When you ask someone what it is that they want most out of life, or if they could have one thing what would it be, the answers are usually 1) more money, and 2) happiness. Unfortunately, people equate one with the other but that isn’t how real happiness is found.
So, what is the key to happiness? Some believe that there’s just one simple thing that can bring you genuine lasting joy and contentment, while others think that it’s a mix between multiple qualities. Read on to find out the rare personality traits that people who are truly happy share.
Happiness. Happiness is something that is incredibly important to everyone. Without happiness it can be hard to find any joy in life. This might explain why so many people are always on the hunt for the key to it.
Rare Traits. Researchers have found that there are rare traits that truly happy people seem to share with one another. These traits may be the key to unlocking some more joy in your own life.
Be Generous. You’ve probably always heard that being selfless and giving is one of the best ways to make yourself feel good. Well some studies have backed that theory up. Brain scans performed on people doing good deeds found there was activity in the ventral striatum–an area in your brain that helps you feel happiness.
According to PsyBlog, Dr Philippe Tobler, an author on that study, wrote, “It is remarkable that intent alone generates a neural change before the action is actually implemented. Promising to behave generously could be used as a strategy to reinforce the desired behavior, on the one hand, and to feel happier, on the other. You don’t need to become a self-sacrificing martyr to feel happier. Just being a little more generous will suffice.”
Have High Agreeableness. A study from 2015 found that people who rank high in agreeableness tend to find themselves in happier situations than people who don’t. High agreeableness can help you out in your work and personal life.
LiveScience explained, “The more agreeable someone is, the more likely they are to be trusting, helpful and compassionate.” While “disagreeable people are cold and suspicious of others, and they’re less likely to cooperate.”
Add More Awe to Your Life. According to a UC Berkeley study on awe, experiencing those positive emotions after being wowed by something is really good for your health. It can help you out in your personal and professional life as well.
Co-author of the study, psychologist Dacher Keltner, wrote in the Greater Good blog, “That awe, wonder and beauty promote healthier levels of cytokines (proteins made by our immune system) suggests that the things we do to experience these emotions–a walk in nature, losing oneself in music, beholding art–has a direct influence upon health and life expectancy.”
Forgive Others. Forgiveness is one of the hardest things to do sometimes. Letting go of the pain someone caused you and forgiving them something happy people do though. They’ve learned that holding onto grudges can drag you down.
A study of over 200 office and manufacturing employees found that forgiveness was “linked to increased productivity, decreased absenteeism (fewer days missing work), and fewer mental and physical health problems, such as sadness and headaches,” according to Inc. Magazine.
Holding onto negative emotions after dealing with conflict can really drag you down. If can increase your likelihood of disengagement, as well as not collaborating well with others. It can allow increase the possibility of you acting out aggressively. Forgiveness is seriously the best option for your own mental health.
Pay It Forward. This one kind of goes hand-in-hand with generosity. According to a study by the University of California at Coca Cola’s Madrid site, people who receive kindness reported 10 times more prosocial behaviors. Givers enjoyed higher levels of life and job satisfaction.
The givers also experienced fewer depressive symptoms as well. The receivers in the study were also asked to give and experienced similar results as the original givers.
Strong, Trusting Relationships. The Harvard Study of Adult Development performed a seven decade study following hundreds of alumni and their lives. They found that the people who were happiest and healthiest were the men who had cultivated strong relationships with their partners and people around them.
Choose to Be Happy. Alright this one is pretty controversial because mental health issues can get in the way of this one. There are things you can do to choose happiness, even when a chemical imbalance is fighting you. Try to work on how you talk to yourself and learn to use tools like mindfulness, meditation, and journaling to help.