No one is in control of your happiness and success but you. While that statement is undoubtedly true, it’s been proven that many happy and successful people share a handful of similar traits that contribute to their cheerful existence.
Take a look at the five habits that could open up a world of opportunity, happiness and success:
1. Surround yourself with other happy people
The Science of Happiness may be imprecise, but one thing is for certain: If you’re surrounded by positivity, you’ll feel it, too. The University of Framingham found, in a 20-year study, that those who fill their lives with other happy individuals are more likely to find their own bliss.
You have the ability to choose the people you surround yourself with. Choose the ones who lift you up instead of those who bring you down. (Click here to tweet this thought.)
2. Revel in both success and failure
It’s easy to feel good when you succeed at something. It’s also important, though, to learn from your mistakes. Sometimes failure will be inevitable due to uncontrollable circumstances. But other times, you’ll personally fail to achieve a goal or complete a task.
Rather than beating yourself up, think of every failure as a learning experience. This way, you’ll feel more fulfilled and have a better plan of action for future attempts.
3. Learn to communicate well
You might be skilled at small talk, and that’s great for when you first meet a friend or business colleague. Happy people, however, are adept at creating meaningful conversations.
A deeper discussion leaves participants feeling more fulfilled than routine chit-chat. By sharing your personal opinions and innermost thoughts, you may even be able to avoid one of the most commonly reported regrets of those on their deathbeds: the wish that they’d shared their feelings with others more often.
4. Appreciate everything — even the small stuff
Sure, you’ll smile on your birthday or after finishing your first half-marathon. But do you smile when you see a flower growing through the crack of a city sidewalk? Happy people are often able to appreciate both the former and the latter.
By taking time to appreciate smaller pleasures, happy people spend more time admiring the world around them, which lends to their high spirits. This goes for your sense of accomplishment, too.
You probably don’t finish a major project every single day at the office, so revel in the fact that you made a dent in your filing or cleaned out your inbox. You’ll walk out a bit more smiley at the end of the day than usual.
5. Give it a try
Of all these tips, perhaps the most important is trying to be happy. It’s a topic that’s been covered by The Journal of Positive Psychology, among other sources. If you give it a go, it’ll most likely work. Study participants reported elevated levels of happiness when they focused on brightening their outlook. Now it’s your turn.
Savannah Marie is a PR specialist with a passion for creative content marketing, social media and coffee. She is the editor of her blog Mixios and enjoys contributing to Brazen Careerist. Connect with her on Twitter.