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20 Secrets Genuinely Happy People Never Told You

20 Secrets Genuinely Happy People Never Told You

Happiness is a choice, and genuinely happy people make the choice to be happy, everyday! But what you may not know is that happy people face challenges, just like ordinary folk, but they challenge themselves, constantly, to live the wonderful life they know they deserve; filled to the brim with laughter and a positive outlook.

We don’t need to tell you that life isn’t all roses, and will often times bring you to your knees, but it is during these moments that happy people go to work on getting happy. If they look like they have it all together, they probably do, but that’s just because they’ve discovered the secrets to true happiness, and it lies within them.

So if you’ve ever wondered, “Why are they so happy all the time?”, here are a few reasons, and secrets, why.

1. They’re not happy all the time.

Let’s be honest, nobody is happy all the time, and with good reason. It’s the down that shows us the beauty of the ups. The genuinely happy individual knows this and allows themselves to feel sad or down, naturally. Trying to force happiness is, well, forced. So they embrace the sadness, the tears and the obstacles and give themselves permission to just be. They are human after all.

2. They have learned to say no.

It sounds strange, but saying “no” doesn’t come easy for some people. Especially if you’re the type who loves to make others happy. However, genuinely happy people don’t buy into the idea of keeping others happy if you’r always down as a result. This is a sure fire way to stress and anxiety, and it kind of defeats the purpose of the whole happiness thing. Instead, they exercise their right to say no, and do so in an assertive manner, that neither takes away from their relationships, or their own happiness.

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3. They haven’t led easy lives.

No genuinely happy person will tell you they’ve had it cushy! They may have been knocked down many times, but each time, they got up, refusing to stay down! The strength and gusto they mustered to get back up and keep fighting is what showed them the meaning of true happiness. If you can make it through the difficult times with a smile on your face, you’re winning, and who wouldn’t be happy with that!

4. They know what the bottom looks like.

They’ve been to the bottom more times than they can count, and they’ve worked their way back up. To mere mortals, landing at the bottom after great success would signal the end, but for the genuinely happy person, it’s just an opportunity to start afresh; to build a better and stronger foundation. They learnt a lot on the way up, and learnt a lot more on the way back down. No experience is wasted, and so they move forward armed with that knowledge!

5. They love their flaws.

For them, being perfectly imperfect, is perfect! They’ve come to terms with who they are and have accepted their flaws, warts and all. They know it is all just a part of what makes them special, and they love it! They understand there is no such thing as perfection, and have not only stopped chasing it, but discovered imperfections are just as brilliant!

6. They avoid stress in their lives.

Whether it’s through meditation, getting away, or through a creative outlet, genuinely happy people actively go out of their way to avoid any unnecessary stressful situations, and move on from them as quickly as possible. This is in no way avoidance, but a strategy which allows them to concentrate on the things that truly matter, and stops annoying little stresses from turning into something far greater.

7. They exercise.

What better way to get happy than to do something that releases those naturally happy chemicals from within. They have tapped into the world of healthy living and exercise not just to look good, but because it makes them feel even better! Whether they’re running outdoors, or getting in those reps at the gym, the happy person knows the benefits of those wonderful endorphins.

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8. They know they’re enough.

They don’t need the latest or the greatest, and they don’t attach their self-worth to external things. They’ve learnt that no one thing can make them happy or make them feel fulfilled. In relationships, they have a, “take me as I am” attitude. They may have battled with their self-worth in the past, chasing things they thought would make them a better person, but now they know they are perfect just the way they are.

9. They don’t judge.

They have no need or want in judging others, because they don’t like to be judged themselves. They prefer to let others live their lives as they wish. Worrying about what others are doing, or not doing, is unnecessary and time consuming, and only leaves the person judging with a false sense of superiority. The happy person has no need for that, and would prefer to use their time to uplift others rather than tear them down.

10. They know how to refocus.

Whatever problem they are facing, there is always another way to look at things. By refocusing, they can approach a difficult problem with fresh eyes. Refocusing offers new perspective, and with a new perspective comes a new solution.

11. They haven’t lost their childlike wonderment.

They are children at heart! They live, laugh and love with the infectious playfulness of a person untainted by a harsh world. It’s this approach to life that keeps them inquisitive and creative, and let’s face it, makes them so much fun to be around!

12. They deal with fear head on.

Fear has no place in the genuinely happy persons life. They are victorious in their quest for happiness and equip themselves with an arsenal of bravery, moving forward with happiness as their armour. Yes, it’s scary, but that’s all part of the dance. By facing their fears, they take back control of their lives, and nothing is allowed to come between them and their happiness.

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13. They take risks.

Risk takers are happier folk! They know that stepping out from your comfort zone and navigating new territory is not only thrilling, but a sure way to experience the new and wonderful things life has to offer. What drives them is growth and the potential to learn more about who they are, and what they can accomplish. They know there’s a chance they may trip up or fall, but for them, failure is just another lovely life lesson.

