On a scale of 1 to 10 how happy & fulfilled are you currently with your life? 1 being the worst you’ve ever been & 10 being you are thriving & living your best life…what is your level of life satisfaction & happiness at this time?
If your number is an 8, 9 or 10, rinse & repeat on whatever you are doing because it sounds like you are living well! If your number isn’t currently an 8, 9 or 10, reflect on the last time in your life you felt happy & fulfilled & think about what was going on at the time – what were you doing or not doing? What can you do to bring some of that success and meaning back into your life?
If you would like to feel healthier, happier & more fulfilled then ask yourself what are the barriers to success to making that happen? What actions steps could you take to be happier on regular basis?
A recent article on happiness in Business Insider reports that research shows we can do a lot to create our own happiness.
“40% of our happiness is under our own control. The rest is determined by genetics & external factors. That means there’s a lot we can do to control our own happiness.”
Here are nine happiness-promoting behaviors backed by science:
- Relationships are essential. A major study followed hundreds of men for more than 70 years, and found the happiest (and healthiest) were those who cultivated strong relationships with people they trusted to support them.
- Time beats money. A number of studies have shown that happier people prefer to have more time in their lives than more money. Even trying to approach life from that mindset seems to make people more content.
- But it helps to have enough money to pay the bills. People’s well-being rises along with income levels up to an annual salary of about $75,000, studies have found. (That number probably varies depending on your cost of living, however.)
- It’s worth stopping to smell the roses. People who slow down to reflect on good things in their lives report being more satisfied.
- Acts of kindness boost the mood. Give your friends a ride to the airport or spend an afternoon volunteering. Some research has shown that people who perform such acts report being happier.
- Breaking a sweat is about more than burning calories. Studies show that increased levels of physical activity are connected to higher levels of happiness. Exercise tends to help mitigate the symptoms of some mental illnesses as well.
- Fun is more valuable than material items. People tend to be happier if they spend their money on experiences instead of things. Researchers have also found that buying things that allow you to have experiences — like rock climbing shoes or a new book to read — can also increase happiness.
- It helps to stay in the present in the moment. Several studies have found that people who practice mindfulness meditation experience greater well-being.
- Time with friends is time well spent. Interactions with casual friends can make people happier, and close friendships — especially with happy people — can have a powerful effect on your own happiness as well.
If you would like to be happier, healthier or more fulfilled in your life & you are not sure how to get there, give us a call at Foundations Counseling Center & we can help get you started in the right direction.
Lori Corrigan, MA, LCPC – 847-497-0524