Most of us want to be happy but how can we achieve it? Is there any formula? Is there even anything we can do to be happier?
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 may involve being richer, being able to afford to buy what we want and go where we want, having a sexy partner, or being well-respected.
Worldwide surveys and the findings of positive psychology studies show us what really makes people happy, and what doesn’t. It seems many people are not aiming for those things that will REALLY make them happy.
It helps to born into a moderately wealthy stable democratic country with low levels of crime and corruption. While we have no choice in that, there are things we CAN do to be happier and more satisfied with life:
- Poverty makes life and happiness much more difficult, but wealth, health and popularity do not on their own bring lasting happiness. And setting your heart on being wealthy will most likely make you dissatisfied. Instead, learn to be happy with what you have.
- 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.
- Get involved in interesting and challenging activities that enrich your life. Enjoy your paid work, and do some voluntary work.
- Don’t focus on yourself. Go easy on others. Forgive. Offer support. Show gratitude. Be generous.
- Think about what you believe. Spiritual and ethical beliefs, hope and purpose, are very important for well-being. Belief in God generally makes people happier.
- Altruism is a important. Investing your life in a cause greater than yourself is one of the keys to satisfaction in life.
Summing it up
We can sum these keys up in two brief points:
- Don’t single-mindedly seek happiness or pleasure, but live a good life and you will likely be happy.
- 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.