Have you got a case of the blues? Are you feeling frustrated and upset by stories in the news? Try adopting some of the habits of happy people. Doing so could make you feel more connected to your life, give you a sense of purpose, and make your overall outlook a happier one.
An article at MindBodyGreen points out seven of the habits that are practiced by the happiest people. You might not be doing them. That isn’t really your fault, though, because few people talk about how they manage to stay so happy all the time.
The main idea from the article is that you can cultivate happiness. It sounds to me as though they are saying that happiness can be cultivated like a garden of vegetables. Metaphorically speaking, you need to plant the seeds, work the soil, and give your happiness time to grow. It seems that the happiest people are so happy because they work at it and practice habits that result in happiness every day.
The article also describes happiness as a “choice”. My best guess is that they are suggesting that you could choose to spend your lunch break being grumpy about the difficulties of your day. Or, you could choose to focus on something more positive.
I would not recommend that a person who is in the midst of a serious depression make the choice to forego therapy in favor of trying some of the habits that are said to make people happy. There are times when happiness is not something that a person can simply choose.
One of the most surprising habits on the list was number 7. “They see everyone as equal”. The happiest people don’t judge others, or condemn others, or point out the flaws that they see in other people. They aren’t on the internet trying to find someone to pick a fight with, and are not seeking happiness as a result of being able to prove that another person was “wrong”.
Instead, the happiest people have gotten into the habit of embracing all of life’s diversity. They stop seeing difference between people as something to bicker about or be judgmental over. They see the contrasts between themselves and others as something to celebrate.
Perhaps the most rewarding habit of happy people is number 5. “They don’t need you to like them.” This doesn’t mean that they lack meaningful relationships with other people. The reality is quite the opposite! Instead, it means they have stopped viewing their ability to be happy as connected to, or dependent upon, having other people like them.
Want to add some happiness to your life? Start by practicing those two habits of happy people. Or, check out the blog at MindBodyGreen for the full list.
Image by Kate Ter Haar on Flickr.