WHAT IS THE SECRET TO LIVING A HAPPY LIFE?
During my life I have been in career positions that have lent themselves to people sharing a fair amount of personal information with me. Part of this was my nature and openness to listen.
As I made the decision to making coaching my profession, I was able to hear a great deal more about people’s personal stories and situations. This often includes details about their personal life, satisfaction with work and overall happiness.
I have noticed throughout these conversations that several themes have emerged, and I want to share them with you today. While this is strictly my own observations, conversations with other coaches and those in the helping professions have confirmed many of these observations.
4 COMMON THEMES
1. Connections Are Important – The happiest people that I have spoken to and known over my lifetime have had solid connections with people that cared about, supported and loved them. People need other people. Attachment to other people begins when we are babies. This is how we learn what is safe and how to relate to the world. As we grow up and begin to form friendships, start dating, and eventually find a life partner these connections are crucial parts of our happiness. Without these relationships many people feel isolated and alone.
2. An Attitude of Gratitude – My Mom grew up very poor, but she was always very grateful for her opportunities and I often noticed that she was happy with the simple things. Time spent with family, quiet mornings where she would enjoy her coffee, playing cards with her friends. She was happy because she was grateful for these simple pleasures. Studies have shown that people that practice gratitude tend to be happier overall and even experience less depression. I began a gratitude journal shortly after my Mom passed away in 2018. I still continue this practice today.
3. Live in the Present – Mindfulness is a practice and staying present is ever more important with all the distractions we have available to us. People who are constantly focused on the past, what might have been, failures that they would like to revisit and redo, are not setting themselves up for either success or happiness. On the other hand, those that are looking so far in the future that they can’t enjoy the here and now are unable to experience their lives. Meditation and journaling have allowed many, me included to remain in the present and become much happier as a result.
4. Give Back – Studies looking at activities to boost psychological health identify one activity as the standout time and again…volunteering. It has even been linked to a reduced risk of depression. Volunteering produces feel good chemicals and it also gives you a sense of belonging. Something many people unfortunately lack. This is something I regularly suggest to clients and something I do myself.
Happiness is something that we all want. If you are unhappy right now these are just a few things that I saw happy people consistently doing that seemed to impact their level of happiness. Certainly, there were other factors at play but overall these themes were consistent.
Practicing good self-care, healthy boundaries, and working on your emotional intelligence are also key factors that can and will impact your overall happiness.
I’m currently taking on a small number of private coaching clients. If you would like to talk about how I can help, click here to schedule your complimentary call today.