What makes a person truly happy?
As the world becomes more and more demanding and complicated, happiness also become elusive. Many people, this may include you, struggle to find happiness in their lives. Unfortunately, every endeavor almost always turns into nothing.
The reality is that most people try to find happiness in the wrong place. They go outside of their internal experience and start to explore the external materials.
As a result, money and other perks that life can offer are often associated with happiness. But are these things really make a person truly happy?
No. The truth is that happiness is something that emanates and should be cultivated inside not outside. It is the product of positive outlook that a person experiences internally on a daily basis.
But in order to have positivity, one should understand that healthy well-being comes from the integrated behavioral outcomes. In other words, no one can have a healthy cognitive functioning without practicing healthy daily routine.
Thus, a person can only be truly happy if he/she is practicing healthy habits. Below are the common practices that a happy person does:
1. Always have sufficient sleep
In a busy world, many people have forgotten the value of enough sleep. Because it is competitive out there, everyone wants to achieve something. The problem is that the longing for success often leads people to take their health for granted. Stress disturbs their mind leading to sleepless nights.
At the end of the day, they ask why they aren’t happy despite all the successes? Little did they know that the lack of sleep makes them unhappy. Studies found that sleep plays a very important role not only on memory consolidation but also on happiness. Sleep-deprived people are more stressful and unhappy than those with enough sleep.
2. Able to resolve conflict in life
Conflict can be a source of stress and unhappiness. But a happy person will be able to manage conflict. Part of it is that happy people are objective and able to come up with a constructive decision.
In contrast, unhappy and stressed people often come up with a negative and ineffective decision.
3. Look for opportunity in challenges
If there is something that is constant in life, it is an obstacle. But for most people, challenges make them stress and unhappy. Happy people, on the other hand, treat obstacles and challenges as an opportunity to grow.
They focus on the positive things in life, not on the negative. Unhappy people oftentimes see nothing but their negative experiences. They have no idea that what they think will manifest in their lives. Because they focus on stressful experience, they end up in unhappiness.
If you want to be happy, do not focus on your bad experiences. Focus on the wonderful things in your life. Believe it or not, there is something magnificent which you might have forgotten or taken for granted.
4. Laugh and smile
Happy people always smile and find laughter. They don’t confine themselves in negative emotions even in stressful situations. They just smile while others are panicking. Laughter creates a positive vibe that lightens up challenges.
Studies show that even a deliberate smile can cause a happy emotion. The simple contraction in the muscle in your cheek could trigger the release of oxytocin, a neurotransmitter in the brain that causes happy feelings.
5. Love who they are
The main reason why most people are unhappy or frustrated in life is the feeling of inadequacy. That inferiority complex inside them holds them back from doing good for themselves. Nowadays, social media do damaging effect to the people’s well-being. The online interaction becomes the source of stress and depression.
Why? Simply because most people compare themselves to other people they don’t even know. Such social comparison causes harm than good. What makes a person truly happy is the love for himself/herself.
6. Have a good social connection
Having many friends and better social relationships are the best source of happiness. In fact, the longest-running study at Harvard University found that the biggest factor of happiness is not money but a quality relationship.
This means that, if you want to be happy, find more friends. Build a better social connection with your church mates, classmates, co-workers, etc. It just takes one hello to start a conversation with a stranger which later on could build into a happy friendship.
7. Forget grudges and forgive personal shortcomings
We all have negative experiences behind us. For most people, those painful experiences hunt them in the present. As a result, finding happiness is hard for them.
Happy people, in contrast, leave their painful experiences behind. They forgive and never blame themselves for what happened. They just learn from their mistakes and go on.
8. Acceptance of other people
More often than not we complain about other people’s upbringing. We tend to set one standard for all. The problem is no two people are the same. Everyone is unique. And because everyone is unique, we are all different. So forcing others to do what we want them to do is simply a futile effort. And in worse cases, it creates stress and frustration.
Happy people, in contrast, don’t pay attention as to why other people act the way they do. Instead, they develop acceptance. They focus on the good things and habits in people instead of focusing on others’ negative attributes. One of the things that makes a person truly happy is unconditional positive regard. That is accepting others regardless of who they are.
9. Sense of gratitude
One of the things that makes a person truly happy is a sense of gratitude. Being grateful for everything you have is one of the best ways to becoming happy. The problem of most people is that they don’t value what they already have. They want more. More money, more success, etc. But the moment they reach there, they only find emptiness.
This is the reason why many successful people fell into depression. Not because they achieve less but because they failed to acknowledge what they already achieved. So be thankful for everything you have if you want to be truly happy.
10. The willingness to let go
This is not an easy thing to do. But as you go on, you’ll realize that there are so many things in life that you have no control over. Thus, if you try to control everything in your life, chances are you’ll only get frustrated and stressed.
The road to real happiness is accepting the fact you cannot control everything. What you can do is to control what is controllable and let go what you cannot control.
11. Eagerness to learn
Happy people are those who remain hungry for knowledge. They are always wanting to learn more and explore more. In contrast, unhappy people are stagnant. They are less passionate about gaining new learnings. As a result, they barely get ahead in life and less happy.
Unselfishness is one of the things that makes a person truly happy. In fact, studies show that whenever you feel sadness or emptiness, one thing you can do is altruism. Giving something to someone in need can make you feel happy.
You see many people who are passionate about giving. Have you wondered why? Well, it is not because those people have unlimited resources but because they are happy doing so. By giving you will not only become happy but also be able to expand your social world by building new friendships.
One of the common traits of happy people is the openness to new idea or suggestion. Being open to new possibilities gives you an advantage over life circumstances.
When you’re open, you don’t pretend to be someone perfect. Instead, you recognize your weaknesses and vulnerability. You are happy when corrected. Stubborn people, on the other hand, take objective criticisms as a personal assault.
If you want to be truly happy, be open-minded and recognize your limitations.
What makes a person truly happy?
Well, there are so many things that can make a person happy. Some of those are included in this list. But as mentioned, happiness may not be found from the outside. Most of the time, happiness stems from one’s internal experience.
If you want to be truly happy, you may want to explore your inner world. Ask yourself what is it that really makes you happy. I hope that this post will help you find your own source of happiness.
I’m a licensed psychometrician, author, and blogger. I’m currently working as a University instructor teaching psychology. I love writing and doing psychological research.