How to Be Happy : 4 Surprising Habits of Happy People

We all want it, but we all don't know how to get it. For many people, happiness is a learned behavior. If you are searching for ways on how to be happy, check out these 4 habits of happy people. You may not have known these things lead to happiness.

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Many of us desire to better know how to be happy. Not only does happiness make life more enjoyable, it can also make your life longer, up to 7.5 years longer according to certain studies. While the things that make people happy are unique per individual the habits of happy people reveal a pattern of behavior similar to one another.

How to Be Happy

Just as there are common habits of successful people, there are common habits of happy people. Certain habits of happy people are well known, such as giving up smoking, and starting a more consistent healthy workout and diet plan and getting adequate sleep. But there are other habits ohappy people that may surprise you. If you are searching for answers on how to be happy, you’ll want to read about these 4 surprising habits for happiness. You’ll realize that learning how to be happy is more attainable than you may have realized.

How to Be Happy : Be Kind

Kindness.  One of the simplest, but surest answers for those wondering how to be happy is to be kind. Kindness is a universal characteristic in most happy people. Like any attempt for self improvement, in order to successfully become a kinder person, you should set a tangible goal that can be recorded, tracked, and evaluated. Try to do at least three minor acts of kindness per day, that you can mark down in a journal. But don’t stop there. The essence of kindness is sincerity. So focus on identify spontaneous opportunities for kindness. Start looking around and paying a bit more attention. Your acts of kindness do not have to be big, they don’t even necessarily have to involve other people. Say hello to a stranger, smile at someone who seems to be struggling – better yet, offer to help in some way. Get an extra cup of joe (or even better warm lemon water) for the new employee in your section. Hold the elevator, even if you are in a bit of a hurry. Nothing big necessary. Most of the things won’t  take much more time than not doing them would take. But it will lift your spirits, and you may start to notice people get happier whenever you are near.

How to Be Happy: Be Grateful

Be Grateful. Fostering and expressing sincere gratitude is a common habit of happy people. One way to nurture your gratitude is by keeping a gratitude journal. But don’t make this journal become a chore. According to a study done at the University of California Davis, writing three gratitude items a day can add stress to your life. But, if you record 1-3 per week, then it reminds you of the good in life without creating a stress-inducing expectation. And when it comes to expressing gratitude to others, it’s a random bit of kindness AND a moment when you can feel grateful. Not much better than a two-for-one deal!

How to Be Happy: Reflect On Your Life

Be Reflective. Taking some time to reflect, looking deep into the past events that have influenced your life is another effective answer for those wondering how to be happy. You don’t need to reflect on your past every day, but occasionally look at events from your past and considering how it impacted your life, how it impacted your way of thinking, and if that mentality is objective and productive. You might write about them, or just challenge some of the existing assumptions you have about the event.

Looking back on your past, especially when reflecting on difficult times, is a good way to put challenges, both past and the ones you are sure to encounter at some point in the future, into perspective. While reflecting on past struggles, you may notice that at the time, the challenge may have seemed insurmountable, like your world was coming to an end. But having a few years or months on the other side of the challenge endows you with the wisdom of hindsight and objectivity. Notice that now, you think differently about the challenge than you did at the time.

Need to make a shift in your thinking? Check out some motivational videos from SHAPE Army.

So ask yourself, do you still feel the same? Is there some good that came out of it? Can you say “thank heavens things happened the way they did”?

Re-evaluating events in your life, especially the hard ones, can help you realize the good that can come from challenging times, and it can remind you, when you face your next challenge in the future that you have overcome challenges in your past, you can conquer any challenges to come.

Of course, do not focus only on the dark times, reflect also on the happy times and experiences that have blessed your life with meaning, success and happiness.

How to Be Happy : Spend Time with Your People

Be Social. If you are an individual blessed with a good group of people, family, friends, and mentors within your social circle, than you have a great advantage in your discovery of how to be happy. Spending time being social, no, not social media time, but actual time with people, hearing their voices, or sitting down to talk with them face to face is shown to increase levels of satisfaction and is a common habit of happy people.

Studies have shown that a phone call with a friend helps lower your blood pressure and your Cortisol levels. Cortisol is an important hormone to understand when learning how to be happy because this hormone is associated with stress. Not only will Cortisol make it harder for you to learn how to be happy but it can also have negative impacts on your health. For example, when your body releases Cortisol into your system, losing weight becomes more difficult. That means speaking with a friend is not only a way for you to be happier, but it is also aids your weight-loss plan. The positive impact is even greater when you meet and have personal contact with others you enjoy. If you’ve been feeling stressed, a bit down, or just plain out-of-sorts, call a friend and schedule a get together to enjoy each other’s company.

Learning How to Be Happy

We all want more happiness in our lives. But for most of us, happiness is something that needs to be learned. Fortunately you can learn how to be happy without having to invest a lot of time or money. Just start watching out for something you can do to help, something you can be grateful for, and someone you can enjoy a little social interaction with.

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