Happiness is written into the U.S. Constitution and is so engrained as something for people to pursue that many, if not most of us, use it as a measurement to determine our success in life.
I got that new job…but am I happy?
I am married with 2 kids…but am I happy?
I live the town I always wanted to…but am I happy?
What exactly are the factors that create happiness?
Is it the job, the marriage, the house, the city we always dreamed of?
Turns out it’s more nuanced than that.
The Duke University Study on Happiness (2006) revealed 8 key ingredients for happiness that may not be what you think or how you have assessed your own happiness:
The 8 Key Factors of Happiness:
1. Lack of Suspicion and Resentment- nursing a grudge in your relationships is a major contributing factor in unhappiness
2. Not Living in the Past- preoccupation with past mistakes and failures leads to depression
3. Not Wasting Time and Energy Fighting things you can’t Change- acceptance is a healthy skill that impacts happiness
4. Stay involved with the living world- resist withdrawl and becoming reclusive during stress. This sure was a struggle during the Pandemic!
5. Refuse to indulge in self pity- everyone experiences sorrow and misfortune in life.
6. Cultivate old fashioned virtues- like Love, Compassion, Humor, Loyalty
7. Don’t Expect too much from Yourself-the gap between your expectations and your abilities can lead to feelings of inadequacy. Be realistic as you challenge yourself to grow and learn.
8. Find Something bigger than yourself to believe in- self centered, egotistical people score lowest in any test measuring happiness.
If you find yourself questioning your happiness on a regular basis, assess for yourself this list of 8 factors and how they may be impacting you, your relationships and your overall well being.