Happiness is a tricky art to master, isn’t it?
It seems to be the big end goal for most of us, yet in our incredibly fast paced and frantic world, it seems like joy is reserved to a select and lucky few.
So what exactly is their secret?
How do those who seem to be perpetually upbeat and content do it?
Well, the secret may lie in the fact that they’re not trying so hard.
In striking off happiness as a written down goal to be achieved and instead enjoying the journey, these individuals remove the stress from having to toil and labor away…
In turn, making happiness far more attainable.
If this sounds a little counterintuitive and you’re confused about how you can achieve happiness without actually trying, stick around to discover the 8 behaviors truly happy people exhibit.
Because if happiness isn’t something that currently inhabits your life, you sure could learn a little from replicating those who do seem happy as Larry.
1) They savor the small moments
One of the key behaviors that truly happy people often display is that they savor the small moments in life. They don’t wait around, twiddling their thumbs and waiting for the next huge joyous event to take place.
Nor do they live only for the big, headline-worthy events.
Instead, they find joy in and savor the everyday, seemingly mundane things. They know very well that many little moments add up to just as much happiness (if not more) than the huge, defining ones.
And these little moments will look different for every person. It might be a cup of coffee (just right), laughing with a friend until you’re bright red and your stomach hurts, or finding a captivating book and losing yourself for an entire afternoon.
Sadly, this habit can often go unnoticed by those around them. People might view them as simple, naive, or even antisocial – which is far from the truth.
In reality, these individuals realize that life itself is made up of these small moments, and by appreciating them, they cultivate their own happiness day by day.
They don’t necessarily do this consciously, either. The fact that they find happiness without looking is just part of who they are.
2) They practice gratitude
On top of savoring the small moments, happy people are also hugely appreciative and grateful for everything they encounter.
Now, not all happy people consciously practice gratitude through journals or prayer or mediations. However, they do have an inherent sense of thankfulness for their life and experiences.
Think of it as the glass as half full rather than half empty mantra.
And whilst this practice of gratefulness might be overlooked by the untrained eye, or even performed subconsciously by these individuals, it does wonders for brightening the world and opening your eyes to everything you have been blessed with.
3) They know that experiences > superficial possessions
Unsurprisingly, happy people don’t spend their paychecks on fancy cars and shoes.
Because whilst you might get a quick buzz from splashing your cash, research shows that spending money on experiences rather than material possessions leads to greater happiness.
Happy people often live by this principle, often without even realizing it.
They value the memories made during a vacation or traveling rather than having the newest smartphone in their pocket. They’ll choose a concert over a trendy new bag or pair of sunglasses.
And this spending habit (or lack thereof) doesn’t mean they live a life of austerity. They simply understand the impermanence of material things which quickly lose their shine versus the lasting value of experiences.
4) They maintain a positive outlook
Happiness often finds those who keep a positive outlook on life, even when things get tough.
Now, before you start clamoring, this doesn’t mean happiness at all costs, nor toxic positivity.
Happy people just have this incredible tendency to find the silver lining in every cloud.
When faced with adversity, they don’t dwell on the negatives. Quite the contrary; they focus on what they can learn from the situation and how they can grow from it.
This doesn’t mean they ignore their problems or deny their feelings, as if anything, happy people are adept at healthy emotional expression.
Instead, they simply choose to approach life’s challenges with optimism and resilience, understanding that hardships are a part of life and can often lead to personal growth.
5) They’re not afraid to feel
True happiness isn’t about never feeling sad, angry, or hurt. It’s about allowing yourself to feel all emotions – even the uncomfortable ones.
Genuinely happy people are masters at regulating and feeling their emotions on all sides of the scale. They don’t shy away from their feelings; they embrace them.
And they fully understand that it’s okay to feel down sometimes.
If anything, how do you know true happiness if you’ve never been sad?
So expect them to cry when sad, seethe when angry, hurt and heal. They don’t suppress their emotions nor do they pretend to be okay when they’re not.
To some people, this might seem like a sign of weakness or instability. As a society, we tend often to champion those who put on a brave face and conceal their emotions.
But in reality, healthy emotional expression is a sign of strength and emotional intelligence.
6) They spread kindness
If there’s one thing that really happy people are known for, it’s their kindness. They’re the ones who go out of their way to help others, to help passersby up the stairs with luggage or spare change for someone in need.
The uplifting effect they have on the world around them is simply magnetic.
This is because naturally, the happiest on earth are the ones who understand that a small act of kindness can make a big difference in someone’s day.
From waggling a tongue at a (consenting) toddler on the bus, taking an elderly neighbor’s dog out for a stroll, or helping locally through volunteering, these individuals leave crumbs of kindness wherever they go.
And while they might not always get recognized for their actions, they sure don’t do it for the praise. No; they do it because they genuinely care about others.
The best part is that they might not even realize that their kindness is not only making others happy but also contributing to their own happiness too.
It’s simply part of who they are – kind, empathetic, and wonderfully altruistic.
7) They let go of what they can’t control
Truly happy people have learned to let go of what they can’t control.
Now, this is a tricky art to master, as many of us encounter frustrating things on a daily basis.
Yes, I’m looking at you shaking your fists at the car in front of you during your morning commute.
Yes, you there, glaring up at the rain clouds above.
And you too, blindly cussing out the baby bats that have moved into your roof which now needs to be fixed before winter.
Happy people don’t waste energy getting agitated over these things they cannot control. They let go of this unnecessary stress and focus instead on what they can control; their reactions, their attitude, their actions.
So they’ll likely be enjoying those few extra minutes in the car, bopping along to their favorite song.
They’ll dance in the brief rainshower and relish the hot shower afterwards.
They’ll rejoice at the fact that their house has been chosen as a bat haven. Maybe buy a bat box so that they have somewhere warm to reside.
These individuals might not even realize that by letting go of what they can’t control, they’re cultivating their happiness. This ability to spin seemingly negative effects into a wild ride is just part of their nature.
8) They prioritize their wellbeing
Finally, happy people understand the importance of taking care of themselves. They prioritize their physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing – because this is the fuel for their happiness.
And whether it’s getting enough sleep, eating healthy, exercising regularly, practicing mindfulness, or seeking help when they need it, they do what’s necessary to keep themselves in good shape.
They understand that they can’t pour from an empty cup, nor can they be there for others if they aren’t there for themselves first.
They love themselves as they would want to be loved, often unknowingly. This love is extended to others just as much as their own bodies, and sets the foundation for lasting happiness.
Final words on what it means to be happy
Happiness isn’t about being ecstatic and jolly every moment of the day, but more about feeling content and satisfied with your life as a whole.
If you’ve found yourself relating to the 8 behaviors above, chances are, you’re one of those genuinely happy people who are spreading joy without even realizing it.
And if not, don’t fret. Many of us have yet to learn how to slow down and appreciate the little things, and are still on our own unique journey towards happiness.
So keep being you, don’t force it, and in time you too will marvel at how much satisfaction life brings you.
And for now, breathe out and smile; you’re doing more good than you realize.
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