Key Characteristics of Happy People

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  1. Happy people like themselves. They see themselves as emotionally and physically healthy. They believe they are more ethical and intelligent. They believe they are less prejudiced and better able to get along with people.
  2. Happy people feel a sense of personal control. They feel empowered. Because of that, they tend do better at work and school and cope better with stress.
  3. Happy people are optimistic. They expect good things to happen. They feel upbeat. The glass is half full. They try to make sense of events in an optimistic and positive way.
  4. Happy people are extroverted. We do not know if happiness makes people more extroverted or if extroversion causes happiness, but statistically, they correlate.
  5. Happy people have close relationships. That shows up most obviously in surveys, which tell us that married people are usually happier than unmarried people. But it’s not a question of marriage; close, trusting relationships of any kind tend to help people be happy more readily than they would be without.
  6. Happy people have a spiritual foundation. Spirituality is a belief system that focuses on intangible elements that add meaning and vitality to life’s experiences. Whether that is a belief in God, a dedicated prayer life or communing with nature doesn’t matter. Studies show highly spiritual people are twice as happy as people who are not.
  7. Happy people tend to have balanced lives. The time in their lives dedicated to work, play and spirituality is sufficient for each. They make time for reflection and relaxation.
  8. Happy people are creative. They look at problems from as many viewpoints as possible and find creative ways of handling those problems. They follow sparks of interest. They don’t let life become sedentary. They keep producing new ideas and learning new things.
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