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8 Things Happy People Do But Rarely Talk About

8 Things Happy People Do But Rarely Talk About

Most of us like to think we are fairly happy people, but deep down we might not necessarily believe it or feel happy. When you look around and see people you grew up with making the most out of life while you keep going to a job you don’t like, repeating the same routine day in and day out, it is easy to feel less than grateful for the life you have. So what are the secrets of all those happy people? What are they doing to get the most out of life while the rest of us watch it pass by?

1. They give

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    Focusing on money is a sure fire way to end up unhappy. In fact, in studies of happiness, researchers have found that once you have enough money to satisfy your basic needs there are only two ways money can help you. One is by improving your social standing and the other is to give it away. By using their money to help others rather than needlessly hoarding it, happy people feel like they are making a positive contribution to the world.

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    2. They avoid drama

    Happy people also tend to mind their own business. While other people get caught up in other people’s relationships or stress out about who said what to whom, happy people choose to focus on the things they have more control over. Paying attention to your own life and letting other people live theirs is a simple way to maximize happiness.

    3. They are grateful

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      While they may not make a point of rubbing your nose in it, happy people are grateful for the things they have. They don’t spend all their time wanting what other people possess or daydreaming about a better life. Instead, they take a few moments each day to think about all the things that they appreciate and make a point of being grateful for them.

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      4. They look on the bright side

      When the going gets tough, the truly happy are often unshaken. Dwelling on failures and imagining the worst case scenario may be the default option for most people, but if you truly want to be happy, you need to make a point of having faith that things will turn out alright. Maintain your perspective and know that, no matter what happens, you can bounce back.

      5. They value relationships

      Instead of focusing on money and relentlessly pursuing career advancement by working long hours, the happiest people focus more of their time on personal relationships. At the end of your life, you won’t remember a lot of the time you spent at work. Rather, you will value family meals and time shared with friends. Putting people before money is a powerful tool in achieving happiness.

      6. They cultivate many different parts of their lives

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        While they may place a lot of value on relationships, happy people do not define themselves by one aspect of their lives. They maintain careers they enjoy, they have hobbies, and they love learning and growing as individuals. By paying attention to many aspects of their lives, happy people don’t get overwhelmed when one element of their day-to-day life goes off the tracks. If they get dumped, they still have a rewarding career. If they get injured and can’t play their favorite sport for a while, they still have friends to hang out with. Not putting all your eggs in one basket is a key to being a happy person.

        7. They don’t focus on material things

        While some of us may think shopping is a great way to relieve stress and that having things will make us happier in the long run, others choose to value experiences over material goods. New clothes are great, but it is hard to get as much enjoyment out of a sweater as you get out of scuba diving the Great Barrier reef and the stories you can tell about it afterwards.

        8. They follow their passion

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          Finally, happy people follow their passions. If they wake up and realize that they are unhappy with their job, they aren’t afraid to leave it to pursue something they really care about. It might involve taking a risk. It might lead to a huge failure. But happy people aren’t afraid to stick their neck out and chase what everyone else is afraid to.

          Featured photo credit: Craig Cochrane via flickr.com

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          Last Updated on November 19, 2020

          The Gentle Art of Saying No for a Less Stressful Life

          The Gentle Art of Saying No for a Less Stressful Life

          It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments—you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time. That’s why the art of saying no can be a game changer for productivity.

          Requests for your time are coming in all the time—from family members, friends, children, coworkers, etc. To stay productive, minimize stress, and avoid wasting time, you have to learn the gentle art of saying no—an art that many people have problems with.

          What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger, or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

          However, it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here’s how to stop people pleasing and master the gentle art of saying no.

          1. Value Your Time

          Know your commitments and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it.

          Be honest when you tell them that: “I just can’t right now. My plate is overloaded as it is.” They’ll sympathize as they likely have a lot going on as well, and they’ll respect your openness, honesty, and attention to self-care.

          2. Know Your Priorities

          Even if you do have some extra time (which, for many of us, is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time?

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          For example, if my wife asks me to pick up the kids from school a couple of extra days a week, I’ll likely try to make time for it as my family is my highest priority. However, if a coworker asks for help on some extra projects, I know that will mean less time with my wife and kids, so I will be more likely to say no. 

          However, for others, work is their priority, and helping on extra projects could mean the chance for a promotion or raise. It’s all about knowing your long-term goals and what you’ll need to say yes and no to in order to get there. 

          You can learn more about how to set your priorities here.

          3. Practice Saying No

          Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word[1].

          Sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.

          4. Don’t Apologize

          A common way to start out is “I’m sorry, but…” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important when you learn to say no, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm and unapologetic about guarding your time.

          When you say no, realize that you have nothing to feel bad about. You have every right to ensure you have time for the things that are important to you. 

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          5. Stop Being Nice

          Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. However, if you erect a wall or set boundaries, they will look for easier targets.

          Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.

          6. Say No to Your Boss

          Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss—they’re our boss, right? And if we start saying no, then we look like we can’t handle the work—at least, that’s the common reasoning[2].

          In fact, it’s the opposite—explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.

          7. Pre-Empting

          It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting,

          “Look, everyone, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects, and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”

          This, of course, takes a great deal of awareness that you’ll likely only have after having worked in one place or been friends with someone for a while. However, once you get the hang of it, it can be incredibly useful.

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          8. Get Back to You

          Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, try saying no this way:

          “After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.”

          At least you gave it some consideration.

          9. Maybe Later

          If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say,

          “This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].”

          Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands. If you need to continue saying no, here are some other ways to do so[3]:

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          Saying no the healthy way

            10. It’s Not You, It’s Me

            This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often, the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time.

            Simply say so—you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization—but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true, as people can sense insincerity.

            The Bottom Line

            Saying no isn’t an easy thing to do, but once you master it, you’ll find that you’re less stressed and more focused on the things that really matter to you. There’s no need to feel guilty about organizing your personal life and mental health in a way that feels good to you.

            Remember that when you learn to say no, isn’t about being mean. It’s about taking care of your time, energy, and sanity. Once you learn how to say no in a good way, people will respect your willingness to practice self-care and prioritization. 

            More Tips for a Less Stressful Life

            Featured photo credit: Kyle Glenn via unsplash.com

            Reference

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