Ever wonder why some people appear happy all the time? It's like the happy switch has been permanently flipped to "on." Yes, you could say I'm a bit jealous, so I did a little digging around looking for answers.
Here's what I found. Happy people don't just "get" happy, like getting struck by lightning happens. They intentionally work at it, putting emphasis on choosing the right mindset, and literally training their brains to become more optimistic. It's a lifelong commitment.
Here are eight habits of the happiest people, which will make the rest of us perpetually jealous if we don't hop on the wagon. It's never too late, though.
1. They spread joy.
Happy people look for every opportunity to share happiness quotes, funny pictures, uplifting or hilarious stories, jokes, quips, positive books, blogs, and good news to add color to our lives and pick us up.
2. They are humanitarians and active in their communities.
That means they fight for justice, peace, equality, clean air, children's and animal rights, and any other worthy and noble cause that will make a positive difference in the lives of others. They visit nursing homes, share meals with lonely people, volunteer at homeless shelters, teach CPR class, and sponsor a single mom's education.
3. They stay away from speaking "in the negative."
Happy people by choice refrain from negative words, speech, or conversational topics because they know the stressful effects it has on their body. They stay away from unnecessary drama, malicious gossip, and psychological warfare. By staying focused on the positive, and offering helpful feedback and comments, they inspire greatness from others and generate happiness during the process.
4. They encourage others to achieve their goals.
Obviously a happy person's goals come first, and they're naturally motivated and goal-oriented to achieve their best. But they are also naturals at guiding others along the path they need to take, and inspiring others to scale the mountain and meet their goals. They let people grapple with their issues, but will come alongside someone to cheer them on to success. It's empowering to be in their company.
5. They keep their promises.
Their words and actions are trustworthy and consistent, so friends and colleagues trust them when they hold to the truth. Their thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and spoken words are aligned with their values and who they are, so it's hard for others to question their integrity. Because they keep their word and follow through, promises are delivered.
6. They don't just spend money. They spend on sharing experiences with others.
Several studies found that happiness comes from experiential purchases that involve other people, like taking in a play, shooting a 9-hole round of golf, or going out to dinner or coffee. Happy people that do this as lifestyle improve their well-being more than buying material possessions. "It may be less the doing that creates happiness than it is sharing the doing," the authors of one study explain.
7. They express the good kind of pride.
Do you consider yourself a proud person? As it turns out, unprecedented research says pride has two distinct personalities (one is good, one is bad): authentic pride and hubristic pride. People exhibiting authentic pride are more likely to score high on agreeableness, genuine self-esteem, and self-confidence. People demonstrating hubristic pride were found to be narcissistic, and experienced more inter-personal conflicts. Take a wild guess which group experienced more happiness, satisfaction, success, and engaged life to the fullest?
8. They are lifelong learners.
Happy people never stop learning, and never assume they know everything. That's why they show interest in basking in the wisdom of others. This is what initiates the best conversations--learning about what other people do, how they do it, why they do it. People love to talk about themselves, and happy people are smart enough to let them! They are the type of people who show up with the humble gesture of "I want to learn from you."