Posts Tagged ‘happiness set point

Julia Theisen, co-owner of Body & Soul Wellness Center and Spa in Dubuque, opened the 2009 Beyond Rubies women’s conference this morning at Kirkwood Community College with a lively presentation:  “Seven Habits for Happiness.

Julia Theisen

Julia Theisen

The native of England who relocated to Dubuque with her husband, Scott, said everyone has a happiness set point which is determined by genetics (50 percent), circumstances (10 percent) and habits (40 percent).

Theisen said her adopted parents were leveled-headed but not overly optimistic. When she met her birth mother when she was 40, she realized that’s where she got spunk and positive attitude.

Here are several things that don’t create happiness:

  • Acquiring more material things.
  • Thinking “I’ll be happy when…”

A study shows 40 percent of people on Forbes list are not happy. And what about Oprah? She’s one of the richest women in the world but has struggled with unhappiness about her weight and other personal issues.

To sum up this point: No thing and no one can give you happiness. Learn to be happy from the inside out.

Happy Habit No. 1: Decide to be happy.

Practice being happy for no reason. Changes don’t have to be big ones; even if you focus on 1 hour of the day to be happy, it will change your life.

Exercise: Segment Intending

Close your eyes. Bring into awareness what you what like next hour together to be like. Then, you’re your shoulders and take a deep  breath. Be sure to let out a big “aahhh.”  

Happy Habit No. 2: Gratitude and appreciation

Gratitude = Relaxation. Being in a state of gratitude is best way to be in a state of relaxation. A study showed that nuns who were relaxed and happy lived 7 to 10 ½ years longer than their counterparts

 Exercise: Write down three blessings every day for three weeks and it should improve your positive mood for up to six months. Don’t think you have time? When you go to bed, think of three blessings rather than what all went wrong that day.

Need some help relaxing? Watch Brother David Steindl-Rast’s video:

Happy Habit No. 3: Pay attention to positive experiences.

We are genetically programmed to be negative to protect ourselves. In any given day, 80 percent of our thoughts are negative.  If you receive 100 positive comments and 1 negative one, you most likely will focus on the negative one.

Exercise:  Savor positive experiences and consciously pay attention to the good things in your life.  Set a goal each day to look for beauty in your world or signs of caring for you by others or good qualities within yourself.

Freeze frame technique (from the Institute of HeartMath): Close your eyes and concentrate on your breath. Imagine breathing through your heart . Think of a happy time and relive the experience in your body. Also will happen if dwell on negative things.

Happy Habit No. 4: Practice acceptance

Don’t believe everything you think, especially about yourself.  When you get a negative thought about yourself, ask if it is your evil inner critic at work or if it is true.

Exercise: Accept life as it is – stress occurs when we resist what is. Give that inner critic voice a name (Theisen calls hers Damien), say it to someone else ask yourself if you would speak to a child like that and then accept yourself as you are.

Happy Habit No. 5: Prioritize relationships

Those with solid social connections live longer than their counterparts. Since studies show we become the average of the five people we associate with the most, it’s wise to spend time with people you most want to be like.

Exercise: When somebody asks you to do something, say “thanks for asking, but that’s not going to work,” and walk away. Forget the excuses; they only leave the situation open for negotiation.

Happy Habit No. 6: Practice extreme self care

You may be a bit unpopular when you say no, but be firm, not wishy-washy. Increase your energy boosters and decrease energy leaks.

Exercise: Do something that makes you feel good, but nobody else notices such as polishing your nails. Choose practices to support your happiness and take time out to pray, meditate, sing and dance.

Happy Habit No. 7: Give of Yourself

What is it that makes you feel good and happy? Keep in mind, the more you give, the more you receive.

Exercise: Tune into your heartsong.

Happiness challenge: Give something to someone and don’t tell anybody about it.

    follow me on Twitter

    Blog Stats

    • 57,134 hits

    Top Clicks

    • None
    August 2020
    M T W T F S S