Happiness. It’s something we all try to attain. It’s also something very few of us know is our own personal responsibility. Your own happiness is not someone else’s job. It is your job and your job alone. No one can make you happy but you. That includes when you’re sitting next to your significant other and he shares the last piece of chocolate and you become happy. That is because you are allowing yourself to be happy because of that piece of chocolate and your boyfriend’s generosity. You’re not happy because of your boyfriend but because you viewed the situation as one that you enjoy.
An article published on Davideweedmark.com, cited 20 facts about happiness. After reading all 20 it was clear I had been thinking about happiness all wrong for so long. Here are my top five and what came to light for me.
- A mere 20 minutes of exercise, three days a week will increase your happiness by 10 to 20 percent after six months. : I’m a huge advocate for a good workout. When I workout I feel better, I know I am improving my health, creating happiness for myself, and getting energized for my day or releasing stress from it. I exercise at least six days a week and mix it up between yoga, spin, and CrossFit. When I don’t workout, my energy slumps. So each night I lay out my clothes for the next day’s workout helping me to make sure I have zero excuse not to work out.
- The more you hug your children, the happier they will be as adults. : Even today hugs from my mom and dad make he a happier adult. Most hugs do that for me. It’s the physical touch, the one we are so accustomed to pushing away and doing without. When a true and genuine hug comes around, take it. Allow yourself to be wrapped up in love and happiness. Turning down a hug will only lead to regret and moodiness. Not worth it.
- Only 10 percent of your happiness comes from external circumstances.: Only 10 percent! That’s nothing! Might as well say zero percent of your happiness comes from external circumstances. It all begins and ends with you. There is no other way. You control your day, your emotions, and your reactions and actions. If you want to be happy while stuck in traffic, then be happy! Find happiness in the opportunity to catch up with that new book you’re reading, make that call to your mom or dad to catch up, or smile hello at a stranger! Deadlocked traffic has its advantages. Find that bliss.
- It gets easier as you age. A 2005 US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention survey showed ages 20-24 are sad for 3.4 days per month. Those aged between 65-74 are sad only 2.3 days per month. : Might be a combination of simply not caring anymore and having fewer things to worry about or simply as we age we know what happiness truly is having been through so much. It’s safe to assume and generalize that a lot of unhappiness for 20-24 year olds comes from finding life after college, finding that good guy or good girl to come home to, and finding true friends. I understand the unhappiness there because you’re still figuring it out, but please know that it isn’t worth the stress! Trust your higher power and allow life to unfold. It will all be okay. I promise.
- Happy people generally earn more than unhappy people. : Well that’s easy right? If you love your job, love what you’re doing at your job, the people you work with, the location, the day to day, you’ll want to work more right? You won’t leave when that clock chimes; instead you’ll leave when your work is done because you care, both about your team and company’s success and about the work you’re putting forward. When you work more because you enjoy it, you’ll naturally log more hours and probably inspire your team a bit too. All of which leads to higher productivity as a team and a potential higher bonus. Work a job you love. If you’re not there yet, then find it. Make the most of your time searching for that happy job by finding the joys in your current job, like your stop for coffee on your way in. There is happiness in all situations as long as you allow yourself to find them.
I highly encourage you to check out the article and choose your own top five. Take those top five and put them in your journal, on your fridge, in your car, anywhere you will see them constantly so they an serve as a daily reminder that when we choose happiness, the world becomes an overall better place. Create your better, happier world. It all starts with you.
Jessica Castro – Happiness is hers.