Being rich, famous and beautiful?
According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, happiness is enjoying or having a feeling of well-being, satisfaction, or contentment. There is also the chemical aspects of happiness which includes the pleasure chemical in the brain (dopamine) being released. What I find even more interesting was research that indicated 50% of our happiness is a result of our genes (Britain’s Proceedings of the Royal Society B – Founded in 1660 and is the oldest and leading scientific society in the world). The breakdown is like this:
- 10%-15% socioeconomic status, health, marital status, income
- 40% actions taken in the effort to find happiness
How do you see yourself? Is the glass half empty or half full? I have come to accept that I cannot always “make” changes happen and that no one else can “make” me happy. THAT was a VERY hard lesson for me to learn. I can, however, change me. I’m the only person that I can actually control. Control freaks, if you didn’t know that, you can now freak out. I’m right there with you. There are a few things that I have found that will build confidence and thus boost your “comfortableness” with yourself and this will elevate your happiness level:
Develop a positive attitude
- I create a motivational thought that I circulate at work to “motivate” my peers and brighten their day with a happy thought. This isn’t required of me, but it also helps to uplift my attitude for the day too. If being happy isn’t easy for you, then step out of the box and do something to help other people have a happy experience or moment.
- Every time you have a negative thought, tell yourself you must now say three positive things about yourself. You can’t repeat the same positive in a day, so this will help you break the negative thinking cycle pretty fast.
Surround yourself with positive people who care about you
- The old adage of “If you lay down with pigs all you get is dirty” really is true. Miserable people want other people to be miserable too.
- Caring people have positive things to discuss and say nice things to you and about you.
- Whether you realize it or not, smiling will change your mood and attitude.
- Smiling signals to others that you are pleasant and draws them in.
- Having a smile boosts your confidence!
Let go of the past and your “bumps” in the road
- We are not perfect! Don’t be so hard on yourself! The past is THE PAST! Look to the future with a sense of adventure.
- Forgive yourself and others. It takes a lot more energy to hold on to anger and grief than it does to cultivate foregiveness and a positive attitude.
Find activities that reduce your stress
- I hate to say it and I hate to do it, but exercise really does reduce your stress. I can just hear my family as they read that line…laughing hysterically. Exercise includes more than just going to the gym – when you are not alone, park at the back of the parking lot, go up and down the stairs at work or home more than necessary, walk and walk some more.
- Read. Get lost in a book and forget about your own problems.
- Watch a good movie.
- Get involved in a hobby.
If 40% of our actions taken are geared towards finding our own happiness, fill your life with all the things that make you feel great about yourself and the future. Keep looking up and forward. Invigorate your mind and your relationships. Happiness is based on positive action.
In the words of Aristotle, “Happiness depends upon ourselves.”