10 tips for a happier life…another great reminder

10 tips for a happier life…another great reminder

via Today by A Pawlowski

The United Nations sets aside March 20 as a time to recognize "the relevance of happiness and well-being as universal goals and aspirations in the lives of human beings."

Rejoicing yet? Or do the stresses of everyday life mean little opportunity to feel happy when there's never enough money, work leaves you gritting your teeth and love seems elusive?

Don’t fall for the trap of thinking “I will be happy when…,” experts say.

We spend much of our lives chasing happiness, inspiring a growing field of research devoted to finding out what makes us content. Experts say it's not always what you think.

"We can all do even small things that can increase our overall feelings of happiness on a day-to-day basis," Catherine Sanderson, a psychology professor at Amherst College, told TODAY.

"We often think about happiness as getting external things: Having more money, getting married, having a big house… but the reality is that a lot of what predicts happiness isn't about our external world."

Here are 10 insights into happiness:

1. Relationships are crucial

If you had to name one key to happiness, it would be relationships, said Gretchen Rubin, author of "The Happiness Project" and the book "Better Than Before." That means romantic relationships, friendships, close ties with siblings and colleagues — any meaningful and deep bonds with people you like.

"If you're thinking about how to be happier, thinking about how to deepen or broaden your relationships is probably a really good place to start," Rubin said.

"We need to have enduring, intimate relationships. We need to be able to confide. We need to feel like we belong. We need to be able to get support and just as important for happiness, we need to be able to give support."

2. Be around happy people

Relationships are particularly beneficial when they involve people who are joyful, Sanderson said.

"Happiness seems to be a bit contagious, so if you're friends with somebody who is happy, it actually increases your own happiness," she noted.

Sanderson said she's not talking about Facebook friends, but being around people you care about and giving them your full attention. Don't mistake texting or messaging on social media for having a meaningful conversation.

3. Your genes predetermine some of the happiness you feel

Research suggests about 50 percent of happiness is hardwired; 10-20 percent is determined by life circumstances, such as age, health, and income; while the rest is very much a reflection of your conscious thoughts and actions, Rubin said.

People for whom happiness does not come very naturally should take more deliberate steps toward being happier, Sanderson noted. (See tip No. 7)

…keep reading the full & original article HERE