I would argue, however, that the majority of people who possess such things are not necessarily happier than you or me. Because such possessions are a sign of materialism. And materialism is bad news. Sonja Lyubomirsky explains some of its negative effects in her book The Myths of Happiness:. If you think about it in your own life, I am sure you would agree. Helping others feels great. Being kind, generous, helpful, and willing to give freely to others is one of the cornerstones of true happiness.
A great example are volunteers. They provide help for no financial gain with the sole intention of benefitting less fortunate people. Adam Grant shares a great study proving this observation in his book Give and Take:. And for adults over sixty-five, those who volunteered saw a drop in depression over an eight-year period. Other studies show that elderly adults who volunteer or give support to others actually life longer.
If you want more happiness, start giving more. Give the gift of time, money, advice. Act more and more without having a hidden agenda. Remember, the mere act of giving and helping provides more than enough in return. Happy people are more grateful than unhappy people. The emotion of gratitude has consistently been one of the strongest happiness boosters known in the scientific literature. Take the following study for example. Participants were randomly split into three groups and told to write in a journal once a week for the upcoming ten weeks.
The groups were asked to describe in a single sentence:. At the end of the ten weeks, participants in the gratitude condition reported feeling more optimistic about their future and better about their lives as a whole. They reported fewer health problems and even spent more time exercising than people in the other groups. Most importantly, though, they were a full 25 percent happier than the other participants. Try out some gratitude journaling , write a gratitude letter , or find other ways to become more grateful.
The Buddha once said, "Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one getting burned. What a great metaphor, perfectly illustrating how our inability to forgive harms ourselves more than anybody else, including our wrong-doers.
If we want happiness, we need to learn to forgive ourselves and others, to let go of negative emotions of anger, hate, hostility, grief, vengeance, resentment, and so on.
According to Christine Carter, a happiness expert and sociologist, forgiveness comes with many benefits such as increased happiness, better health, more empathy, and so on. In an article on the GreaterGood website , she sums it up like this:. But important it is: Lopez, the leading researcher studying the science of hope. The essence of the science of hope can be summarized in a story Shane tells at the very beginning of the book. When he had clear hopes for the future, his life was good. When John had a sudden break with the future, he felt his life was not worth living.
As John reconnected to a meaningful future, his life became good again, and he was excited about it. And his health mysteriously stabilized. When we are hopeful about the future, we feel excited, enthusiastic, motivated, and happy. Another major difference between happier and less happy individuals is how they treat themselves during tough times. Unhappy people tend to be self-critical — they beat themselves up, blame themselves, and just generally put themselves down and make themselves feel like total losers.
Happy people, on the other hand, tend to be self-compassionate — they comfort themselves, utilize self care , reaffirm their values, and do their best to get back on track. Self-compassion, on the contrary, comes with many health benefits such as more optimism, more positive emotions such as joy, enthusiasm, excitement, and interest, better relationships, more productivity, less anxiety, less depression, and generally higher emotional well-being.
Kristin Neff, an expert in the science of self-compassion, sums it up nicely in her book Self-Compassion:. By giving ourselves unconditional kindness and comfort while embracing the human experience, difficult as it is, we avoid destructive patterns of fear, negativity, and isolation. At the same time, self-compassion fosters positive mind-states such as happiness and optimism.
Becoming happier means learning to treat yourself with respect, love, care, warmth, compassion, and kindness — just like you would treat a good friend. Each one of us has certain distinct character strengths. Some people are particularly courageous, others are very honest, empathic, loyal, intelligent, optimistic, or integer. And these benefits lasted: Even after the experiment was over, their levels of happiness remained heightened a full six months later.
Studies have shown that the more you use your signature strengths in daily life, the happier you become. The more you use your signature strengths in daily life, the happier you become. If you want to take advantage of this, I suggest doing two things. First, take the official signature strengths test to find out your top strengths. Second, find ways to use your strengths as often as possible. A person walks past a construction site and meets three builders working there. He asks each one of them what they are doing.
They first one says that he is laying bricks. The second one says that he is building a wall. The third one says that he is erecting a cathedral for the glory of God.
Begs the question, how do you view your job? Are you laying bricks or erecting a cathedral in the name of something larger than yourself? Happy people tend to live active and somewhat busy lives. They meet up with friends after work, go on a hiking trip with the family on the weekend, and play tennis every Wednesday morning with a friend. This busy lifestyle provides an unintended but powerful source of happiness: Research has shown that anticipation is one of the largest contributors to our happiness.
