Why are some people more happy than others? It looks like they’ve found what they love to do and have a consistent sense of peace and happiness. They see positive opportunities when most people see closed doors. They handle failures and setbacks with grace and confidently continue moving in their desired direction.
Don’t worry if you think this doesn’t sound like you. The good news is, you can be one of those people. Those characteristics are largely learned. I know this from personal experience. I’ve seen people go through hardships and depression and yet turn their life around purely through their actions and attitude.
Being happy is possible, no matter how dark your days are. Contrary to popular belief, being happy really doesn’t have much to do with “positive thinking”. It’s about cultivating a realistic attitude that embraces life as it is.
Finding lasting happiness is a lot like physical fitness. You have to work your muscles daily if you want to see results over time. So, if you’re looking for a nudge to get the ball rolling, here are 7 habits of authentically happy people.
1) They have at least 5 close relationships
Did you know that the longest Harvard study ever on happiness found that healthy relationships were the most consistent predictor of a happy person? Having a few close relationships has also been found to help us live a longer, higher quality life. True friends really are worth their weight in gold.
But why five relationships?
This has been found to be an acceptable average from a variety of studies. According to the book Finding Flow: “National surveys find that when someone claims to have 5 or more friends with whom they can discuss important problems, they are 60 percent more likely to say that they are ‘very happy’.”
However keep in mind that the actual number doesn’t necessarily matter that much, it is the effort you put into your relationships that matters.
2) They don’t tie your happiness to external events
A variety of research says that self-esteem that is bound to external success can be quite fickle. For example, if you tie your self-esteem to getting that job promotion, you’ll experience a small boost when you get it, but it won’t last long.
Tying your happiness to external events can also lead to behavior which avoids failure. The key may be to think of yourself less as this C.W Lewis quote says to avoid the trap of tying your self-worth to external signals.
3) They exercise
It’s been proven over and over. Exercise will make you feel better if you stick with it. Body image improves as a result of exercise and eventually you’ll begin to experience that “exercise high” thanks to the release of endorphins. It doesn’t matter which physical activity you do, just as long as you do something.
4) They become good at something
Happy people generally have something that they’re “good at”. A skill they’ve honed over the years. People report that even though it may have been tough to improve their skills at something, they are satisfied with themselves when they look back.
The rewards of becoming great at something far outweigh the short-term discomfort.
5) They spend more money on experiences
According to a fair amount of research, experiential purchases tend to make us happier than spending money on material goods. This could be because experiences are something you’ll remember forever, they’re social and they’re unique. Nobody in the world will have the same exact experience you had.
6) They don’t ignore negative emotions
Yes, it’s common for most of us to resist emotions like sadness. But the truth you need sadness if you’re going to have happiness. And resisting these emotions will only turn into something more ugly down the road. Perhaps master Buddhist Pema Chödrön says it best:
“…feelings like disappointment, embarrassment, irritation, resentment, anger, jealousy, and fear, instead of being bad news, are actually very clear moments that teach us where it is that we’re holding back. They teach us to perk up and lean in when we feel we’d rather collapse and back away. They’re like messengers that show us, with terrifying clarity, exactly where we’re stuck. This very moment is the perfect teacher, and, lucky for us, it’s with us wherever we are.”
7) They are busy, but not rushed
Research shows that if you constantly feel rushed, then you’ll feel miserable. On the other hand, studies suggest that have nothing to do can also takes its toll.
The best is when you’re living a productive life but at a comfortable pace. Meaning: You should be expanding your comfort zone, but not so much that you feel overwhelmed. The best advice here is to say no to things that you’re not excited about, and yes to things that you can say “hell yeah!” to.
In studying the human mind, science is constantly making new discoveries about how we learn, perceive and develop. Numerous studies and researches are conducted on younger generations so we know what we can do at an early stage to help them have a better start in life. New study reveals the most important things a parent can provide to a child to better prepare that child for adulthood. In this article we’ve narrowed it down to the 5 most important that you need to provide to your children to make them smarter.
1. Music education
It may be becoming a cliche, but exposure to music and music education early on in life can make your child smarter. A series of tests and scores in multiple categories showed better results in academic achievement by children who listened to quality music Music is so soothing to the mind that it helps not only the young, but the older generations too. In that sense, then, it can be said that the effects of music are timeless.
