Have you ever truly wondered how to be happy? According to a Harris poll on happiness, only one out of three people indicate that they are actually happy. It seems counter-intuitive, but actively trying to be happy can prevent one from truly achieving happiness and fulfillment. Research shows that to find happiness, instead search for meaning in your life and be grateful for what you have. If you can accomplish these things, happiness will naturally follow.
Greater Good Magazine points out the idea that helping others makes for a more meaningful life is not new. They remind us that “Aristotle wrote that finding happiness and fulfillment is achieved ‘by loving rather than in being loved.'” In accordance with this idea, a recent study found those who can give to others “reported a greater sense of purpose and meaning in their lives.” You might be able to think of examples in your own life of when you helped someone. Did you feel good afterwards? Do you still think about that tip you gave or going out of your way to do a chore for someone? It is likely that doing something for someone else made you happier. To implement this in your life, try to do at least one good thing for someone else each day. You may find that just the act of helping another person will make you happy.
Still wondering how to be happy? Another tool you can implement in your own life is gratefulness. Taking time out of your day to appreciate what you have will force you to develop positive thoughts. These thoughts can do a lot for you– positive people are shown to have better physical health. Thoughts of gratefulness before bedtime can also help you sleep better at night and getting more rest can make you happier as well. Before you go to bed each night, free-write for ten minutes about what you are grateful for. You may find that you look forward to that practice each night and happiness may just follow.
How To Be Happy AND Live a Longer Life:
Being positive can affect your physical health, and it is the thoughts of Emily Fox Gordon from The New York Times that true fulfillment can’t be achieved until you have reached a certain age. Fox believes that “a life of brilliant accomplishment that ends at 40 can’t have been fulfilled. Years are a requirement. One must have lived most of a standard lifetime and be inclined to assess it.” This, of course, is great news for readers over 40. It is important to remember that we can’t always plan for our lives, but we need to live our lives. You can’t force yourself to be happy, but you can make sure that you live a healthy, anti-inflammatory lifestyle to ensure longevity. The older we get, the more we may feel fulfilled!
Don’t focus on being happy; instead, focus your energy on helping others and being thankful for what you have. These acts may, in turn, cause you to find happiness on your own. Not only can finding a more meaningful life make you happy, but it can also increase your lifespan! Remember to help people and to express gratefulness when you’re searching for happiness. These two acts will help you achieve a more meaningful life which will, in turn, make you happy.