Make yourself happier… permanently!

Nothing in life is good all the time. Our feelings moderate on a continuum from very happy to very sad. How we feel depends on what we’re thinking or experiencing at any point in time. Some negative things happen to us that we can’t control but there is a lot we can and that’s what I want to address today.

Dr. Lyubomirsky’s research study found that we can make ourselves happier permanently. What she and others found is that we all have a happiness set point. When we are really happy, we swing to one side. When we are sad, we slip below our medium or set point. 50% of our happiness is set genetically so we really can’t change it. 10% is for life circumstances. But what is most interesting and exciting is that 40% of our happiness depends on us. So just like our fitness, healthy eating etc. we can work on our happiness and we have the ability to be happier permanently. It will take some conscious work but the effort will pay off.

Dr. Travis Bradberry suggests some ways to keep ourselves in the happiness sector or in other words how we can manage the 40%.

Here are some of his suggestions:

1) Don’t isolate yourself from social contact it’s one of the worst things you can do. Even if you don’t feel like it you will be happier in a social setting than curled up at home by yourself.
2) Don’t blame other people for the bad things that have happened to you. If you do this you will feel like you have no control over your life.
3) You have to feel in control of your life but don’t try to control too much
4) Don’t criticize other people. It may be fun at the time but afterward you may feel bad. It’s negative behavior and that never brings happiness
5) Try not to complain because it will make you unhappy and keep others away
6) People may like your car, your fancy clothes but that doesn’t mean they like you. Trying to impress others never works.
7) Try not to be negative because pessimistic attitudes fuel unhappiness and will damage your mood.
8) Don’t hang around negative people because they will only take you down. Don’t forget you become like the five people you are with most.
9) Don’t compare yourself to others. This is one way to take yourself down the happiness scale the fastest and it’s so easy to do.

The above ten suggestions to get and stay happy permanently need some practice but after a while they will become habits.

If this topic interests you, see below for the link to some additional resources.

The How of Happiness with Sonja Lyubomirsky, PhD, at Happiness and Its Causes

The Power of Emotional Intelligence | Travis Bradberry | TEDxUCIrvine

Get and stay happy!

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