You would like to have a fulfilling life? There is one thing you have to do: choose to flourish – NOW. You create your own happiness and maintain it. Every single day, every single moment. Various psychological tests allow you to measure your current happiness and life satisfaction. These are just a means to the end to find out where and how you can act in order to thrive.
Everyone seeks happiness. I guess you already know that it is in our hands. Positive psychology as philosophy distinguishes two aspects: the hedonic happiness related to sensual pleasures and eudaimonic happiness that stems from actions we are fully engaged in and that give meaning and purpose to our life.
Achieving a state of feeling fulfilled is within your reach, but it requires to make an effort. True happiness is less related to what you have and a lot about what you do (and don’t do).
Lasting happiness can be achieved by changing the way you spend your time, what you focus on in the present moment and what you expect of our future life.
What is your subjective happiness?
Psychologists say it is possible to measure your happiness. I already wrote about one simple ‘happiness formula’ by Martin Seligman.
Ed Diener from the University of Illinois designed another formula which is measuring your subjective happiness. The latter consists on one hand of your sense of satisfaction with the life you lead and on the other hand of the emotions you feel:
Happiness = subjective satisfaction with life + positive emotions – negative emotions
What do you think about your life? Does it meet your expectations? Does it look like your ‘ideal life’?
Do you know what your biggest dream is? You don’t?
In addition, it would be wise to focus your attention and activities in a way to minimize negative emotions (or the time that you’re in a bad mood) and maximize positive emotions to improve your well-being.
In my posts on the ‘negativity bias‘, I explain how this is possible.
Understanding and exploring the relationship between the mind and the body gives you many clues and tips to know where to start. There are several factors under your voluntary control!
Your turn now
1 – AWARENESS
Take a test regarding your subjective happiness and learn more about what makes you happy: Satisfaction with Life Scale by Ed Diener. It takes 1 minute, and of course, this is not hard science, but it is useful for reflection!
You can find more information and various tests on the website of the Positive Psychology Center at the University of Pennsylvania.
2 – FOCUS AND ATTENTION
Buy a ‘Happiness book’ or open an electronic document for this purpose. Jot down every day at least three things that were good and that made you happy. With exercise and the new habit, you may find more and more. You can read these ‘flashes of happiness’ at any time.
3 – ACTION
If you’re feeling a bit stressed, tired, tense, unmotivated… do something to get back into a state where positive emotions prevail: call a friend, go running, create time for yourself and actively fill up your batteries.
Only YOU KNOW what you need at any given time! Ask yourself what this is and act upon it! Surround yourself with objects and images that make you feel happy, grateful and in your power.
Are you feeling stuck right now?
Are you experiencing your brightness as a burden rather than a blessing? Are you ignoring how to get to this place where you can be happy and well and thriving every single day?
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