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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 September 18, 2020

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

1. Exercise Daily

It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

3. Acknowledge Your Limits

Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

The basic nutritional advice includes:

  • Eat unprocessed foods
  • Eat more veggies
  • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
  • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

    5. Watch Out for Travel

    Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

    This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

    If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

    6. Start Slow

    Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

    If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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    7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

    Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

    My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

    If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

    I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

    Final Thoughts

    Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

    Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

    More Tips on Getting in Shape

    Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

    Reference

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