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Happiness! The 10 Traits of Happy People

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Happiness: The 10 Traits of Happy People!

Today is Part Two of “Happiness”! (Here is Part 1).

In this video, I go over the 10 traits of happy people. 

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What are the 10 traits of happy people? How do they do things differently? How do they view things differently?

Bottom line? 

And always remember the pen trick! (Go to 1:07 in the video for more information!)

But your decision to smile will actually help you be happier.

But why? What is it about happy people? How do they think differently and what did they do?

Number one. They have a strong connection with their social fabric of people that they know.

Studies show that online friends are okay, but it’s those face-to-face interactions with real live human beings that matter. Not artificial intelligence BOTS. Not online, social media friendships. But real, face-to-face interactions.

Happy people also stay connected with their families. I love the George Burns saying:Happiness is having a large family that lives in another city

“Happiness is having a large, caring, close-knit family that lives in another city.” 

Having that connection to your neighbors, your place of worship, and your personal friendships. They have been shown to act as a buffer to depression and creating those strong meaningful connections with people that help you not be depressed.

The rates of depression and people who are depressed are increasing at a rapid rate. Matter of fact, the World Health Organization says by 2020, depression will be the second leading cause of death by suicide.

SHOCKING!

The disconnection from family, the disconnection from community, the disconnection from those in your place of worship. That disconnection actually leads to a higher incidence of depression. So have an in-person family, friends, a knit community that you can turn to.

Number two. They engage in activities that fit their strengths, their values, and their lifestyles.

They’re out in the world using their God-given strengths. Using their talents. Participating in society.

For example. When you have a goal for physical health and you get out and exercise. Happy people do the same thing with their emotional goals — of how they want to think and behave.

It’s engaging in activities that fit your strengths and your values.

Number three. Gratitude.

Having a grateful heart and a grateful mindset can help you cope with trauma and stress. It’s also good for your health!

Focus on at least one thing a day to be grateful for because gratitude dissolves negative emotions.

Practice gratitdue!

When you really feel and think about the things that you’re grateful for, it dissipates the negative emotions. They can’t be there at the same time.

That’s also a character strength of gratitude. Studies have shown that those who practice gratitude (or who are just grateful people in general) have a higher correlation to life satisfaction.

Have you ever read the story of people in concentration camps during World War 2? Or Prisoners of War? The people who had a positive attitude survived.

A deep, soul-searching movie is “The Ninth Day” (Der Neunte Tag).  Here’s the description:

From inside the hell of the Dachau concentration camp “Priest Block,” Father Henri Kremer clings to a fragile life and challenged faith. But Gestapo officer Gebhardt, a young and ruthless lapsed seminarian, arranges a nine day reprieve for the priest. If Fr. Kremer can persuade his staunchly anti-Nazi Bishop to capitulate to Nazi occupation, he’ll go free. But if he fails or tries to escape, death awaits. Torn between duty, faith, fear for his own life and for the lives of his loved ones, in just nine days Kremer must find a way to ease his conscience, protect his family, hold on to his faith and uphold his vows.

It’s an extremely moving story, and (spoilers!) Fr. Kremer ends up going back to the concentration camp. But when he does, he’s now so full of love and peace and gratitude and joy that he starts ministering to everybody else there at the concentration camp.

Being grateful — and having the habit of gratitude — also increases your self-esteem. When you’re grateful, your self-worth and your self-esteem rise. So practice gratitude.

Number four. The habit of thinking optimistically.

Happy people are always trying to look for the best in any situation.

They get rid of pessimism — or rein in pessimism — because they focus their time and energy on things that they do have control over.

What about the things that you have absolutely no control over? Why get all wrapped up in them if you can’t control it?

First, convert it into a problem-solving exercise as opposed to complaining.

Second, move on. Don’t even waste time thinking about it. The road is bumpy at times. But the bumpiness ends eventually and we get on the smooth the road. So let’s just mentally move on from it because this too shall pass.

Third, compartmentalize. Compartmentalize the bad things that you can’t do anything about. And just focusing on the things that you can do something good about.

Smiling releases happy chmicals into your bloodstreamNumber five. Random acts of kindness.

Have you ever done that? Like buying a cup of coffee for somebody behind you in Starbucks. Holding the door for someone. Looking someone in the eye and smiling and saying hello.

Research has shown a strong correlation between helping behavior and people’s health, longevity, and well-being. You feel better just because you made somebody smile. And smiling releases endorphins for both of you, and you’re both happier. What can you do today to a total stranger, knowing that you’ll never get anything back in return? That’s the true definition of “being good and doing good”.

Number six. Understanding that material wealth does not equate to success and true happiness.

It can help. It can make things a little bit more comfortable at times. But that shouldn’t be the be-all-and-end-all goal to accumulate a lot of money. There is a limited number of joyful things that “things” bring to us.

At the end of the Great Depression, a study was done to measure people’s happiness scale. The Happiness Scale was right around 8.0 (on a scale of one to ten). Material Wealth Does Not Equate to Success or Happiness

The Happiness Scale of people in 2015 was 7.2.

“Things” don’t make us happy. Actually, people who strive for money and strive for things to surround themselves with have a lower rate of happiness.

Number 7. Coping strategies.

Similar to compartmentalizing and learning to change things into a problem-solving exercise as opposed to being overwhelmed.

There’s something called Post-Traumatic Growth, which is a positive personal change after a traumatic incident. There are five factors of growth after a challenging event.

  1. A renewed appreciation for life. If you’ve ever had a close brush with death, you have a stronger appreciation for life.
  2. Recognizing that there are new paths in your life. When something horrible happens, you re-evaluate. There are other options you can pursue. Different paths.
  3. Enhanced personal strength. Have you overcome something major? Has something horrible happened in your life, and you lived to tell the story? You are already a survivor! If you did it once you can do it again. There’s nothing that life can throw at you that you can’t handle
  4. Improved relationships with others.
  5. Spiritual growth.

Make sure you take a tragedy and turn it into a symphony!

Number eight. Happy people focus on their physical, mental, and spiritual health. 

Happy people act like happy people because they’re working on their emotions. They’re trying to grow emotionally, physically, mentally, and spiritually. They bring a level of optimism and happiness and engagement into their everyday activities.

It’s like watching a child play with a toy. Or the wonder of seeing something for the first time, like the first time you saw the mountains. Or the first time you saw the ocean or a beautiful sunset. That sense of awe and wonder and joy and happiness. Take that into everything that you do today and see how you feel differently at the end of the day!

Number nine. Happy people cultivate their spirituality.

There is a growing ever-growing body of scientific evidence that says spiritual people are happier people. They’re happier. They’re healthier. They recover faster after trauma. They recover faster after health problems. Having a strong spirituality and faith assists you in every area of your life. It helps you connect to something outside of yourself. To something bigger and understand that, “It Ain’t All About You. It Ain’t All About Me.” We’re part of a bigger network of people and spirituality.

Number ten. Happy people have direction.

They have goals. If you don’t have a target or a goal to aim at, how are you to get there?

Do you plan for vacations? Or do you say, “Hey, let’s hop in the car and go to Disney World, but we don’t have a map. And we don’t know where we are. We don’t know which way to turn and what road to turn on.”

Happy people have values that they care about, and outcomes that they know are worth working for. So having direction and having a goal is essential.

They have that Emotional Intelligence — they’re aware, and they’re working toward it.

Which of these 10 habits and strategies do you currently use? Which ones do you want to work on this next month?

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