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7 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be the Happiest Person on Earth

7 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be the Happiest Person on Earth
happiest person on earth
    A little bit of gratitude, and one third of savoring, plus one quarter of making friends…now that’s a happiness recipe!

    Have you read The How of Happiness by University of California, Riverside Prof. Sonja Lyubomirsky? No? Here are seven scientifically proven ways derived from Sonja’s research on how to be the happiest person on earth!

    1. Practice gratitude once a week.

    Expressing gratitude, or counting your blessings, does not just make you happy—it also improves your health. However, you need to be strategic about how you do it. In one of the author’s experiments they directed the participants to keep a gratitude journal and contemplate five things that made them feel grateful. They would start the exercise by saying “This week I’m grateful for…”

    Half of the participants were instructed to do that once a week, while the rest of them did that three times a week for a total of six weeks.

    Here’s what’s strange: Only the group that counted their blessings once a week achieved happiness results because of it.

    Why?

    Probably because the participants who did it three times a week found practicing gratitude to be a chore, while the others were looking forward to it. So once a week, make sure you count your blessings!

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    2. Make friends and invest in your relationships.

    Happy people are renowned for their circle of friends, their relationship with their family, and their loving marriage

    What is amazing about friendships and intimate relationships is that their happiness effect does not get reduced by hedonic adaptation. That means that you won’t get used to your loving marriage the way you get used to your new furniture.

    So make time for your friends, express appreciation and make them feel good, be kind, and just have fun with them. You’ll be happier in doing so.

    3. Become a stress resilience ninja.

    Happiness is not just about feeling good all the time. Happy people also get to recover from bad situations and stress more quickly. They are the stress resilience ninjas!

    Here’s an example: One study found that the life of breast cancer survivors had been altered for the better after the disease! Actually two-thirds of the women said so. These women talked about having a wake-up call that made re-prioritize their life for the better. They found the good in the bad.

    If that’s an excellent coping strategy with cancer, then I bet it’ll do wonders for any type of stress that appears in your life. The next time something bad shows up, ask yourself what you can learn from it.

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    4. Take care of your body.

    Did you know that aerobic exercise has the same benefits on depression as taking Zoloft? Well, in a 1999 study researchers divided a group of 50+ men and women who suffered from depression in three groups.

    One group did supervised aerobic exercise three times a week, another group took Zoloft—an anti-depressant—while the third group did both.

    The result? After four months all three groups were doing better with increased self-esteem and happiness. Even better, six months later, participants who had recovered from depression were less likely to relapse back to depression if they belonged in the exercise group compared to the ones who just took Zoloft.

    So there you have it. Exercise works miracles in your happiness!

    Don’t know how to get started it or how to find a routine that you actually like? Check out Exercise Bliss, a unique program that helps you make exercise a daily ritual, and you just might find what works for you.

    5. Take care of your soul.

    The numbers speak for themselves:

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    • 47% of people who report attending religious services several times a week describe themselves as “very happy”.
    • Just 28% of people who attend less than once a month can claim the same.

    It seems that the social support and the sense of identity that people get from belonging to the same religious group is unparalleled.

    It is possible, however, that this happiness discrepancy has nothing to do with people’s relationship with the divine and everything to do with people’s relationships with each other, as people who attend religious services are proven to have larger social networks than those who don’t.

    Still, religious people who believe that the divine is helping them are three times more likely to be alive six months after a serious cardiac surgery. One way or another, it seems that religious people definitely score some happiness points.

     6. Commit to your (intrinsic) goals.

    People who strive for something personally significant, like raising a family, learning a new skill, or even changing careers are happier. The author explains that pursuing goals provides with a sense of purpose and a feeling of control over our lives.

    Not all goals are made equal, though: intrinsic goals make you happy, while extrinsic goals might not be as effective.

    • Intrinsic goals are the ones meaningful to you, the ones that allow you to grow and be more. Examples: doing a hobby while on vacation, working on a skill because you want to become better, etc.
    • Extrinsic goals are the ones that are a means to an end—you go on a diet to lose weight, you work hard to make more money, etc.

    Research is crystal clear: Intrinsic goals are much more likely than extrinsic goals to give a sense of competence and autonomy, and hence, make you happier.

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    7. Enjoy life’s pleasures to the fullest!

    Researchers have even come up with a word that describes enjoying life: savoring.

    “Savoring: Thoughts or behaviors capable of generating, intensifying, and prolonging enjoyment”

    When you take a walk and suddenly think about how beautiful everything around you is, you are savoring. When you listen to your wife and cannot help yourself but feel lucky for being with her; you are savoring.

    The immediate benefit of savoring? You are more confident. You are actually enjoying every little or big pleasure life has to offer to the fullest. Now that’s a habit I want in my life!

    But how do you make savoring a habit? By practicing mindfulness. Here’s what happened to me in my first two weeks after I got into a mindfulness experiment, and here’s how the experiment evolved one month later. Not bad huh?

    There you have it. Seven ways to become the happiest person on earth. Which one will you choose to expand on?

