I recently watched a documentary called Happy. I absolutely loved it and highly recommend it. There are also many books out now to read about it and science has embraced it as something worthy of research.
Love that too.
Life is full of the unexpected. I mean, ultimately we’re not in charge. And yet, we can be happy or cultivate happiness through it all. It’s part of the path of the spiritual warrior.
According to the documentary film Happy through scientific studies, they’ve identified 3 crucial ingredients to feeling and being happy.
But first, before I share these, there’s something important to note: they found that 50% of a person’s happiness is actually genetic… you’re either born with it or your not – like naturally looking for the “bright side of things” or not.
I’d like to think that’s something that can change, but I’m not going to do a study on that (at least not yet).
They also said that 10% of happiness comes from personal needs being met. Hmmm, check box on that one – roof over my head, enough food to eat, clean water, exercise, healthy body.
So what adds up the other 50%?
Here’s what they said,
1. Personal growth. This is made up of 3 sub ingredients:
- Spirituality – meditation, prayer, chanting, belief in something greater than yourself that you feel connected to or a part of, spirituality through nature, etc.
- Doing new activities – traveling to new places, learning new skills or new hobbies (it keeps the mind and energy vibrant and growing).
- Being in the flow – Doing things that cause you to be totally in the moment like rock climbing, skiing, surfing, running, biking, pottery, playing music, dancing, etc.
2. Connections with friends and family. How much time do you spend with the people that you care about? This is found to be a huge contributor to happiness. Are you feeling in conflict with people you love? Set an intention today that you’d like to relieve that, either through communication, forgiveness, or both. How much do you prioritize spending time with friends? If not much, call a friend today and set a date. Watch what happens with your heart when you connect…
3. Giving back to the world. There’s something in the human spirit that yearns to give to others, to help others in some way. It could be as simple as holding the door open for someone, or as complex as having a business that helps others, and lots of in between. If you were to give of yourself today, what act might it be? (A caution to those of you who give too much and have nothing left for yourself :).
I encourage you to write these in your journal and pick one that you want to cultivate this week or month. A bonus: write down one happiness moment from your day each night when you go to bed. This will activate the neural pathways of your brain that see the “positive side of things.”
Let me know what unfolds for you!
Categories: Health & Happiness, Heart Centered Living