Simplest Formula for Happiness
The most simple things can bring the greatest happiness ~ Izabella Scorupco
Originally posted February, 2019
We of course talk a lot about it, this is The Ministry of Happiness after all. I try in these posts to help us all delve into the depths of the elements of our lives that can help us bring happiness into our lives. Occasionally however, it’s good to return to the core ideas, to the simplest things that we can do to bring ourselves happiness. I do a lot of reading about happiness and these ideas seem to be at the absolute core of whatever everyone agrees are the things we can control in terms of our own happiness.
There are of course things we can’t control, our very genetic makeup which can control how easily or deeply we can become depressed. Our circumstances at birth and in our early life are also out of our control and experts typically say that these things account for about 60% of our happiness. But we control about 40% and the following things are primarily how we do that.
Find joy in everything you choose to do. Every job, relationship, home… it’s your responsibility to love it, or change it. ~ Chuck Palahniuk
Who we spend time with has a tremendous impact on our happiness, we have talked about this many times before and I understand how hard it is to push people out of your circle who diminish your happiness but you must do this whenever possible. We often underestimate how possible it is for us to do this. So whenever possible surround yourself with happy, supportive and caring people who truly care for you.
Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom. ~ Marcel Proust
I had a great reminder of this today in talking with my 89-year-old Granny, after gently complaining about some things she stopped and said, I count my blessings, I’ve probably had more than I deserve in this life. Beautiful wisdom there and what she said probably goes for most of us, if we count our blessings, if we are grateful for what we have and were to tally it up, I think we’d all find we have far more than we deserve. Being grateful does many things for us it solidifies and strengthens are relationships and research also shows us that it can be healthy for us helping to reduce stress.
Be happy in the moment, that’s enough. Each moment is all we need, not more. ~ Mother Teresa
One of the absolute best things we can do to make ourselves happier is to become more present in our lives, more mindful. To focus intently upon the here and now, the person or people immediately in front of us makes all of our experiences and interactions richer. This also helps us be more grateful for our lives, allows us to be focused and less distracted.
Kindness and Giving
A warm smile is the universal language of kindness ~ William Arther Ward
We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give ~ Winston Churchill
When we are kind to others, help others, it makes us happier, maybe in that sense it’s not a purely selfish act, but if you can help others and by doing so help yourself I’d say that’s a pretty good deal. There are formal and larger ways to help people but I think sometimes the smaller acts are equally as powerful. One little thing I do at the college I work at is to occasionally buy a student lunch. Usually I do this when I’m in line at the cafeteria and someone comes up a little short, or their credit card is working or for some reason it just seems like they are having a tough day. Doing it makes me feel good and always really surprises the students, a little kindness and giving goes a long way. One of the easiest ways to be kind to people is to just smile at them, it will confuse some people, but a smile as we’ve talked about before, makes people feel good.
Every person has a longing to be significant; to make a contribution; to be a part of something noble and purposeful. ~ John C. Maxwell
This may be the most important and hardest component of being happy. Finding a purpose in life is hugely important to making us feel like our life is worth something and that we are worthy of happiness. Some people find this purpose in love and marriage, others in their children, but one place where many of us struggle is in our work. For many of us we work at the job we are at because we have to, we all have bills to pay, mouths to feed. But is important to our self-worth and therefore our happiness that we find that purpose if not purely in our job, at least in some component of what we do for a living.
So my friends find those great relationships, count our blessings, be mindful of each precious moment of our life, be kind and giving and lead a purpose driven life. In return you may find yourself having many happy days ~ Rev Kane
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