Are we happy? What is happiness? Are we dying to live or living to die? Are we living everyday or dying everyday? Is the glass half empty or full? Are moms and dads today happier than our parents? Is happiness a choice? Is happiness an illusion?
If I knew the answers, I wouldn’t be asking you. I guess we should ask Pharrell.
I am no expert on happiness. However, I know (from the interwebs and TV) that you can actually choose to be happy and if you make this choice then this will in fact make you happier overall. (doesn’t that sound so psychological and scientific?)
I also heard (and by ‘heard’ I mean skimmed on the net – no one reads on the internet – everyone is a skimmer) that studies show that a majority of our feelings of happiness are genetic and that biologically we return to our genetic baseline (I’m doomed) no matter how hard we swim upstream (I don’t believe that).
The mind is a killer, isn’t it? You always have to be one step of ahead of it to make sure it is not leading you down a negative thought path, which causes your mood to sour and your stress to increase which affects your health and outlook and marriage and professional life and how you treat others and your propensity for disease…can’t we all just get along inside there and work together as a team?
The dictionary (the online one not the real one) defines happy as:
1) feeling pleasure and enjoyment because of your life, situation, etc.
2) showing or causing feelings of pleasure and enjoyment
3) pleased or glad about a particular situation, event, etc.
I would define myself as a “situational happy person” because I excel at #3. I aspire to improve on #1 – to have an overall sunny outlook and train my brain (stupid brain) to choose happy over something else…the ultimate re-frame.
I read this article (on the w-e-b) and it really spoke to me and I can’t stop thinking about it. When I want to improve something about myself, I look for someone who models the behavior. For example, if I wanted to be a better public speaker then I would seek out someone that does it well and find out their tips and then try to model their behavior.
The article, 7 Habits of Incredibly Happy People by Gregory Ciotti, provides a method (I’m a method kind of gal) that you can emulate to be happy. For me, the profound is in the simple.
1) Be busy, but not rushed (direct quote: “You should be expanding your comfort zone often, but not so much that you feel overwhelmed.” Say ‘no’ to the extra commitments that are just extra and only serving to stress you out and robbing you of joy!)
2) Have 5 close relationships
3) Don’t tie your happiness to external events (you gotta read this one because it totally makes sense when you get the details)
4) Exercise (duh, right? then why doesn’t everyone do it?)
5) Embrace discomfort for mastery
6) Spend more money on experiences (there are 5 reasons why doing this make you happy)
7) Don’t ignore your itches
Go read the article – it’s worth it. I loved this and hope you do, too. My favorite is #5. Which one speaks to you?