What makes people happier?

What makes people happier?

This great happiness article from Fox News Online has some fantastic tips for all…

Yes, being rich does make you happy—so does being in a good marriage and being healthy. But that’s where common sense ends. A large body of happiness research has revealed some surprising findings about what makes people happy, in their personal lives and on the job. 

Little events, not big ones, make you happier.  Most of us assume that major positive events, like a big vacation, entering a romantic relationship or getting a raise, will make us happy, but according to David Gilbert, author of Stumbling on Happiness, the happiness these events provide doesn’t last very long. “A recent study showed that very few experiences affect us for more than three months,” said Gilbert in an interview in the January issue of the Harvard Business Review (HBR).  People who are happiest have frequent good experiences. The frequency is more important than the intensity of the experience.  So someone who had a dozen nice things happen to them may be happier than someone who had a single amazing thing.

Similarly, bad events don’t make us as unhappy as you’d think. “When bad things happen, we weep and whine for a while and then pick ourselves up and get on with it,” said Gilbert in the HBR. We are pretty good at finding silver linings and making the best of things, like when you get in a bad car accident but don’t get injured and feel “lucky.”  

Do things that make you feel good.  Since happiness depends on a continual stream of mini positive events, try to incorporate behaviors that leave you feeling good into your daily life. That means getting enough sleep and exercising every day—both of which make you feel more energetic and improve your mood. Also try to work altruism into your life—small acts of kindness boost our own happiness. 

Remind yourself of what you have. Twice a week, write down three things you’re grateful for, and if you’re comfortable doing it, tell them to someone else. These reminders act like instant replays of the positive happenings in your life…

…keep reading the full article HERE about the importance of social networks and challenging work and note also, that all of this plus much, much more will be covered in the February 18 Sydney workshop with me, Dr. Happy! Check out the details HERE and sign up now…places are filling fast!