Jun 29 / Joni Roberts

What's Happiness Got To Do With It

Happiness as an Indicator of the Good Life

The Dalai Lama shares that the purpose of life is to strive for happiness and that happiness gives us a sense of satisfaction. This leads to questions like: what is happiness, and if I am not happy, what does that say about my life? I think the key word here is strive. Another one to add is authentic, after all not every situation calls for happiness.

If you've taken the MOREcompassion course, you've explored the teachings of Marshall Rosenberg and non-violent communication where we learn that feelings can be pleasant, such as joy, happiness, optimistic, and grateful, or unpleasant, such as frustrated, afraid, upset, and angry. Feelings can simply be viewed as data points-- sensory information that lets us know if our needs are being met, or not. Needs are the core drivers and motivators within us. There are many universal human needs we can tap into like connection, meaning, peace, and physical wellbeing. When needs are met, our satisfaction increases. Likewise, when needs are unmet, we have a sense of dissatisfaction. 

Happiness in Ourselves

In striving for the good life, we are in a perpetual state of experiencing emotions, some more active and powerful than others. Happiness depends on tuning into ourselves and making adjustments in our strategies for getting our needs met, and finding ways to shift to more pleasant experiences. What we discover is that happiness is largely an inside job. We all know of people who have more money than they can spend in a lifetime and are miserable, as well as people who have few material possessions and radiate joy.

In my course, The Power of Authentic Connection, I share ways to use alchemy to transform your state of being from ordinary into extraordinary. Science supports that our bodies, minds, and spirits can chemically, physically, and energetically change based on our thoughts and actions. Because our brains have the quality of neuroplasticity, our thoughts form synaptic connections that carve out patterns that over time put us on repeat or with intention, we can change and reinforce new thinking. With practice, we can shift more into thriving (satisfaction) and move farther away from surviving (dissatisfaction).

Happiness in the World

As changemakers, we have the power to influence happiness within ourselves, and therefore in the world. The tenth anniversary of the World Happiness Report was released this spring. The report uses global survey data to report how people evaluate their own lives in more than 150 countries and ranks them on GDP per capita, social support, healthy life expectancy, freedom to make life choices, generosity, and perceptions of corruption. The report provides an excellent framework to guide us in striving for more happiness through societal, economic, and governmental programs and behaviors. This year Finland, Denmark, and Iceland topped the chart. See the report to find out where your country ranks and get some ideas on what can be done about it.

Unlocking Happiness Podcast

Speaking of happiness, I had the opportunity to talk with Positive Psychology Practitioner Amy Dix on her podcast Unlocking Happiness. We covered topics like redefining compassion, making relationships more meaningful, and truly understanding the language of emotion. In the pursuit of happiness, check out the internet’s happiest podcast here!

In Joy!

Joni


One MORE Happy Note

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