That person who slagged you off behind your back? Who cares?! That competitor who copies everything you do. So what?! Good luck to them all.
You hope they make it. In season 5 episode 18 of US sitcom Friends , Monica is throwing a party and wants to control everything: the food, the guest list and the entertainment. Phoebe tries to help and Monica, to keep her away, puts her in charge of two things that she deems insignificant: cups and ice.
Phoebe is now clear that most of the party is out of her control, but she goes to town on what she can control: cups and ice. She makes cup bunting, cup towers, ice sculptures, snow cones, dry ice, crushed, cubed, and so on. The first step is to work out what is in your control and what is out of your control.
Out of your control. The football score? What people think? In your control: your attitude, your actions, your words, your thoughts, your choices. Make a list. Focus on what you can control and give it everything you have. Forget everything else. When I was on my graduate scheme, my manager Glyn was from Sheffield and spoke in idioms. Now I realise it was deeply profound.
I have since found that training my brain to see things as they are, and avoiding the perceptions and labels that can surround them, has avoided drama and headaches like nothing else. Opinion pieces on [insert current political happenings], what [outspoken celebrity] thinks about [what another celebrity has said or done]. Who cares, right?
What Makes People Happy: 54 Things That Can Make You a Happier Person
Start avoiding opinions day-to-day and you will realise how often they are aired. Opinions are just that; they are not the truth so never treat them as such. Like a ball being thrown at you; you choose whether to catch it or dodge it. Your thoughts become your words and your words become your actions, and, by extension, your reputation and success. Not just work but life too. You must be ready for them. Taking a break in the short term might help, but in the long term, train yourself to deal with anything that comes at you.
Whilst you might crave picturesque scenery, rolling hills and nothing but the sound of birds singing, real happiness comes from calmness in the middle of a crowd, in the middle of a tense conversation or on the battlefield. Happiness is riding the waves and not being pulled about with each occurrence like an emotional rollercoaster. My work got deleted? A chance to do it again, better. The internet is down? A chance to read a book.
My food is taking ages to arrive? For instance, a variety of research suggests that self-esteem that is bound to external success can be a fickle beast — certain students who tied their self-esteem to their grades experienced small boosts when they received an acceptance letter grad school , but harsh drops in self-esteem when they were rejected. Indeed, similar findings were reported for those who base their self-esteem on career success and appearance.
Instead, find a happy middle ground by heeding the words of C. It seems strange that being very productive would cause one to be happy, but studies suggest that balanced free time is key, as too much boredom can be burdensome — strive for a productive life at a comfortable pace. Relationships are perhaps the most important thing without exaggeration when it comes to overall life satisfaction, at least for most people. This applies to all relationships, but especially with your significant other.
While the study focused on marriages, one of the biggest takeaways for me can be applied more universally:. Oftentimes a relationship can go sour if you let it go on autopilot, and there are few things worse for happiness than losing a close companion.
How to Live a Happy Life (for Teens) - KidsHealth
Taking care of yourself is apart of taking care of others. In this way, your mutual dedication to improving yourself benefits both of you. The greatest gift you can give somebody is your own personal development.
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In the long term, however, a happier life eschews trivial chatter in favor of longer, more thoughtful conversations. In general, talking with others is a good thing for our happiness, but when the conversation is always superficial, it begins to take a toll:. So, happy people are socially engaged with others, and this engagement entails matters of substance. Deep conversations are often those we reserve for close friends and family, which again explains why close relationships are so important for our happiness.
This is confirmed by many studies dealing with SWLS Satisfied With Life Scale , which shows that regular small pleasures had a bigger impact on happiness than fewer larger ones. Why would people who have one partner be happier than people who have many? One reason is that multiple partners are occasionally thrilling, but regular partners are regularly enjoyable.
5 Simple Ways to Be Happy
A bi-weekly ride on a merry-go-round may be better than an annual ride on a roller coaster. In fact, Gilbert the author notes how most participants would actively schedule their free dinner which they won in the study a week in advance, instead of the next night:. Why the self-imposed delay? People with self-control seem to be happier with life. Walter Mischel, leader researcher for the Stanford marshmallow experiment, had this to say about how people get discipline and willpower all wrong:. They would think that the best way to resist the marshmallow is to stare right at it, to keep a close eye on the goal.
Just like the kids in the experiment, you can get yourself a better payoff and live a more fulfilling life if you can avoid compulsive distractions, but you need to remember that the secret is in making them easy to avoid, not in powering through with willpower. This means hiding the snacks out in a shelf in the garage, instead of in the kitchen cabinet you frequent most.
Handwritten letters are also a great way to start the process of reciprocity. Though you should be sending them out of sincere appreciation for someone, remember that true networking not the slimy business card kind is about helping and letting people know that they matter to you. Most of us like to think we are unique snowflakes, but sometimes things are popular for a reason. In fact, research suggests that the best way to predict how much we will enjoy an experience is to see how much someone else enjoyed it. Perhaps most interestingly, a change in view can have a really big impact on your overall happiness.
The long and short of it is that you should find something to excel in, and do it as often as you can. You should also know the research has suggested that mastering a skill may be just as stressful as you might think.