Why do some people always look happy? Is there something they know that we don’t or have they found that by following certain habits, happiness is achievable?
The next time you’re out and about – at work, out shopping or socialising or just walking on the street – have a look at the people around you. What do you notice? There will always be some people who with smiles on their faces. They may even look at you and give you a big smile and make you feel good! I like to call these people sunshine girls and sunny boys.
What is their secret? How can they be always so happy?
I consider myself to be a sunshine girl. People often ask me, “Why are you so happy? It’s just not possible to be happy all the time!” Some have concluded that it’s because I have a simple life or that it’s all just a façade. The truth is that even us sunshine girls aren’t always happy and we have moments of sadness and feeling down. But, the happy times far outweigh these down times.
How did I get to this stage in my life?
My life has not always been easy and I have faced, and still face, big challenges. But, I have discovered 10 habits that many happy people practise and I’m going to share them with you.
1. Only worry about what is in your circle of influence
I often see people worrying about the bad behaviour of others, i.e. getting angry with bad drivers or the political situation, or complaining about the horrible situation at work. Simply put, we have two options:
- Do something about the situation
- Accept the situation and let it go!
Ask yourself - is there something I can do to change a bad situation? If yes, how? If no, let it go. This is one of the reasons I veer away from politics!
2. Think positively about yourself
Instead of focusing on the mistakes you’ve made, think about all the great things you have done and achieved. Learn from your mistakes and use these as an opportunity to improve.
3. Think positively about others
I’ve noticed that people who constantly speak ill about others are the one who are actually afraid of what others think about them. Next time you feel the urge to laugh at someone else’s expense or say something nasty, hold your tongue and don’t even think about it to yourself. You’ll notice how much better you feel about yourself too.
4. Be yourself and embrace it
To become a sunshine girl, you have to know and accept who you are and this includes the good and the bad. If you don’t like a characteristic of yourself, find a way to improve. Discover what your purpose is in life and the different roles you have to the various people in your life – parents, partner, children, friends, colleagues. This will help you know yourself better.
5. Keep your goals in mind and enjoy the journey
It’s good to set goals but I often see people depending on these goals to achieve happiness, e.g. when I become rich, I will be happy or when I lose all this weight, I will feel good. If you’re already an unhappy person, achieving goals won’t necessarily make you happy either. Accept your current status, set realistic goals and enjoy the journey as you progress.
6. Do the things you love
Integrate activities you truly enjoy into your daily life. This could be anything from talking to your friends or taking up a new fitness class to having a nice meal or just reading a book. Make time for yourself, don’t let the stress of life distract you too often and try your best to enjoy the simple things you love.
7. Surround yourself with high-energy people
Do you have friends or family members that always nag and discourage you? Unfortunately this is something that is out of your circle of influence and you can’t change them. So what can you do? Limit your time with them or just don’t listen; and surround yourself with likeminded positive people instead.
8. Don’t compare yourself to anyone but yourself
We tend to compare ourselves with other people and measure our success based on their success – this is a sure way to feeling unhappy. From this moment, compare yourself to who you were before and see how far you’ve come and what you’ve achieved.
9. Be mindful
We naturally think about the past and wonder what will happen in the future. Being in the present can be difficult and this is where meditation and mindfulness can really help as it trains us to focus on the now.
10. Be grateful
No matter how bad or stressful life gets, think about what you’re grateful for at least once a day and make it a habit. It doesn’t have to be anything extreme; just something that makes you smile, be thankful for or makes you realise that life really is for living.