In fact, anticipating an event oftentimes makes us happier than the event itself. Sonja Lyubomirsky shares these insights in The Myths of Happiness:. If you want to feel happier, simply put something on the calendar. Create plans for the weekend. Join a weekly cooking, tennis, yoga class. Or book a weekly spa or massage appointment. Find things to look forward to. If you want to raise your levels of happiness, spend your money on experiences.
Experiences are what life is all about, and they are what make or break our happiness. What makes you happier? A new car or a trip to Polynesia? The research is clear: Richard Wiseman, a famous psychotherapist, notes in his book 59 Seconds:. If you think about this, it makes sense. After all, experiences are what life is all about, and they are what make or break our happiness. Bottom line, if you want to raise your levels of happiness, spend your money on experiences.
Go on holidays with your family. Visit the local museum. Learn a foreign language. Take a trip to Machu Picchu. Go kite surfing, water skiing, bungee jumping, hiking, or kayaking. Happy people have another trick up their alley to use money in service of their psychological well-being: They spend it to benefit others rather than themselves. According to the research, that makes people a lot happier. Richard Wiseman explains in 59 Seconds:.
The science shows that exactly the opposite is true — people become much happier about providing for other rather than themselves. Multiple studies are now proving the detrimental effects news have on our psychological well-being. One of them showed for instance that:. The message is clear. If you care about your happiness and well-being, limit your consumption of the news — or better yet, completely eliminate it.
Research in recent years has shown over and over again that an overabundance of possibilities to choose from can have terrible effects on our well-being, especially when combined with regret, adaptation, social comparison, and concern about status. Interestingly, not all people are affected by this happiness-robbing paradox in the same way.
The difference lies in their decision-making styles:. The funny thing is, although maximizers sometimes achieve better outcomes than satisficers - getting a bit more money for that recording contract, for instance - they also tend to be less happy with their achievements. In fact, they turn out to be less happy in general.
Maximizers, according to a series of studies by Schwartz, are lower than satisficers in happiness, optimism, self-esteem, and life satisfaction, and higher in depression and regret! The good news is that satisficing can be learned and applied by anyone. The key is to move from the illusion of perfection towards a realization that in Move on with life.
Research has shown that overthinking can be detrimental to our happiness and well-being. If you are someone who is plagued by ruminations, you are unlikely to become happier before you can break that habit. Indeed, I will go so far as to say that if you are an overthinking, one of the secrets to your happiness is the ability to allay obsessive overthinking and to reinterpret and redirect your negative thoughts into more neutral or optimistic ones.
Later in the book, she mentions that overthinkers are some of the unhappiest people she ever sees in her studies. The point is, happiness and overthinking do not go together. Happy people are either naturally carefree or have learned to let go of their tendencies to overthink. Tabitha Pope marked it as to-read Apr 09, Vanillaa Chemnasiri marked it as to-read Apr 18, Kortny Underberg marked it as to-read May 03, Jesse marked it as to-read Jun 05, Shello marked it as to-read Jul 12, Rachel marked it as to-read Aug 11, Ouss Ouss marked it as to-read Aug 17, Meghan marked it as to-read Sep 14, Genie marked it as to-read Sep 22, Tehmina marked it as to-read Oct 07, Aml Ibrahim marked it as to-read Oct 24, Wendy added it Nov 14, Yvonne marked it as to-read Dec 02, Books by Jerry DiCairano.
Trivia About The Simple Habits No trivia or quizzes yet. Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. Maybe he was meant to be in your life at that point, and this may sound harsh the relationship served its purpose. That is so important to realize. Hmm…I find very similar advice all over the internet. I think it is sound advice, but something is lacking.
I think it is too simplistic. Firstly, exercise does help.. I have been active and fit all my life and still deal with depression on a daily basis. I do use it to help with the symptoms. Second, having a confidante or counselor is also vital.. Thirdly, giving to others what you want for yourself compassion, love, etc is also critical in relieving depression symptoms and cultivating an attitude of appreciation for life.
For comparison, consider If a physician told a type 1 diabetic that they have a disease. However, if they exercise more, eat better, monitor sugar levels, etc. The same is true of people who have legitimate depression. Going to the gym, volunteering at a soup kitchen, weekly sessions with a compassionate counselor will all help a depressed person to see the bright side of life.
I am still struggling. I wish to have a happy ending to my story, and will not give up, but it is difficult and tiring and becomes more difficult in some ways the older I get. There is something physically and pyschologicaly off with me and I hope to get to the bottom of it sooner rather than later.
