Being happy despite my chronic illness and disability is so very important to me. But it intrigues me as to what actually makes people happy…
Variety is the spice of life – doing different things as much as possible. Just changing small things like routines can make us happier.
Being close to nature – the beauty in what is around us. So get out into nature as much as possible.
Exercise – since it releases dopamine. Even wheelchair yoga!
Gratitude – being thankful for what we have. People who count their blessings regularly are happier.
Having a passion – be it a craft, hobby, music, art etc, because when we are in the zone we forget our problems and worries.
Surviving adversity – strangely, experiencing problems can make us happy. We face it and overcome or accept it and this can make us happy.
Once our basic needs are met money does not buy happiness. In fact the happiest people seem to live modestly. Those who seek extrinsic goals, such as more money and status are much less happy than those who seek intrinsic goals such as personal growth, close relationships and helping others.
Having family or friends to share our experiences with. We are social beings, so we thrive off social interaction. Link with the extended family, join clubs etc to extend friendships, have fun with loved ones. Sharing experiences with others makes us much happier.
Giving to others in what ever way we can. Instead of fo using on what we don’t have, we focus on what we do have that we can give.
A sense of community. Regular contact with others in our community makes us happier. Social events in the community help hugely.
Being cooperative rather than competitive makes us much happier as it releases dopamine.
Compassion makes us happy. Research shows that those who practice compassion, such as through practicing loving kindness meditation are much happier and show changes in the brain related to happiness.
Performing acts of kindness makes us happier, research has backed this up too.
The good news is that anyone can do these things and guess what, they’re free!!!
Be happy 😄