I recently can across some really informative websites. One of which has the 13 ingredients to happiness. Here they are;
- Don’t compare yourself to others. Financially, physically, and socially, comparing yourself to others is a trap. You will always have friends who have more money than you do, who can run faster than you can, who are more successful in their careers. Focus on your own life, on your own goals.
- Foster close relationships. People with five or more close friends are more apt to describe themselves as happy than those with fewer.
- Have sex. Sex, especially with someone you love, is consistently ranked as a top source of happiness. A long-term loving partnership goes hand-in-hand with this.
- Get regular exercise. There’s a strong tie between physical health and happiness. Anyone who has experienced a prolonged injury or illness knows just how emotionally devastating it can be. Eat right, exercise, and take care of our body. (And read Get Fit Slowly!)
- Obtain adequate sleep. Good sleep is an essential component of good health. When you’re not well-rested, your body and your mind do not operate at peak capacity. Your mood suffers. (Read more in my brief guide to better sleep.)
- Set and pursue goals. I believe that the road to wealth is paved with goals. More than that, the road to happiness is paved with goals. Continued self-improvement makes life more fulfilling.
- Find meaningful work. There are some who argue a job is just a job. I believe that fulfilling work is more than that — it’s a vocation. It can take decades to find the work you were meant to do. But when you find it, it can bring added meaning to your life.
- Join a group. Those who are members of a group, like a church congregation, experience greater happiness. But the group doesn’t have to be religious. Join a book group. Meet others for a Saturday morning bike ride. Sit in at the knitting circle down at the yarn shop.
- Don’t dwell on the past. I know a guy who beats himself up over mistakes he’s made before. Rather than concentrate on the present (or, better yet, on the future), he lets the past eat away at his happiness. Focus on the now.
- Embrace routine. Research shows that although we believe we want variety and choice, we’re actually happier with limited options. It’s not that we want no choice at all, just that we don’t want to be overwhelmed. Routines help limit choices. They’re comfortable and familiar and, used judiciously, they can make us happy.
- Practice moderation. Too much of a good thing is a bad thing. It’s okay to indulge yourself on occasion — just don’t let it get out of control. Addictions and compulsions can ruin lives.
- Be grateful. It’s no accident that so many self-help books encourage readers to practice gratitude. When we regularly take time to be thankful for the things we have, we appreciate them more. We’re less likely to take them for granted, and less likely to become jealous of others.
- Help others. Over and over again, studies have shown that altruism is one of the best ways to boost your happiness. Sure, volunteering at the local homeless shelter helps, but so too does just being nice in daily life.
Did you know
- About 50% of individual happiness comes from a genetic set point. That is, we’re each predisposed to a certain level of happiness. Some of us are just naturally more inclined to be cheery than others.
- About 10% of our happiness is due to our circumstances. Our age, race, gender, personal history, and, yes, wealth, only make up about one-tenth of our happiness.
- The remaining 40% of an individual’s happiness seems to be derived from intentional activity, from “discrete actions or practices that people can choose to do”.