Happiness #6 – Cultivating Happiness

Some people seem to just be happier than others. I envy them in that regard. But there are things that we can all do to be happier people.

  • There are some things that each of us are intrinsically drawn to that are focused on personal growth and community. That can help boost our happiness.
  • Another is to just enjoy the moment, and at least temporarily put aside accumulating things. You have to enjoy life’s processes as well as long-term goals.
  • People just seem to have a pessimistic outlook on life, especially right now. This general attitude leads to unhappiness. We need to look for ways where we can reframe our thoughts. That doesn’t mean having a Pollyannaish view of the world but simply recognizing that negative thoughts are just part of us. It doesn’t mean that we ignore the bad, but instead try to take a more balanced view of events.

Here are some interesting facts that were deemed from a recent study of more than 2,000 twins. It suggests that around 50% of overall life satisfaction was due to genetics, 10% to external events, and 40% to individual activities. It was surprising to me to see that happiness is genetic! I wonder why? But, getting to something that we can change, 40% of unhappy people are unhappy because of their activities. Here are some of those activities that can make you a happier person.

Getting regular exercise – Physical exercise is linked to a range of physical and psychological benefits including improved mood. I can personally attest to this idea. My physical activity has at least tripled in the last four months. I am spending about an hour a day on getting regular exercise, and my mood has improved significantly during that time.

Showing gratitude – Showing gratitude makes you think about all the things that are good in your life. Too many of us get fixated on the bad stuff and never think about the things that make us happy. Just thinking about that, but particularly writing about it in a journal can change your mood, and therefore your happiness.

Finding a sense of purpose – This seems to be a big one for me. I have struggled throughout my life desperately searching for my sense of purpose. As I have aged finding my purpose seems easier. One of the reasons for not finding purpose is likely that you have made the very idea of happiness a lofty unsustainable goal that becomes virtually unattainable.

At least for me, I have realized that my life has had, not one, but many purposes. My current purpose is to demystify autism and deafness. Too many people simply don’t understand or have any degree of empathy for people different from them. My purpose now is to show them that deaf Aspies such as me, don’t need to be feared because we are different from you. People need to be educated on these differences. That is a big part of RJsCorner going into this new year.

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