feel tired and stressful throughout the day.
–> You compensate it with unhealthy habits (for example junk food, skipping exercises, watching Netflix etc.)
–> You can’t sleep well (again) the next night.

    You can imagine what could happen if this cycle repeats over a longer period of time.

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    How to sleep better (throughout the night)

    To help you break the vicious cycle and stop waking up in the middle of the night, I’ll explain to you a list of actionable steps to solve your trouble staying asleep.

    1. Take control over the last 90 minutes of your night

    What you do (or don’t do) before bedtime have significant impact on the quality of your sleep. Many times, it can be the difference between staying up until 4am and sleeping like a baby.

    Here are a few suggestions:

    • Go from light to dark – Darkness stimulates production of the sleep hormone melatonin. Turn off unused light around the house, and think about investing into warm light that you can use in the bedroom before bedtime.
    • Avoid screens (or wear blue light blocking glasses) – Keep the bedroom a technology-free zone as the light from electronic devices can disturb your sleep. If you need to work, wear blue light blocking glasses (also known as computer glasses) throughout or before you sleep to prevent sleep disruption.
    • Find an activity that helps you to wind down  This could be anything that calms you down, and reduces thinking (especially unnecessary stress). Fir example, listening to soothing/good feel music, taking a hot bath, reading or meditating.
    • Keep any electronics you have on the other side of the room or outside the room – One of the most harmful things that can disrupt your sleep is the notifications you get from your smartphones. The simplest way to avoid this is to keep it away from you.
    • Create a bedtime routine – A night routine is a couple of things you do prior to going to bed. By doing these things every night, you’ll have a more restful and high-quality sleep. Learn how to pick up a night routine here: The Ultimate Night Routine Guide to Sleep Better and Wake Up Productive

    2. Eat the right nutrients (and avoid the wrong ones)

    What you eat (not just when we eat) plays a critical role in your sleep quality. If you’re ever in doubt of what to eat to improve your sleep, take the following into consideration:

    • Kiwi – This green fruit may be the ultimate pre-bed snack. When volunteers ate two kiwis an hour before hitting the hay, they slept almost a full extra hour. Kiwis are full of vitamins C and E, serotonin and folate—all of which may help you snooze.
    • Soy foods – Foods made with soy such as tofu, miso and edamame, are rich in isoflavones. These compounds increase the production of serotonin, a brain chemical that influences the body’s sleep-wake cycle.
    • Fiber-rich foods – Eating more fiber could be key for better sleep. Eating fiber was associated with more restorative slow-wave sleep—the more you eat, the better you sleep—per a study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine. Fiber prevents blood sugar surges that may lower melatonin. Get a fiber boost from beans, artichokes, bran cereal and quinoa.
    • Salmon – Most fish, especially salmon, halibut and tuna boost vitamin B6, which is needed to make melatonin— a sleep-inducing hormone triggered by darkness.

    3. Adjust your sleep temperature

    Once you’ve gone through the first 2 recommendations, the last step to experiment with is temperature. According to Sleep.org, the ideal temperature for sleep is 60-67 Farenheit. This may be cooler than what most people are used to, but keep in mind that our body temperature changes once we fall asleep.

    Rule of thumb: sleeping in cooler temperature is better for sleep quality than warmer temperature.

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    Find out how to maintain the optimal temperature to sleep better here: How to Sleep Faster with the Best Temperature

    Sleep better form now on

    Congrats on making it to the end of this guide on sleep. If you’re serious about taking the necessary steps in improving your sleep, remember to take it one step at a time.

    I recommend trying just one of the steps mentioned such as taking a hot bath, blocking out blue light at night, or sleeping in cooler temperature. From there, see how it impacts your sleep quality and you can keep doing what works, and throw away what doesn’t.

    As long as you follow these steps cautiously and diligently, I know you’ll see improved results in your sleep!

    Featured photo credit: pixabay via pixabay.com

    Reference

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