The Secret To Happiness
Start writing a post
Adulting

If You Knew You Could Control 40% Of Your Happiness, Would You?

Inspired by two of my favorite books: The How of Happiness and Eat, Pray, Love

194
If You Knew You Could Control 40% Of Your Happiness, Would You?
Photo By Kylie Finkbone

That question may seem like a silly one considering everyone is constantly striving to be happy. But it isn't as simple as you may think. It takes time and effort to really achieve optimal happiness. Therefore the secret to happiness is having the drive to actually pursue our desire to become happier. After reading Sonja Lyubomirsky's book The How of Happiness, I learned that 50% of our happiness is our set point or what we are born with, 10% is circumstances or what we face, and finally that last 40% is what we do and how we think.

The four main categories Lyubomirsky touches on coincide with Elizabeth Gilbert's Eat, Pray, Love memoir. Gilbert discusses how eat represents enjoying life, pray represents devotion, and love is a balance of the two while building relationships. Both happiness and mental health are concepts close to my heart. The World Health Organization predicts that by the year 2020 depression, affecting 30% of all adults, will be the second-leading cause of mortality in the entire world. With that being said, take the time to make your happiness a priority by finding time to turn these skills into habits.

1. Practicing Gratitude And Positive Thinking

Photo by Courtney Hedger on Unsplash

Every day write down three to five things that you are grateful for. It can be as small as "I am so glad it stayed sunny all day." It may seem silly or unnatural at first, but the more comfortable this becomes the quicker you can graduate onto the next step. This involves showing others gratitude directly. Once you accomplish showing thanks daily, start thinking long term and set goals that align with your strengths. Don't stress when things don't go as planned. When something happens that seems like the end of the world, ask yourself "Will this matter in a year?" Put things into perspective in order to avoid overthinking. Overall, strive to make out the positive side of your situation.

2. Living In The Present

Photo by Kylie Finkbone

Flow is being totally involved in the present moment. Keep your challenges and abilities high so you are never bored. This means being open to new experiencing and learning. While doing all of this remember to savor life's joys. Lyubomirsky's living in the present goes along with Gilbert's concept of eating. While you eat, you are being enriched in a moment and enjoying the little things in life.

3. Taking Care Of Your Body And Your Soul

Photo by Kylie Finkbone

Whether it is meditating or exercise, this time for yourself acts as a time-out from your stressful day. You probably won't be able to clear your mind for more than a second or run a marathon the first time you do these things. Both take practice, but seeing yourself get better boosts your self-esteem. Of course, meditation and exercise are very different experiences with one being low on the energy spectrum and the other being high. But both make you feel good and take your mind off the things that don't. And yes you guessed it, this one is pray in Gilbert's account.

4. Investing In Social Connections

Photo by Tyler Nix on Unsplash

That leaves us with love. Love can be for non-romantic relationships as well. It's no secret that relationships are all about give and take. What may not be as obvious is the fact that relationships have an emotional bank account. When you give time and effort to a relationship you are making a deposit; therefore when you take it you are making a withdrawal. Just like an actual bank account, you have to be careful not to withdraw what you don't have in order to keep the account afloat. In order to ensure that you are depositing enough into a relationship, you need to make time, communicate, and be supportive. And don't forget to hug. Seriously though it helps relieve stress and makes you feel closer to someone, so don't be shy!


Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
the beatles
Wikipedia Commons

For as long as I can remember, I have been listening to The Beatles. Every year, my mom would appropriately blast “Birthday” on anyone’s birthday. I knew all of the words to “Back In The U.S.S.R” by the time I was 5 (Even though I had no idea what or where the U.S.S.R was). I grew up with John, Paul, George, and Ringo instead Justin, JC, Joey, Chris and Lance (I had to google N*SYNC to remember their names). The highlight of my short life was Paul McCartney in concert twice. I’m not someone to “fangirl” but those days I fangirled hard. The music of The Beatles has gotten me through everything. Their songs have brought me more joy, peace, and comfort. I can listen to them in any situation and find what I need. Here are the best lyrics from The Beatles for every and any occasion.

Keep Reading...Show less
Being Invisible The Best Super Power

The best superpower ever? Being invisible of course. Imagine just being able to go from seen to unseen on a dime. Who wouldn't want to have the opportunity to be invisible? Superman and Batman have nothing on being invisible with their superhero abilities. Here are some things that you could do while being invisible, because being invisible can benefit your social life too.

Keep Reading...Show less
Featured

19 Lessons I'll Never Forget from Growing Up In a Small Town

There have been many lessons learned.

71297
houses under green sky
Photo by Alev Takil on Unsplash

Small towns certainly have their pros and cons. Many people who grow up in small towns find themselves counting the days until they get to escape their roots and plant new ones in bigger, "better" places. And that's fine. I'd be lying if I said I hadn't thought those same thoughts before too. We all have, but they say it's important to remember where you came from. When I think about where I come from, I can't help having an overwhelming feeling of gratitude for my roots. Being from a small town has taught me so many important lessons that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

Keep Reading...Show less
​a woman sitting at a table having a coffee
nappy.co

I can't say "thank you" enough to express how grateful I am for you coming into my life. You have made such a huge impact on my life. I would not be the person I am today without you and I know that you will keep inspiring me to become an even better version of myself.

Keep Reading...Show less
Student Life

Waitlisted for a College Class? Here's What to Do!

Dealing with the inevitable realities of college life.

133418
college students waiting in a long line in the hallway
StableDiffusion

Course registration at college can be a big hassle and is almost never talked about. Classes you want to take fill up before you get a chance to register. You might change your mind about a class you want to take and must struggle to find another class to fit in the same time period. You also have to make sure no classes clash by time. Like I said, it's a big hassle.

This semester, I was waitlisted for two classes. Most people in this situation, especially first years, freak out because they don't know what to do. Here is what you should do when this happens.

Keep Reading...Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments