“I don’t have much positive to say about motor neuron disease, but it taught me not to pity myself because others were worse off, and to get on with what I still could do. I’m happier now than before I developed the condition.”
– Stephen Hawking
Researchers have discovered a number of traits that happier people tend to have in common.
1. They have close relationships.
2. They’re generous.
3. They prioritize time over money and possessions.
4. They’re honest.
5. They get plenty of high-quality sleep.
6. They’re grateful.
7. They spend more time outdoors.
8. They’re physically active.
9. They have an optimistic, but realistic, outlook.
10. They live in the moment.
Unfortunately, these aren’t the easiest traits to acquire. If becoming happier this year is one of your resolutions, choose one or two of these to work on and create a detailed plan for how you will instill new habits.
For example, if you choose to get more 30 more minutes of quality sleep each night, your plan might look something like this:
More Quality Sleep
- Week 1: Go to bed 10 minutes earlier every night this week.
- Week 2: Go to bed 10 minutes earlier than in Week 1.
- Week 3: Go to bed 10 minutes earlier than in Week 2.
- Install room-darkening curtains.
- No TV, tablet, computer, etc. for one hour before bed.
- No coffee after noon.
- Meditate five minutes each night before bed.
- Play a white-noise loop on your phone or purchase a white-noise machine.*
- Update to-do list every evening after dinner.
This, of course, is only an example. Your plan should reflect your own particular situation.
Do you have any tips or suggestions for becoming happier?