Hello SOTGC community,
You know her. She’s that person who always has a smile on her face. She stays positive even when things aren’t going her way. She appreciates what she has, no matter how big or small. She sees the best in people. She’s kind, but she’s no doormat.
She is centered.
She is balanced.
She is … happy.
And when you look at her you sometimes you think to yourself, I’d like to have a little more of what she has.
Maybe She’s Born with It
So what is it that gives some people a higher capacity for happiness than others? Is it a case of nature versus nurture? Are some people just born with the “happy gene?”
The answer is yes … and no.
Some people do, by nature, have a more positive disposition, but that isn’t a fate set in stone. Research shows that you can develop happiness. For the most part, happiness is a choice, and, with motivation, each of us has the power to move the needle on our “happy meter” by making just a few adjustments to our thoughts and behaviors.
Developing Happy Habits
Last year, when I decided to go back to school, I realized that the only way I could bring that kind of stress into my already hectic life without losing my ever-loving mind was to also bring more joy, more positivity, and more bliss at the same time.
So I dove into the research. I poured over books and articles. I watched TED Talks and YouTube videos. I took an online course on the psychology of happiness. I learned everything I could about the habits of happy people, and I identified three areas where I could use a little wellbeing boost.
- Be OK with being OK: I fell in love with this coffee mug on Pinterest that reads, “World’s Okayest Mom.” I’m learning that sometimes, OK is enough. Perfectionism is a toxic poison that kills happiness. Although I I will always strive to be the best version of me I can be, I must let go of worrying about what other people will think of me, my choices, my personality, and my life.
- Getting from giving: The happiest people I know are the ones who give back. And I don’t mean putting $20 in the church collection plate or feeding the hungry once a year on Thanksgiving. I’m talking about giving of myself, my time, and my talents on a regular basis. I’ve signed up to be a mentor to young professionals, and I’m researching volunteer organizations that work to build confidence and address bullying with teenage girls.
- Find my tribe: I have a small group of amazing female friends. They are always there to share my triumphs and my tragedies, and to give me a swift kick in the pants whenever I need one. But since my husband and I moved nine years ago we haven’t felt that sense of belonging, that sense of community we had back home. We’ve both agreed to be more intentional about finding and connecting with our tribe.
If you ask me, we could all use a little more of what she’s having.
So, what about you? What can you start doing today – right now – to increase your level of happiness? Share your ideas with the SOTGC tribe below.