Thank you for reading and hopefully this was helpful to someone. Thank you for your honest response. I think you have some very valid points that I hope to address here. That is not what I intended at all. On my blog, I constantly talk about how I personally fall back into depression at times as clinical depression is a chemical imbalance.
It is, however, my coping mechanisms that I have worked on for years, and having the outlet of fitness that have helped me to deal with bouts of depression as they surface, and to overcome them faster. They no longer take over my life and keep me from being able to function. Just as a diabetic needs insulin, we need those coping mechanisms that can be formed by taking the steps above to keep depression from taking over our lives. Though, just like insulin, they are not the cure.
Diabetes sticks around after every shot. My hopes in writing this post were to offer people ways to alleviate some of the pain and struggle that worsen without having those coping mechanisms in place. There is hope for a life without unending pain. There is hope for happiness. Please keep going, and keep hoping. After reading your post, it looks like you and me are very similar. I am 35 years old, have always been a fit and healthy person that goes to the gym, eats all the right things, have a very satisfying career, a wonderful husband and two beautiful children.
I have a psychologist that is great and I am still struggling. I first experienced depression 2 years ago, 6 months after my youngest was born and was diagnosed with postpartum depression. I went though about months of treatment medication combined with therapy and seemed to recover and had a great year afterwards.
Since then I have had little improvement and have gone through extensive medical examinations, from ultrasounds, hormonal tests, thyroid tests, saw a psychiatrist, a gynecologist and was told that most likely I am entering perimenopause and because I have already experienced depression it is very likely that this are all symptoms of this phase.
You mentioned that it seems harder as you get older. I just wanted to let you know of my experience so you can get checked for all reasons that may affect the depression or make it worse. I am going through this myself and I plan to make a great comeback. However, I know it is going to be a great challenge. I do have a question for you.
How do you overcome personal struggles when everyone around you is struggling with their own demons? The best answer is that you have to put your happiness first. Whatever makes YOU happy, do it. If it means your peace of mind, prioritize it. My past has been very bad, and still is. I lived for five years in an orphanage. When I got a foster family, I was a happy beginning. Every day i thing i want to kill myself. I am very grateful to you that you dare to write it.
Maria, I am so very happy that I could offer you some comfort in these hard times. This will get better. Keep taking action and find a counselor or social worker who may be able to lend an ear. Hey I am 14 male and I have a lot of problems recently depression, loneliness, withdrawal, ect. If someone can contact me by email or by this website I will be very grateful. Is there a counselor at your school you would feel comfortable talking to, or maybe a trusted teacher even?
Unfortunately, neither Peter nor I are mental health professionals, so as much as we can support and encourage you, we cannot offer you the full scope of help you may need.
The first recommendation I would have beyond finding someone you trust to talk to would be to remember that no one can be happy all the time. It is completely ok that you are not ok right now. Holding it inside will do more harm than good. You are not alone in this, and there is help for you if you want it. This, too, shall pass.
Thanks for the help Amy. I grew up feeling depressed most of my childhood for several painful obstacles. Somehow I managed to do something with myself. I appreciate that you came out of the darkness into the light. We are not defeated unless we think we are. Thank you for sharing and your courage. As long as you do like you said when that happens: Happiness is a lovely thing, but the only way to find it is by working on it slowly. You will be pleased when you achieve it in the end.
Thank you for all the inspiring words you used in this article. However yours has stunned me. The last questions you wrote on here were amazing and made me think more deeply about life. So I thank you for that. Then when I was 15 we moved to the states, i was fine. School was not a problem. Until i turned They all just latched onto my back like that, that was the beginning of depression for me.
I hardly know why I get depressed. School has changed big time, I hate it. My life is a dream. Craig, I felt exactly as you do now. I thought my depression would run my life forever. There is another way to live if you put in the effort to change the way you interpret and react to situations. I have clinical depression, so mine is a chemical imbalance in my brain that sometimes shifts without provocation.
After working hard on becoming aware of when I begin to sink, and putting in a lot of effort to reframe my habitual reactions when I do, I have held on and created a fulfilling life without depression looming over me at all times. I did this with the help of a few mental health professionals. I highly suggest working with a therapist to help shift your perspective and ingrain coping tools into you so that they become habit. If you start taking actions now, you will find a way to deal with the pain and find the light in even the darkest places.
I realized all my life i have had depression, my story is so…long and unbelievable I will just get to the present of my question, how does one try to be happy it just content when they have maybe. In the worst throes of depression. I think that, if I were in your situation, I would just try to live every day to the fullest.
