If you’re unhappy today, you’ll be unhappy tomorrow — unless you are intentional and take action.
Research shows that up to half of our happiness is genetic. We have a certain predisposition towards a level of happiness and satisfaction. But while genetics may dictate some of our happiness quotient, each of us is responsible for 40 percent. Only 10% is determined by our circumstances.
You can improve your happiness quotient through intentional activities. As you begin to recognize and appreciate how your behaviors affect your emotional and mental states, happiness can literally become a habit.
Thus, it’s possible to remake yourself into a happier person. Happiness, more than anything, is a state of mind — a way to perceive and approach the world. When you choose activities that boost happiness, you are essentially managing your emotional well-being.
Two Essential Happiness Activities
Recent findings in happiness research reveal that our grandmothers were right all along. It’s important for us to:
When expressing gratitude, you improve positive feelings and behaviors in almost every situation. Gratitude is the antidote to negative emotions. It neutralizes anger, envy, greediness, worry and anxiety and helps eliminate taking things for granted.
Expressions of gratitude have been linked to mental and physical health rewards. Your ultimate goal is to turn gratitude into a habit. Start by regularly writing down gratitude statements and keeping a gratitude list on a daily basis. These two activities greatly improve your chance of building a habit out of focusing on gratitude.
It’s not enough to just think to yourself about how much you appreciate someone. Thoughts are fleeting and easily forgotten. If you wish to turn gratitude into a habit that improves your overall happiness, you need to take action. Keeping a gratitude journal and writing a few things that you are grateful for or appreciate daily is important.
Share with others what you’re grateful for. Tell them face-to-face, phone them, or write them a letter of thanks.
Lasting happiness comes from the inside out and can be improved by taking action. Your behaviors reflect your inner mindset, creating the positive habits of a happy person.
In my coaching, I suggest ways to practice expressing gratitude and appreciation more often. You might be surprised at how well it works.
What’s been your experience with expressing gratitude? I’d love to hear from you – leave a comment.