What Happy People Know

24 Dec, 2009 || by

You don’t need a degree in psychology to know when you’re off-track, but sometimes it creeps up on you. It can seem like you wake up one day and realize that things are not right. These are a few of the signs:

  • You don’t want to get out of bed.
  • You have a hard time motivating yourself to do routine tasks.
  • You have doubts about yourself.
  • You feel mildly depressed for days at a time.
  • You overeat and/or use alcohol and drugs to feel better or escape.
  • You often feel chronically tired, de-energized, and listless.
  • You feel bored or restless.
  • You wish you were somewhere else.
  • You often have headaches or stomach upset.
  • You sleep too little, too much, or restlessly
  • You have frequent bad dreams or nightmares.
  • You oversleep.

These symptoms tend to occur when we spend too much time focusing on the things we mistakenly believe will bring us happiness, such as:

  • Money
  • Status
  • Power
  • Possessions
  • Leisure

The common theme in all these areas is more, more, more.  Always focusing on wanting more is a sure way to bring about feelings of discontent and unhappiness.  Instead, we can use these negative symptoms as a sign that we need to make changes in our lives, just as we use illness as a sign to take better care of our physical health.

So you ask, what DO happy people know? Studies indicate that happy people live by the following ideals:

  • Focus on today – Tomorrow’s banner crop begins with planting the seeds today.  Live today with purpose to set the stage for a happier tomorrow.  Donald Trump has said, “I plan for the future by focusing exclusively in the present.  That’s where the fun is.”
  • Keep life simple – Face it, life tends to become complicated way too easily.  Set aside 15 minutes each day for a week to think about what elements contribute to making your life so complicated, and strive to make necessary changes.
  • Appreciate what you have – Make a list of everything for which you are thankful and read the list twice a day.
  • Learn to let some things go – Worry may be the single most important contributor to unhappiness.  When bothered by a worry, either do something about it or realize nothing can be done about it and LET IT GO.  Mark Twain once said, “I have known many troubles, but most of them never happened.”
  • Value character – Make good decisions, live life with faith and purpose, and strive to leave each person with whom you interact feeling good.  Winston Churchill once said, “Character may be manifested in great moments, but it is made in the small ones.”
  • Be optimistic – Studies show that optimistic people live longer, are less prone to depression, anxiety and other mental disorders, enjoy better health, recover better from illnesses and surgeries, and enjoy more success in life.  Practice seeing the cup half full rather than half empty.

·                    Be resilient when confronted with setbacks.  Happy people are just as likely to experience setbacks as unhappy people, but happy people more easily make lemonade out of their lemons.

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