Happiness is usually defined individually, what makes one person happy may not even register on another person’s happiness scale. So what makes you happy – most research says it is intrinsic to each individual person – factors include mindset, self-regard, faith and general viewpoint on life.
So what can you do in your day-to-day lives to support happiness? Below are a few considerations for a happy life.
Busy, But Not Hurried
Research indicates being hurried leads to being miserable. Some studies suggest having nothing to very little to do may also be a problem to happiness.
When you’re living a productive life at a comfortable pace you are in the right spot for promoting happiness. You should always be looking to expanding your comfort zone into the learning zone, but not to the panic zone! In the comfort zone learning and happiness minimized and in the panic zone learning is nonexistent and you are frazzled and stressed, but in the learning zone there is just enough tension for learning and happiness to occur. Staying in the learning zone is not always easy but certainly something to strive towards.
A good rule of thumb is to eliminate busy work and focus on what is important. Saying “yes” to things that are not absolutely important or that you are not excited to do detracts from you happiness. Unless you can say a resounding “YES” to something, it is best to thoughtfully consider saying “No”. Know your priorities and boundaries. We all have obligations and at times emergencies; however, a comfortably busy pace can only be found if you are willing to say “No” to urgent and unimportant so you can say yes to the right things.
Individuals who have a few close relationships are happier, shown to live longer and have a higher quality of life. Real, true friends are worth their weight in gold. In many ways you are the average of your five closes friends – so choose wisely – your happiness depends on it! What is magical about five relationships? Surveys found when someone claims to have 5 or more friends with whom they can discuss important problems, they are 60 percent more likely to say that they are ‘very happy’.
Effort in your relationships matters, as studies indicator even the best relationships dissolve over time, you must continually work toward staying connected. When you connect with close friends, you strengthen your friendship and give yourself a little boost of happiness at the same time.
Strong Self Regard
Self-esteem is a tricky thing it is great for confidence, but it must be built from a healthy perspective. Self esteem can turn negative when tied to external events or success. For example, when self-esteem is tied to great performance (in anything) individuals experience small boosts in confidence and happiness when performance is high and accomplishments occur, but self esteem drops severely when performance fails or is unsatisfactory. This has a very negative effect on overall happiness.
Tying your happiness to external events can also lead to behavior that avoids failure and healthy risk taking. Instead of learning from mistakes and taking necessary risks you hold back and become less effective, which in turn detracts from your self-regard and ultimately your happiness.
There is no way around exercise! Exercise makes you feel better mentally and physically. Body image improves when you exercise, even without immediate results. The exercise high is the release of endorphins, which are considered natural painkillers and have positive effect on our general well being.
Exercise needs to be a regular and consistent happiness habit! Find an activity you love and make it a part of your happiness habit! Better yet, pick a good friend or two and exercise together!
Happy people are very mindful of spending money on physical items, opting instead to spend much of their money on experiences. Most people are far happier when buying experiences versus buying material goods. Experiences improve over time, they don’t wear out or get old and can be relived for years. Comparisons can often make you unhappy, but experiences are often immune to this as they are unique to you. Individuals generally feelenergized and refreshed after being involved with a great experience such as an enjoyable dinner, show, vacation, etc. Lastly, human are social animals and experiences tend to be social. Solitary confinement is often classified as “cruel and unusual” punishment due to the negative effects it can have on emotional well being.
Grab some friends, seek out some great experiences, keep your schedule productive busy, find a way to exercise and get those endorphins flowing and your self regard is likely to skyrocket. What’s your strategy to increase your happiness quotient?
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