What is happiness?happy face

The word was first introduced in 15th century and meant prosperity.  Today, the concept of happiness has been studied as simply an emotion; a general state of being; how we engage in our lives; how we perceive our lives…

After reading the following…how would you assess your level of happiness? and why?

According to Wikipedia:

According to Merriam-Webster:

  • a   : a state of well-being and contentment : joy
  • b   : a pleasurable or satisfying experience

Dr. Mercola identified 22 things that happy people do differently:

1. Let go of grudges

Forgiving and forgetting is necessary for your own happiness, as holding a grudge means you’re also holding onto resentment, anger, hurt and other negative emotions that are standing in the way of your own happiness. Letting go of a grudge frees you from negativity and allows more space for positive emotions to fill in.

2. Treat everyone with kindness

Kindness is not only contagious, it’s also proven to make you happier. When you’re kind to others, your brain produces feel-good hormones and neurotransmitters like serotonin and you’re able to build strong relationships with others, fostering positive feelings all around.

3. Regard your problems as challenges

Change your internal dialogue so that anytime you have a “problem” you view it as a challenge or a new opportunity to change your life for the better. Eliminate the word “problem” from your mind entirely.

4. Express gratitude for what you have

People who are thankful for what they have are better able to cope with stress, have more positive emotions, and are better able to reach their goals. The best way to harness the positive power of gratitude is to keep a gratitude journal or list, where you actively write down exactly what you’re grateful for each day. Doing so has been linked to happier moods, greater optimism and even better physical health.

5. Dream big

Go ahead and dream big, as you’ll be more likely to accomplish your goals. Rather than limiting yourself, when you dream big you’re opening your mind to a more optimistic, positive state where you have the power to achieve virtually anything you desire.

6. Don’t sweat the small stuff

If the issue you’re mad about will be irrelevant a year, a month, a week or even a day from now, why sweat it? Happy people know how to let life’s daily irritations roll off their back.

7. Speak well of others

It may be tempting to gather around the office water cooler to get and give the daily gossip, but talking negatively about others is like taking a bath in negative emotions; your body soaks them up. Instead, make it a point to only say positive, nice words about other people, and you’ll help foster more positive thinking in your own life as well.

8. Avoid making excuses

It’s easy to blame others for your life’s failures, but doing so means you’re unlikely to rise past them. Happy people take responsibility for their mistakes and missteps, then use the failure as an opportunity to change for the better.

9. Live in the present

Allow yourself to be immersed in whatever it is you’re doing right now, and take time to really be in the present moment. Avoid replaying past negative events in your head or worrying about the future; just savor what’s going on in your life now.

10. Wake up at the same time every morning

Getting up at the same time every day (preferably an early time) is deceptively simple. Doing so will help regulate your circadian rhythm so you’ll have an easier time waking and likely feel more energized. Plus, the habit of rising early every day is one shared by many successful people, as it enhances your productivity and focus.

11. Don’t compare yourself to others

Your life is unique, so don’t measure your own worth by comparing yourself to those around you. Even regarding yourself as better than your peers is detrimental to your happiness, as you’re fostering judgmental feelings and an unhealthy sense of superiority. Measure your own success based on your progress alone, not that of others.

12. Surround yourself with positive people

The saying “misery loves company” is entirely true. That’s why you need to choose friends who are optimistic and happy themselves, as you will be surrounded with positive energy.

13. Realize that you don’t need others’ approval

It’s important to follow your own dreams and desires without letting naysayers stand in your way. It’s fine to seek others’ opinions, but happy people stay true to their own hearts and don’t get bogged down with the need for outside approval.

14. Take time to listen

Listening helps you soak in the wisdom of others and allows you to quiet your own mind at the same time. Intense listening can help you feel content while helping you gain different perspectives.

15. Nurture social relationships

Positive social relationships are a key to happiness, so be sure you make time to visit with friends, family and your significant other.