None of us know how long we have here, and many of us live out all our days without fully living any of them. This diagnosis is your push to go live as fully as you can. I have also suffered horrendous bouts of Depersonalization and Derealization. This has been going on for 2 years and is making me so fed up!! Did you go through any form of anhedonia inability to feel pleasure?
If so, how long did it last….. I wake up depressed and go to bed depressed. Things need to change for me and soon, I need inspiration. I just hope I can change thanks for listening. Peter — Depression by definition depresses the senses including pleasure, so I know how you feel. Just keep taking deep breaths and working your way through it. Mindfulness exercises can be extremely helpful in this time to start feeling again.
I think that they can be very helpful in times of transition for many people. Ricky — you CAN change. But it will get better.
You will experience happiness again. Breathe into the moments as they come. Make excuses for adventures! Schedule something to look forward to! I wish you so much luck as you write your story. Amy, thank you so much for your post. I also love that you still respond to comments much later. I have felt depressed before and was medicated for it, after awhile I did feel better so I stopped taking the medication.
Though, I did feel better I still never felt happy. More recently things have become worse. I had a horrible anxiety attack today and it eventually led me to this blog. Everything you said is very inspiring. I really want to move forward because I know I can make this change. I look forward to your advice and thank you so much.
I still have that feeling sometimes when depression starts to surface again. I should have known not to talk about it. Now my whole story will be a lie. That is the one step that separates me now from my old self. The first thing I would say to you is to definitely see a therapist you trust, and who you feel understands you.
Talking to them and setting an action plan is going to be crucial to your long-term recovery.
Next, I would say to refuse to give in. Just refuse to let depression win. I am a 20 years old Bangladeshi girl. I had suffered from depression for several years. I took a long time to realize that I am depressed. But 1 year ago I went to a doctor and took treatment. Now I have recovered almost. I think now I am not as smart as before. My memory is also being weak.
When I take antidepressant I feel too much sleepy. Memory loss is unfortunately a side effect of extreme stress like depression. Lack of focus can be one as well. Your doctor should be receptive to changing it up, though! Alike you I started to recover from my depression when I started to workout.
Sometimes I even have to remind myself, by holding my hands over my mouth and nose until i feel dizzy, why I really want to live. And I hate it so much, I hate the person I am and it just feels like everybody gets tired of me. You are inherently good and worthy of a wonderful life. I hope there is someone who can help you see that more clearly. I still struggle with the rest of my life or say putting my thoughts into action, I think it feeling like I dont deserve it or fear of rejection.
I was just like that. Your right, some people are dealt a bad hand.
SCI ruined my life as I knew it. Sounds like a song, lol. Thanks a lot for such a wonderful article. This made me feel good. I choose to change and be happy. I have just read your story and it gives me hope that I can be happy again! I currently have a lot going on with me mentally. I have suffered from anxiety since I was a teenager. I am currently on a waiting list for some sort of counselling.
The Simple Habits of Happy People: How to Go from Sad to Glad in 21 Days or Less - Kindle edition by John Trimmer. Download it once and read it on your. The Simple Habits of Happy People: How to Go from Sad to Glad in 21 Days or Less [John J. Trimmer] on uzotoqadoh.tk *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers.
Those quotes you mentioned are really striking and has inspired me to use them to get me through my day to day life. I have been in a new relationship for just over 2 months. I just I can fight this and get back to how I was before this episode, so happy and in love. Thank you so much for that article. My youngest daughter Ann just told me that a friend of Maria is worried about the things that Ana says in their group chat about her depression, suicidal thoughts, emptiness.
Can you give me advise on how to handle the people around her who knows about her sickness? Thank You for reading and replying ahead. I feel very depressed just divorced July. My son hates me and does not want anything to do with me. He sides with his mother. I found a new girlfriend but afraid to move forward. I do a lot of volunteering work thinking that may make myself happy. I am retired and semi living alone.
If it were, I would be the least depressed person in the known universe. Your email address will not be published. Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. From Depression to Happiness: I always thought happy people were fakers. I tried to act normal. I tried to be like everyone else. I felt trapped by my disorders, by everything I thought was wrong with me. In , I tried to kill myself. In the mental ward, I had no freedom. Being truly trapped was the most horrible feeling I have ever experienced.
When I was released, I felt enlightened. I had been taking my freedom for granted. I made the choice then and there, to change my life. I failed a lot, but every time I fell down, I got right back up again. There is light somewhere, and I am determined to help you find it. I found the following steps extremely helpful on my road to recovery, and I hope you do, too. Talk About It Find a trusted friend, family member or therapist who you can talk to openly.