Questions to Ponder• Can money buy happiness?• Are men happier than women because men still hold the reins of power?• Are people who go to work in suits happier and more fulfilled than those who work in overalls?
Your Definitions of Happiness… Casper Boys’ School Riverton Gillette
Happiness is a state of mind, not a set of circumstances.*Happiness is feeling good.Happiness lies in the present moment.Happiness is living a rich, full, and meaningful life.Happiness is the experience of joy, contentment, or positive well being, combined with a sense that one’s life is good, meaningful, and worthwhile.*Mary Yoke, M.A., M.M. Indiana University partial content credit.
What Determines Happiness? Happiness Factors Circumstances 10% Intentional Activity 40% Set Point 50%
Set Point Theory of Happiness• A baseline or potential for happiness to which we are bound to return, even after major setbacks or celebrations.• Genetically determined set point.• Strong evidence for set point comes from studies done with identical twins.• Similar to the set point theory for weight.
Twin Studies* T.J. Bouchard compared twins raised together with twins separated in infancy and raised apart. In middle age these subjects were asked to take a subjective well-being questionnaire. The identical twins were extremely similar to each other in their happiness scores. They were very similar even when they had been raised apart!*Bouchard TJ, Lykken DT, McGue M, Segal NL, Tellegen A (October 1990). “Sources of Human Psychological Differences: the Minnesota Study of Twins Reared Apart,” Science 250 (4978) : 223-8.
THE GOOD NEWS IS….Just because your happiness set point can’t be changed doesn’t mean that your happiness level cannot be changed!
Life CircumstancesWould you be happier if:• You had a bigger house?• You could change your age?• You had more $$$$?• You were more beautiful?
Temporary Circumstances• Studies show that big and small life-events can boost or deflate our happiness, but only for about 3 months.• We tend to revert to our genetically determined set point.
Remember, circumstances are only 10% of the happiness pie!
Intentional Activity• The piece of the pie over which YOU have control!• Take positive action!
Happiness Ideas*1. Express gratitude2. Cultivate optimism3. Avoid over-thinking and social comparison4. Practice acts of kindness5. Nurture social relationships6. Develop strategies for coping*The How of Happiness by Sonja Lyubomirsky.
More Happiness Ideas7. Learn to forgive8. Increase flow or “heightened awareness” experiences9. Savor life’s joys10. Commit to your goals11. Practice religion and spirituality12. Take care of your body
Circle the choice that most applies to you for the next 12 questions.One is the lowest choice and 5 is the highest choice.
1. I tend to see the glass half-full rather than half-empty. 1 2 3 4 52. I have very few regrets when I think about my life. 1 2 3 4 5
3. I’m not a worrier. 1 2 3 4 54. I frequently count my blessings. 1 2 3 4 5
5. I have good friends. 1 2 3 4 56. I feel loved by important people in my life. 1 2 3 4 57. I sleep well. 1 2 3 4 5
8. I am in relatively good health. 1 2 3 4 59. I do not anger easily. 1 2 3 4 510. I have people and/or activities in my life that I feel passionate about. 1 2 3 4 5
11. I believe in a Higher Power or feel some spiritual connection to the universe. 1 2 3 4 512. I like myself. 1 2 3 4 5
How to Score Your QuizThe higher your number, the more true it is for you.12-24 probably depressed25-36 most likely unhappy37-47 somewhat unhappy, but could be happier48-60 Life is good! You’re most likely quite happy!
YOUR HAPPINESS PLANQuizzes, checklists, and ACTION STEPS http://www.actionforhappiness.org/take-action http://www.dailygood.org/view.php?sid=215 http://www.oprah.com/packages/your-happiness-plan.html
Here’s Your Happiness Homework• When you send your attendance record, have all attendees write at least one happiness action step aka intentional activity they did or are doing.• Positive stories or results? We LOVE those!