40% of Your Happiness is Up to You

40% of Your Happiness is Up to You
We know the basics about happiness, but we still don’t have a handle on it. Also, intellectually we are aware that happiness is a journey and not a destination – we get stuck on the way. Moreover, we have been taught by spiritualists and religious figures that it is better to give than receive, yet we stretch out our hands to grasp some joy for ourselves. So, other people can’t complete us and our soul mate lives inside us. Why then are we still stressed about something as delightful as happiness? What we really need is something concrete to go on.

Professor Sonya Lyubormirsky, a social psychologist and the author of The How of Happiness, explains that fifty percent of our capacity for happiness is genetically predetermined. Another ten percent is set by external living like our childhood upbringing, schooling and friends. This leaves forty percent up to us. Similar to a sustained weight loss and fitness regimen, even if our genes and environment make it a bit tougher, we need to commit to a wellness plan and then the scale will tip in our favor.

Here are 7 ingredients to empower your forty percent:
  • There is a great deal of hidden energy in a seed. Happiness is a seed that you plant. Seeds sprout up and send roots down. This means that at the same time you can rise up and deepen. In other words, become a soul climber instead of a social climber.
  • Too often we try to understand the nature of reality. Isn’t it more productive to create the nature of your own reality? Conceive, believe and achieve. Find meaningful goals to fulfill throughout life.
  • Happiness is a story and you are the author. A major principle of happiness is autonomy. You are free to write your story no matter what happens to you outside of yourself. In a story you don’t have to focus on tragedy. You can develop a future success and joy.
  • Consider happiness to be a balance between the external world like, family, friends and colleagues and the internal world, your inner life.
  • Don’t get depressed when you are unhappy, stressed or experiencing a rough patch. Consider happiness to be like a thermometer which measures fever. Sometimes fever goes up, comes down, but will eventually return to normal. This is known as daily living.
  • Body and mind need to be in alignment. You can’t sustain happiness on junk food, little sleep and a sedentary lifestyle. Physical toxins lead to emotional toxins.
  • Here is a special happiness secret: Happiness is found in the ordinary. Appreciate the simple pleasures.

For more information on managing your stress and reclaiming your life read my book, Addicted to Stress: A Woman's 7 Step Program to Reclaim Joy and Spontaneity in Life. To listen to archived radio shows with guest experts visit Turn On Your Inner Light Radio Show

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This content was written by Debbie Mandel. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Debbie Mandel for details.