For most Australians, happiness is seen as the greatest measure for success. While there is little doubt that a happy life is a universal goal, people vary widely in their approach to achieving happiness. Some people ignore the role of behaviours in achieving happiness, choosing to focus instead on obtaining material possessions. George Carlin once said, “trying to be happy by accumulating possessions is like trying to satisfy hunger by taping sandwiches all over your body.” Happiness is not achieved through possessions, but by exhibiting the twelve habits below.

Recognise that people choose to be happy

Happiness does not unfold automatically. The path to happiness begins with the recognition that happiness is a choice. Psychologists and other researchers point to the importance of choosing to make happiness a top priority in order to live a truly happy life.

Strive to maintain a positive attitude

A positive attitude is the cornerstone of happiness. Happy people are not complainers or worriers. They recognise that negativity and rumination only stand in the way of a happy existence.

Keep company with happy people

Choosing to spend time with people who are upbeat, supportive, and content with their lives is vital to cultivating happiness. Gravitating toward positive people will help you in your quest to be happy.

Get plenty of rest

Recharging your batteries and approaching each day with a clear, fresh mindset is vital to enjoying life. Try to get seven to eight uninterrupted hours of sleep each night to allow yourself to wake up energised and ready to pursue your goals.

Achieve a healthy work-life balance

An appropriate work-life balance is the key to enjoying life at home and at the office. Fortunately, employers are increasingly offering flexible work schedules that enable employees to maintain a healthy work-life balance.

Be willing to adapt

Situations do not always unfold as planned in life. Recognising life’s unpredictability and responding with flexibility helps to make sure that people are not derailed in their pursuit of happiness.

Show thanks to others

Expressing appreciation to friends, family, and colleagues shows that you are grateful for the happiness that others bring into your life. Make a point to go beyond words when showing thanks. Small gestures of appreciation and tokens of thanks go a long way toward making others feel good and making you feel happy.

Maintain realistic expectations

Happy people do not set unrealistic goals or expectations for themselves. Rather, they approach life by setting lofty but attainable goals.

Practice forgiveness

Grudges and anger are two of the biggest obstacles to happiness. Happy people do not permit angry feelings to smoulder. Instead, they practice forgiveness to allow their happiness to thrive.

Give back to the community

Happy people are often found participating in volunteer activities. Devoting your time and energy to improving your community prompts the release of neurotransmitters that stimulate feelings of pleasure in people. Focusing too much on fame and fortune, on the other hand, is associated with feelings of sadness and fear.

Harvest personal relationships

Happiness is magnified when people share time and experiences with loved ones. Reaching out to friends and family to maintain loving relationships helps to keep people happy and engaged in life.

Follow dreams and passions

Happy people are eager to pursue their dreams and passions. They are dogged in their pursuit of happiness and do not allow obstacles to stand in their way of realising their dreams.

The path to becoming a happy person begins with an internal locus of control and continues with ongoing efforts to live a fulfilling, well-balanced life. By following the twelve habits outlined above, you will be well on your way to achieving happiness.

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