The Endless Pursuit of Happiness
When was the last time you took a good look at your happiness? I’m not talking about the amount in your bank account, your last vacation, your newest yoga mat… but your true happiness. Today is National Pursuit of Happiness Day and the IW team is celebrating by taking a look at our happiness and how we can improve. The New York Times recently published an article explaining the three key contributors to happiness. Understanding these three areas can help you combat the blues, reduce stress, and become a happier person overall.
First, genes account for more than 48% of your happiness. That’s right, you can actually credit mom and dad for your mood! A study done on identical twins that were raised by different families in different geographical areas proves that your happiness is indeed hereditary.
Second, isolated events – like that guy who cut you off in traffic or that surprise care package from a friend – account for another 40 percent of your happiness. While these events are mostly out of our control, surrounding yourself with a strong support system can help keep stress inducing events to a minimum and give you little boosts of happiness. These moments of grief or happiness are fleeting, so don’t rely too heavily on isolated events to maintain your happiness quota…
Lastly, your values contribute to only 12% of your happiness. While this number may be small, you are in total control here so take advantage! Your faith, family, community, and work are the four biggest areas to look at here. Faith has been proven to be a major contributor to overall happiness and satisfaction with your life. Faith doesn’t have to be religious, but maintaining some level of spirituality can greatly increase your day to day happiness. Family and community speak for themselves. Even if your family is made up of friends, keeping close relationships alive can boost your happiness and help you shake the blues faster. Fulfillment at work is the last piece to the happiness puzzle and will likely leave you puzzled. While work is a necessity for most of us, it doesn’t need to drain our happiness. Even if you don’t love your job, begin to find the aspects you do love or create ways to become more satisfied each day at work. Think about why you took the job, update your workspace with personal items or reminders to stay positive, or even offer to take on a project that you are especially passionate about. Keeping an eye on all four of these values allows you to be hands on with your happiness – give them a try!
Bonus: take a peek at this video for more happiness inspiration!