There's always something that we're striving for, whether it's a new place, a significant other or a promotion. It leads to the misconception that when we get x, we will be permanently happy.
However, whilst these big events throughout our lives do make us initially happy, research is indicative that this happiness is not transfixed. A Northwestern University study measured that happiness levels of ordinary people next to those that had attained extensive lottery prizes in the former year. The remarkable results included the prospect that the happiness ratings of each group were basically identical.
The false ideology that significant life events determine how happy or how sad you are is so widely held that psychologists have developed a name for it: impactbias. The truth of the matter is that event-based happiness is fleeting.
"Happiness" is an artificial feeling - you either make it for yourself, or you don't. Amazingly joyous people have developed habits that sustain their happiness each and every day. Adopt their habits and realise the difference it makes to you:
1. They spend money on other people.
Research is indicative that spending money on others makes you so much happier than buying things for yourself. This is particularly accurate in doing little things that demonstrate making an effort, such as buying a family member or a friend the special edition of a book you know that they'll like.
2. They exercise.
Exercising for merely 10 minutes releases endorphins that make you mind feel soothed and in control. Happy individuals plan frequent exercise sessions, and keep it up because they are aware that it'll do wonders for their mentality.
3. They allow themselves to slow down to enjoy the little things in life.
It's natural for us to develop order and routines in our lives. Creating comfort and conserving brain energy, this is a positive thing in many ways. Nevertheless, if your routine becomes so rigid that you become blinkered to the beauty all around you, life can seem quite dim. Positive, optimistic people acknowledge the importance of appreciating a beautiful view, savouring the taste of their meal, or delighting in the sun's rays shining on their face.
4. They stay positive.
Terrible things can happen to all of us, happy people included. But instead of throwing a fit about the situation they're in, how things could be or how they should be, happy individuals reflect on and think about all that they're grateful for in life. They grapple the best possible solution and keep on moving forward. Nothing creates misery like pessimism does. Asides from how detrimental it is to your mind-frame, pessimism can actually play a role in the way that things turn out in your life. If you are always expecting awful things to happen to you, then it's more likely that these things will actually occur. Once you realise how irrational it is to think in a pessimistic manner, it becomes easier to see things in a clearer light.
4. They surround themselves with like-minded people.
Joy is infectious. Rallying happy people around you builds courage, triggers creativity, and is pretty fun aswell. Spending time with negative individuals has the opposite effect. They want others to chime in with miserable thoughts so that they can feel better about the way they see their life as being. You wouldn't stand next to someone smoking and inhale the fumes. The same applies with a negative person and the aura they give off.