3 Life Choices that Make You Smile

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HEALTHY LIVING  |  6.18.15  |  by Terra Wellington

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Two women at lunch

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Happiness is … well, it can be different for a lot of people.  But according to the recently released Harris Poll Happiness Index, there’s a lot of reasons for happiness that occur for us all.  And one of the most interesting things about the poll is that you can make your own happiness.

While finding some happiness may have its roots in things that aren’t always in your control (like how much money we make), there are several factors about what happiness is that are nearly always in your control.  Here are 3 ways you can make your own happiness:

1. Something to Believe In
Having a religious or belief-system view along with attending church make you a more happy person.  Why?  There is comfort and support with the affiliation that keeps you ‘up’ when you might feel low, and a belief system is a guiding force in your life.

“Those who describe themselves as very or somewhat religious (38%) are more likely to be very happy than those who are not very or not at all religious (29%).  And those who attend religious services regularly (42% among those attending weekly or more, 35% among those attending a few times per year or 1-2 times per month) are more likely to be very happy than those who don’t (31% once a year or less, 30% never).

2. Having Friends
If you have friends, you are likely to be more happy.  This is especially important for moms who stay at home and can feel isolated (see our article here about new moms needing to reach out).  92% of women (vs. 88% of men) confirm “My relationships with friends bring me happiness.” Gale Berkowitz in her UCLA study on why women benefit from friends says —

Friends are also helping us live better. The famed Nurses’ Health Study from Harvard Medical School found that the more friends women had, the less likely they were to develop physical impairments as they aged, and the more likely they were to be leading a joyful life. In fact, the results were so significant, the researchers concluded, that not having close friends or confidants was as detrimental to your health as smoking or carrying extra weight.

3. Being Optimistic
Being more optimistic automatically means you’ll be more happy.  The poll also found that if you’re about age 35-50, you tend to be more pessimistic.  The generations on either side of those age groups are the most optimistic.  Optimism can be a choice and has a huge factor in your happiness.  According to Elizabeth Lombardo, PhD, author of A Happy You: Your Ultimate Prescription for Happiness, you can learn to be more happy

The easiest way to happiness is from a mindset of gratitude. When you focus on what’s right about your life, instead of what might be wrong, your perspective naturally changes, giving you clarity for living a better than perfect life – with more happiness. Focus on getting into a place of gratitude for a better attitude that makes you happier, while bringing happiness to those around you.

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Find out more tips

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FIND MORE: Healthy Living, mental health

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2015-08-24T13:11:40+00:00