Note to Self – 12 Things Happy People Do Differently

Source: by Jacob Sokol of Sensophy

“I’d always believed that a life of quality, enjoyment, and wisdom were my human birthright and would be automatically bestowed upon me as time passed.  I never suspected that I would have to learn how to live – that there were specific disciplines and ways of seeing the world I had to master before I could awaken to a simple, happy, uncomplicated life.”
-Dan Millman

Studies conducted by positivity psychologist Sonja Lyubomirsky point to 12 things happy people do differently to increase their levels of happiness.  These are things that we can start doing today to feel the effects of more happiness in our lives.  (Check out her book The How of Happiness.)

I want to honor and discuss each of these 12 points, because no matter what part of life’s path we’re currently traveling on, these ‘happiness habits’ will always be applicable.

  1. Express gratitude. – When you appreciate what you have, what you have appreciates in value.  Kinda cool right?  So basically, being grateful for the goodness that is already evident in your life will bring you a deeper sense of happiness.  And that’s without having to go out and buy anything.  It makes sense.  We’re gonna have a hard time ever being happy if we aren’t thankful for what we already have.
  2. Cultivate optimism. – Winners have the ability to manufacture their own optimism.  No matter what the situation, the successful diva is the chick who will always find a way to put an optimistic spin on it.  She knows failure only as an opportunity to grow and learn a new lesson from life.  People who think optimistically see the world as a place packed with endless opportunities, especially in trying times.
  3. Avoid over-thinking and social comparison. – Comparing yourself to someone else can be poisonous.  If we’re somehow ‘better’ than the person that we’re comparing ourselves to, it gives us an unhealthy sense of superiority.  Our ego inflates – KABOOM – our inner Kanye West comes out!  If we’re ‘worse’ than the person that we’re comparing ourselves to, we usually discredit the hard work that we’ve done and dismiss all the progress that we’ve made.  What I’ve found is that the majority of the time this type of social comparison doesn’t stem from a healthy place.  If you feel called to compare yourself to something, compare yourself to an older version of yourself.
  4. Practice acts of kindness. – Performing an act of kindness releases serotonin in your brain.  (Serotonin is a substance that has TREMENDOUS health benefits, including making us feel more blissful.)  Selflessly helping someone is a super powerful way to feel good inside.  What’s even cooler about this kindness kick is that not only will you feel better, but so will people watching the act of kindness.  How extraordinary is that?  Bystanders will be blessed with a release of serotonin just by watching what’s going on.  A side note is that the job of most anti-depressants is to release more serotonin.  Move over Pfizer, kindness is kicking ass and taking names.
  5. Nurture social relationships. – The happiest people on the planet are the ones who have deep, meaningful relationships.  Did you know studies show that people’s mortality rates are DOUBLED when they’re lonely?  WHOA!  There’s a warm fuzzy feeling that comes from having an active circle of good friends who you can share your experiences with.  We feel connected and a part of something more meaningful than our lonesome existence.
  6. Develop strategies for coping. – How you respond to the ‘craptastic’ moments is what shapes your character.  Sometimes crap happens – it’s inevitable.  Forrest Gump knows the deal.  It can be hard to come up with creative solutions in the moment when manure is making its way up toward the fan.  It helps to have healthy strategies for coping pre-rehearsed, on-call, and in your arsenal at your disposal.
  7. Learn to forgive. – Harboring feelings of hatred is horrible for your well-being.  You see, your mind doesn’t know the difference between past and present emotion.  When you ‘hate’ someone, and you’re continuously thinking about it, those negative emotions are eating away at your immune system.  You put yourself in a state of suckerism (technical term) and it stays with you throughout your day.
  8. Increase flow experiences. – Flow is a state in which it feels like time stands still.  It’s when you’re so focused on what you’re doing that you become one with the task.  Action and awareness are merged.  You’re not hungry, sleepy, or emotional.  You’re just completely engaged in the activity that you’re doing.  Nothing is distracting you or competing for your focus.
  9. Savor life’s joys. – Deep happiness cannot exist without slowing down to enjoy the joy.  It’s easy in a world of wild stimuli and omnipresent movement to forget to embrace life’s enjoyable experiences.  When we neglect to appreciate, we rob the moment of its magic.  It’s the simple things in life that can be the most rewarding if we remember to fully experience them.
  10. Commit to your goals. – Being wholeheartedly dedicated to doing something comes fully-equipped with an ineffable force.  Magical things start happening when we commit ourselves to doing whatever it takes to get somewhere.  When you’re fully committed to doing something, you have no choice but to do that thing.  Counter-intuitively, having no option – where you can’t change your mind – subconsciously makes humans happier because they know part of their purpose.
  11. Practice spirituality. – When we practice spirituality or religion, we recognize that life is bigger than us.  We surrender the silly idea that we are the mightiest thing ever.  It enables us to connect to the source of all creation and embrace a connectedness with everything that exists.  Some of the most accomplished people I know feel that they’re here doing work they’re “called to do.”
  12. Take care of your body. – Taking care of your body is crucial to being the happiest person you can be.  If you don’t have your physical energy in good shape, then your mental energy (your focus), your emotional energy (your feelings), and your spiritual energy (your purpose) will all be negatively affected.  Did you know that studies conducted on people who were clinically depressed showed that consistent exercise raises happiness levels just as much as Zoloft?  Not only that, but here’s the double whammy… Six months later, the people who participated in exercise were less likely to relapse because they had a higher sense of self-accomplishment and self-worth.