14. They bear no grudges.

The happy person does not hold on to past hurts or anger. Instead they prefer to let go of the pain, and move on with life. There’s no better way to destroy happiness than to carry around old baggage that inevitably weighs you down. The genuinely happy person knows this and so they acknowledge the hurt and pain, forgive and dust themselves off, and move forward, happier and lighter.

15. They encourage others.

They are genuinely happy to see others happy and living their lives to their full potential. It genuinely makes them happy to see others thriving, and so they do all they can to support and encourage those they love and care about. They are also encouraged by others successes, not jealous. It’s a win-win!

16. They love to laugh.

The happy person sees the fun, and funny side of life and aims to always look on the bright side. They are truly joyous in laughter and can make even the stony faced individual crack a smile. They know there’s no better healer, along with time, than laughter. It not only lifts their spirits but does a lot to make an otherwise stressful situation easier to manage.

17. They are honest with themselves, first.

They can lie to others all they want, but they are all too aware of that little voice in their head; the one that reminds them they aren’t being entirely honest with themselves. Having the courage to admit things to yourself is the first step in being honest and comfortable with who you, before you can be honest with others. It’s scary, but it must be done. The genuinely happy person knows this is what’s required if they are to be their authentic selves, because there’s nothing like dishonesty to throw your happiness compass out of wack!

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18. They ask for help.

They know that asking for help doesn’t make you weak, and so they don’t feel weak, or otherwise, in asking for help. Instead, they see it as an opportunity to get another perspective on an idea or a situation, or for someone to help share the heavy load. They realise they may not always have the answer, or strength, to do all things on their own and so welcome a helping hand, or friendly advice as though it were a gift. They know asking and receiving help takes nothing away from who they are, but can only add to their life and experiences.

19. They embrace differences.

There’s one thing all humans have in common: we are all different! Genuinely happy people are aware of these differences, be it race, religion sex, views or any other differences that may set us apart from one another. They do not try to negate those differences but rather, embrace them, and celebrate them. For the genuinely happy person, the world would be an utterly boring place if we were all the same!

20. They love life.

With all its ups and down, in and outs and highs and lows, life for the sincerely happy person is an adventure that we would all do well to appreciate. The scars and bruises makes us appreciate the smiles and glories more. Understanding this, they don’t fight life, but take it for what is. They do what they need to do to make life enjoyable, productive and worthwhile, but they know that to truly appreciate the journey, sometimes you have to sit back and enjoy the ride!

Featured photo credit: young beautiful brunette woman listening music with headphones in the city via shutterstock.com

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Patricia C. Osei-Oppong

Writer, Poet, Marketer

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Published on May 18, 2021

How To Improve Listening Skills For Effective Workplace Communication

How To Improve Listening Skills For Effective Workplace Communication

We have two ears and one mouth for a reason—effective communication is dependent on using them in proportion, and this involves having good listening skills.

The workplace of the 21st century may not look the same as it did before COVID-19 spread throughout the world like wildfire, but that doesn’t mean you can relax your standards at work. If anything, Zoom meetings, conference calls, and the continuous time spent behind a screen have created a higher level of expectations for meeting etiquette and communication. And this goes further than simply muting your microphone during a meeting.

Effective workplace communication has been a topic of discussion for decades, yet, it is rarely addressed or implemented due to a lack of awareness and personal ownership by all parties.

Effective communication isn’t just about speaking clearly or finding the appropriate choice of words. It starts with intentional listening and being present. Here’s how to improve your listening skills for effective workplace communication.

Listen to Understand, Not to Speak

There are stark differences between listening and hearing. Listening involves intention, focused effort, and concentration, whereas hearing simply involves low-level awareness that someone else is speaking. Listening is a voluntary activity that allows one to be present and in the moment while hearing is passive and effortless.[1]

Which one would you prefer your colleagues to implement during your company-wide presentation? It’s a no-brainer.

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Listening can be one of the most powerful tools in your communication arsenal because one must listen to understand the message being told to them. As a result of this deeper understanding, communication can be streamlined because there is a higher level of comprehension that will facilitate practical follow-up questions, conversations, and problem-solving. And just because you heard something doesn’t mean you actually understood it.

We take this for granted daily, but that doesn’t mean we can use that as an excuse.

Your brain is constantly scanning your environment for threats, opportunities, and situations to advance your ability to promote your survival. And yet, while we are long past the days of worrying about being eaten by wildlife, the neurocircuitry responsible for these mechanisms is still hard-wired into our psychology and neural processing.

A classic example of this is the formation of memories. Case in point: where were you on June 3rd, 2014? For most of you reading this article, your mind will go completely blank, which isn’t necessarily bad.

The brain is far too efficient to retain every detail about every event that happens in your life, mainly because many events that occur aren’t always that important. The brain doesn’t—and shouldn’t—care what you ate for lunch three weeks ago or what color shirt you wore golfing last month. But for those of you who remember where you were on June 3rd, 2014, this date probably holds some sort of significance to you. Maybe it was a birthday or an anniversary. Perhaps it was the day your child was born. It could have even been a day where you lost someone special in your life.

