Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Am I happy?

Today I noticed someone say they were unhappy because of noticing what other people have. The expressed jealousy of someone else's new home despite feeling fairly financially stable. She did what so many of us do and that is compare ourselves to others.
How often do we feel that way?  

The “If I could only… blah blah blah, then I would be happy?” thoughts that tend to creep up when we see someone else's good fortune.

We look at our life circumstances as what drives our happiness, yet research has shown that is just not entirely true.  In the book, The How of Happiness, author and researcher Sonia Lyobomirsky tells us that life circumstances account for only 10% of our overall happiness!
So what does that mean? 
If you get that pay raise, new home, exotic vacation, new toy or other thing you will only slightly (and temporarily) increase your happiness.

According to Lububomirsky 50% is in your genetics, like your eye color or how tall you are.  However the key is the 40% that’s left.

That 40% has the capacity to change based on our intentional activity.   We can manifest change in our own happiness despite our life circumstances by how we view those circumstances and what we chose to focus on.

There will always be people in this world who seem to have better circumstances and there will always be people with worse. 

Spend your time and energy appreciating what you have and fostering gratitude is an excellent intentional activity to start increasing feelings of happiness.

There are lots of ways to start fostering a sense of gratitude today.  
Here are a couple to get us started:
  • Keep a journal or diary of what you are grateful for in your life each day. If you are looking for a tool to use, try the Kick Ass Plan.  This is what  I use to keep my accountable for gratitude as well as my personal and professional goals.
  • Write a letter to someone who you have not thanked but who has made an impact in your life.
  • Spend a few minutes each day reflecting on what is going well and what you are truly grateful for at the end of each day, by doing it with a friend or family member can also keep you accountable.  Here is what I call Fill Your BAG happy that I do with my family each day.

Recognizing your accomplishments can help you appreciate you.  Often we are kind and thoughtful to others but forget to do the same for ourselves!

So during this busy holiday season, take a few minutes to appreciate all that you have today!

Thank YOU! 
:-) Cara

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