As you might know, positive psychology is one of my interests. A while ago, I made myself a list of 22 things happy people do. I want to share this list with you =)
This will be the fourth and last part of the list. You can find the third part here.
Before I start, I want to say that this list is neither complete, nor will all of the items make you necessarily happier. However, I think that the living by all or some of those points, increases the likelihood of achieving sustainable happiness.
- Eat well
Happiness is not all about the mind. Also, our body has its say in how we feel. A healthy and balanced diet can improve our overall well-being. I feel better since I stopped consuming so much sugar anymore. The craving for sweets faded after a while and I feel healthier. And I also know how down and weak I felt during a time I didn’t look after my diet. I am often impatient when it comes to making food and if there is a chance to make something fast, I’ll tend to do this. However, my body is grateful that I now take some more time and prepare a real meal more often.
Another means how we can increase happiness through our bodies is exercising. Many tell me that running is very good for them because it gets their circulation going. in addition, many tell that it is a wonderful method to clear your head. And try what works best for you. For some it helps to ask a friend to do sports together, be it in a gym or otherwise. Some like to go swimming or climbing. There are plenty of ways to be active. I for example do a form of Tabata, a high-intensity interval training. Show your body some love and move it =).
- Live minimally
How much do we really need? It is astonishing with how little we can actually survive. When I feel a void inside me, I have the tendency to buy something. Often, I don’t really need it. Quite the contrary. There are studies that show that too many options are detrimental for our happiness, because we cannot decide and might think we made the wrong decision. Furthermore, we have a kind of relationship with every item we own. I think it is most obvious with expensive things. Let’s take a car. We worry that something gets broken, or that we have an accident or someone will steal it. We invest mental energy. And we do this to a certain degree even with small items. So, declutter your belongings will help to declutter your mind and live more peacefully.
- Tell the truth
In general, we are happier when we tell the truth. Not only is a lie consuming more energy, because you need to produce something out of thin air and you need to remember all details not to get caught lying. But lying is also poison for building up trust in relationships. Of course, there are exceptions. For example, would it be rude to criticize a friend for his piano play, especially when he or she is just beginning and are happy about every compliment that keeps them going. Another thing that comes from telling the truth is better reflection skills. When you tell the truth, you speak from your heart and your feelings. When we speak something out loud, we start to process our thoughts in a different way and we might have realizations we might not had when telling a lie.
- Establish personal control
Don’t make yourself or your happiness dependent on someone else. Trust me, been there done that and it is not a nice feeling when things come crushing down on you. If you feel trapped in some way, maybe it is time to think about leaving this situation or place. Of course, some things take a while to change, but even being on the path to personal control can feel rewarding.
- Accept what cannot be changed
How does the saying go?
Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.
If we fight something that cannot be changed we needlessly burn energy we could spend somewhere else. In mindfulness there is even a way to handle unpleasant things. There are several studies with patients who have a chronic pain in their body. By accepting the pain and acknowledging it as a part of life, patients were better able to handle the pain. I think the same is true for other aspects of our lives. Just accept the fact and spend your focus on other things.
Have a wonderful day and take care!