Regardless of the circumstance, the brain is highly stimulated through emotion and engagement, which is why memories are usually stored in these situations. When the brain’s emotional centers become activated, the brain is far more likely to remember an event.[2] And this is also true when intention and focus are applied to listening to a conversation.

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Utilizing these hard-wired primitive pathways of survival to optimize your communication in the workplace is a no-brainer—literally and figuratively.

Intentional focus and concentrated efforts will pay off in the long run because you will retain more information and have an easier time recalling it down the road, making you look like a superstar in front of your colleagues and co-workers. Time to kiss those note-taking days away!

Effective Communication Isn’t Always Through Words

While we typically associate communication with words and verbal affirmations, communication can come in all shapes and forms. In the Zoom meeting era we live in, it has become far more challenging to utilize and understand these other forms of language. And this is because they are typically easier to see when we are sitting face to face with the person we speak to.[3]

Body language can play a significant role in how our words and communication are interpreted, especially when there is a disconnection involved.[4] When someone tells you one thing, yet their body language screams something completely different, it’s challenging to let that go. Our brain immediately starts to search for more information and inevitably prompts us to follow up with questions that will provide greater clarity to the situation at hand. And in all reality, not saying something might be just as important as actually saying something.

These commonly overlooked non-verbal communication choices can provide a plethora of information about the intentions, emotions, and motivations. We do this unconsciously, and it happens with every confrontation, conversation, and interaction we engage in. The magic lies in the utilization and active interpretation of these signals to improve your listening skills and your communication skills.

Our brains were designed for interpreting our world, which is why we are so good at recognizing subtle nuances and underlying disconnect within our casual encounters. So, when we begin to notice conflicting messages between verbal and non-verbal communication, our brain takes us down a path of troubleshooting.

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Which messages are consistent with this theme over time? Which statements aren’t aligning with what they’re really trying to tell me? How should I interpret their words and body language?

Suppose we want to break things down even further. In that case, one must understand that body language is usually a subconscious event, meaning that we rarely think about our body language. This happens because our brain’s primary focus is to string together words and phrases for verbal communication, which usually requires a higher level of processing. This doesn’t mean that body language will always tell the truth, but it does provide clues to help us weigh information, which can be pretty beneficial in the long run.

Actively interpreting body language can provide you with an edge in your communication skills. It can also be used as a tool to connect with the individual you are speaking to. This process is deeply ingrained into our human fabric and utilizes similar methods babies use while learning new skills from their parents’ traits during the early years of development.

Mirroring a person’s posture or stance can create a subtle bond, facilitating a sense of feeling like one another. This process is triggered via the activation of specific brain regions through the stimulation of specialized neurons called mirror neurons.[5] These particular neurons become activated while watching an individual engage in an activity or task, facilitating learning, queuing, and understanding. They also allow the person watching an action to become more efficient at physically executing the action, creating changes in the brain, and altering the overall structure of the brain to enhance output for that chosen activity.

Listening with intention can make you understand your colleague, and when paired together with mirroring body language, you can make your colleague feel like you two are alike. This simple trick can facilitate a greater bond of understanding and communication within all aspects of the conversation.

Eliminate All Distractions, Once and for All

As Jim Rohn says, “What is easy to do is also easy not to do.” And this is an underlying principle that will carry through in all aspects of communication. Distractions are a surefire way to ensure a lack of understanding or interpretation of a conversation, which in turn, will create inefficiencies and a poor foundation for communication.

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This should come as no surprise, especially in this day in age where people are constantly distracted by social media, text messaging, and endlessly checking their emails. We’re stuck in a cultural norm that has hijacked our love for the addictive dopamine rush and altered our ability to truly focus our efforts on the task at hand. And these distractions aren’t just distractions for the time they’re being used. They use up coveted brainpower and central processes that secondarily delay our ability to get back on track.

Gloria Mark, a researcher at UC Irvine, discovered that it takes an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds for our brains to reach their peak state of focus after an interruption.[6] Yes, you read that correctly—distractions are costly, error-prone, and yield little to no benefit outside of a bump to the ego when receiving a new like on your social media profile.

Meetings should implement a no-phone policy, video conference calls should be set on their own browser with no other tabs open, and all updates, notifications, and email prompt should be immediately turned off, if possible, to eliminate all distractions during a meeting.

These are just a few examples of how we can optimize our environment to facilitate the highest levels of communication within the workplace.

Actions Speak Louder Than Words

Effective communication in the workplace doesn’t have to be challenging, but it does have to be intentional. Knowledge can only take us so far, but once again, knowing something is very different than putting it into action.

Just like riding a bike, the more often you do it, the easier it becomes. Master communicators are phenomenal listeners, which allows them to be effective communicators in the workplace and in life. If you genuinely want to own your communication, you must implement this information today and learn how to improve your listening skills.

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Choose your words carefully, listen intently, and most of all, be present in the moment—because that’s what master communicators do, and you can do it, too!

More Tips Improving Listening Skills

Featured photo credit: Mailchimp via unsplash.com

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