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Lesson 17 of 24
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Understanding Happiness?

Trevor November 19, 2020
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What is Happiness?

Happiness is defined as experiencing predominantly positive emotions, or productive states of mind, rather than negative or non productive states.  

Some Benefits of Living A Happy Life Include –

  • Being Happy ”Which we all know is an awesome feeling”
  • Its proven that Happy people live longer.
  • They have more fulling relationships.
  • They have better stress coping mechanisms.
  • Happiness boosts creativity
  • Happiness increases positivity in life
  • Happy people are less materialistic
  • They have a fuller social life

This is a great article by positivepsychology.com. It details the benefits of happiness in our health, and also in the workplace. I love how the “5 things you can do to realise these benefits in your life” section, mirrors our own theories and again reaffirms how mindography can help you achieve happiness by fulfilling each of those 5 things. View the article – Click Here

Eye Opening Study !!

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Our happiness is only 10% controlled by our life circumstances. Happiness isn’t something that you can always look for and find. Happiness is something that you must create for yourself. 

”This is your life, your responsibility and it is up to you to create your happiness in life

Examples Of Life Circumstances Include

  • Location
  • Living Conditions
  • Income
  • Employment Status
  • Education
  • Opportunities
  • Health
  • Social Environment
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Happiness is divided up into the following percentages

  • 50% of your happiness is determined by your genetics.
  • 40% of your happiness is determined by your thoughts, feelings and actions in your experiences.
  • 10% of your happiness is determined by your life circumstances.

‘’If everything else feels like it’s going against you, then having control over that 40% is a huge plus in your life. If you could control 40% of things which are usually out of your control, such as the weather or the traffic, then would you take it? I’m sure most people’s answer to this question would be yes’’

This 50-40-10 ratio comes from work by positive psychologist Sonja Lyubomirsky – Click Here to check out her website and book. I love the designated Happiness section. It has some really great facts.

‘’I urge you not to use your life circumstances as an excuse. Find a way to move on with your life’’ 

We can’t feel happy all of the time and we shouldn’t be trying to suppress our negative emotions. If we only experienced happiness in our lives then believe it or not, that would become very boring also and it would no longer be happiness for us.

Happiness is a state of mind that lives in emotions such as Contentment and Joy. These are all simply emotions that exists along with all of the other emotions that we can experience, such as anger, fear, sadness, surprise, disgust and anticipation. 

Happiness and Joy only exist, because we have something not so great to compare them to. This is very important to remember in todays life. Things like social media is becoming a highlight reel of peoples lives and happiness. What we don’t always see on social media, is what is really going on behind the scenes of those perfect moments. We need to be aware of this and have realistic expectations of our own happiness levels. 

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‘’ Everyone wants happiness, no one wants pain, but you can’t have a rainbow without a little rain’’

Mindfully Dealing with Negative Feelings and Emotions

  1. Understand that feelings and emotions are very important
  2. Identify that you are feeling an emotion
  3. Try to label the emotion you are feeling ”See wheel below”
  4. Accept that you are experiencing this 
  5. Identify what triggered it
  6. Be compassionate with yourself
  7. Let go of the need to control how you are feeling

The emotion colour wheel comes from work by a man called Robert Plutchik – Click Here

Check out this extremely insightful Healthline article on feeling and emotions Click Here.

So, if only 10 % of your happiness is controlled by your life circumstances and 50% is your Genetics which we can’t really change – Ask yourself the following question

Are you focusing your thoughts on that 10% all the time? More Money, Faster Car, Bigger House, etc … 

Improving your life circumstances is absolutely a great thing to strive for, but you should really be focusing more of your time on the 40% that you can already control which is YOUR THOUGHTS, YOUR FEELINGS & YOUR ACTIONS IN YOUR EXPERIENCES. This is how we achieve genuine happiness.

Sometimes we must learn these lessons by taking a miss step, but people like Nelson Mandela think much differently. He has a famous quote.

‘’I never lose. I either win or learn’’ Nelson Mandela

I perceive that Nelson is saying – to take negativities or obstacles in your life as opportunities to learn, grow and move forward.

This is a great video by Einzelgänger’s Youtube channel. In it he compared happiness to water. –

Happiness Study

I’d like to share with you a study conducted in The US by a psychologist called Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi – See Mihaly’s Wikipedia for more information about him – Click Here

The results showed that even though people’s income has nearly tripled over the past 50-70 years, the same can’t be said for these people’s happiness. The % of people who define their lives as very happy, has remained steady throughout the years at around 30%.

Once people reach an income level that allows them to live life securely, then their happiness level remains the same no matter what their income levels grow to. He also goes on to say that creativity and flow are the key ingredients to living a happy life. 

Mihaly’s – Money can’t buy happiness study – Click Here to read in full.

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How often do we actually spend time writing down things that make us happy? For most, this would probably not be very often. This is something we can change, because we realise we are important and entitled to be happy, no matter what our circumstances are. Make a list of what you do for yourself to achieve “Your Happiness”. Is it a long or short list? Can you increase it? Rememberer there is no right or wrong here, just become aware of it and you are going to expand on this with all your Mindography Practice from the next section onwards.

Hey there, were excited to have you here

Join a positive social media space & focus on your happiness through photography!

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