How To Be Happy
Happiness is not some magical state of mind that we’re born with, blessed with, or lucky enough to stumble upon. It is a way of being that each of us can attain.
When it comes to advice on how to be happy, the internet is filled with opinion and pseudoscience based on experiences and feelings. Religious teachings, our grandmothers, uncles, blogs, and television shows all have an opinion too. Some of the advice is questionable and some is even contradictory.
This is why we need advice that has been researched and tested. Even though the scientific process isn’t perfect, it’s the best process we have to test hypotheses and come to an outcome that has not been manipulated by emotions.
The international bestseller The How of Happiness: A New Approach to Getting the Life You Want by Sonja Lyubomirsky, Ph.D., a professor of psychology at the University of California is the best self-help book from a reputable scientist whose advice is based on the best experimental data.
Now that all that is done, lets get down to the actual purpose of this article; to give you the 10 Steps To Getting The Happiness You Want.
1. Realize that having more money, a bigger house, your dream job, or even the ideal mate will not in itself make you happy.
The richest Americans, those earning more than 10 million dollars annually, report levels of personal happiness only slightly greater than the office staffs and blue-collar workers they employ.
2. Research indicates that happy people are optimistic about the future, even though like everyone else, they have no idea whats going to happen.
3. Happy people are more forgiving.
This requires overcoming strong negative emotions, as well as the motivation to forgive. Forgiving is very possible, but it may require a great deal more effort and time than some of the other happiness activities.
4. Happy people are more caring, and involved in the lives of others.
They get a lot of happiness from the joy of others which creates a perpetual source of good emotions for them.
5. In their day to day lives, happy people are more passionate about what they do and are able to savor the moment.
They value their time and they realize that its a limited resource that needs to be valued for them to be happy.
6. They tend to be committed to lifelong goals, maintain deep friendships, and are likely to be in touch with life’s spiritual side.
By focusing on their goals, they give purpose and meaning to their actions. This drives them towards their goal and makes the happier.
7. Studies show that 50% of individual differences in happiness are determined by genes, 10% by life circumstances, and 40% by our intentional activities.
Genetics and circumstances are limiting factors on happiness, but as Dr. Lyubomirsky demonstrates, 40 percent of happiness is within our control. We can, in fact, not only decide how to be happy, but practice making ourselves happier.
8. They control their momentary emotions with the ‘Will it matter in a year?’ strategy.
Whenever something happens that would usually make them angry or upset, they ask themselves whether it will matter in a year and if it doesn’t, they don’t sweat it.
9. They don’t over think.
Overthinking (i.e., rumination) ushers in a host of adverse consequences: It sustains or worsens sadness, fosters negatively-biased thinking, impairs a person’s ability to solve problems, saps motivation, and interferes with concentration and initiative.
10. They take care of how they think of the past.
They practice of repetitively replaying your happiest life events serves to prolong and reinforce positive emotions and make you happier, whereas systematically analyzing your happiest life events has the reverse effect.