There is no single definition for happiness. It could mean anything to anyone. Some are happy when they find love, some are happy when they have enough to buy pretty things, some are happy when they find stability and so on.
But no matter how they define it, all those who are truly happy have a few habits in common which distinguish them from others who are prone to being negative. Scientific research has pin pointed a few of these markers.
1. They don’t spend a lot of time on social media
There has been a lot of research material on the effects social media has on humans and they all agree that the more time we spend online, the unhappier we get. Turning it off for a while and restricting yourself can actually make you happier.
2. They hardly ever post about their personal lives
The Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin recently released a study which showed that those who tend to keep posting about their relationship online, are actually not very secure about it. They tend to post more when they are not sure where it’s going.
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3. They sleep well and for the right amount of time
Scientists from the UK conducted tests which proved that sleeping more and sleeping well doesn’t only improve your well-being, but it also makes you happier. They believe that all of us should sleep for at least seven, uninterrupted hours a day.
4. Honesty is their best policy
A French scientist conducted a study in which the subjects slowly tried to get themselves to stop lying over a period of 70 days. They tended to feel less burdened which made them feel better, both physically and mentally.
5. They are generous with what they have
A study conducted in America found that those who described themselves as really happy, all spent some of their spare time every month doing some kind of social work. Those who stated that they were not happy barely did any. A study at the University of Notre Dame proved that those who actually gave away over 10% of what they earned to charity were much happier than those who didn’t give as much.
It also helps to be open to others. Those who are kind and ready to offer help are more likely to be in good physical and mental condition.
6. They’re more physically active
Scientists all over the world have argued that being healthy makes you happy. A study at Cambridge proved that even just moving about a lot can make you happier. The volunteers became happy whenever they had to do any kind of activity that didn’t involve them having to sit or lie down.
7. They make a good living
Those who say that money can’t buy happiness have never had to face the hardship of poverty. Studies conducted at Princeton show that happiness increases with rise in income. They postulated an optimum amount of $75,000 after which there was no increase in happiness. Not having money can decrease your own estimation of yourself and will take both an emotional and mental toll. You don’t need to be a millionaire, but everybody needs to have enough to live on.
8. They are grateful
A study in Miami required volunteers to write something every week. One group had to write about all the things they were thankful for, another wrote down whatever had made them unhappy, and the last wrote about the things they were indifferent to. When the study ended, the people who wrote about the things they were grateful for were much happier than the others on all counts.
9. They live in the moment
You can’t feel glad if you’re spending a lot of time thinking about all that has already happened or feeling anxious about what will happen. People are happy when they focus on what they have going on right now. It is better to live in the present rather than worrying about the things we cannot change.