Do you look at other people’s lives and wish you had it like them – thinking they are doing better than you? Do you believe you are unlucky in life because things never seem to go your way? Perhaps it could be that you have little control over your happiness?
Comparing our lives with others can have us stuck in our heads replaying our life predicaments and wallowing over what could or should be. This can lead to anxiety issues. But if there is one aspect of our lives that we have control over it is our happiness.
40% of your happiness is within your control. According to Sonja Lyubomirsky, a psychology professor, half of the time we are happy when something is influenced by our DNA. That means our happiness is linked to our genetics.
Subsequently, our circumstances take a backseat, influencing roughly 10% of our happiness. Things like our relationship status, where we live, if we are working, and financial situation are some of the things we are talking about here.
The data suggest meeting our needs (food, clothing, and shelter) is often associated with leading a happier life, especially for the people whose money is not a concern in addressing such needs. Similarly, lottery winners are a happier lot, but this fades over time or morphs into something different, even when they buy a fancy car or lavish home.
Researchers say that 40% of our “intentional actions” are at the driver’s seat of our happiness. Interestingly, many of these activities do not require money. They are things we can do and find pleasure in them at no financial cost. Things like showing our gratitude, exercising, spending time with loved ones, and savoring life’s pleasures are some of the best examples of activities that can help make you a happier person.
However, the effects of these activities vary from person to person. Nevertheless, the data show we have control over different elements in our lives that impact our happiness.
Focus On What’s In Your Control
So, it is best to stop wrestling with what you cannot control and focus on what you can. Furthermore, you are more likely to experience joy and appreciate life more when you think about your happiness. Be content with who, what and where you are in life, have a positive outlook instead of turning to people to find happiness.
Negative emotions are rife and are part of living. They are essential and should not be feared. Hence, you should not let challenging situations bring you down; instead, rise to the occasion. Get up, dust yourself off, and keep going, taking the challenges as a learning experience.
10 Ways To Increase Your Happiness
In view of what we have discussed, below are ten things that you can apply to your daily routine that can boost your happiness levels and overall well being.
1). Enjoy some light-hearted comedy that makes you laugh, especially after a stressful day.
2). Find the time to catch up with your family and friends that make you feel upbeat about life.
3). Liven the boardrooms for your work meetings but brightening up the place and doing any other option that works.
4). Lend a hand in your local community or join a volunteer program.
5). Write down five things you are grateful for about your life as you enjoy your morning cup of tea before starting work.
6). Step away from your computer when having a bit during your lunch break. Savor every bite.
7). Donate to charity.
8). Look at the best-case scenarios when dealing with a problem instead of focusing on the worst outcomes.
9). Set aside at least 15minutes from your busy work schedule to exercise.
10). Take the time to cheer up someone that needs it; you can send flowers, a note saying thanks, or a text suggesting going for coffee after work.