Knowing whether I was Happy or not seemed to be an easy question, until I tried to answer it truthfully. Am I though? Could I be happier or is this an illusion? So, I thought to delve a little deeper into the whole Happiness Definition. What is it that makes me happy? Can I do more of it? These were some of the easy questions that came to mind. But researching the Science of Happiness gave me a broader perspective. Positive Psychology reminded me that there is a lot more to the Happiness picture. Even though it is all very fancy, I do think it is important to take this into consideration when you go on your Happiness Quest. I have highlighted a few important viewing points that will guide you in creating your own Happiness Formula.
Formula of Meaning and Pleasure
I want to start with the Ancient Greek Philosophers as they focus on Hedonic Wellbeing (Pleasure) and Eudaimonic Wellbeing (Effort + Meaning). As you can see, it comes back to the connection with Personal growth. We want to be flourishing in life, having a sense of purpose, experiencing “flow” and working with our strengths as this will allow us to feel competent and confident. Hedonic Wellbeing on the other hand are things that make us feel good for example drinking a cup of tea or going on holiday. As you can imagine a great balance between these two dimensions will allow for increased Happiness. Often we think that pleasure might make us feel happier however we can become unmotivated and flat when we overindulge while focussing too much on achievement can leave us stressed.
Within Positive Psychology, the term Subjective Well-being is very common. Basically, it is a sum that helps you evaluate your life. The first part of the sum looks at how satisfied you are with your life referring back to the cognitive aspect of Happiness. The second equation is more focused on the emotional side as it looks at the ratio of the positive and negative affect of your emotions. What is your balance like, do you experience more positive emotions? If not, how can you boost this? With the knowledge of this formula, you can focus on keeping the Positive Emotions on a higher scale and boost your life satisfaction. Check out my e-book to discover your Emotional Balance.
SUBJECTIVE WELLBEING = SATISFACTION WITH LIFE + (POSITIVE AFFECT – NEGATIVE AFFECT)
Formula of Authentic Happiness
Martin Seligman has created a beautiful formula. It looks at 3 different elements. First, you have the Set Range which is the Happiness genes you have inherited from your biological family, which accounts for 50%. Next are your circumstances, these often change but have no influence on your happiness and therefore it only accounts for 10%. Lastly, Voluntary is all about your mindset and habits which accounts for 40%! According to Martin, there are 6 Pathways to Authentic Happiness – PERMAH. Positive emotion (enjoyment) – Engagement (Flow) – Relationships (Social Connectedness) – Meaning (Purpose) – Accomplishment (Success) – Health (sleep, eating well and Physical Activity). So, incorporating these aspects within your life can increase your Happiness.
Happiness = Set Range + Circumstances + Voluntary
Compassion, the Source of Happiness
When we speak about Happiness, we have to mention the Daila Lama. His vision on how Compassion is the source of happiness is truly inspiring. This Quote just said it all. “If you want OTHERS to be happy, practice compassion. If YOU want to be happy, practice compassion” Looking further into Buddhism, they explain that everything comes from the mind. They suggest, that to get to a state of Happiness, we need to focus on contentment and peacefulness. We need to get into a state of mind where we detach ourselves from passions, feelings, wants and needs in life. Happiness is our own responsibility.
How To Put This Into Practice?
Now we have a good understanding of the different formulas that we can use to increase our happiness. It comes down to making it work for you, what appeals to you, what can motivate you to live a happier life? In my Resource Library, you can find an E-book with prompts to identify what elements you should incorporate in YOUR Happiness formula. It will support you in creating an action plan and guides you to set intentions. I would suggest keeping your results and do the process again in a few months to see if your Happiness has improved. Remember, your Formula can change at any time! Our purpose of life can change, our seasons change, life happens. Keep the E-book with you and when you feel in doubt, fill it in again. Start your plan over and become happy with your newfound formula.
PS: The Little Book Of Happiness from Miriam Akhtar MAPP has been a great inspiration to write this post!
Everyone Has Their Own Happiness Formula. Which Can Change At Any Time.Truthful tea talks