A lot of people think that achieving happiness is a matter of seeing good things from the outside and absorbing it in. However, science reveals that it’s quite the opposite: happiness begins within you. Author of “What Happy People Know” Dr. Dan Baker says, “What makes people truly happy is how they live ‘inside themselves’. Meaning that if you want enduring satisfaction, you have to approach life with a mind-set that allows you to walk on the bright side, no matter what’s thrown at you.”

Studies featured on WebMD have revealed that there are 12 factors that make people happy. All these are accessible to you, and as Dr. Baker notes, it’s just a matter of knowing how to tap into them.

1. Optimism
Optimism doesn’t mean that you need to be a perpetual ray of sunshine. It’s the belief that no matter how bad things are, there is always something good that will follow. Studies have noted that people who have experienced tragedies tend to be more positive than most, as they know that there are greater things in life to worry about than, say, not being able to find parking space in a crowded mall right away.

2. Humor
A CNN Philippines report has noted that Filipinos are ranked the fifth happiest people in the world for 2015, and one probable reason for it is that everyone still remembers to smile in spite of everything. Being able to laugh at your own mistakes and finding the silver lining in every cloud can help you radiate more goodness than ever before.

3. Perspective
The happiest people in the world tend to look at what’s good more than what’s not. It’s not about totally denying the existence of problems. It’s about adapting a more positive viewpoint instead of focusing on disappointments.

4. A sense of freedom and independence
Have you ever felt good about being able to decide on what you want to do with your life? Studies say that people who have the power who make their own decisions are more satisfied with who they are, and are generally happier.

5. Courage
Courage is all about facing your fears and trying to get over them. It empowers you and gives you the knowledge that there is so much you can do when you put your mind into what you want. Be brave enough to try new things, and you’ll end up feeling more fulfilled than ever before.

6. Proactivity
Since you have the courage to go beyond limitations, you tend to take a more proactive stance in life. You challenge norms and dare yourself to be better than you’ve previously been. You also tend to be more curious, and this provides you with new experiences that will encourage happiness.

7. A sense of purpose
Remember that old coffee ad that goes “Para kanino ka gumigising?” Having a purpose in life gives you the drive to do better, and working towards your passion will ultimately make things better for yourself and for the ones you love.

8. Good health
Being in tip-top shape means that you can do more and be more. Eating right and exercising regularly also lessens stress and keeps your mind-set positive.

9. Security
Being sure about who you are and where you stand in life gives you a feeling of contentment, and from contentment springs the idea that what you have is enough, that you’ve done what you can, and life is at its best.

10. Spirituality
Accepting that there many things in the world that are beyond your understanding enables you to better accept things as they are.

11. Kindness
To give without expecting anything in return generates goodwill not only for those you help out, but also for you. Volunteerism and altruism makes you feel that you always have more to give, and interestingly enough, it can actually make you more successful in life.

12. Love
And finally, there is love. Above all, compassion is the key to staying happy. There is nothing better than knowing that you are loved  and that you have people to care for in return, too. Isolation can trigger feelings of depression, so if you find that a friend needs someone to talk to, spend time with her. Passing on the love will return happiness to you a hundred-fold.

CREDITS: Flickr Creative Commons/Mateus Lunardi Dutra 

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