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April 30, 2014

The Keys to Happiness

The Keys to Happiness KeysToHappiness


When it comes to happiness there is good news and bad news.  I’m not sure which you would like to know first, but the bottom line bad news is WE CAN’T CHANGE! Basically, you can’t change your genetics. 50% of everyone’s happiness is genetic, and that is the bad news if you have parents that aren’t very happy.  “It is what it is!”  However, if your parents are pretty happy then you have a 50% chance of being happy – without anything else in your life going well.  50/50 chance of being naturally happy – not bad odds, really, depending on what you do with them! 

Now, 10% of your happiness is determined by life circumstances.  Most of us spend a lot of energy on this variable, but it doesn’t give huge rewards. Research shows that increasing our wealth, attractiveness and stuff like that has a negligible and a temporary impact on our well-being. Isn’t that amazing?  Who you married, what school you went to, the job you have, the house you have etc. all contribute only a wee little 10% to your happiness.  “WOW,” you may be saying.  Wow is right, and yet most people spend their waking hours dwelling on these things. I confess, I’ve been a “10 percentor” myself! Okay, so what can we do and how can we make sure that the other 40% produces positive outcomes?

Besides our genes and the situations we confront, the only critical thing left is our BEHAVIOR.  Thus, the key to happiness lies not in changing our genetic make-up, (this is impossible) and not in our circumstances, (usually impractical) but in our daily intentional activities. With this in mind the pie chart illustrates the potential of the 40% that is within our ability to control – the 40% we can maneuver to increase or decrease our own happiness levels through what we think and do in our daily lives.

DrawnGraph

Control of Happiness

The 40% is WHAT IT’S ALL ABOUT! Consider how much time and effort many devote to physical exercise, whether it’s going to the gym, jogging, kickboxing, or yoga. If you desire greater happiness, you need to go about it in a similar way. In order words dedicate hard work to your mental state.

The Habits of Happy People are as follows:

  • Stress resilience
  • Physical resilience
  • Depression/anxiety resistant thinking
  • Coping
  • Optimism
  • Self Expression
  • Compassion and Renewal
  • Acceptance of Self and Others
  • Calming of the Overactive Brain

Happy people often communicate gratitude towards friends and family and also express their love for them. Happy couples are self-less rather than selfish, so they turn the “me” to “we.” Set meaningful goals, find a purpose, add laughter and humor often, focus on your interpersonal relationships, cultivate the interpersonal connections, resolve conflict proactively, and improve sleep adequacy and quality. Invite prayer and meditation of some sort into your life and engage in challenging and enjoyable physical activities. If these seem overwhelming, then “Fake it til you Make it!”

Main reasons to “work” your happiness muscles are because the TOP 5 Death Bed Regrets are:
1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, and not the life others expected of me.
2. I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.
3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
5. I wish that I had let myself be happier!

In conclusion, here is a link that has 40 Little Ways To Find Happiness