“The pursuit of happiness” drives us to great extents. According to experts, 40% of the happiness we experience is in our control. They attribute 50% of our happiness to genetic predisposition, and 10% to circumstances (that includes how rich we are, how healthy we are, etc.).
Isn’t 40% a good enough margin for us to play with. Even small changes in our thinking can bring about a lot of positive outcome in the direction of our happiness. We need to devise strategies that work best for us. Here are some tips you can try which will make you think hard and come up with ways that make you happy.
Tips to Improve Your Happiness
Hoard Experiences, Not Material Stuff: You do need material stuff to lead a comfortable life; however, to lead a happy life, you need some interesting experiences, like a trip with the family or a college trip. These experiences have the power to make you happy over and over again, even after many years. Therefore, when time and health permits, invest in mutual “experience” fund for future use.
Talk to Your Loved Ones as If You Just Met Them: If familiarity does not breed contempt, at least it results in “bored exchanges of greetings.” This is a sad turn of things, indeed. If this is happening in your life, it is time to “nudge” yourself out of it. Try greeting your loved ones the way you would greet a stranger whom you were waiting to meet! The whole dynamics of the household would change if you could do this every day, and happiness will be yours for keeps.
Enjoy the Mystery of the Unknown: In the present scenario of information overload, even small uncertainties make us uncomfortable. These days, even gifts are given after making enquiries about what the receiver wants. Experts say that mystery is the aspect that keeps the excitement and the happiness to last for a longer period. So, let the uncertainties be. Savor each moment as it comes. If you have prior knowledge about what you encounter, the joy of experiencing it as they come kind of gets dim.
Change Your Normal Thought Patterns: When you are stuck in a traffic jam, the normal thought process will be that of fretting and fuming and thinking how much of precious productive time is wasted. Shift your thought process to “there is nothing I can do about it, so let me just listen to music and relax and get the much-needed breather in an otherwise busy day.” This will make you less worked up and happy, and make your work time more productive when you are able to actually engage in it.A Little Daydreaming is Allowed: Focus is the keyword for all successful achievements in life. However, once in a while a little shift in focus or daydreaming seems to be okay. Experts say that when you are daydreaming, the brain is actually working very hard. Some are of the opinion that people who daydream between simple tasks actually are tapping into both their left brain capabilities (logical thinking) and their right brain capabilities (creative thinking), both of which are required in the kind of work we do these days
Gift, Donate, Feel Happy: Everybody would have experienced the fact that the pleasure of giving a gift is greater than receiving one. Experts say that once our basic needs are met, we derive more pleasure out of donating or gifting to others than spending it on ourselves. Therefore, gift and donate as much as you can, and see how much happiness that gives
Make Something With Your Own Hands: Nothing can compare with the happiness you derive out of making something with your own hands, be it painting a vase, doing some woodwork, or knitting a sweater for your loved one. In a study carried out at Harvard University, participants were asked to make origami and later they were asked to bid in the auction of origami articles created by all the participants. It was found that however amateur their work was, people always bid for it higher than other’s piece of work. When you create something with real passion, and of course complete it, you will derive immense happiness whenever you look at that piece.
Good Enough is Good Enough: With the availability of so much of stuff at our disposal, we are spoilt for choice. This has in fact lowered our happiness quotient. The more choice we have, the longer we take to decide, and are seldom satisfied with our choice, later. This makes us sad. Therefore, refrain from being too choosy. You can actually make do with “good enough” and be happy.
Review Your Situation and Make Changes: We often rot at our jobs or relationship or business even after realizing that it is not working for us. The reason being the amount of time we have spent for it or the financial and emotional investment we have made. The thing we don’t realize is that what is lost is gone. If you are not happy with a situation for a long time, it is better to do a reality check and quit. In 90% of the cases, you will not repent it.
Happiness is never handed over to you on a platter. You have to make your own formulas of happiness and stick to it. There are plenty of ways in which you can either make yourself sad or happy. The choice is yours.