2. School – Sports Balance
Another cliche we all know is the dumb jock stereotype – that people who are principality into sports are not so smart and good with academic subjects. Studies have repeatedly shown this not to be true.
It has been shown that jocks are not good with academia because they are too busy training, and do not study. Not because they are not smart. Your child needs to have the balance between studying and having a quality physical workout plan in his/her life. Studies have in fact shown that physical activity improves memory and brain’s responsiveness to learning and developing.
3. Make sure they are getting enough sleep
You probably should take this with a grain of salt, but some studies claim that the brain of your sixth grader at home will operate as a fourth grader, if he/she missed even an hour of sleep. Further claims go on to compare that regular loss of sleep can slow down the brain development of your child by full two years.
It is not every day that science universally agrees on an issue, but the sleep issue seems non – negotiable: make sure your kid gets enough sleep.
4. Hard Work Beats IQ when IQ Doesn’t Work
Ok, let’s reduce the drama in that introduction. IQ is very important, but without discipline and most of all, self – discipline, your child will probably not get far. Studies have repeatedly shown that children with grit, determination to hard work and self – discipline almost always outperform children who seem smarter but are lazy or disorganized.
The disciplined children generally perform better at school, at sports and get further in their careers later in life. IQ is inherited (from the mother, according to science) but you must help your child develop self – discipline so it can channel its mental and physical abilities more productively.
5. Make sure your kid doesn’t spend time with the wrong people
We are social beings, and spending time with peers matters enormously. However, you must be careful what sort of peers you allow your child to spend most time with. Peer pressure is a serious force, especially at a younger age. So make sure you provide a quality school in a good neighborhood for your kid.
Pay attention to what sort of company he keeps and even the topics of conversation he likes most. All of that will influence his/her development, vocabulary, ambitions and career inclinations later on in life.
When was the last time you took a break from everything and everyone just so you could spend some time alone with yourself? When was the last time you gave yourself as much love, appreciation and affection as you give to those around you? Most people give a lot to those around them, but very little to themselves. And because of that, they get imbalanced. They neglect their health, they forget about their dreams, needs and desires, they forget about who they truly are underneath it all, and gradually, without them even realizing it, they become a stranger to themselves.
“WE ARE ALL ALONE, BORN ALONE, DIE ALONE, AND—IN SPITE OF TRUE ROMANCE MAGAZINES—WE SHALL ALL SOMEDAY LOOK BACK ON OUR LIVES AND SEE THAT, IN SPITE OF OUR COMPANY, WE WERE ALONE THE WHOLE WAY. I DO NOT SAY LONELY—AT LEAST, NOT ALL THE TIME—BUT ESSENTIALLY, AND FINALLY, ALONE. THIS IS WHAT MAKES YOUR SELF-RESPECT SO IMPORTANT, AND I DON’T SEE HOW YOU CAN RESPECT YOURSELF IF YOU MUST LOOK IN THE HEARTS AND MINDS OF OTHERS FOR YOUR HAPPINESS.” ~ HUNTER S. THOMPSON
This isn’t how we should treat our own selves. When you deeply love and care someone, you spend time alone with that person. And the same you should do with yourself. You deserve as much acknowledgment, love and appreciation as everyone else. And before expecting to get all of these things from anyone else, you should first learn how to offer them to yourself.
“WE NEED SOLITUDE, BECAUSE WHEN WE’RE ALONE, WE’RE FREE FROM OBLIGATIONS, WE DON’T NEED TO PUT ON A SHOW, AND WE CAN HEAR OUR OWN THOUGHTS.” ~ TAMIM ANSARY
Here are 9 Reasons Why You Should Spend More Time Alone With Yourself:
1. You get to know yourself.
“A human being has so many skins inside, covering the depths of the heart. We know so many things, but we don’t know ourselves! Why, thirty or forty skins or hides, as thick and hard as an ox’s or bear’s, cover the soul. Go into your own ground and learn to know yourself there.” ~ Meister Eckhart
You are the most important person in your own life, the hero of your life story, and by taking the time to be alone with yourself, to be yourself and to know yourself, you will reach deep into your own heart and Soul, and you will get to experience the beauty, the greatness and the wonder of you. And what can be more beautiful than that?
