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Looking to smile a little more often?  Laugh a little more?  Want to feel more than just content with life?  Look no further….Dr. Happiness seems to have the answers.  Ed Diener, aka Dr. Happiness has devoted years of research to the pursuit of happiness.  Take one look at his headshot and you know this guy knows what he’s talking about.  He doesn’t just smile with his mouth, his whole face beams.  He is world renown, so much so he holds a key position on the World Happiness Council…yeah, that’s a thing.

So, what’s the secret to happiness? There are some things we can’t help or circumstances we are born into, etc.  However, there are concious choices we can make to cultivate a higher level of happiness.  Four biggies:

  1. Build up your social capital – the nitty gritty of this being we only need so much financially to get on in life and once those basic NEEDS are met the remainder of our time should be spent on cultivating relationships.  Yes, I yelled needs…know the difference between needs vs. wants.  Invest in relationships with those who you can count on, trust, and enjoy.
  2. Boost body & soul – We all have heard the negative effects stress has on our health.  It is obvious then happy people are healthy people.  Figure out what it is you need to take care of yourself physically, mentally, and spiritually.  Exercise, meditation, nature, religion, whatever works for you to tap into those positive emotions and in turn you will typically experience something bigger than yourself.
  3. Engage your mind – you’ve heard that saying “try something that scares you every day”…Dr. Happiness believes trying new things, being open to learning new things, and just going outside our comfort zone will lead us  to greater happiness.  Broadening our horizons will broaden our perspective on a variety of things as well as potentially give us the ability to open our minds to an infinite number of possible reasons why this or that and bring us the ability to remain calm, cool, and collected. More patience & more creativity.
  4. Develop resilience – We are all going to have set backs, challenges, and adversity to deal with.  The difference, happy people don’t let these things define them.  Here’s another saying…(I’m full of them today) We can let adversity make us bitter or better, the choice is ours.  Easier said than done at times but I try to choose better.

We’re born with the face we were given, we die with the face we’ve earned.  I want my entire face to smile with happiness.  Lose the RBF!

If Dr. Happiness intrigues you, you can read more…

Ed Diener