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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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Last Updated on August 12, 2020

When Should You Trust Your Gut and How?

When Should You Trust Your Gut and How?

Learning how to trust your gut, otherwise known as your intuition, can keep you safe. Your gut can guide you and help you build your confidence and resilience. My own gut instinct has saved me on more than one occasion. It has also guided me into making sound career choices and other exciting, big decisions. I’m also aware of the times when I’ve gone against my instincts and really regretted it later, wondering why I didn’t tune in to that valuable internal voice that we all have within us.

In this article, we’re going to explore why and how you should listen to your gut, as well as some concrete tips on how to make sure you’re making the most out of your gut instincts.

How to Listen to Your Gut

The key when making any big decision is to always take a minute to listen well to yourself and your inner compass. If you hear your actual voice saying yes while inside you’re silently screaming no, my advice is to ask for some time to think, or simply take a breath and pause before the yes or no escapes your mouth.

Use that moment to breathe, check in with yourself, and give the answer that feels congruent with who you are and what you want, not the one that always involves following the herd. Trusting your gut means having the courage to not simply go with the majority. It can be about holding your own. Here’s how to hone that skill for yourself and reap the rewards.

1. Tune Into Your Body

Your body gives you clues when you’re faced with a big decision. There are many visible and obvious symptoms that we feel in uncomfortable situations. Our body’s reaction is often something that we might try to hide, for example, blushing, being lost for words, or shaking. There are things we might do to try and hide that physical reaction, whether it’s wearing makeup, having a glass of wine or coffee to perk us up a bit, or learning to control our nerves.

However, paying attention to your body when you experience these feelings of anxiety can teach you so much and help you to make sound choices. Some people will experience an actual “gut” feeling of stomach ache or indigestion in an uncomfortable situation.

Ask yourself what’s really going on here, and explore what is happening behind your body’s response to the situation. What can your reaction or instinct teach you? Understanding that can be a clue and can help you either learn something about yourself, the situation, or other people. The answers are often within us.

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Sometimes we’ll get this “something’s not right here” feeling and cannot quite put our finger on it or explain it. That can still be incredibly useful and really guide us away from danger, even if we don’t know the reason.

In his book, Blink, Malcolm Gladwell also argues this, making the point that sometimes our subconscious is better at processing the answer we need, and that we don’t necessarily need to take time to collect hours and hours of information to come to a reliable conclusion[1].

2. Ensure Your Head Is Clear Before Making a Decision

Energy, sleep, and good nutrition are so vital to nourishing our minds, as well as our bodies. There are times when your instinct could lead you astray, and one of these is when you are hungry, “hangry” (angry because you’re hungry!), tired, or anxious. If this is the case–and it may sound obvious–do consider sleeping or eating on it before making an important choice.

There is, in fact, a connection between our gut and our brain[2], which is where terms like “butterflies in the stomach” and “gut-wrenching” originate from. Stress and emotions can cause physical feelings, and ignoring them might do more harm than good.

3. Don’t Be Afraid to Say What You Think and Feel

Listening to your gut and really paying attention to it might involve standing up and being counted, calling something out, or taking a stand. As someone who works for myself, I’ve become used to following the less-travelled road, and that’s given me the chance to strike out on my own in other ways, too.

As they tell you in the planes, “put your own oxygen mask on first,” and part of that self-reliance is knowing what you really want and like and what is safe and good for you, including what resonates with your personal and business values. Making good decisions with this in mind means making choices that do not go against your own beliefs, even when it may mean taking a stand. This is part of trusting yourself and trusting your instincts.

This does not always mean taking the “safe” option, although keeping ourselves safe is an important part of the process. This is how we learn and grow, by following our own inner compass. When you do take risks, go outside of your comfort zone, or choose the less popular option, spending some time researching the facts can stand us in good stead, too.

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4. Do Your Research If Something Feels Off

As well as listening to our instincts, we can also back up the evidence for our chosen course of action before taking the leap. I had a gut feeling about the need for a learning and development network when I noticed my clients getting stuck with the same problems. I set up and now run such a network, but instead of simply going for it, without evidence, I followed up on my instinct with research.

