Taking Inventory of Your Happiness

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No one is in control of your happiness but you; therefore, you have the power to change anything about yourself or your life that you want to change.
– Barbara de Angelis

As strange as it may seem, some people feel guilty when they are happy. This belief may come from religion, culture or the family you were raised in, but it usually leaves you guilty if you are having fun.

There is a tendency for these individuals to feel the need to take care of everyone one else in the world, putting their own happiness on the back burner. Yet, research continually shows that happy people tend to be more open to helping others.

So, if you have this inclination, you may as well enjoy your life, have fun and be happy while simultaneously helping others.

Happiness inventory
Pause for a moment and take a mental inventory of your happiness. Where are you on your own happiness scale? Using a 1 to 10 rating scale, how would you assess your happiness: 1 being very unhappy, 5 being somewhat happy, and 10 being outrageously happy. Where do you come in on the scale?

If you are unhappy, you can do something about it. Our 16th President, Abraham Lincoln, noted, “Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.” Happiness is within our power. Focus on what you can change: your thoughts, beliefs, expectations and behavior. Don’t waste your time or energy on people or circumstances beyond your control.

Happy people have these in common
For many years I have taught my clients the following simple formula for attaining happiness. There are three things that happy people have in common:

  1. Something to DO.  People who are engaged in fulfilling their life purposes, who believe they are here for a reason, are more apt to be happy. This may also include personal growth activities, pleasant hobbies and interests. When you keep busy there is less time to mope or be unhappy.
  2. Something to LOVE.  It is no surprise that social relationships have been found to be a big contributor to happiness. We imagine that to mean having a romantic relationship, and yes, that is important. However, according to research, you get more joy spending longer periods of time with a close friend – just hanging out.
  3. Something to LOOK FORWARD TO.  Happy people make future plans to do things that they enjoy. There is nothing better than looking forward with anticipation to taking that special vacation, moving into a home of your dreams, or something as simple as flying a kite on a beach.

What would your life look like if it looked the way you wished? What would make you happy? Now is the time to take the initiative and do the work to make it so.

 

Dr. Judy Ellison, Ph.D. is a psychologist, research scientist, life transformation expert, published author and motivational speaker, who earned her doctoral degree in psychology from Saybrook Graduate School in San Francisco, California. She is a leading expert in the mind/body/spirit connection. Merging her experience from twenty-five years of personal counselling along with her education, Dr. Ellison is passionate to lead individuals into personal growth and life transformation.

 

Dr. Judy also posts uplifting and inspirational blog entries each week at www.drjudy.sonoranbloom.com

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