Leo Tolstoy once said “If you want to be happy, be.” If only it were that easy, Mr. Tolstoy!
Psychologist Paula Davis-Laack says she’s observed thousands of people in a wide variety of settings and has compiled a list of what happy people do differently.
You can read her full article here, but below is a quick summary.
What happy people do differently:
- They build a strong social fabric.Happy people stay connected to their families, neighbors, places of worship, and communities.
- They play to their strengths.One size does not fit all when it comes to happiness strategies. Happy people engage in activities that fit their strengths, values and lifestyle.
- They practice gratitude. Research suggests that the character strength of gratitude is a fairly strong correlate with life satisfaction.
- Think like an optimist. Happy people “embrace the suck” and understand that while the ride might be bumpy at times, it won’t last forever.
- They help other people. Happy people know it’s good to do good, and help others by volunteering their time.
- They know that material wealth is no the key. Happy people have a healthy perspective about how much joy material possessions will bring.
- They develop healthy coping strategies. Happy people will encounter the same stressful life adversities, but they look for ways to grow from their challenges.
- They focus on health. Happy people take care of their mind and body and manage their stress.
- They cultivate spiritual emotions. Authors Ed Diener and Robert Biswas-Diener explain in their book Happiness: Unlocking the Mysteries of Psychological Wealth that spiritual emotions are essential to psychological wealth and happiness because they help us connect to something larger than ourselves.
- They have direction. Working toward meaningful life goals is one of the most important strategies happy people utilize.