Happiness, that elusive and sought-after state of being, is a universal aspiration that transcends cultural boundaries and societal norms. The pursuit of happiness has driven countless philosophical discussions, scientific inquiries, and personal quests. At the heart of this pursuit is our ultimate idol: The Happy Person
Who is this Happy Person, and what makes them so? While there’s no one-size-fits-all answer, implementing positive changes in your lifestyle can help you attain happiness. A good place to start is by nurturing yourself, cultivating positive habits, and trying to spread your joy to those around you.
That may sound too simplistic, but if you break down those actions into bite-sized chunks, it will be easier to understand the secrets of happiness. As you gradually add some of these ingredients to your life, you will notice the joy seeping steadily into your being, and soon you could be that Happy Person.
What Is Happiness?
Dictionaries define happiness as pleasure, contentment, good fortune, or joy. But is there more to it than that? Does happiness come when everything is going well and you have everything you want, Or does it come from the feeling that you’re living a meaningful life? Happiness can be a result of all of those things and more.
Psychologists believe that a happy person experiences more positive than negative emotions. They also feel satisfied with most areas of their life, including relationships, achievements, work, and their sense of purpose.
The ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle believed that happiness is the primary human desire. He broke the sources of happiness into four categories: immediate gratification, comparison vs. achievement, making valuable contributions, and achieving fulfillment.
A combination of these circumstances could indeed make you happy, but some may be more powerful than others. Achieving personal fulfillment and making positive contributions to the lives of others often brings a deeper satisfaction than the instant gratification of a material desire.
The Happy Person
Happiness is subjective; what makes one person happy may not fulfill another. However, there are some common signs that psychologists accept as happiness indicators:
- Feelings of satisfaction with your life
- An acceptance of your life’s direction or circumstances
- Believing that your life circumstances are good
- Happy, healthy relationships with others
- A sense of achievement or that you’re on the way to achieving your goals
- Experiencing more positive feelings than negative
- Being kind to yourself and practicing self-care
- Being open-minded to new experiences and ideas
- A sense of gratitude
- Feeling that your life has purpose and meaning
- A desire to share your joy with others
The Secrets To Happiness
A principle firmly entrenched in a happy person’s attitude is that happiness originates from within. Life throws many problems and challenges at us, and we experience sadness, grief, and anxiety. But the happy person looks for the silver lining, views problems as challenges, and is determined to overcome them.
That doesn’t mean that regardless of the situation, we can flip a switch in our minds and “choose happiness.” Life’s struggles are real, and many people with depression and other mental health issues will have to walk a longer and more difficult journey. But finding happiness begins with the conscious decision to take the first step towards it: believing that you can.
The Happy Person pursues a meaningful life. Happy people’s desires are typically less about striving to gain material possessions than living a meaningful and purposeful life. They aim to add value to the lives of others and their environment, which gives them a sense of fulfillment and achievement.
Of course, enjoying the material things that you’ve worked so hard for gives you pleasure, and rightfully so. Working hard also adds meaning to your life; enjoying its rewards can make many happy moments.
A balanced life facilitates happiness. A happy person is content with what they have and makes time for everything important, including work, family, friends, faith, and passions.
Happy people understand that happiness is not a constant state but a series of moments, encouraging a healthier perspective on life’s ups and downs.
The Happy Person’s Habits
A happy person is not only happy by intention, but they facilitate it by cultivating positive habits and attitudes. Follow these practices to boost your happiness:
- Smile frequently. You might think that smiling results from happiness, but when you smile, your brain triggers the release of dopamine, a feel-good neurotransmitter that reinforces your joy.
- Take care of your body. Exercise releases endorphins into your body that counteract anxiety and depression and improve your mood. Adequate sleep is also essential to your emotional well-being; we all know how grumpy a sleep-deprived person can be! A healthy diet is just as important.
- Gratitude. Look for things to be grateful for during your day. Be thankful for the pleasant things, big and small: your possessions, food, the love of your family and friends, a kind word from a colleague, etc. Appreciating the positive things in your life plays a significant role in attaining happiness.
- Mindfulness. To be mindful means you put all your attention on the present moment and accept the circumstances. As you focus on the present, you can fully appreciate the positive emotions and physical sensations embodied in the moment. Concentrate on the joy they bring. Mindfulness helps to let go of past difficulties and to stop worrying about the future.
- Positive attitude. Think positively and reject negative thoughts. For example, if the traffic is backed up for miles and you’re going nowhere, use it as an opportunity to enjoy your favorite music or plan your friend’s baby shower. Having a negative attitude achieves little. Positive thinking is a choice, and it helps to achieve happiness.
- Value people and experiences above possessions. You may experience the joy of immediate gratification, but it doesn’t last. Material things get broken and old, but treasured memories of joyful occasions with loved ones live in your memory forever, creating a long-lasting feeling of happiness.
- Forgiveness. Holding onto grudges leads to deep-seated anger, bitterness, and even health risks, like heart disease and high blood pressure. Letting go of it helps you retain your happiness, and it’s best for your health.
- Spend time with friends/family, human or animal. Take time out to see caring and upbuilding people. Even happy people need a boost from time to time. Being in the company of someone who loves you will warm your heart. And often, pets play that role with a similar effect. Enjoy being loved.
- Spend time in nature. Getting out of the city into a green space soothes the soul and invigorates the body and mind. Go for a hike in the mountains or a walk in the park.
- Meditate. Taking time out to be quiet and calm your thoughts brings about peace and order in your mind. You might use movement or prayer or simply take five minutes from your daily tasks to recalibrate. As the chaos drains away, it’s replaced with a quiet joy.
- Ditch your devices periodically. Electronic devices can steal much of our time. Taking regular breaks from technology gives you a fresh opportunity to enjoy the world around you. You might suddenly notice how lovely someone looks, the beautiful flowers outside, or the cute cat outside your window, something that will enrich your day.
- Embrace self-compassion. Give yourself the kindness and understanding you would offer to a close friend. Don’t be so hard on yourself when you’ve made a mistake. Look kindly at your body. Self-compassion allows for self-acceptance, fosters a healthy self-image, and promotes emotional resilience, all essential for sustained happiness.
How To Make Someone Happy
One of the most beautiful aspects of happiness is its contagious nature. A happy person exudes a positive energy that radiates to those around them. Compassion and kindness can have a ripple effect, causing a chain reaction of happiness. Whether it’s a warm smile or a heartfelt compliment, these small gestures can significantly impact the joy of others.
Deep and meaningful connections with others are fundamental to fostering joy and contentment. Listening attentively, showing genuine interest, and being present in conversations make a companion feel valued and heard, contributing to their happiness.
Giving is also a powerful way to make others happy. Whether through acts of charity, volunteering, or simply being there for someone in need, giving back fosters a sense of purpose and fulfillment. Research indicates that prosocial behavior triggers the release of “feel-good” neurotransmitters, promoting a sense of happiness in both the giver and the receiver.
What Do You Call Someone Who Makes Others Happy?
While there is no specific term for someone who makes others happy, there are hordes of adjectives to describe them. Although it’s impossible to list them all, here are a few:
Happy people are secure in their identity; they have a positive outlook on life and cultivate multiple healthy habits that turn their thoughts and attitudes right side up. When we search for happiness, we will find it firstly within ourselves. We may be unable to control our circumstances, but we can choose how we respond to them.
Choosing positivity and gratitude makes a world of difference in how happy we feel. When we take on life’s challenges with these attitudes, it overflows into the lives of those around us. And as Anne Frank said, “Whoever is happy will make others happy.”