What does it mean to be happy? Does it mean an absence of adversity? Are things always going your way? Learn from some of the happiest people in the world to guide you here.
That’s almost certainly an impossibility in this broken world. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t still be happy. The happiest people in the world know how to deal with adversity when it comes and how to enjoy the good times. Learning how to emulate the characteristics of the world’s happiest people can help you to live a happier life, too.
There are many outside factors that influence your happiness, so the idea that you should just be happy no matter what is a total myth. But it is always good to gain some perspective whenever you can, because chances are a little shift in perspective can help you find your way out of quite a few unhappy situations.
As long as your basic needs are being met you have a decent shot at happiness. But why should you care? His Holiness the Dalai Lama says, “Our survival is based on hope - hope for something good: happiness. Because of that I always conclude that the purpose of life is happiness.”
Americans are experiencing a decline in happiness. This is thought to be related to a number of factors, including decreasing social support like less frequent helping behavior and an increase in mortality, an increase in income inequality, and other social factors.
In order to fight back, you have to simplify your life. Try to live in the moment and practice gratitude whenever possible. Be compassionate and try to hone your empathy skills. Spend time outdoors enjoying the sunlight whenever you can. Embrace your negative feelings and try to work through them instead of waiting for them to pass.
The happiest man in the world says that just thinking happy thoughts for 15 minutes a day can lead to greater happiness. Matthieu Ricard was born in France in 1946 but now lives in the Himalayan region as a Buddhist monk. The focus of his frequent meditations is usually compassion and he regularly writes and speaks on the subject. Ricard has also been the subject of a scientific study trying to determine what made him so relentlessly positive, and it turns out there may be a physiological cause behind his happiness.
Being just a little bit happier takes practice, but you can do it. Learn more about the habits of the world’s happiest people from this infographic.