Have you ever noticed people who radiate happiness all the time? Their cheerful demeanor shines through their actions, words, and even the way they interact with people.
Despite setbacks or challenges, they’re always ready with a smile and armed with a can-do attitude.
So how do they maintain a positive attitude all the time?
Here are 5 habits and practices genuinely happy people cultivate in their lives. Try them and watch your life change!
1) Embrace gratitude
It’s often said that the key to happiness is embracing gratitude. And there actually is a strong correlation between the two.
When you express gratitude, you experience and reinforce positive emotions, which uplifts your overall mood.
You forge better relationships as well, as you appreciate the people around you, and strengthen your resilience – especially when you practice gratitude during challenging times.
Of course, it’s easy to maintain an attitude of gratitude when we’re doing okay. But when the going gets tough – and it will get tough – we’ll tend to focus on the negative side of things.
We start becoming bitter and angry.
While these are very natural responses to difficult situations, in times like these, it’s especially important to be grateful for what we have.
We start to shift our overall outlook towards that situation and look at it through a more positive lens.
You’re now in a much better headspace to take on the challenges of the day.
2) Surrounding yourself with positivity
Motivational speaker, Jim Rohn, once said “You’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”
Whether we like it or not, we’re influenced greatly by the relationships we keep. Unconsciously, these people affect our values, beliefs, and decisions we make, to a great extent.
If you want to remain happy, surround yourself with supportive and optimistic people. The more time you spend with them, the more positivity you’ll inject into your life.
In the face of challenges, these are the people who you’ll want to surround yourself with, to support and spur you on.
3) Prioritizing self-care
Amid the hustle and bustle of life, we often forget to take care of ourselves.
We agree to endless deadlines at work, make an effort to nurture relationships, and spend time taking care of everything else.
All at the expense of our physical and mental health.
Nowadays, self-care is always packaged as well-deserved massages, long holidays, or nourishing meals. Which are great things to help you decompress.
But the most overlooked first step to prioritizing self-care, is saying ‘no’.
And learning to say no is one of the most difficult things to do. At least, that was the situation for me.
I often pride myself on being able to ‘work under pressure’. But during a particularly stressful period at work, while managing life, relationships, and everything else on top of it, I found myself at a breaking point.
I was angry at everything, always tired, and my relationships with everyone around me were greatly affected.
My first reaction was disbelief because I thought I could handle this!
I even went for a massage or two, treated myself to mini shopping sprees and indulged in expensive meals. While this might have given me some respite from work, mentally, I was still extremely stressed out.
Don’t be afraid to say ‘no’.
It doesn’t need to be a permanent thing as well, it can always be temporary. It’s up to you to decide how long of a break you need.
Then, schedule those self-care activities! You can now fully immerse yourself in rest and make way for a much happier you.
4) Giving back
Wait, aren’t we supposed to focus on ourselves and our happiness?
It’s counterintuitive, right? Giving to others causes us to feel happier?
But even science has shown that acts of selflessness lead to greater positive emotions. It also goes beyond a simple change of emotions; these acts are often accompanied by lower stress levels and a strengthened immune function.
Giving doesn’t always need to be about donating money; you can give your time as well. Usually, the latter is a bit more difficult to part with.
You can start with your family and loved ones. Help out around the house and go beyond what you usually do. Cook them a nice meal, and get to know them on a deeper level through conversations.
Acts of giving don’t need to be fancy; sometimes the simplest things are the most meaningful.
Then, find out how you can give back to your local community. Apart from donating old clothes or items, see how you can help out at shelters, welfare organizations, or charities.
Try it for yourself and observe how your mood changes.
5) Focusing on personal growth
While it may seem important to chase that promotion at work, that internship at a big tech firm or get good grades at school, we shouldn’t forget to feed our soul with things that we enjoy.
Don’t let work or school overshadow your hobbies and passions. It’s important to do well in the former, but focusing on the latter helps us live a lot better.
If you want to pursue a coding class for fun, do it! If you want to learn how to ice skate, there’s no better time than now. Want to pick up a new language? This is your sign to start.
I understand that time is limited, especially when we have so many things to juggle. We’re often more selective with what we spend our time on, and usually, we end up prioritizing things that will help us perform better at work or school.
But there’s so much more to life than that. If you’re able to, do something because you enjoy it. The best thing about personal projects is that you get to set your timeline.
I have a friend who wanted to learn how to crochet and had set a goal to crochet an outfit for herself. No matter how busy life got, she’d allocate fifteen minutes a week at least just to get better at this hobby.
After a long time, she finally did it. And became so much better at crocheting!
It wasn’t about how long she took, but about the little pockets of time she spent getting better at doing what she loved, that made all the difference.
Being happy, genuinely happy, is a choice. It’s also a discipline and takes practice.
Amid all the negativity that’s happening around us right now, let’s strive to see the good in everything.