The evidence shows this is how to live for meaningful, long-lasting happiness:
- Love Someone: Being with the right partner determines 90% of personal happiness.
- Create an Inner Circle: Have at least three friends who you can share your life with and who support you on those bad days. Embrace happy friends, as unhappiness is contagious. Don’t be too tired for people; make a new happy friend and your happiness will shoot up 15%.
- Engage: Get active in your community. Join a group (whether it’s a club, team, or yoga class). Volunteer even if you think you have no time. Show up, give back, do something.
- Learn Likability: Practice kindness, generosity, empathy, and positivity. Be a good and attentive listener.
- Look Forward: Happy people set meaningful goals, create plans to achieve them, and monitor their progress.
- Sleep Seven Plus: Happiness plummets by 30% when you get less than six hours of sleep a night. Get eight, even nine, every night and set up your bedroom as a sleep haven.
- Move Naturally: We’ve engineered physical activity out of our lives. Exercise at least 30 minutes a day, but it doesn’t have to be a trendy fitness class. Walk to work or take the stairs. Weave more natural movement in your day.
- Shape Your Surroundings: This is a crucial concept, and it means setting up your home and work—and your financial, social, and inner life—to promote more happiness. This involves everything from finding the right job to creating a home filled with light and plants.
- Find the Right Community: Where you live profoundly impacts your happiness. Safe, walkable communities boost it. And with the mountain of research on the connection between the outdoors and happiness, try to live near green space. Communities that foster bump-into-people connections are key.