Simple keys to a happier life

This page last updated June 13th, 2016

This page in brief

Most of us want to be happy but how can we achieve it? Is there any formula? Is there even anything we can do?

No-one can guarantee happiness, because we can’t control external circumstances. Nevertheless, there are some clear steps we can take to be happier – but the experts’ conclusions may surprise you.

What makes people happy …. and what doesn’t

Many of us think we know what will make us happy, and our aspirations often involve being rich, being able to afford to buy what we want and go where we want, having a sexy partner and being well-respected.

Worldwide surveys and the findings of positive psychology studies show us what really makes people happy, and what doesn’t, and it’s mostly not what we might think:

  1. Wealth, health and popularity do not bring lasting happiness, although not having them will make your life difficult. And setting your heart on being wealthy will most likely make you dissatisfied. Instead, learn to be happy with what you have.
  2. Develop good relationships with a circle of friends. Join a group where you can share your interests, and your life. Maintain a loving marriage if you can.
  3. Get involved in interesting and challenging activities that enrich your life. Enjoy your paid work, and do some voluntary work.
  4. Don’t focus on yourself. Go easy on others – forgive, offer support, show gratitude.
  5. Think about what you believe. Spiritual and ethical beliefs, hope and purpose, are very important for well-being. Investing your life in a cause greater than yourself is one of the keys to satisfaction in life. Belief in God makes people happier.

Summing it up

We can sum these keys up in two brief points:

  1. Don’t seek happiness or pleasure, but live a good life and you will likely be happy.
  2. The two keys are a sense of purpose and good relationships.

The experts say we can all improve our happiness in life if we apply these truths. Get a lot more useful ideas at What makes people happy.

Photo Credit: theothernate via Compfight cc.

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