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What Makes You Happy?

February 17, 2021
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There’s a lot we could be talking about this week.

The pandemic.

Vaccination rates.

Earnings.

Impeachment.

Markets.

Stimulus bills.

Instead, how about we talk about something nice?

What makes you happy?

What does “happiness” even mean?

Is it a temporary state? Is it a long-term thing?

I’ve heard happiness called being mindful of small moments of joy.

I like that definition because it implies that happiness is a practice that we can cultivate.

Is there a special recipe for achieving happiness?

Maybe.

I’ll start. My personal recipe for happiness is:

GOD/FAITH/SPIRITUALITY + FAMILY + FRIENDS + FULFILLING WORK + NATURE/TRAVEL/FUN/LEISURE + GRATITUDE = happiness

If I can get some of that into each day, I can call it a happy one.

I’ve also found that simple things bring me joy, even when I’m stressed or not feeling my best.

Here is some interesting myths and research I found about happiness:

Myth: Money will make you happy

Research suggests: once you have enough money to be comfortable, getting more money isn’t going to make much of a difference in how happy you are. A lot of lottery winners have been shown to be no happier after their win than before.

Myth: You need a relationship in order to be happy

Research suggests: You - not your partner or your family members - are responsible for your own happiness. Singles who have meaningful friendships and pursuits are happier than people in mismatched romantic relationships.

Myth: Happiness declines with age

Research suggests: people tend to get happier with age. As a whole, older adults are also more satisfied with their lives, less sensitive to stress, and more emotionally stable.

 Myth: Some people are just happier than others and there’s nothing you can do to change that.

Research suggests: people are born with a certain happiness “set point.” But that only accounts for about half of our happiness level. The rest is up to us!

 

What do you think?

What’s your personal recipe for happiness?

What simple things feed your soul?

Has it changed over time? Has it changed over the last year?