Do you know what the source of happiness* is, or how you can choose happiness*?
If you’ve been playing with conscious creation for long, you probably have a good idea.
But maybe you have family or friends who still think happiness* is an outside job.
And maybe, just sometimes, you fall into the same illusion.
I’d be lying if I said that never happens to me, so I know how alluring that idea is.
I’ll be happy when …
- these pants fit better
- my bank balance is healthier
- my hubby gets home
- my lover finds me
- our politicians do a better job
- this concert goes well
…. or whatever.
Most of us have been trained to believe that happiness* comes from the dream lover, the right house, the perfect job, the better diagnosis.
But the latest research into happiness* tells us there are only three factors which determine how happy we feel on an ordinary, everyday basis.
Because even a major change in life circumstances, either positive or negative – such as getting fired or winning the lottery – doesn’t dramatically change happiness levels.
We get a short-lived bounce down or up, sure – but within three months we’re back to previous levels, more or less.
A change in circumstances, it turns out, only has an impact of 10 percent on our happiness levels.
That’s not much.
So pinning all your hopes for happiness on external circumstances is less than reliable, even though that’s where we’ve been trained to look.
Of course you’re going to have preferences and things you want. That’s part of the juice of life!
But thinking that you have to wait until you get them before you get happy? That’s the piece that’s off track.
You can get happy* now. And – as we know – getting happier* now will help your stuff come much faster.
So where does happiness* really come from?
The biggest happiness* factor is our genetic predisposition, which has a 50% impact on our levels of happiness. But that’s not bad news.
Contrary to popular opinion, our genes do not determine our life experience and behaviour.
In fact, it’s the other way around.
Our experience, our behaviour, and our thoughts – these all have an influence on how our happiness genes express themselves. And we can control at least a part of that mix.
Research shows that people with a genetic predisposition for lower happiness levels can avoid having an actual depressive episode, and tap into feeling better, simply by learning and implementing good strategies for avoiding, diminishing and handling stress and stressful situations.
And here’s the really fun bit.
A huge 40 percent (FORTY PERCENT!) comes from the direct control we have over our own happiness levels.
We get to exercise this direct control via our own habits of thought and behaviour.
So that’s 40% we control directly, 50% we can influence, and only 10% from having our desires met.
Change your habits of thought and behaviour, and you directly change your happiness levels.
It takes time and it takes a little effort, for sure.
It’s not just slapping a happy-face sticker over misery. That doesn’t work.
What can we do to be more happy*?
The happiness*-raising strategies that have proven successful in the lab over and over again are the same ones most deliberate creators are already familiar with.
- Appreciation of life right now.
- Going for a walk in nature.
- Helping someone else.
- Doing something physically active that you love.
- Switching your focus away from what’s bothering you and put it on something positive.
- Telling a different story about current ‘reality’.
- Changing perspective.
These are all powerful happiness raisers, which work best when done as a conscious and planned out habit, not merely a once-and-done kind of deal.
Research showed that people who have some kind of happiness* practice have increased resilience in times of trouble, and bounce back far more quickly even from depressive episodes.
Practice happiness* when you don’t “need” to, and when you DO need it, you’ll find your way there far more easily and quickly.
PS if you are currently experiencing depression, please don’t take this to mean you’re ‘doing it wrong’. Check my post on the relationship between depression and conscious creation. This stuff is for you, too.
* If happiness seems like an impossible stretch from where you are now, please replace the word happiness with the word relief, any time it appears in this article.