Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Health & Balance

Font Size
A
A
A

At last! All the secrets of HAPPINESS explained!

10. Perspective

Happy people mentally frame life experiences so that the good features prominently in the forefront, while the bad is that fuzzy, out-of-focus backdrop. For example, one study at the University of Georgia found that happy workers who’d just been promoted were ecstatic about the new opportunity, whereas unhappy employees dreaded the additional work that came with the bigger title.

To adopt a positive viewpoint, Niven suggests comparing a seemingly bad situation to the worst-case scenario. For instance, getting up at 5 a.m. for work isn’t fun, but would you rather wake up later for a job you hate -- or worse, no job at all? “If you measure your current happiness against the greatest moments in your life, you might be disappointed because those moments are hard to beat,” Niven explains. “But if you measure today’s satisfaction against some of your tougher days, you have all the reason in the world to appreciate your life right now.”

11. Humor

“Finding humor in a bad situation is a shift in perception that gives people the guts to push forward even when things look grim,” says Baker. Laughter also causes physiologic changes in the body that make you feel good: When something tickles your funny bone, you experience a spike in feel-good hormones like serotonin and dopamine, while levels of the stress hormone cortisol drop. Make an effort to experience some funny stuff each day, whether it’s by reading the comics in the newspaper or tuning in to your favorite talk show host at night. One genuine laugh a day is all you need to lighten up about life, says Niven.

12. Purpose

Having a reason to bound out of bed every morning is one of the most sustaining sources of happiness because it gives you something positive to focus your life on. Some find purpose in being a phenomenal mother and wife. Others find it in teaching and inspiring kids, or mentoring junior colleagues at work.

“If you’re not sure what your purpose is, then your purpose is to find a passion,” says Baker. Start by engaging in small activities that light up your day and give you a sense of truly being you. For instance, sign up for an acting workshop if you have a burning desire to be on the stage. Check out books about pet care if you have an interest in animals. Even joining a social group like a book club could open doors to new experiences and relationships that reveal your true path. And once you’ve discovered your passion, practice it daily. “When what you do with your daily life really talks to your heart, you’ll be truly happy,” says Baker.

 

 

Related content on redbookmag.com

1 | 2 | 3 | 4

Today on WebMD

Hands breaking pencil in frustration
Quiz
Dark chocolate bars
Slideshow
 
puppy eating
Slideshow
concentration killers
Slideshow
 
man reading sticky notes
Quiz
worried kid
fitArticle
 
Hungover man
Slideshow
Woman opening window
Slideshow
 
Woman yawning
Health Check
Happy and sad faces
Quiz
 
brain food
Slideshow
laughing family
Quiz