Coffee Reads of the Week – positive penny-pinching

Some of the articles I enjoyed reading over the net are worth sharing, too. Check out my weekly posts via the Coffee Reads series. I’ve got my google reader to back me up so do also check out my shared reads. Enjoy!

health & fitness: 5 ways to Become an Optimist by Deborah Kotz
Reframe those “disasters.” Take control. Pay attention to what makes you feel optimistic. Strive for real conversations. Do look at that glass as half full.

health & fitness: 9 Surprising Symptoms of Stress by Sarah Jio
It appears that I do get these symptoms when I get super stressed out. Tweaked muscles, Eye twitching, ragged cuticles, cavities, rashes, sleepiness, forgetfulness, confusion. Pretty burdensome indeed.

technology: Please do not change your password by Mark Pothier
“To continue reading this story, enter your password now. If you do not have a password, please create one. It must contain a minimum of eight characters, including upper- and lower-case letters and one number. This is for your own good.”

fashion: Dangerous high heels: Women’s shoes reach hazardous heights during the recession by Joanna Douglas
“We have entered a moment of heightened impracticality in footwear,” Elizabeth Semmelhack, author of “Heights of Fashion: A History of the Elevated Shoe” told CNN. “Heels heights noticeably grew during the Great Depression of the 1930s, the oil crisis in the 1970s, and when the dotcom bubble burst in the 2000s.” Women’s shoes are now at all-time high, and Semmelhack believes during tough economic times, there’s “a greater need for escapism.”

green lifestyle: University thinks the right font could help save the earth by Zac Bissonnette
Printing out documents in Century Gothic rather than its old font, Arial, uses 30% less ink.

business: Five Billionaires Who Live Below Their Means by Katie Adams
Warren Buffet, Carlos Slim, Ingvar Kamprad, Chuck Feeney, and Frederik Meijer are considered as the most frugal wealthy people in the world. Read how they do it.

follow more of my reads via google reader

magnet people

magnet people by roger fritz

magnet people by roger fritz

I came across this article that talks about “magnet people.”

The Magnet People do not necessarily be that charismatic but rather they have the sincere, consistent qualities in interacting with others, while their actions are often motivated by unselfish motives.

It’s possible to attract others and instill respect and inspire loyalty to you.  According to Roger Fritz, author of Magnet People – Their Secrets and How to Learn From Them, here are the five main qualities of considerably, Magnet People:

1. They are genuine. They know who they are and therefore don’t need to pretend to be somebody else just to impress or fool anyone. A key component of being genuine is being trustworthy. People trust them, since they lead by example – “do as I do,” instead of “do what I say.”

2. They are diligent, persistent, and don’t mind the hard work. They persist, even when things look tough.

3. They are objective, asking questions such as “What are the facts?” and “Where is the evidence?” every time there is a problem to be solved or a decision to be made. They surround themselves with people who speak freely, ethically and honestly – No “Yes Men” allowed. They also focus on “What’s” wrong, not “Who’s” wrong. They value performance over seniority; and give the performers the biggest rewards.

4. They are unselfish, always remembering and appreciating the people behind the scenes who helped them. Humble about their own accomplishments, they are happy to celebrate the achievement of others. They validate the work of others “publicly,” often choosing a personal thank you over plaques and gift certificates (although these are nice too).

5. They are secure. Magnet People radiate confidence because they are sure of their ability to perform. This confidence produces “optimism” which contributes to the feeling others have when in their presence-a feeling of being uplifted. They are not afraid of constructive criticism; they don’t punish risk takers; they are comfortable with exploring new options and in delegating power.