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“Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.” – Dalai Lama

The number one thing that we all hope for, and strive toward is Happiness!

Yet how much time do you spend thinking about your own happiness? Are you aware of the thoughts and actions that actually make you happy?   Happiness is something we desire, yet we don’t necessarily prioritise it with the same zest and enthusiasm as we do for other goals we may have.

Sonya Lyubomirsky’s research into Happiness shows that it is estimated that genetics account for about 50 per cent of differences between people’s levels of happiness. A further 10 per cent of happiness is accounted for by individual circumstances. This leaves us with 40 per cent, which is under our direct control. Therefore our thoughts and actions have a huge impact on our happiness.

We intuitively know that happiness feels like it should lead to better outcomes in life and greater life satisfaction. Our intuition is backed up by serious amount of research that looks at the benefits of happiness in all aspects of our lives. Yes, the correlations are clear, happier people are: more successful, healthier, have better relationships, feel more satisfied…the list goes on.

So, if your happiness is largely up to you, where do you go from here? A good starting place is to write a list of all of the things that you do and the thoughts that you have that enhance your happiness. How much time are you spending doing these things, and thinking the thoughts that enable you to be happy? If you find your list relies heavily on external people, places or things, then ask yourself a few more questions like: “What’s important about this for me?” (and keep asking this question until you get some deeper insights into your happiness thinking), and “What is it about this that makes me feel happy?”

The following are simple easy practices that can also help enhance your happiness:

Understanding your meaning and purpose, this doesn’t have to be about knowing the answers to big questions about your life purpose, it can be as small as finding purpose in the things you do each day.

Being fully present, taking the time to feel and experience moments throughout your day. Are you truly seeing, listening, experiencing, and feeling? Take a simple pleasure, and slow down your experience of it, look at it, listen to it, feel it, truly experience it.

Practice gratitude, a short daily mantra of what you are grateful for can impact your happiness.

Remind ourselves of what we are good at, what are your strengths? Consider writing a short couple of paragraphs on you when you are at your best, what are you doing, thinking and feeling? Think about how you can spend more time doing what you’re good at.

Doing things for others can also enhance our happiness, try surprising and delighting others and notice how it makes you feel.

Being aware of your mindset, do you have a fixed mindset (think that you cannot influence your happiness) or a growth mindset (take responsibility for growing and enhancing your happiness)?

Your happiness lies with you, take some steps to enhancing your own happiness and notice the difference this can make to all aspects of your life.

Join our Leap programme in Bali July 26th-31st 2015 to build on your happiness, to find out more email: mandy@outsidethelines.life.

“A man is but the product of his thoughts – what he thinks, he becomes”

Mahatma Gandhi