Having confidence in your gut instinct through these kinds of tests can help to minimize your risks, as well as spur you on. It will encourage you to trust your gut again in the future and trust that you are an expert with foresight and experience. You are!

5. Challenge Your Assumptions

When you look at the assumptions your making, this could be the clue to mistakes you are making.

In order to check that our instincts are wise, we need to ask ourselves what blanks we might be filling in, either consciously or unconsciously. This is true not just when it comes to our own decision-making. It’s also true when we are listening to someone explain a problem or situation, and we’re about to jump in and give some advice. If we can learn to be aware of our own assumptions, we can become better listeners and better decision makers, too.

A useful tool to become more aware of your assumptions before making a final decision is simply to ask yourself, “What assumptions am I making about this situation or person?”

6. Educate Yourself on Unconscious Bias

Unconscious bias is something we all have, and it can trip us up big time!

There is a vital caveat to bear in mind when wondering about whether you can trust your gut and the feelings your body gives you, and that’s having an awareness of your unconscious bias. Understanding your own bias–which is hard to do because it literally does happen in our subconscious–can help you to make stronger, better, decisions instead of re-confirming your view of the world over and over again.

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Bias exists, and it’s part of the human condition. All of us have it, and it colors our decisions and can impact on our performance without us realizing.

Unconscious bias happens at a subconscious level in our brains. Our subconscious brain processes information so much faster than our conscious brain. Quick decisions we make in our subconscious are based on both our societal conditioning and how our families raised us.

Our brains process hundreds of thousands of pieces of information daily. We unconsciously categorize and format that information into patterns that feel familiar to us. Aspects such as gender, disability, class, sexuality, body shape and size, ethnicity, and what someone does for a job can all quickly influence decisions we make about people and the relationships we choose to form. Our unconscious bias can be very subtle and go unnoticed..

We naturally tend to gravitate towards people similar to ourselves, favoring people who we see as belonging to the same “group” as us. Being able to make a quick decision about whether someone is part of your group and distinguish friend from foe was what helped early humans to survive. Conversely, we don’t automatically favor people who we don’t immediately relate to or easily connect with.

The downside of that human instinct to seek out similar people is the potential for prejudice, which seems to be hard-wired into human cognition, no matter how open-minded we believe ourselves to be. And these stereotypes we create can be wrong. If we only spend our time with and employ people similar to ourselves, it can create prejudices, as well as stifle fresh thinking and innovation.

We may feel more natural or comfortable working with other people who share our own background and/or opinions than collaborating with people who don’t look, talk, or think like us. However, diversity is not just morally right; having a mix of different people and perspectives that can be genuinely heard is also a valuable way to counter groupthink. Diversity stretches us to think more critically and creatively.

7. Trust Yourself

It is possible to learn how to truly trust yourself[3]. Like any talent or skill, practicing trusting your gut is the best way to get really good at it. When people talk about having great intuition or being good decision-makers, it’s because they’ve worked at honing those skills, made mistakes, learned from them, and tried again.

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Looking back at decisions you’ve made, what you did, what the outcome was, and what you’ve learned can help you become a stronger decision maker and develop solid self-trust and resilience. Making a mistake does not mean you are not great at decision-making; it’s a chance to grow and learn, and the only mistake is to ignore the lesson in that experience.

If you are in the habit of asking others for their input, then the trick here is to choose your inner circle wisely. Having a sounding board of people who have your best interests at heart is a valuable asset, and, combined with your own excellent instincts, can make you a champion decision maker.

The Bottom Line

The above tips are all actionable and easy to start immediately. It’s simply about switching your thinking around, slowing down, and taking great care of this amazing machine that is your body and mind!

Learning how to trust your gut is one of the most fundamental ways to make decisions that will help you lead the life you want and need. Tune into what your body is telling you and start making good decisions today.

More Tips on How to Trust Your Gut

Featured photo credit: Acy Varlan via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Science of People: Learn to Trust Your Gut Instincts: The Science Behind Thin-slicing
[2] Harvard Health Publishing: The gut-brain connection
[3] Psych Central: 3 Ways to Develop Self-Trust

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