We can increase our risk of happiness!!!

Plan to increase your risk of happiness.

 

The U. S. Constitution doesn’t guarantee happiness, only the pursuit of it. You have to catch up with it yourself.

Benjamin Franklin

Genetics determines just 50% of our level of happiness while a mere 10% can be attributed to differences in people’s life circumstances – that is, whether they are rich or poor, healthy or unhealthy, married or divorced, etc.

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/how-happiness/200805/what-influences-our-happiness-the-most

So that leaves 40% of happiness level that we may have some level of control over. Good things and bad things happen in life and we have to put these in perspective. Can we learn to deal with frustrations of life in a new way, experiencing it as an interested observer instead of an aggrieved victim? The article below outlines one possible way to do this. Because we will never eliminate all the frustrations in life, in fact many of the factors leading to frustrations are out of our control. What we can do is learn to control our perspective.

http://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/200910/opening-happiness

This type of thinking allows us to reach our happiness baseline faster after dealing with a minor or major frustration in life. The baseline happiness being our average level of happiness. But there are other areas we and work on to increase our moments of happiness for happiness is not a constant state.

  1. The need for Self-actualization: According to Maslow is “intrinsic growth of what is already in the organism, or more accurately of what is the organism itself…self-actualization is growth-motivated rather than deficiency-motivated.” Humans need to learn, grow, and accomplish things. In America this seems to have taken the form of competition or competition threw a sports team. When our team wins we feel good, we have a moment of happiness. It goes beyond everyone gets a ribbon to true personnel growth and real individual or group accomplishment.
  2. Interactions with Friends, Family, and pets in a positive manner. We are social creatures by nature. We are designed to interact and have human contact. From personnel experience I have seen many instances where a person was starting over in a new place with no friends and family. What you see is the person building a new network of friends that fill in for the missing family. In other cases you find pets helping to fill in the gap. As we become more isolated in America pets become more important in our lives.
  3. Helping others, we get into relationships not because of how others feel about use but because of how others make us feel about ourselves. When we help others it makes us feel good about ourselves. We are social creatures, if we did not have this hard wiring we would only think of ourselves. It is a means for a group of social creatures to increase the chances of the vulnerable members within the group of surviving.

Each of the three things mentioned above can be influenced by us. We can decide to help others. We can seek out situations where we can make friends. We can develop plans to achieve personnel growth. We can plan to increase any of these. Or we can do nothing and just accept what fate the winds blow our way. We can increase our risk of happiness!!!

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