Ask yourself the question, “Looking back on my life, have I been a happy person?” If you answered negatively, take a peek at what we’ve found happiness to be and how you can also achieve it.
Picture happiness as optometry and the optician asks you “Is the picture clearer here? (adjust lens) Or here? This comes down to your own perception, just as happiness is a state of subjective wellbeing. Happiness is of your own perception.
According to psychologist, Sonja Lyubominsky, happiness is 50% in our genes, 10% our life circumstances, and 40% our own choices and decisions. Which means 40% is under our direct control. We have power in our choices…You have the power to increase your own happiness. Now doesn’t this power make you feel good?
Your happiness will never be dependent on others. We now know we have 40% control over our happiness, so we can:
• Find what makes YOU happy and pursue it, you are not here to please everyone. Accept this and you are that much closer to happiness.
• Be the person you would want to be friends with, be the best version of yourself.
• Choose the right kind of friends. Surround yourself with positive people, according to research, your happiness increases 15.3% if you are with another happy person!
• Your happiness is not dependant on money – research suggests that beyond having enough money to survive and live above the poverty line, wealth doesn’t increase our happiness. Chasing money can make you unhappy.
• Set clear, attainable goals for your money. Manage your money today, be happier tomorrow.
• Spend your money on more life experiences, rather than material items.
• Use your money to do something kind for someone else. We need nourishing rewards, not only in the form of money.
Happiness is clearly not as romantic as the fairytales made it out to be. Happiness is a conscious choice, a decision, we can go as far as to say hard work. And we have 40% control over it, so what else can we do to utilize that big 40 properly?
If you are not happy, fake it until you make it. You can train your brain into thinking what you repeatedly tell it, so why not start there.
Tell yourself you are happy and follow these simple steps to achieving happiness:
1. Don’t compare your journey to others, keep focused on your goals and your strengths, and start making them work for you. You were not born to be a copy of someone else.
2. Smile!!! By making an emotion-filled face, you carry the feeling over the whole body. Trick yourself!
3. Recite daily affirmations, eg: “Today I will be happy”. Choose affirmations that are true to your life.
4. Hold back the urge to entertain negative talk. When with your friends, choose topics of a happier nature to discuss.
5. Do not entertain worry thoughts. Accept that you fear a certain scenario, and work through it. Don’t allow your mind to run away with itself and create a scenario that hasn’t even happened.
6. Focus on the good things in your life. Your friends, family, job, house, car etc. Count what you have in life, rather than what you don’t have. . . yet!
7. Choose a healthy lifestyle: eat well and exercise. Research has proven exercise releases endorphins which reduce depression.
8. Know how to let go of the things that are not good for you. The sooner you let go of what is holding you back or affecting you negatively, the better. 9. Embrace where life is steering you. Do not fight every hiccup along the way. Take them as lessons, as strength building exercises. Keep looking straight ahead.
By following these easy steps, you are already on your way to a happier you, by understanding that happiness is a choice. You can be happy. Start today and smile!
Megan Mc Kinley
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