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  • Positive Self Defense

10 Secrets of Happy People

Updated: Feb 6, 2020

Have you ever noticed that some people just seem happy all the time despite all of the challenges they must be facing? Have you ever wished you could feel a little more like that in your everyday life? While some might be predisposed to a rosier outlook, it’s entirely possible to become more of an optimist. Here are 10 secrets happy people know about living a fuller, more fulfilling life.

Success is Worth Celebrating

While humility is a great asset, there’s nothing wrong with celebrating success. After all, you’ve put in a lot of hard work. Whether it’s a new house, losing weight, paying off debt or even potty training a child, happy people know how to do a victory lap in style.

At the same time, they also take the time to congratulate others on their wins, too. In fact, the more content you are in your own life, the easier it is to cheer on those around you. Besides, who doesn’t love an opportunity to do a happy dance?

Seeking Approval From Others is Fruitless

There’s an old saying that happy people know to be true — “you can’t please everyone.” If you’re busy trying to impress your mother, your boss, your partner, your social media followers, etc… you are only wasting your time.

When you love and are at peace with yourself, you will know that your own internal compass is the one that matters. When you understand your own journey, your inner voice will tell you when you’ve veered off track. That has to come from within.

Dwelling on the Past is a Waste of Time

There are people who really cling to the past, whether it’s negative or positive. They struggle with focusing on the future, and continue to repeat the same patterns with the same people over and over again. With this mindset, it’s incredibly difficult to grow and move on.

Happy people recognize that there is a past, present and future version of themselves. They acknowledge the lessons they’ve learned but focus on living in the moment in order to build a better future. As a result, they may even relocate and/or end significant relationships to continue moving forward. 

Gossiping Brings Everyone Down

Some people seem to live to talk about others, but joyful people realize that gossip can hurt everyone involved — not just the targets of the chatter. While it’s normal to discuss and reflect on the things that happen around us, we cross a line when it becomes continuous and judgmental.

It’s easy to get pulled into drama, but the happiest souls know how to shake it off. In fact, when they identify the situations in which this type of negativity will occur, they steer clear. The world would be a far better place if we lived by the motto, “if you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say it at all.”

Taking Care of Our Bodies is Important

Olay got it right with their slogan, “Love the skin you’re in.” Happy people know that how we treat our bodies is a reflection of how we feel about ourselves. When we make our health a priority, we improve our chances of living a long, contented life.

If you’ve ever struggled to button a pair of pants or had to sit out of a fun activity because you’re too out of shape, you already know that it feels terrible. When we put in the effort to eat right and exercise (studies show that even a little physical activity can boost our mood), we are giving ourselves the love we deserve.

Being Polite Costs Nothing

Almost anyone can have a moment when they’re tempted to give in to frustration, but happy people go out of their way to be polite whenever they get the chance. If you walk into a store and the greeter says hello, acknowledge them. If you’re getting your nails done or ordering food at a restaurant, make eye contact with the person providing you service. Basically, treat people like humans; it’s that simple.

Being dismissive and rude will only result in others treating you the same way so, if you have bad experiences everywhere you go, it’s probably because of your own behavior. Whether we spread positivity or negativity, it can create a ripple effect. Choose kindness.

There’s Always a Silver Lining

Life is full of surprises and, sometimes, things can get rough. In those moments, it’s easy to fall into defeatist thinking while assuming the worst, but happy people look for silver linings in even the darkest of times. This is a hard one, for sure, but it’s definitely worth the effort.

When it feels like the world is caving in, take some deep breaths and step back from the situation. Have you gained perspective? Are you stronger or wiser as a result of how you’ve suffered? Are you appreciating the little things more than you used to? If you can find even the smallest bright side to what you’re going through, it can change your mindset for the better.

We Should Be Generous, But Have Boundaries

It feels so good to give, especially when we can see the positive impact we’ve had on the lives of others, but happy people know that it’s also important to set boundaries. A level of selflessness keeps us humble and curbs self-centered thinking, but we also need to find balance.

When we overextend ourselves, it can leave us feeling depleted. Setting limits and being able to say no, when needed, helps us protect our own energy and resources. In order to continue to spread generosity and contentment, we need to know how to restore our own reserves as well.

Money Isn’t Everything

Can money buy happiness? This age-old question will be debated for years and years to come, but the reality is that, while healthy finances can provide us with some level of stability and comfort, having money can’t solve all of our problems. The rich and famous have family and relationship issues. Their fortunes can’t end a battle with addiction or cancer. While it might help, money isn’t enough on its own.

Happy people are not motivated by a fat paycheck. They find inner fulfillment and self-actualization through accomplishing goals, forming meaningful connections, and seeking out unique experiences. You can’t put a price on a purpose-driven life.

Happiness is a Choice

This will probably ruffle a few feathers, but the most content, joyful people understand that happiness is a choice. When the morning commute is terrible and you finally arrive at work, you can choose whether to allow the rest of your day to be impacted, or you can make a conscious decision to turn things around. It takes effort, at first, but with practice, it gets easier.

One of the best ways to overcome a rough moment is to focus on gratitude. Think about all the positive things in your life that you, too often, take for granted. Again, you’ll have to work at it, but this change in perspective can help you lead a fuller, happier life. It’s worth it!

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