Cultivating Happiness

Published on July 18th, 2022

Cultivating Happiness

It would be great if we could magically find the secret to being happy. The truth is that happiness is not something that can be found; it is already inside of us, waiting to be cultivated. Happy people have traits in common. They are able to use these traits to bring more happiness to their life and help them achieve a more positive, brighter outlook.

These are some of the traits that positive people have in common. They may develop in a person naturally, or you may need to put the effort in to build and strengthen the traits that work best for you. Happiness is possible, even if it is not felt every moment of every day. 

If traits of happy people do not naturally resonate with you, you can work on them to achieve more happiness in your life. Consider growing the positive traits and practices below to cultivate happiness in your life.

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Gratitude

Gratitude is the ability to appreciate what we currently have in our lives. Many people live thinking that if they had nicer things in life then their lives would be nicer and they would be happier.

But this is not how life works.

Happy people have discovered that the secret to life is realizing that each day brings things to be thankful for, even through the challenges they also bring our way. There are many things to be thankful for in life if we stop for a moment and take the time to appreciate them.

Happy people are thankful for even the smallest things in life, like friendships, their home, the food they have, those small moments that make them smile, and more.

When we take the time to acknowledge and appreciate the small things in life, it makes our life seem more abundant. As a bonus, when even larger blessings come our way, we will be especially grateful.

Gratitude Can Promote More Consistent Happiness

Gratitude is being thankful for the things we have. This could be material things, relationships, abilities, etc. Reflecting on things we are grateful for inherently produces feelings of contentment and joy. Over time, practicing gratitude daily can lead to improved mood and an overall sense of well-being.

Optimism

Happy people are naturally more optimistic. They believe that good things will come their way. They have a bright outlook on life. When a situation occurs that is challenging, they tend to expect it all to work out somehow, even if they feel like things are out of their control.

Even in situations where bad things happen — and yes, there will always be suffering in our world — happy people tend to look at the positive side of the situation, instead of dwelling on how upset the moment is making them feel.

They expect good, positive things to come their way. Happy people know that when things go poorly, they do not last that way forever. They practice gratitude for the strengths they have. They also stay hopeful because it keeps all of the challenges in a healthier perspective. Most importantly, they take in the relief that they feel when an issue is resolved, instead of giving a quick ‘phew!’ and moving on to the next challenge.

Those who have trouble being optimistic may believe that anything that can go wrong, will go wrong. They may have a habit of consistently looking at all of the negative things going on in their lives, without seeing anything positive happening in the world around them.

A Tip To Manage Expectations For Things To Go Wrong

To reverse the habit of bracing for impact in challenging times, keep perspective. Difficult does not have to equal bad, and challenging does not mean failure. Believe in yourself to take care of yourself in challenging moments. Building your confidence can help you stay optimistic. You are more powerful than you think.

Love

Love is one of the basic emotions that humans feel. From birth, we are capable of feeling love towards others. Happy people have a sense of self-worth and can feel love and compassion towards themselves.

They love themselves and treat themselves with respect because they know they are worthy of it. Additionally, they love others and show others respect. They cultivate strong relationships with friends and family.

Their strong network with others helps them feel supported in their lives.

Those without loving relationships quickly find themselves living a lonely existence. They may even suffer from depression or other kinds of health problems.

Trust

Trust is the cornerstone of any relationship, whether it is a romantic relationship, a family member, or a friendship. Happy people trust other healthy people in their lives.

They are okay with being vulnerable and opening up to others, even when it is uncomfortable. They have numerous people in their lives that they can trust with their feelings. Happy people also believe they can depend and rely on others for help in tough situations.

Happy people also have trust in themselves. They believe they are capable of making good decisions. They trust themselves to do the right thing. When they make mistakes, they learn from them and move on.

How Happy People Cope With Vulnerability

Happy People recognize the discomfort that comes with being open and vulnerable but prioritize and value the good that comes from being honest over the fear of rejection, judgment, or letdown.

People who have trust issues often find it difficult to open up and be vulnerable with others. This may make it difficult for them to form authentic relationships and friendships. They may also find it difficult to trust themselves with making good decisions. Instead, they may fall into a habit of self-destructive behavior.

