In her book, The How of Happiness, Sonja Lyubomirsky, a professor of the Department of Psychology at the University of California identifies 8 traits of happy people which she directly links to them leading happier, more fulfilling lives.
I love research into happiness and am always really curious as to what different researchers identify. There do seem to be a LOT of common themes however and Sonja’s list seems as good a place to start as any when pondering how to increase the happiness in your life.
The eight traits are as follows;
1. They devote a great amount of time to their family and friends, nurturing and enjoying those relationships
2. They are comfortable expressing gratitude for all they have
3. They are often the first to offer helping hands to coworkers and passersby
4. They practice optimism when imagining their futures
5. They savour life’s pleasures and try to live in the present moment
6. They make physical exercise a weekly and even daily habit
7. They are deeply committed to lifelong goals and ambitions (e.g., fighting fraud, building cabinets, or teaching their children their deeply held values)
8. Last but not least, the happiest people do have their share of stresses, crises, and even tragedies. They may become just as distressed and emotional in such circumstances as you or I, but their secret weapon is the poise and strength they show in coping in the face of challenge.
So in a nutshell, connection, gratitude, kindness, optimism, being in the moment, exercise, goals and resilience.
Reading through this list I can see the areas that I think I am doing well in, and those which are perhaps ‘opportunities for growth’.
How about you? Which of these eight areas do you feel you could focus on more, to bring more happiness and contentment into your life?
Here’s an online link to The How of Happiness but of course I would encourage you to buy it from an independent retailer iff you can!