Unleashing Happiness

Hello there, wonderful readers!


Isn’t it interesting that we all chase after happiness, yet it often seems like a treasure buried at the end of an elusive rainbow? We yearn for it, strive for it, but still, it seems just out of reach.


Today, I want to unpack this paradox and delve into the fascinating world of happiness. Let’s break down some myths, uncover the facts, and, most importantly, inspire each other to live more fulfilling lives.


First things first, let’s talk about the ‘happiness set point.’ This concept, stemming from scientific research, suggests that our level of subjective well-being is determined primarily by heredity and by personality traits ingrained in us early in life and remains relatively constant throughout our lives. While about 50% of our happiness levels are genetically determined, and 10% are influenced by life circumstances, the remaining 40% are influenced by our actions, outlook, and attitudes. That’s a significant chunk we can play with! This might sound like a bummer, but here’s the twist we can’t shift our happiness needle.


If we have this power to influence our happiness, why do we not practice being happy more often? Well, the human mind is complex and sometimes contradictory. We often get stuck in patterns and habits that feel comfortable but don’t necessarily serve our happiness. We may overvalue material possessions or social status, fall into patterns of negative thinking, or be swamped in the false realities of social media. Sometimes, we might simply forget to prioritize our happiness amidst the hustle and bustle of daily life.


So how can we shift our habits and nudge that happiness set point upwards? Here’s where the science of happiness gives us some practical strategies.


Gratitude: It’s more than just saying thank you. It’s a mindset, a way of seeing and feeling the world. It is a whole-body experience. Research indicates that taking time daily to consciously think about what we’re grateful for can significantly increase our happiness and well-being.


Mindfulness: Living in the present moment without judgement may seem cliché, but it’s powerful. Numerous studies have demonstrated that mindfulness reduces stress and anxiety, increases focus, improves relationships and makes us feel happier.


Quality Connections: We humans are social creatures. Nurturing positive relationships is linked to higher happiness levels. Remember, it’s not about having many friends but about having real friends and deep, meaningful relationships.


Physical Activity: Good for the body, great for the mind. Exercise releases endorphins, the body’s natural mood lifters. Plus, regular physical activity is associated with improved mental health and well-being and is an absolute winner.


Kindness: Doing good feels good! We have all done it and know it is true. Acts of kindness, both big and small, make us happier.


It is essential to incorporate these practices into our lives in a way that feels natural and sustainable, and it is okay not to feel happy all the time. After all, we’re human. We’re meant to experience a full range of emotions.


Being happy isn’t about finding a magic switch to turn on eternal bliss. It’s about understanding and welcoming our mind, heart, body and spirit. Becoming familiar with what genuinely enriches our experiences and using that knowledge to bring joy, fulfilment, and contentment into our everyday lives.


So let’s commit to practising happiness, one day at a time, one choice at a time. Let’s push against that happiness set point and create a ripple of positivity that extends beyond ourselves.


Stay radiant, my friends. Here’s to living with happiness and fulfilment.