Happiness has different meanings for each person. Before you can truly be happy, you have to define what it means to you and what makes you cheer up. Find out what is important to you in life. Consider times when you felt happy and content. A survey has revealed that is it the littlest, most simple things in life that can make people happy. Why? Life if full of hardships and monotonous moments—days—and when something surprising happens, it immediately busts that spell of difficulty and boredom for a little while. Major things, like winning a million dollars in a lottery or having everything go your way for a day are unlikely at best, which is why people are so happy when something simply breaks the pattern of everyday life or something great unexpectedly happens.

Researchers have actually found that nothing can make a person happier than finding a forgotten twenty-dollar bill in a pocket. Another one is that when 2,000 women were quizzed in a London poll, they all said that receiving a hug from their romantic partner was one of the happiest moments they could have. Thirty-eight percent of people feel happier on Saturday more than any other day of the week, especially when they wake up and realize the weekend has officially started. Sunshine is also big factor to happiness, having quiet time for yourself, hearing a baby laugh, or smell freshly cut grass. Many people also cheer up when they witness generosity and appreciativeness from others around them—liking those who give an elderly person a seat in a bus or holding the door for someone who has their arms full. The business of everyday life means that many people are only happy half of a week. But despite only being happy for maybe 3 out of 7 days, it does not take much to make people cheer up. People could have a horrible day at work and then get a fast thank you from a boss and cheer up immediately. Little gestures from family and friends also lift people’s spirits. Happiness is available for every person in the most normal day-to-day occurrences. All you have to do is look and be ready for it when it comes.

What are the top simplest things in life that make people happy? Let’s take a look:

  • Going on vacation
  • Finding money in a pocket or other forgotten place
  • Getting in a bed with crisp sheets
  • Swimming in the ocean
  • Awakening on a sunny day
  • Sitting in sunshine
  • Being surprised with flowers or a gift
  • Cuddles
  • Getting a nice message from a friend
  • Watching an elderly couple hold hands
  • Getting a thank you card in the mail
  • Driving with the window down on a sunny day
  • Winning $50 in a national lottery
  • Getting ready for a vacation
  • Listening to a favorite song
  • Visiting an old friend
  • Finding a bargain
  • Getting promoted
  • Picnicking in the park
  • Listening to a song that reminds you of a wonderful past experience
  • Being out on a romantic date
  • Looking at old pictures of a great time
  • Making a new friends
  • Having time to yourself
  • Walking in the country
  •  A girls/guys night out
  • Reading a great book
  • Chocolate
  • Eating birthday cake

How can you enhance your likelihood to appreciate the simplest things? Here are some techniques to apply to make you more appreciative of little moments and help increase them:

  1. Savor everyday moments: Stop occasionally and watch children play or smell a rose. Studies show that people who take time to savor ordinary moments in the day that they would normally rush through had major increases in happiness and decreases in depression.
  2. Don’t make comparisons: Comparing yourself to other people can damage your self-esteem and happiness. Instead of comparing yourself to others, try to focus on your own achievements, which will make you feel more satisfied.
  3. Don’t prioritize money: If you put money high on your list of important things, or things that will make you happy, you will end up depressed, anxious, and have low confidence. The more you look for happiness in material things, the less you will get it. If you do get satisfaction from material goods, it is short-lived and ends sooner than you’d want it to. Money-seekers generally have lower scores on tests of self-actualization and vitality.
  4. Have useful goals: If you aim to do something important, whether learning a new skill or rearing responsible and polite children, you will be much happier than if you didn’t have any inspirations or dreams. Humans naturally need a feeling of being to thrive. Happiness often lies at the intersection of enjoyment and meaning. Whether you are at work or home, the aim is to do activities that are both important and enjoyable.
  5. Make new friends and treasure your family: Happy people often have good friends, family, and supportive relationships. It’s not enough to be the light of a party if shallow or grumpy people are around you. You need close relationships.
  6. Exercise: A Duke University study shows that exercising might be as beneficial as drugs in stopping depression, minus the expenses and side effects that you could get from using narcotics. Along with health benefits, exercising gives you a feeling of accomplishment, a chance for social interaction, releases feel-good endorphins, and increases self-esteem.
  7. Smile: Even though it sounds too easy, it really works. And it makes those around you cheer up too.
  8. Mean it when you say thank you: if you express gratitude frequently, you will be healthier and more optimistic.
  9. Take an initiative at work: To be truly happy at your job depends on how much initiative you take. By expressing appreciation in other’s work, helping others, and doing extra tasks, you will feel more in control and rewarded.
  10. Be altruistic when you can: Donating services or goods and helping with volunteer work makes you feel even better than quitting smoking or exercise does. Talking over something with a friend, congratulating other’s accomplishments, or forgiving someone also helps. People who spend more money on others than themselves are also happier.

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