I LOVE this quote from the Happiness Project website: The research proves that happiness is possible through intentional habit changes, more than circumstantial changes. In fact, only 10% of our happiness is due to our external circumstances and a full 90% is based on our inner environment, with 50% of our happiness level coming from our genes and as much as 40% being accounted for by our intentional daily activities and the choices we make. (Lyubomirsky, Sheldon, et al., 2005)
The cite goes on to list 7 habits that have been scientifically proven to increase happiness:
One suggestion is to practice some activity on each day that promotes that particular trait.
(See list below.)
mindfulness —How about scheduling a Mindfulness practice on Mondays? Do a 5 minute meditation to start the week off right or spend 1 minute five times every Monday to be aware.
gratitude — You can end each Thankful Tuesday with journaling your list of the 10 things you were most happy for in the past month, year or day.
wellness –I incorporated a Wellness Wednesday into my life a couple of months ago. I do Piyo every Wednesday night at work.
authenticity –What can you do on Authentic Thursday to honor your true self?
compassion — On Forgiveness Friday, think of all the people who you need to forgive or who need to forgive you and imagine telling each of them, “I forgive you. I ask that you forgive me. I release both of us to our highest good.” This exercise is called cording. You can read about it in more detail here.
sociability — Sociability Saturday is time to hang out with friends and family and do something FUN!
purpose — Focus on activities that nourish your soul or sense of purpose on Sundays. Some folks attend religious services. I frequently talk to my friend Marilyn on Sundays. We call this conversation “The Church of What’s Happenin’ Now!” Whatever nourishes your soul or imbues you with a sense of purpose is right for you.
Of course, if you are presently building up your happiness muscle, I wouldn’t start with a plan like the one above. To get happier at a more moderate pace, try making a list of twelve habits you want to start encorporating and then do them one at a time until you become consistent.