At some point in our lives, we all have either thought or heard someone say something suggesting we must find happiness. Framing happiness in that manner makes it seem like we are playing a game of hide and seek and happiness is winning. Similarly, sometimes we fall into the thinking patterns of, “If I had this…” or “If this would happen…” Again, thinking in this manner suggests we are on a mission to find happiness. Waiting for something to happen will not bring us happiness. Challenge yourself to take action and complete an activity you find pleasurable. While doing this activity, instead of looking to the future, tune into your present feelings and sensations. Does happiness or contentment feel warm, comforting, and/or light? How does it feel for you? In this search for happiness, you may just find that you were the one hiding from happiness all along. Take action, experience the moments, and let happiness find you.
Dr. Lyubomirsky and colleagues developed a pie chart in which they identified three factors that determine happiness: intentional activity, circumstances, and set point. They believed that 50% of happiness stems from genetically determined set points, which was discovered from research conducted with identical twins. One way to look at this is, think about weight. Some individuals have skinny dispositions and no matter how much they eat, they maintain a slim figure. On the other, there are those who are mindful about what and how much they put into their bodies, but still have to spend a little more time at the gym to maintain the body they want. Similarly, these researchers determined that genetic disposition plays a role in our set points for happiness. Then they found that 10% of our happiness comes from our circumstances and situations in life. Examples of this would include, whether we are wealthy or poor, healthy or unhealthy, beautiful or plain, married or divorced, etc. Lastly, there is intentional activity, which compromises 40% of the happiness chart. Intentional activity refers to what is within our control. Examples of this include offering a helping hand to those around us, engaging in physical activity, and devoting time to friends and family.
The good news is despite finding a genetic component to happiness, research is showing almost half of our happiness is under our control! Using that 40% we can engage in intentional activities that promote happiness and even improve our circumstances, impacting that 10%! And don’t assume if you have been unhappy it must be genetic; rather, do some analysis and determine if it is the 40% under your direct control you have not been utilizing. If after reading this you believe you have a 50% lean toward some level of lowered happiness genetically, you can engage in the intentional activity of psychotherapy, which has been found to improve mood; or the intentional activity of seeing if an antidepressant could be helpful in reducing this genetic influence. You can also engage in intentional activities that are known to improve mood, such as exercise and healthy eating. What will you do today with that 40% to foster your own happiness? Set an achievable goal of doing one pleasurable activity to increase happiness. And for those of you who are genetically predisposed to happiness… yay for you!
With day to day stressors and life’s demands, sometimes we forget to take time to engage in self-care. Self-care simply refers to intentionally engaging in behaviors to help improve our overall mental well-being. Time dedicated to taking time for yourself does not have to be anything complicated or stressful. It can be something as simple as taking a hot bath or drinking a glass of wine while reading the book you always wanted to read, but felt you never had the time for.
There can be several consequences when we neglect self-care. One way to look at it is that we have a certain amount of energy, not just physically, that is required for us to function on a daily basis. Everything we do, whether it is making a cup of coffee, calling your child’s teacher, or putting together a presentation for work, depletes this energy. What happens when we do not actively work towards filling the energy reservoir? We risk unhappiness and burn-out where we reach a point of emotional, mental, and physical exhaustion making it very difficult to meet life’s constant demands.
We hear the whispers of our elders from a very early age that wisdom comes with age. One must experience life to better maneuver it, right? So, we take the ups with the downs and keep trucking through our days waiting for things to get better, our light to shine a little brighter, or just to be acknowledged for caring enough to care. Try using your own energy to empower yourself with realistic positivity to a happier more enlightened you.
Read more about realistic positivity here.
Sounds kind of unbelievable to think that there could be a formula to happiness, right? I thought the same thing until reading and watching this. CNBC has put together some remarkably helpful pointers that will make you question, “Why haven’t I been doing these common sense techniques before now?”
Read more about the techniques here.
I know this is going to sound a little cliché, however, the saying still resonates with the hearts of most. Money can’t buy happiness, but it can buy you those nice boots that make you feel pretty darn good about yourself. Well, I’m sure it doesn’t go quite like that but we all get the point. Sometimes happiness is not a constant feeling of elation that will last for eternity but rather a glance in the mirror at a reflection that is represented by the perfect outfit, for an ideal occasion with those whose opinions matter.
Happiness does not have a name, face, or address. True happiness is not a tangible and is not partial to race, gender, religion or age. Just ask Gertrude and Alvin, a 90 plus couple taking their own happiness by the horns. Read about this example of how love and happiness go hand in hand here.
Ask yourself, “Have you ever seen someone upset after a massage”? The answer will highly be NOT!!! However, there are real benefits of massage:
- Lower Stress and anxiety
- Boost Endorphins
- Increase Immune System Activity
- Improve Mood and Happiness
Don’t believe me? Check out the details here.
Breath deep, look in the mirror and repeat these words:
- I am amazing.
- I can do anything.
- Positivity is a choice.
- I celebrate my individuality.
- I am prepared to succeed.
Celebrating yourself is the beginning of becoming a more uplifted and positive version of yourself. As the saying goes, be the person you would want to meet. IF you choose to start your day with positivity then you will be open to receiving it as well.
According to recent studies, juicing has proven to have many health benefits. Some of the reasons you may want to take a closer look are detoxification, improvement in skin, joint pain, energy and most of all positive mood improvements. When our body feels better it opens new doors for our minds to be clearer and more focused on the things we want/need to do.
Click here for more information.