Everyone wants to be happy. That much is common sense. However, people are beginning to realize that many of the things that should make us happy don’t have that effect. Things like money and status are good to have, but they don’t lead to the sort of long-lasting happiness we’re looking for. That said, many studies have been conducted to find out what what makes us happy. Here is what those studies have found.

Healthy diet and exercise

This is an important point that a lot of people underestimate. A lot of people are unhappy simply because they feel bad in their bodies. A healthy body gives you more energy and makes you feel better in general. Regardless of what else is going on in your life, your health should always be a priority. Of course, don’t forget to get a good night’s sleep while you’re at it.

Maintaining strong relationships

Studies have shown over and over again that close relationships with friends and family lead to a longer, happier life. As we get busy, we have a bad habit of forgetting those around us. No matter how busy we get, we should always make time for those we care about. This is crucial to our health and happiness. It may also be worthwhile to practice activities that you can share with other people such as music or sports.

Find your passion

People tend to live longer when they have a reason to wake up in the mornings. Having something you can dedicate yourself to is what makes life worth living for many of us. However, this can also become a double-edged sword. Passion can cause stress rather than relieve it if you go overboard. Passion is one thing. Obsession is something else. Which leads me to my next point.

Take time to rest

You don’t want to be a workaholic. Workaholics have a tendency to go and go until they have nothing left to give. Everyone needs time to unwind, no matter how busy you are. It’s important for a person to find the right balance between work and rest. This way, you’re still getting things done without overwhelming yourself.

Practicing mindfulness

Many of these things may seem like common sense, but at this point, you might be asking, “What is mindfulness?” Mindfulness could be described as paying special attention to the present moment. Instead of worrying about the past or future, you are fully alive in the here and now. There are many Eastern traditions in which mindfulness is a central tenet. This may seem like an unusual concept, but there have been numerous studies that show mindfulness reduces stress leads to more happiness. There are also professionals who use it to help trauma patients.

The easiest way to introduce mindfulness to your life is through daily meditation. Dedicating ten or twenty minutes of your day to meditation can work wonders. Take some time to forget about what else you need to do. Instead, focus on your breathing. Pay attention to whatever thoughts pass through your head. Notice the colors and shapes around you. If you do this regularly, you’ll be surprised at how much more relaxed you feel in your day to day life.