Leo Bormans’ ‘World Book of Happiness’ - 12 Simple Things to Unlock Happiness

By Monica Wilson on January 27, 2012

People have different perceptions about life. Some look at a glass of water half full while others look at it half empty.

Many books have been written about happiness as there were many studies undertaken to somehow unlock the key to a happier life. But other than the philosophical views that are sometimes hard to understand, Leo Bormans compiled the findings of the world’s leading experts when it comes to the psychology of happiness.  On his book entitled ‘World Book of Happiness’, he summed it up into 12 simple tips. Some of us must be familiar with these things but may have forgotten about them.

Accepting what you have (and being grateful for it)

Research reveals that happy people are those that are grateful for what they have. Dr Jose de Jesus Garcia Vega University of Monterrey, Mexico said that people should accept things as they come. Happy people are certain about the things they want and they are able to achieve these things because they set realistic goals. And even if they don’t, they know how to handle disappointments and failures. Many people whine about almost everything that happens to their life. They tend to look forward for some other things that they fail to appreciate and enjoy what they have at the moment. Dr Garcia Vega pointed out that it’s merely ‘a waste of time’.

Enjoying what you do

Dr Garcia Vega also added that many people spend a lot of years sacrificing their health and family for the sake of earning money. But later on, they end up spending those big savings paying for their medications and trying to reconcile with their loved ones. It really makes no sense to stay with people we don’t want and call them friends or stay in the job we do not love just because the pay is good. Happy people enjoy what they do not because of any reward or glory but because of the joy it brings.

Living in the NOW

Some people are unhappy because they can’t move on from the past while others tend to worry about their future – being anxious about the things that haven’t happened yet. Things in the past can never be redone and no one can ever say what will happen in the future. So there’s really no point to stress your mind with these things. But today, you are in control of your life so you have to live and savour every minute of it.

Choosing happiness

They say happiness is a choice. And experts are sure about that. Dr Garcia Vega said that we all have the free will to decide on how we are going to deal with different situations. Ingrida Geciene of Vilnius University, Lithuania has the same view. She conducted a study about the happiness of people in 31 European countries. The study showed that people who feel that they are more in control of their life and they have the freedom to choose what they want to do are happier than those who feel that their decisions can be changed by someone else.

Building personal relationships

Research shows that married people are happier than those who are not. Being in a relationship gives an individual a feeling of security and fulfilment. And just as other people can make us happy, we can be a source of their happiness too.

Keeping yourself busy

Don’t get too serious. Dress up and attend a party. Happy people know when to stop working for a while and have some fun. People who have active, busy, and social lifestyles are considered the happiest. Eunkook M. Suh, a psychology professor at Yonsei University in Seoul said that building a social life is one way to be happy but that shouldn’t be done because you are obliged to but because you look at it as meaningful, fun, and rewarding experience.

Stop Comparing

According to Professor Claudia Senik People of the University of Paris-Sorbonne, ambition is healthy and it makes people happy but comparisons can ruin its benefits.  People who often compare themselves with other people are less likely to be happy. Along the way, many people will make you feel insecure. But if you focus on your goals and ambitions, you will not be affected by them.

Loving who you are

Happy people are true to themselves. They say what they think and express what they feel without worrying what other people might think about them. Doing so gives us a sense of ‘freedom’ which in turn makes us happier.

Stop worrying

As mentioned, worrying about anything that hasn’t even happened yet brings nothing but stress and sadness. Leo Bormans said that happy people worry less and they understand that 90% of their worries don’t come true.

Getting organised

Not all laidback individuals are disorganised. They must be simply taking a break and unwinding. To be happy, it is important that we know what we want. Happy people are those who observe organisation in their life. They have goals and they plan to achieve them.

Being optimistic

The law of attractions states that whatever we think will come true. Worries, tensions, and fears have always been part of our everyday life. Sometimes, these things can be very overwhelming that positive thoughts tend to slip away from our minds. It’s not true that happy people don’t feel sad, stressed, and anxious. They do. However, they know how to cool down and divert their attention to something positive. They always think that the end will always be for the better. Miriam Akhtar, a positive psychologist from UK said that successful athletes focus on winning and not losing. She added that optimism is the mind’s natural self-defence against depression.

Giving value to happiness

Happy people remain happy because they give value to it. They know that happiness makes their life longer and more meaningful.

 

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