01 Apr Science says … you really can decide to be happy!
via Inc.com by Jeff Haden
Is happiness a choice? No… and yes. In The How of Happiness, psychologist Sonja Lyubomirsky says that 50 percent of happiness is genetically predetermined. In terms of happiness, you are what (half of) you are.
But that leaves 50 percent of your level of happiness largely within your control: Health, relationships, career, goals, activities…
Which means that even if you have an inborn tendency to skew to the gloomy side, you can still take scientifically proven steps that will make you happier:
1. Find ways to help other people.
While giving is usually considered unselfish, giving can also be more beneficial for the giver than the receiver: Providing social support may be more beneficial than receiving it.
Intuitively, we know that. It feels great to help someone in need. Not only is that fulfilling, it’s a reminder of how comparatively fortunate we are — which is a nice reminder of how thankful we should be for what we already have.
Plus, receiving is something you cannot control — if you need or want help, you can’t make other people help you. But you can always control whether you offer and provide help.ADVERTISING
And that means you can always control, at least to a degree, how happy you are — because giving makes you happier.
2. Actively pursue goals.
Goals you don’t pursue aren’t goals, they’re dreams, and dreams make you happy only when you’re dreaming.
Pursuing goals, though, does make you happy. According to David Niven, author of 100 Simple Secrets of the Best Half of Life, “People who could identify a goal they were pursuing were 19 percent more likely to feel satisfied with their lives and 26 percent more likely to feel positive about themselves.”
So be grateful for what you have, and then actively try to achieve more. If you’re pursuing a huge goal, make sure that every time you take a small step closer to achieving it, you pat yourself on the back.
But don’t compare where you are now with where you someday hope to be. Compare where you are now to where you were a few days ago. Then you’ll get dozens of bite-size chunks of fulfillment — and a never-ending supply of things to be thankful for…
…keep reading the full & original article HERE