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    Maria Brilaki

    Maria helps people create habits that stick not just for a month or two but for years and decades.

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    Last Updated on July 18, 2019

    What Makes People Happy? 20 Secrets of “Always Happy” People

    What Makes People Happy? 20 Secrets of “Always Happy” People

    Some people just seem to float through life with a relentless sense of happiness – through the toughest of times, they’re unfazed and aloof, stopping to smell the roses and drinking out of a glass half full.

    They may not have much to be happy about, but the simplicity behind that fact itself may make them happy.

    It’s all a matter of perspective, conscious effort and self-awareness. Listed below are a number of reasons why some people are always happy.

    1. They Manage Their Expectations

    They’re not crushed when they don’t get what they want – or misled into expecting to get the most out of every situation. They approach every situation pragmatically, hoping for the best but being prepared for the worst.

    2. They Don’t Set Unrealistic Standards

    Similar to the last point, they don’t live their lives in a constant pursuit towards impossible visions of perfection, only to always find themselves falling short of what they want.

    3. They Don’t Take Anything for Granted

    Happiness rests with feeling fulfilled – those who fail to stop and appreciate what they have every now and again will never experience true fulfillment.

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    4. They’re Not Materialistic

    There are arguing viewpoints on whether or not money can really buy happiness; if it can, then we know from experience that we can never be satisfied because there will always be something newer or better that we want. Who has ever had enough money?

    5. They Don’t Dwell

    They don’t sweat the small things or waste time worrying about things that don’t really matter at the end of the day. They don’t let negative thoughts latch onto them and drain them or distract them. Life’s too short to worry.

    6. They Care About Themselves First

    They’re independent, care for themselves and understand that they must put their needs first in order to accommodate the needs of others.

    They indulge, aim to get what they want, make time for themselves and are extremely self-reliant.

    7. They Enjoy the Little Things

    They stop to smell the roses. They’re accustomed to find serenity when it’s available, to welcome entertainment or a stimulating discussion with a stranger when it crosses their path. They don’t overlook the small things in life that can be just as important.

    8. They Can Adapt

    They’re not afraid of change and they work to make the most out of new circumstances, good or bad. They thrive under pressure, are not overwhelmed easily and always embrace a change of pace.

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    9. They Experiment

    They try new things, experience new flavors and never shy away from something they have yet to experience. They never order twice from the same menu.

    10. They Take Their Time

    They don’t unnecessarily rush through life. They work on their own schedule to the extent that they can and maneuver through life at their own relaxing pace.

    11. They Employ Different Perspectives

    They’re not stuck in one perspective; a loss can result in a new opportunity, hitting rock bottom can mean that there’s no where to go but up.

    12. They Seek to Learn

    Their constant pursuit of knowledge keeps them inspired and interested in life. They cherish information and are on a life-long quest to learn as much as they can.

    13. They Always Have a Plan

    They don’t find themselves drifting without purpose. When something doesn’t go as planned, they have a plan for every letter in the alphabet to fall back on.

    14. They Give Respect to Get It

    They are respectful and, in turn, are seen as respectable; the respect they exude earns them the respect they deserve.

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    15. They Consider Every Opportunity

    They always have their eyes open for a new road, a new avenue worth exploring. They know how to recognize opportune moments and pounce on them to make the most of every situation. Success is inevitable for them.

    16. They Always Seek to Improve

    Perpetual self-improvement is the key towards their ongoing thirst for success. Whatever it is they do, they take pride in getting better and better, from social interactions to mundane tasks. Their pursuit at being the best eventually materializes.

    17. They Don’t Take Life Too Seriously

    They’re not ones to get offended easily over-analyze or complicate matters. They laugh at their own faults and misfortunes.

    18. They Live in the Moment

    They don’t live for tomorrow or dwell on what may have happened yesterday. Every day is a new opportunity, a new chapter. They live in the now, and in doing so, get the most out of every moment.

    You can learn how to do so too: How to Live in the Moment and Stop Worrying About the Past or Future

    19. They Say Yes

    Much more often than they say no. They don’t have to be badgered to go out, don’t shy away from new opportunities or anything that may seem inconvenient.

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    20. They’re Self-Aware

    Most important, they’re wholly aware of themselves. They self-reflect and are conscious of their states of mind. If somethings bothering them, they fix it.

    We’re all susceptible to feeling down every now and again, but we are all equipped with the necessary solutions that just have to be discovered.

    Lack of confidence, inability to feel fulfilled, and susceptibility to stress are all matters that can be controlled through the way we handle our lives and perceive our circumstances.

    Learn about How Self-Reflection Gives You a Happier and More Successful Life.

    Final Thoughts

    The main philosophy employed by the happiest includes the idea that life’s simply too short: life’s too short to let things get you down, to take things for granted, to pursue absolute and unrealistic perfection.

    For some, employing these characteristics is a second nature – they do it without knowing. For others, a conscious effort must be put forth every now and again. Self-Awareness is key.

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    Featured photo credit: Charles Postiaux via unsplash.com

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