I’ll start by saying happiness is best defined by the individual.
Think about it. The things that make you happy (living in a city, listening to country music, practicing yoga) may not bring the same happiness to other people. For the most part, the keys to happiness vary from person to person.
Most of the time, it’s our thoughts that run us down and take away our happiness. Thoughts like, “If I could just get that job” or “If I could just lose 10 pounds,” often keep us from believing happiness is within reach. Fortunately, that’s not true.
Aside from their many differences, there are many habits happy people have in common. Take a closer look at the ones below and see if there are a few you could adopt in your own life.
Put down your phone: If you’re engaged with a task (writing a blog post, eating out with a friend), stay focused on it. You don’t need to answer that text or immediately see that Instagram post. Happiness is living in the moment, not giving into a million electronic distractions.
Express gratefulness: Happy people spend more time appreciating what they have rather than thinking about what they want. This goes beyond material things; it also applies to your professional life and relationships. It’s great to have goals and work towards them, but it’s equally important to be grateful for the accomplishments you’ve achieved along the way.
Spend on experiences: You’ll remember the weekend trip you took more than a pair of shoes with the same price tag. An experience is something you can reflect on with fondness over time; it won’t grow worn or go out of style.
Form strong relationships: Relationships bring happiness, but quality trumps quantity. You’ll benefit more from having a few close relationships than a wide circle of acquaintances. If you’re feeling lonely, try using a website like meetup.com to find others who share common interests with you.
Let go of the past: It’s amazing how the past can be such a burden when we have no power to go back and change it. When something goes wrong, learn from it. Mistakes can bring valuable lessons, but stressing over them will only interfere with your current and future happiness.