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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 January 21, 2020

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

    Why You Need a Vision

    Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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    How to Create Your Life Vision

    Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

    What Do You Want?

    The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

    It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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    Some tips to guide you:

    • Remember to ask why you want certain things
    • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
    • Give yourself permission to dream.
    • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
    • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

    Some questions to start your exploration:

    • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
    • What would you like to have more of in your life?
    • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
    • What are your secret passions and dreams?
    • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
    • What do you want your relationships to be like?
    • What qualities would you like to develop?
    • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
    • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
    • What would you most like to accomplish?
    • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

    It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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    What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

    Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

    A few prompts to get you started:

    • What will you have accomplished already?
    • How will you feel about yourself?
    • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
    • What does your ideal day look like?
    • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
    • What would you be doing?
    • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
    • How are you dressed?
    • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
    • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
    • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

    It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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    Plan Backwards

    It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

    • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
    • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
    • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
    • What important actions would you have had to take?
    • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
    • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
    • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
    • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
    • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

    Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

    It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

    Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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