Happiness Needs to Become an Inside Job

If you’re unhappy today, you’ll be unhappy tomorrow — unless you take action to change something.

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 the other 50 percent. Only 10% is determined by our circumstances.

You can improve your level through intentional activities. As you begin to 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 perspective — a way to perceive and approach the world. When you choose activities that boost happiness, you’re effectively affecting and managing your emotional well-being.


2 Significant Happiness Activities for You to Incorporate

Recent findings in happiness research reveal that our grandmothers were right all along. It’s important for us to:

  1. Express gratitude
  2. Cultivate optimism

When expressing gratitude, you improve positive feelings and behaviors in almost every situation. Gratitude is the antidote to negative emotions, neutralizing anger, envy, avarice, worry and anxiety. It helps stave off the boredom associated with taking things for granted.


A Few Gratitude Exercises

Expressions of gratitude are causally linked to mental and physical health rewards. Your goal is to turn gratitude into a daily habit. Start by regularly writing down gratitude statements and keeping a gratitude journal—two activities that greatly improve your chance of adopting this vital habit.

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. Make a list of the things you appreciate.

Then make an effort to tell someone what you’re grateful for. Tell them face-to-face, phone them, write them a letter of thanks.

Happiness needs to be an inside job but it’s improved by taking action. Your behaviors that reflect your inner mindset create the positive habits of a happy person.

In the coaching work I do, we find ways to intentionally expressing gratitude and appreciation more often. You’d be surprised at how well it works.

Do you have gratitude habits? I’d love to hear from you; leave a comment.


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