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8 Habits of Happy People

By Rachel Burt
Edited by Lara Medic 

We often read about the habits of successful people but seldom think about the habits of happy people. What does "success" mean any way? Does it guarantee happiness? Instead of  of focussing on becoming successful, perhaps, we should start focussing on being happy and enjoying the everyday journey along the way to "success." 

I recently watched a video on TED about a 13 year old boy, Logan LaPlante, who was actually educating adults about what is missing in our educational system in the United States. He derived to this conclusion after being pulled-out of the traditional school system and being home-schooled: we should base our educational system on learning and practicing happiness. 

Perhaps, you may be thinking this is utopian; but you do agree that happiness is extremely important for our let's step back and re-examine happiness

I will cover the 8 habits of happy people, as researched and found by Dr. David Walsh (PhD), which are also known as "therapeutical lifestyle changes." 

(1) Spending Time in Nature:  

Spending time outdoors is scientifically proven to keep people more happy. Get outside; go for a run; go for a swim; take your dog for a walk; watch the sunset; take a road trip to enjoy the beautiful scenery; and go cycling. Just go outside and breathe! Connecting with nature is the best way to become re-energized and keep smiling. 

(2) Relationships

There is a deep need to have a sense of belonging that comes from close personal interaction with friends and family. This is the opposite of fairly artificial relationships that technology, text message, and email foster. I am not referring to your drinking buddies, i.e. "friends" who are only there to celebrate. The significant relationships are the ones, where you share your personal thoughts and feelings without hesitation and with trust; someone you can laugh, cry, and fight with, and someone you can lean on. 

(3) Contribution and Service

Do you ever notice how good you feel when simply opening the door for an elder, visiting your grandmother on your day off, taking in the groceries for your mother, or donating food to the poor? Devoting your time to give back to your community leaves you satisfied and content; perhaps, you sense that there is a purpose to your life.  Volunteer work is said to be good for both physical and mental health. Selfless service gives-off a  "helper's high," also known as an euphoric state of mind, which is when our brain is triggered by the reward center and leaves us feeling happier inside. 

(4) Exercise

Exercise releases endorphins, which help with symptoms of depression, anxiety and stress; not to mention exercise boosts your self-esteem and gives you a higher sense of self-accomplishment.

(5) Diet and Nutrition

Everything you eat directly affects your body’s ability to produce hormones, which will dictate your mood, energy, and mental focus. On the one hand, eating healthy food can prime your body and brain to become focused, and happy; on the other hand, eating processed junk foods will leave you sluggish and prone to chronic disease. 

(6) Recreation:  

Get out and do something for yourself! We all know the movie The Notebook, right? Well, one of my favorite parts is when the couple is walking on the street, and the the young man asks the lady "so what do you do during the day?" She goes on and on about her busy schedule, which includes ballet practice, tutoring, piano classes, and reading. Then he says: "Well, what do you do for fun, something you do because you don't have to?"  After hesitating, she replies: "I paint." Music, literature, dance, art, motorcycling, bowling, surfing, skateboarding, no matter what your hectic routines may be like, take time to play and have fun. 

(7) Relaxation and Stress Management

Whether it be taking a walk on the beach, reading, listening to music, napping, talking with a friend, find a way to take time and let your body rest. Practicing yoga and meditation are ways to silence the mind and help you achieve inner peace. Yoga and mediation calm the nerves and relieve stress anywhere and anytime.

(8) Religion/Spirituality

Studies link happiness  to religion/spirituality. For one, habits like expressing gratitude and compassion are, generally, promoted through religious and spiritual teachings. Taking the time to unplug and practice rituals helps us to reflect and become calm. When people feel like their life has a purpose, which is often nurtured through spirituality, they are happier.

Many people spend more of their lives sitting, waiting, wishing and hoping to be happy. They probably read this, and think of the conditions to be happy: "Okay, so, if I lose weight," "once I start to become a good dancer," "once I have a good relationship with my Dad," "once I volunteer," then I will be happy.  That "then" part needs to be erased.  Happy does not come from receiving an award/gift or achieving a certain goal, happiness comes from within. But, just like being "successful," happiness requires practice. By applying these 8 habits into your daily routine, I am sure you will notice your mood change. Just remember: “It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.” -Ernest Hemingway 


Pharell Williams said...

Because I'm haaaaaaapyyyyyyyy

Anonymous said...


Ana Lopez said...

You're happy if you don(t care what other people say !!!!!!!


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