We are all born with a “set point” of happiness, but we now know that it is also a learned behavior and just because someone isn’t born that way, they can be that way if they chose to be. Genetics determine about 50%.
Important in learning to be happy:
2. Journaling (esp. gratitude)
3. Fake it till you make it. Faking happiness causes the same chemical reactions as BEING happy and eventually will create the happiness. Actions matter – act happy.
4. Surrounding yourself with friends and family is a huge factor in increasing happiness.
5. Having your own sense of self and no interest in keeping up with the Joneses is helpful.
6. Doing activities that put you in the “flow” where you lose sense of time and enjoy it, increases overall happiness. The more of those you have, the better off you are. Doing what you’re best at.
7. Must have a capacity to love and be loved.
Damaging to happiness:
1. not forgiving – huge – the biggest stumbling block – the single biggest determining factor in someone’s happiness level
1. Major health problems, such as loss of mobility, have no long term effect on people’s general happiness. After about 90-180 days they return to their pre-incident level of daily happiness.
2. People are very bad at predicting what will make them happy. Better to trust human resilence than human prediction.
3. More choices you have the more likely you are to be unhappy. People feel with so many choices, there’s no excuse for failure. Choices also make people question every decision.
4. Happiness comes mostly in daily little bits. People get thrills out of finding a quarter or getting an unexpected gift. The emotion actually makes them more generous, friendlier, flexible, creative and better at solving problems. Small bursts of this feeling caused radiologists to make more accurate diagnoses in one study.
It seems there are some constants in my life, and wanting to share the secrets of happiness is one of them. People often comment that I’m “so happy,” and it’s true. I’ve written about it many times. I just ran across this blog post from livejournal that was written Sept. 17, 2004. It’s all still true. I thought I’d repost for the fun of it. Or maybe the happiness of it!