It is estimated that Americans feel happy approximately 54% of the time, neutral 25% of the time and unhappy 21% of the time. After review of the “happiness” research, Dr. Martin Seligman in his book Authentic Happiness concluded that happy people:
- are healthier. (Medicine For What Ails You)
- use their intelligence more efficiently. (Happiness Fuel For The Brain)
- are more creative. (No More Excuses)
- are more optimistic. (Somewhere Over the Rainbow)
- have more fulfilling social relationships. (The Happiness Virus)
For many, their happiness is dependent upon the temporal— possessions, promotions, prestige, etc. But this type of happiness is fleeting— at the whim of your circumstances. If you tired of being at the mercy of your circumstances, then you need to change your mind-set— renew your mind.
It’s not the acquisition of things that makes one truly happy but leading an engaged and meaningful life. So what can you do?
Spend more time doing what you love.
- Engage in activities that compliment your values and interests. Activities that captivate you so thoroughly that time stands still.
Engage others socially.
- Thank others for their kindness towards you.
- Tell others either personally or in written form how they have positively impacted your life.
- Spend time with those you love, and those who make you smile and laugh.
Forget the Joneses.
- Don’t compare your successes to others.
- Live a life of authenticity. Being true to who you were created to be, not a “mini-me” of someone else.
Pay it forward.
- Share your talent, time and treasure with others by volunteering in your community.
- Help both family, friends and strangers when you see a need.
Be intentionally grateful.
- Spend a few minutes daily recounting the blessings of the day and record them in a “gratitude journal”. Periodically read your “gratitude journal”. Specifically on those days when happiness is a fading memory.
- Spend time thinking about happy memories.
Pray or meditate.
Engage in activities that make you smile and laugh.
Yes, all of these activities can increase your happiness quotient. But I have intentionally left out one strategy in all my happiness posts. Saving the best for the last. That one strategy is pursuing a personal relationship with Jesus. The topic of my remaining posts this week. Until then…
Thanks for listening to my voice! Feel free to like and share it with your friends.
Have a marvelous Monday! Rita
Be the VOICE heard amidst the deafening sound of sameness!