If only there was a machine that could measure the level of happiness and distinguish what affects it… Oh wait, there isn’t. And yet, in most cases, we can tell a happy person from an unhappy one. Why is that so? We’ll look at some of the happy people and explore their routines. As these are different people, their habits may seem to contradict each other, but that’s just a surface of things. Needless to say, these habits won’t necessarily make you happy; still, they may be a great source of inspiration for another joyful day. What do happy people do?
1. They value family and company
Indonesians are a well-known proof of a popular axiom ‘wealth is not everything’. Living in slums, not having enough fresh water, facing tsunamis and the discomforts of overpopulation, they rejoice in their families and friends. In the country where different ethnicities and religions coexist, there is a special sense of tolerance. The national survey reports that it’s family matters that make Indonesians so happy.
2. They try to fulfill their basic needs
In many respects, especially those connected with climate, we can’t change our comfort zone, but this is not the reason to deprive yourself of those basic needs that can be fulfilled. What about the joys of sleep? Richard Shane, a scientist who once suffered through insomnia, has dedicated an entire series of articles to sleeping well. They feature the matters that are not covered in the literature of this kind too often, for example, about relaxing your tongue. The scientist says that sleep deprivation can really make you unhappy, and on the contrary, healthy sleep has enormous positive impact.
3. They help other people
This works simply and surely: when you help others, you are not alone in this world, and happiness of others makes you happy, too.
Mahatma Gandhi was reported to say, “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”
Working with pets often helps overcome depression.
4. They can stand up and say no
There is a chance you can be lost in volunteering and helping others – in a bad sense. As every worker, volunteers may get a burnout, which has already become a popular research subject.
Sonya Derian says, “If you say yes to everything, never discerning the right yes for you, what difference does it make what you’re saying yes to? Your yes loses its authority”.
5. They stop living for the future
Alan Watts, a philosopher and writer who used to popularize Eastern philosophy in Britain, particularly in his book ‘The Wisdom of Insecurity: A Message for an Age of Anxiety’, argues that we live in the future too much. Craving to live better, people hurry, work too hard, and struggle emotionally for the sake of abstract future. But it is possible to live happily in the present without the assurance that the future will also be good.
6. They have a dream
Another Eastern concept of happiest people gaining popularity in the West is ikigai, “the reason you wake up in the morning”, and some happy people definitely have one. The legend has it that one woman was returned to life after a lethal disease when to the ancestors’ question ‘Who are you?’ she answered: “I am the one who wakes up each day to care for my family, and nurture the young minds of the children at my school”. A dream is something about the future, and yet it can shape your happy present.
7. They make things happen
They don’t cry for the moon and don’t complain. Despite of his ASL, Stephen Hawking has made prominent scientific discoveries. What is more, he found vivid words to tell the world about his findings.
8. They can wait
Sophie Fontanel is a writer who spent many years in deliberate celibacy. Not that she didn’t want sex at all and not that she was against it. She only insisted that people can wait. They don’t need to force themselves info relationships just for the reason that everyone does it. This waiting is not at all like waiting for a prince.
“I think it’s a mistake to think that women are always expecting love. We are expecting to be in good hands, even if these good hands are just for two nights or one week”.
This doesn’t mean that you have to live in celibacy but it means that sometimes you have to wait for what you desire. Happy people can be passionate about other cravings just like this.
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