page title icon The Common Thread of What Makes People Truly Happy

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Have you ever looked around and wondered who is really happy with their lives? Of course, not everyone feels happy … and happiness is an up-and-down kind of thing based on various factors … but I’m always wondering who is really happy and WHY? Let’s take it a step further … how happy are people based on the country they live in?

Today we explore these questions and dive into what makes a person happy … and which country has the happiest people! 

What Does It Mean To Be Happy? 

Happiness is most commonly defined as a mental or emotional state that brings positive or pleasant emotions. For a person to be happy, they should experience fulfillment, satisfaction, joy, and other positive emotions. In general, to be happy usually means that a person has close relationships, is satisfied in their work life, and is content within themselves. This can look very different for different people. Only the individual can measure how truly happy they are.

I know that personally, I feel happiest when I feel dialed into my work and my relationships. Dialed in at work means I feel that I’m productive and doing things that matter … dialed in with relationships means I feel that I’m being a good husband, father, and friend.

Do you know what happiness looks like for you? Have you ever given it focused thought? This makes for an amazing journaling exercise!

Break Down of the Happiest Countries 

According to the World Happiness Report, the happiest country in the world is Finland! Finland has landed at number one 4 years in a row based on strong feelings of communal support and mutual trust. In other words, they have a great number of close and meaningful relationships in their lives … and a great feeling of trust in themselves as a country. 

According to the report, Denmark, Switzerland, Iceland, and the Netherlands were next on the list of happiest countries. What they all have in common are high scores for generosity and community. So, in short, the happiest countries are deemed “the happiest” based on how they treat each other in community. Being kind to others and coming together to show support helps people feel fulfilled within their relationships! 

Why Are the Happiest Countries So Happy?

Let’s take Finland for example. It’s been named one of the happiest countries for four years running because the people value their close relationships and community. When you look at other countries that come in as close seconds, they all have the same reasons why the people are happier there. It boils down to experiencing meaningful relationships, investing in the community, and looking outside themselves.

Tips on How You Can Be Happier 

So, if the happiest people on earth are those who have deep relationships and are connected, what can you do to put yourself in a position to develop better relationships? Here are some ideas of how you can use personal development to help you foster real community with others.

Create a Personalized Morning Routine

This might not seem like the first thing that would come to your mind if you’re trying to build deeper relationships, but creating a morning routine is essential. Why? Because it puts you in control of how you start your day. It sets you up to better handle situations that come up and to be less reactive. It helps you show up differently to those around you.

When you choose to create your own morning routine, you are choosing to invest in yourself, and this is the best investment you can make. Generally speaking, people who have morning routines have more structure to their day. You can also start the day by accomplishing all the tasks on your to-do list. With increased productivity, you might experience less stress … and, if you’re like me, more fulfillment. Lastly, it will leave you with more leisure time in the evenings to spend as you see fit. 

A morning routine can be highly beneficial in achieving happiness. It creates momentum: you invest in yourself, and you feel better about yourself … when you feel better about yourself, you tend to be more successful and productive … and this tends to increase your energy and attitude, which then can attract different people and opportunities to you.

Value Your Friendships

It is said that friendships are the excitement of life. Friends bring you joy, laughter, and memories during the good times; and support during your hard times. When you choose to value your friendships, you are valuing a proven source of happiness. Research shows that when you have close and meaningful friends in your life, your health improves on almost every level! So, by taking the time to value your friendships, you could be adding years to your life!  

Show Gratitude for Even the Small Things

Based on psychological research, showing gratitude is directly linked to greater happiness. The more you stop and express how thankful you are, even for small things, the happier you will be. This is true not only for the person expressing gratitude but also for the person receiving it. Showing gratitude in your life can start a chain reaction, inspiring others to do the same … leading to an endless spread of joy and happiness. 

To get started with gratitude practice, write down two or three things every morning when you first get up. Make it a point to come up with different things each day. You’ll find that you burn through the typical things you would say pretty quickly … then you are forced to find other things you’re grateful for.

This practice trains your brain to find the positive around you. Being positive and having an optimistic outlook is a highly attractive characteristic. It is much easier to be in a good relationship with someone who is not all doom and gloom. When was the last time you were excited about being around a negative person?

Recognize Others

An easy way to foster relationships and build community is to reach out to other people. At least a few times per week, reach out to someone you haven’t recently spoken with. You can send a text or email mentioning something they did for which you’re thankful … or you can invite them to meet up with you. This is a great way to take relationships that are surface-level and turn them into something more.

Key Takeaways

  • Work on becoming the best version of yourself so you can build better relationships.
  • Spend time with people and value them.
  • Make the effort to reach out to others to create a closer community.
  • Practice gratitude and become aware of the good things in your life.

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