Coaching Mini-Lesson:Getting Happy!
We all watched Will Smith in The Pursuit of Happiness, and author Terry McMillan desperately tried Getting to Happy. The “pursuit of happiness” is even guaranteed in the Declaration of Independence, but the real question is how do you get happy? Did you know that you actually control a large percentage of how happy you are? Research shows that about 50% of your happiness is genetic. About 10% is based on your circumstances, and a whopping 40% is based on your “happiness habits.” In order to get happy, you need to create and practice habits based on the following building blocks for happiness:
1. Think Positively
2. Manage Your Stress
3. Set Meaningful Goals
4. Make Positive Social Connections
5. Savor Victories
(adapted from:The How of Happiness, Sonja Lyubomirsky, Ph.D.)
1. What do I have to be grateful for at this moment? What is a better way to look at this situation? Am I blowing this situation out of control? How did I make someone’s life better today? What lesson can I learn from this?
2. Are there any unreasonable demands being made on me or my time? Are my emotions in proportion with the situation? Do I need to change the way that I am thinking about something? To whom do I need to say no?
3. What short-term goal can I set for myself this month that will put me one step closer to my long-term goal? What daily habits are sabotaging my goals? What goal do I need to discard because it is no longer meaningful to me?
4. Who do I have in my support circle? With whom do I need to connect or reconnect? Who can I depend on to support me in my goals? Who do I need to cut loose because they are unsupportive?
5. Am I wasting time and/or energy on things that are inconsequential? What am I worried about that may not even happen? How did I celebrate my last victory? Did I laugh today?
At which of these habits do you excel? Which of these habits do you need to practice more? In order to get happy, you have to practice them daily, just as you would practice any sport or activity at which you want to improve. Purposefully considering and answering these questions can help you start the process to living a happily maximized life.
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