So I am going to sidestep the obvious January; “time to cleanse,” “resolutions,” “new attitude” talks in favor of talking about your happiness. A “deep sense of wellbeing” “flourishing,” “satisfied” kind of Happy You Year is where we’re going here. Wouldn’t that make 2015 wonderful? I’m convinced that happy people are healthy people and that healthy people are happier, so let’s go!
True happiness is not simply about circumstances, although healthy people do learn to deal with situations in direct and helpful ways. It’s not only about physical health, although healthy people do seek the level of optimum health available to them. It’s not limited to financial success, or only about the people in our lives, even though we care and share and interact. In other words, happiness has to go beyond factors that are frequently beyond our control. True happiness may well be the BY PRODUCT of a life well lived.
“What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.” Nelson Mandela
“Those who bring sunshine into the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves.” J.M. Barrie
Happiness is rarely found with the situational “If Only” thoughts and pursuits- “If only I could change how I look, or get the boy, or get RID of the boy, or find a new job, or new friends, or if I had more money, or could travel more, or live elsewhere,”…. “Then I’d be Happy” ideals.
Research states that our circumstances only account for about 10% of our happiness. Every human has a happiness “set point” that is higher or lower based on disposition and personality. There is a definite SPIKE on the “happy meter set point” for every human when we get what we want but it is not sustainable happiness. Over time the thrill is gone, the chemistry fades, and the happiness spike settles down and returns to the set point.
The only exception to this rule is when humans invest in something that may include them, but also goes beyond the small circle of self- something that gives a higher meaning and purpose to their lives. This alone can actually can raise the set point of happiness for any human and create a life well lived.
So this year, what is something meaningful that you can invest in? Do you have a pet charity or cause you keep meaning to give time or money to? Maybe 2015 is THE YEAR to just do it! I personally have a soft heart for the poor, the hungry, and the hurting- human and animals. When I can’t invest meaningful time to help, I put my money where my mouth and sympathy is and donate!
Gratitude is another Happy Maker. It makes you INSTANTLY 25% happier, so what are you thankful for, right now? Say it out loud, or make a list. Get happy with good old gratitude!
Make your own list of other Happy Factors- the people, places, things, investments, activities etc. that are meaningful, pleasing, satisfying.
Let this be a truly Happy You Year!
(I hope the Oaks is on your “Happy Place” List! Come see us!)