Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Raising the Bar on My Happiness

 Interesting to note that a good education does little to raise your sense of satisfaction in life. I suppose ignorance IS bliss. Happiness researcher Dr. Ed Diener suggests that once your basic needs are met, additional income does little for fulfillment. However, in a Times poll those individuals making $35,000 a year or less were significantly less happy. Both happiness researchers Deiner and Seligman conclude that the highest level of happiness comes from strong ties with family and friends.
Here are some practical suggestions by UCLA researcher Dr. Lynbomirsky to revitalize your level of happiness:
  1. Count your blessings – make a gratitude journal where every week you enter the things you are currently grateful for, from little to bigger.
  2. Practice acts of random kindness- remember how good it felt to let that harried driver into your lane, or let someone go ahead of you in the grocery line. Be generous. Get connected to others.
  3. Savor joyful moments daily – the sunset, the rolling hills, the puppy, or any number of daily things we appreciate.
  4. Thank a mentor – do this in person.
  5. Learn forgiveness – this is the most generous gesture. Let go of the anger; move on to a life not bogged down by the past.
  6. Invest time and energy in friends and family.
  7. Take care of your body – get sleep, exercise, and eat healthy foods to stimulate positive hormones that enhance your moods. 
  8. Develop strategies for coping with stress, hardship, and things not going as planned. At some point you have to deal with the issues. Better to establish new pathways than continue to suffer.
Dr. Seligman believes lasting happiness comes from figuring out your strengths and deploying them. Deploy away. Start today.