Courage

Happy people have courage. They know that in order to have a positive life, you need to take some risks. If there is a dream that you have, it is going to require writing down some goals and taking risks in order to pursue it.

They will actively pursue these goals because they know the payoff is worth it. Happy people will persevere in order to meet their goals. They will also stand up for their own beliefs and values. They know all of this is important in order to live the life they want.

People who are not happy often find all of this daunting. They have difficulty working up the courage to pursue their dreams. They may suffer from low self-esteem, or not believe in themselves the way they should. They allow fear to hold them back.

People who are not happy may give up easily. They may also get scared of the risks involved. They have trouble setting goals and may tell themselves that they do not have what it takes to make their dreams come true. They do not stand up for their own beliefs. As a result, their quality of life greatly suffers.

Everyone wants to feel good. Yet each day, our moods are subject to change based on a number of factors, from what we see on the news to the weather outside. With so many things out of our control affecting our moods, it can seem like we have no say in our feelings.

How To Boost Your Mood And Feel Happier

How To Boost Your Mood And Feel Happier

We actually have more authority over our mood state than we think. There are tools and tricks we can use to lift our mood in the moment and establish a more positive mood overall.

Get Some Sun

We often hear of the risks of spending too much time in the sun. Although too much sun exposure can indeed have harmful physical effects, such as sunburn or skin cancer, the sun provides much more than the potential pitfalls.

Studies support that Vitamin D from sunlight is linked to mental well-being, and spending just a few minutes in the sun can help boost our mood. This is because exposure to sunlight triggers the release of serotonin in the brain, which contributes to a sense of calm and focus.

Connect With Others

Social connection is a fundamental need of every human being. Yet loneliness is on the rise, and more and more people are feeling isolated and alone. This is troublesome, as a lack of social connection is linked to increased levels of depression and anxiety.

Further complicating things, depression and anxiety can decrease our motivation to connect with others. Although difficult, reaching out to friends and loved ones, especially during difficult times, can vastly improve our mood and overall well-being.

Breathe

There is a strong correlation between our breath and our state of mind. In fact, professionals have found evidence that taking slower, deeper breaths helps to calm the nervous system, and create a sense of calm and relaxation. This can help you manage negative feelings and discomfort to promote more happiness.

Nourish Your Body

What we eat affects our physical health, as well as our emotional and mental health. Our food choices have a large impact (either positively or negatively) on our energy, mood, and stress levels. Certain foods can support brain health, improve mood, and lower levels of depression. Talk to your doctor about what foods can help boost your mood.

Move Your Body

Exercise affects the brain in important ways- by increasing serotonin levels (which help regulate mood, appetite, and sleep) and endorphins (natural mood lifters). Some people describe exercise as being as effective as anti-depressants.

Although exercise may be the last thing anyone wants to do when feeling low, it will certainly provide a mood boost.

Spend Time With Your Pet

Pets come with powerful physical and mental health benefits. Not only can pets bring companionship into our lives, but they can also improve our mood. Pets help us feel more connected and thus, less lonely, as well as increase our likelihood to get exercise (especially for those who own a dog).

Get Creative

Studies show getting in touch with our creative side can lead to increased feelings of happiness. This may be because when we are engaged in a creative project, our mind tends to be more focused. Focusing the mind, or being mindful, can have an immensely calming effect on our bodies and brains.

Journal

Journaling has been shown to reduce feelings of depression and anxiety in people of all ages. Yet journaling does not just reduce the negative symptoms we might experience; it also improves our emotional and cognitive power.

Clean Up

Many people dread the prospect of having to clean their homes. But our living environment can have a substantial influence on our mental health. The state of our home often reflects the state of our mind, it makes sense that keeping our living space tidy and organized can lead to an improved mood.

Listen To Music

Everyone experiences an emotional connection to music at some point. A song can make us feel sad, happy, or even angry. In recent years, studies have confirmed the connection between mood and music. Through listening to enjoyable music, our brain releases norepinephrine (the “pleasure” hormone), which contributes to a positive mood, reduced stress, and better sleep.

Do Something For Someone Else

Sometimes getting out of our own heads, and focusing on someone else is exactly what is needed to feel better. Putting other people’s needs before our own can lead to improved mood, happiness, and self-esteem. Helping others feels good and can increase a sense of connection, perspective, and gratitude.

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