2. You learn how to be alone without feeling lonely.
Orson Welles was right when he said that “We are born alone and we die alone. We come into this world all alone, and even though along the way we will find companionship in our friends, family, and the many people we will meet along the way, there will still be moments when we will be all alone. And even though this can be a scary thought, if we take the time to be alone with ourselves – to love, accept, embrace and make peace with who we are, eventually we will learn how to be alone with ourselves without feeling lonely. And we will no longer have to live in fear…
3. You learn how to love and accept yourself.
Believe it or not, the more time you spend alone with yourself, and the more you learn to embrace, accept and make peace with your so called flaws, mistakes and imperfections, the more love you will have in your heart not only for those around you, but also for yourself.
“Love yourself—accept yourself—forgive yourself—and be good to yourself, because without you the rest of us are without a source of many wonderful things.” ~ Leo F. Buscaglia
4. You learn how to live in alignment with your life purpose.
Rumi said it so beautifully, “Everything in the universe is within you. Ask all from yourself.” Your heart and soul know the path you are meant to walk upon, the life you came here to live and the work you are supposed to do in this world. And if you take a few steps back from your daily routine, away from the people around you, and away from all the noise that surrounds you, you will be able to connect to that side of you that knows why you’re here on this planet, what the purpose of your life is and what the reason of your existence is.
5. You learn how to become who you are and not who the world thinks you should be.
“There is a voice inside of you that whispers all day long, “I feel this is right for me, I know that this is wrong.” No teacher, preacher, parent, friend or wise man can decide what’s right for you–just listen to the voice that speaks inside.” ~ Shel Silverstein
From a very young age we are taught to conform; we are taught to be more like others and less like ourselves. And the beautiful thing about spending time alone with yourself is that you will free yourself from all these mind traps, beliefs and limitations about you having to be like everybody else. And you will find within you the strength and courage to embrace and become who you truly are and not who the world thinks you should be. No longer having to pretend, and no longer having to hide yourself from yourself.
6. You discover that you are bigger than all your problems.
It’s wonderful to have friends and family to help you when you are faced with challenges and difficulties. But there will be times in your life when none of them will be able to help you. There will be times when you will need to “fight your battles” all on your own. And by spending time alone with yourself, by strengthening your sense of self and by allowing the courage, the wisdom and the power that lies deep with you to be unleashed, you will eventually realize that you bigger than all your problems and that you have within you everything you need to deal with whatever challenges life sends your way. And you will no longer feel afraid.
7. You discover the value and power of silence.
When the mind is quiet, when there are no thoughts and no words to be said, that’s when you can hear your own heart talking to you. That’s when you can hear your own soul and our own intuition communicating to you. Silence is a wonderful teacher, whispering things in your ear and helping you understand things that you won’t be able to discover from anywhere else. And by taking the time to be alone with yourself, to breathe in and breathe out without the need to force yourself into saying another word or thinking another thought, you will understand what Ausonius meant when he said: “He who does not know how to be silent will not know how to speak.”
8. You learn how to honor and respect yourself.
Most people are so used to begging for approval and validation from outside of them, so busy looking for love in all the wrong places, that they can no longer connect with that side of them that knows that they already are enough. That’s why they stay in relationships that make them unhappy, in environments that are toxic, jobs that they hate and so on, thinking that they aren’t worthy of more. And the beautiful thing about spending more time alone with yourself is that it will teach you to honor and “Respect yourself enough to walk away from anything that no longer serves you, grows you, or makes you happy.” ~ Robert Tew. Boosting your self-image and self-esteem so that you will no longer allow anything or anyone to make you feel like you are not enough – good enough, smart enough, worthy enough, beautiful enough, etc..
9. You learn how to let go.
One of the hardest things in life is to let go of the people, memories, things, experiences and places we love the most. We hold on to everything and everyone so tightly, fearing that without that to which we cling, we will be nothing. Failing to realize that our attachment interferes with the love we have for that which we cling to, taking away from the purity and the beauty that love has to offer. But as you spend more time alone in your own company, opening your heart and connecting with your inner wisdom at a deeper level, you will be able to distinguish between true love and attachment. And as time goes by, you will understand that true “Love liberates. It doesn’t just hold—that’s ego. Love liberates. It doesn’t bind. Love says, ‘I love you. I love you if you’re in China. I love you if you’re across town. I love you if you’re in Harlem. I love you. I would like to be near you. I’d like to have your arms around me. I’d like to hear your voice in my ear. But that’s not possible now, so I love you. Go.’” ~ Dr. Maya Angelou
With all my love,
By LUMINITA D. SAVIUC