What does being happy mean to you? Do you think it’s about walking around laughing, having a lot of energy, being in a good mood all of the time? Being friendly with every person you come in contact with? Or living in peace?
We work hard at trying to “find” it or pursue it. But the truth is that happiness is a state of being. It’s how we live our lives. It is not as a result of something outside of you. For example, people think “I’ll be happy when…” (get a better job, have a boy/girlfriend, have money,etc) when in reality, they could be happy now, while pursuing whatever it is that they want. This is not always easy to do for different reasons, including genetics.
However, we do have some control over our happiness. Luckily there are people who are truly happy and are great examples to follow. Here are 15 traits of truly happy people. See how many traits you already have. And try practicing the ones you feel you need to work on.
- They practice gratitude and are thankful for even the smallest things.
- They are open to change and take things as they come when going through transitions.
- They don’t take what other people think personally.
- They have positive self-talk.
- They love and accept themselves as they are.
- They don’t compare themselves to others.
- They look at problems as challenges to solve, instead of staying stuck in feeling like the victim. They also find ways to learn from these challenges.
- They mostly live in the moment, taking things day by day, instead of constantly worrying about the future and reliving the past.
- They spend money on experiences (going on trips, doing something with good friends and family, learning something new) and on other people, instead of only on material things for themselves.
- They get strength from within. That means practicing positive self-talk and reflecting on why something bothered them. Being spiritual or religious is another way to get inner strength.
- They surround themselves with other happy people and limit themselves from negative people. That includes staying away from gossip and not talking badly about other people.
- They help others in anyway they can. This could be doing something thoughtful for a friend or volunteering.
- They’re generally optimistic.
- They like to have goals to always be working towards. This could be anything from learning another language, or going for a walk for 20 minutes 3 times a week, for example. The point of the goals is to always be growing skills, experiences and interests.
- They meditate or do something calming to slow down. Even when super busy, they find the time to practice self-care.
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About the author.
Liza J Alvarado is a professional counselor in private practice. She serves Adolescents, Adults, and Spanish speaking families in the Lehigh Valley, PA area.