When is the last time you took inventory of your happiness? I mean really looked at your life as a whole and admitted how happy or unhappy you were? Life experiences and our environments constantly force us to re-examine how happy and fulfilled we are feeling in the moment. Do you feel like your happiness is something you constantly have to strive for? Do you feel like it is out of your reach? Or do you believe that it is your birthright – something we all deserve?
I do believe that we all have our happiness set points – some of us are generally happier than others. My daughter has a very high happiness set point. She wakes up happy, sees the world with a delightful and sunny disposition, and always sees the best in people. Therefore she does not have to work very hard to increase her level of happiness. Others may have to work a bit harder to feel joy on a daily basis. I truly believe that everyone has the ability to boost their happiness. I think we each have the right to feel happiness and joy, it may just take some work to feel it consistently. There are things we can do every day to boost our happiness set point. Here are some tips to help you get started:
1. Focus on your attitude
If you had to rate between zero and ten (ten being the happiest) how happy are you today? You need a baseline of how happy you are first before you can begin to move forward. Do you believe in freewill and choice? Each and every one of us can choose what attitude and intentions we put out into the world.You can begin to choose an attitude that supports more happiness in your life. You can tell yourself that you are happy and full of joy today. You can tell yourself that you are experiencing feelings of happiness. You can focus on the cup being half full versus the cup being half empty. Focus on your attitude – this is truly something you have complete control over – and notice a difference in how you feel.
2. Focus on gratitude
The attitude of gratitude can significantly increase your happiness set point. When you focus on gratitude in your life, it literally shifts the way you see the world around you. When you focus on things you are grateful for, the universe naturally sends more experiences your way to promote more gratitude. The more grateful you are in your life, the more present you are in your life. I remember reading somewhere that the word "present" literally has 3 meanings in the English language: "here", "now" and "a gift." Practicing gratitude teaches you that one of the greatest gifts in life – being more present – is always available to you in the here and now in your life.
3. Laugh more
Studies have shown that happiness factors do not necessarily have to do with better life circumstances. We all get so focused on the pursuit of happiness that we forget to truly enjoy our life and the ride along the way. We think when we finally achieve happiness, then we’ll finally enjoy our lives more. Just the act of creating more fun, laughing more, being more spontaneous, will all boost your happiness factor. So, my advice to you this week? Get off autopilot and do something out of the ordinary. Laugh until your tummy hurts. Be a child again and do something just for the sake of having fun.