16. Meditate

Meditation helps you keep your mind focused, calms your nerves and supports inner peace. Research shows it can even lead to physical changes in your brain that make you happier.

17. Eat well

What you eat directly impacts your mood and energy levels in both the short and long term. Whereas eating right can prime your body and brain to be in a focused, happy state, eating processed junk foods will leave you sluggish and prone to chronic disease. My free nutrition plan is an excellent tool to help you choose the best foods for both physical and emotional wellness.

18. Exercise

Exercise boosts levels of health-promoting brain chemicals like serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine, which may help buffer some of the effects of stress and also relieve some symptoms of depression. Rather than viewing exercise as a medical tool to lose weight, prevent disease, and live longer – all benefits that occur in the future – try viewing exercise as a daily tool to immediately enhance your frame of mind, reduce stress and feel happier.

19. Live minimally

Clutter has a way of sucking the energy right out of you and replacing it with feelings of chaos. Clutter is an often-unrecognized source of stress that prompts feelings of anxiety, frustration, distraction and even guilt, so give your home and office a clutter makeover, purging it of the excess papers, files, knick knacks and other “stuff” that not only takes up space in your physical environment, but also in your mind.

20. Be honest

Every time you lie, your stress levels are likely to increase and your self-esteem will crumble just a little bit more. Plus, if others find out you’re a liar it will damage your personal and professional relationships. Telling the truth, on the other hand, boosts your mental health and allows others to build trust in you.

21. Establish personal control

Avoid letting other people dictate the way you live. Instead, establish personal control in your life that allows you to fulfill your own goals and dreams, as well as a great sense of personal self-worth.

22. Accept what cannot be changed

Everything in your life is not going to be perfect, and that’s perfectly all right. Happy people learn to accept injustices and setbacks in their life that they cannot change, and instead put their energy on changing what they can control for the better.http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/04/08/22-happy-habits.aspx

Dr. Michael W. Fordyce working on the Psychology of Happiness have identify 14 fundamentals for happiness as presented in his work “Psychology  of Happiness.” These  are the  following:

1)  Be more active and keep busy 8)  Get present oriented
2)  Spend more time socializing 9)  Work on a healthy personality
3)  Be productive at meaningful work 10)  Develop an ongoing, social personality
4)  Get better organized 11)  Be yourself
5)  Stop worrying 12)  Eliminate negative feelings and problems
6)  Lower your expectations 13)  Close relationships, #1 source of happiness
7)  Develop positive, optimistic thinking 14)  Place happiness as first priority

http://www.findingauthentichappiness.com/positive-psychology.html

The 4 Levels of

Happiness in Positive Psychology.

Positive Psychology presents the following levels of happiness:

Level 1: A Pleasant Life Feeling positive emotions about the past, present and future by transforming your negative emotions into forgiveness, optimism, pleasure and gratification.

  • Control your negative emotions.
  • Maintain an optimistic attitude.
  • Enhance the pleasures in your life.
  • Find gratification in achieving peak performance.
  • Generate feelings of optimism, hope, faith, and trust.

Level 2: A Good Life Building good character by acquiring an awareness of the 24 positive traits and developing a set of signature strengths you can use to obtain abundant gratification in the main realms of life – work, love, play, and parenting.

  • When you know what makes you strong you can make great decisions.
  • Learn how to use your strengths in work, love, parenting and play.
  • Enhance your emotions of joy, ecstasy, calm, zest, cheerfulness, pleasure, as well as maximizing your ability to achieve peak performance.

Level 3: A Meaningful Life Using your signature strengths in the service of a larger purpose which allows you to further the progress of humanity by developing knowledge, creating constructive power and expanding goodness.

  • Find your forte for making the world a better place.
  • Build a sense of satisfaction, contentment, fulfillment, pride, and serenity.

Level 4: An Authentically Happy Life Achieving a balanced life in which you:

Okay, so only you can be the expert of your own experience/life…how happy are YOU?

Here’s to your health!

For more information, contact: Dr Holly at holly@choicesunlimited.ca

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