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What is the key to happiness?

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asked Oct 5, 2015 in Self Improvement by anonymous
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4 Answers

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While there is no single key to happiness, there are many steps that you can take to increase the amount of happiness that you have in your life. Here are just a few:

 

  • Do things for others. Giving your time, energy or money to other people not only helps make the world a better place, but it also provides a deep sense of joy. Studies have shown that helping others significantly boosts happiness. Not only does it improve your mood and give you a sense of purpose, but it also gives a deeper sense of meaning to life. [1]
     
  • Create close relationships with other people. Having strong relationships with others can dramatically increase your overall sense of happiness. Friends provide love and support when you need it. They also make you laugh and help you relax after a hard day.
     
  • Focus on gratitude. Spend time thinking about how fortunate you really are. Look at your life and evaluate all of the amazing things that are a part of it. Be grateful for the clothes you wear, the friends you have, the feeling of sunshine on your face, the smell of the air after a rainstorm, the beauty of a flower, the capability to see the flower or smell the rain or any number of other amazing things that you encounter in your life. When you start looking for things to be grateful for, you will be amazed at how your sense of happiness increases. [2]
     
  • Love yourself the way you are. Don't focus on past failures or perceived flaws. Instead, focus on your positive traits and work on learning to love yourself just the way you are. Being kinder to yourself can result in a greater sense of peace and well-being and can help you enjoy life more fully. Remember, no one is perfect and everyone makes mistakes. Forgive yourself and move on, spending more time focusing on what you do right than what you do wrong. [2]
     
  • Live in the moment. There is no sense in playing negative events from your past over and over again in your mind or worrying about things that haven't happened yet. Instead, by focusing your attention only on the present moment, you can enjoy the amazing things that are happening right now. Learning to live moment by moment can erase a tremendous amount of stress, worry and regret from your life, resulting in a greater overall level of happiness.
     
  • Don't look to others for approval. There is no way to please everyone -- trying to do so is an exercise in futility. Instead, live your life in a way that pleases you. The only person you need to seek approval or validation from is yourself. [3]
     
  • Take care of your body. This includes eating healthy foods, getting exercise and stopping bad habits that you know are harmful for you. When you feel good physically, you will be far more likely to feel good mentally and emotionally as well. [3]

 

You can also try some of these other simple activities to increase your overall sense of happiness and well-being:

 

 

References:

 

1. http://www.actionforhappiness.org/10-keys-to-happier-living/do-things-for-others/details
2. http://www.actionforhappiness.org/10-keys
3. https://www.deepakchopra.com/blog/article/4930

answered Oct 8, 2015 by blueskies (57,070 points)
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Believe it or not, I have been asking myself almost this exact question- What does it mean to be happy? See, I have been traveling down a path that from the outside looked great. I laughed all the time, always found the silver lining in the worst circumstances and made sure everyone heard how life was all rainbows and sunshine. All the while I was slowly dying on the inside. For me, it is so easy to put on a happy face and pretend everything is going great rather than admit anything is wrong.


With a lot of self reflection, I have determined what it is for me to be happy. It is not the money, the car or any of the other usual status symbols. For me, happiness is being content no matter what life throws your way. Whether I have a lot of money in my pocket or none at all. To acknowledge and be thankful for a roof over my head, nice clothes and a family who loves me unconditionally.


Happiness is opening yourself up and actually letting people get to know the real you with all the bad stuff as well as the good stuff. It means sharing some of your deepest, darkest secrets and fears. You will be amazed to discover that those things that you thought were so bad actually aren't when you expose them to light.


My father passed away less than a month ago and it has opened my eyes to what is important in life. Spending time making memories, loving not only your family and friends, but also those who are unlovable. This can be something as easy as talking to a stranger in the grocery store checkout lane, buying a warm coat and giving it to a homeless person or calling and telling someone and telling them you are bringing them a home cooked meal.


Take the time to call or text someone when they come to mind. More times than not, you will find out they are having a very difficult day and need someone to just tell them that they are loved. As you begin doing those things, you will notice that more and more people begin doing it for you as well.


Go out and live your life! Don't sit home watching television, playing video games or surfing the Internet. Instead, take your family out and explore nature. Believe it or not, our world is filled with interesting sights and sounds. Go outside and gaze at the stars on a clear night. Hop in your car and just let your intuition take you somewhere new.
answered Oct 8, 2015 by LisaH (33,300 points)
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It depends on what kind of happiness you're talking about. Is it your day to day mood? Or longer, deeper fulfillment about where your life is going.

The first kind has been touched on well by other answers to this question. The longer-running happiness is a little harder to nail down. A lot of people love to say that money doesn't buy happiness, except that some research done by Princeton back in 2010 actually suggested it that it does.

Apparently, folks making $75,000 a year hit a high level of documented happiness because they were free from stress of bills and debt but also able to afford material wants, travel, experiences and be able to tend to the needs and safety of their loved ones. What made the $75,000 point interesting was that happiness didn't noticeably rise with higher incomes after that, at least not enough to be significant.

A later study done more recently looked into this more and actually suggests that the new "sweet spot" is between $50,000 and $75,000. Individuals in this range have enough money to live the life they want, but many professionals making more than that annually are in highly stressful positions and/or putting in so many hours they can't enjoy life.

Living in a place with a low cost of living lowers the income thresholds, because the real key is lots of disposable income and safety net.

[1]http://content.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,2019628,00.html
[2]http://www.forbes.com/sites/learnvest/2012/04/24/the-salary-that-will-make-you-happy-hint-its-less-than-75000/
answered Oct 9, 2015 by Topher (27,830 points)
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The key to happiness is quite a few things. If you truly want to feel happy, you should consider giving more.[1] It may sound strange, but you may start to feel a lot happier when you start giving to others, especially those who are truly in need. It is possible for you to make an impact on the lives of others, and that should make you feel good!

 

Living life in the moment is another great way to become happier.[2] Sometimes people worry too much about the past or the future and it gets in the way of their life at the moment. If you are dwelling on the past, how can you move forward? Focus on what you can do now to make improvements in your life and become happier.

 

Do what you love! It may not be possible for you to just quit your job and start traveling the world, but start treating yourself better. Spend weekends participating in your favorite activities or even visiting a spa where you can relax and just get pampered. Treat yourself good.

 

References:

http://www.actionforhappiness.org/10-keys-to-happier-living

 

https://www.deepakchopra.com/blog/article/4930

answered Oct 10, 2015 by AmyLynn (20,980 points)

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