What does it take to be happy? How we define happiness is as individual as the over 7 billion people on the planet. But we were intrigued by the recent research and the article by Dan Buettner, Give Yourself a Happiness Makeover, we found in the recent issue of AARP Magazine.Dan’s research found 10 steps to a more happy life we want to share with you:
- Nestle in the Right Neighborhood…Where one lives is an important determinant of happiness, or at least a sense of well being and belonging. Our neighborhood and community help define our live.
- Stop Shopping; Start Saving…The question is, how much stuff do we really need to be happy and fulfilled? Saving for a rainy day or a retirement or that dream trip can significantly increase happiness.
- Make the Most of Your Morning…Even if you’re not a morning person, boost your energy by taking a short walk or simply doing something for yourself first thing in the morning so that you can face the day less stressed and more prepared.
- Trim Your TV Time…We’ve heard this for years. Turn off the tv and look around, be with friends and family and, yes, smell the flowers.
- Get a Daily Dose of Friends…Our social circle of friends not only gives us a different perspective and keeps us honest, it’s also healthy.
- Find Your Soul Mate…A committed, long term relationship has been shown that those relationships lead to a happier life.
- Meet, Pray, Love…Wow, research shows that people who belong to a faith-based community—regardless of religion—and attend services more than once a week live as many as 7 years longer! But regardless of religious belief, seeking places that reflect a sense of wonder in the deeper questions of life, such as nature, can also be life extending.
- Create a Sunny Sanctuary…By having a space that is uniquely yours you can increase contentment.
- Gain Peace with a Pooch…Yes, pet owners have been found to have lower blood pressure. That unconditional love from that wagging tail can put a smile on anyone’s face after an especially challenging day.
- Ignite Your Passion for Compassion…Giving feels good whether it’s helping a neighbor, donating to a food bank, or contributing to a worthy cause.
There’s no simple formula for happiness—and there are ups and downs on the road of life—but we do think the above points are a good start toward understanding what can help us all attain what we personally define as a more happy state. What’s your happy state?