Humans have a wonderful ability to adapt. This innate nature is a survival mechanism which can be helpful in certain situations. However, when it comes to living in a state of intense happiness (felicity), it can hold us back. The reason being is we can start to think things like a new car, a new house, a new love interest, or a promotion at work will bring us happiness. While it’s true, all of these can bring us some short-term excitement which makes us feel happy for a moment, it goes away quickly. Our great gift of being able to adapt to circumstances quickly causes us to bounce back to our normal happiness baseline. There is only one way to live with felicity and that is to improve your happiness baseline.
We all know someone who’s been impacted by something negative, a life hardship, or even a tragedy. While an unfortunate event seemed to knock them down for a short period of time, it’s not long before they are back to their happy and positive nature, or their baseline. The opposite is also true, for some people their happiness baseline is low, and it seems life is always tough no matter what.
Have you heard the phrase, “Happiness is an inside job?” It’s true! Research shows that all humans can improve our mindset and ultimately improve our capacity to be happier by working to better our attitude and perspective. This proves anyone can elevate their happiness baseline therefore increasing the level of felicity in their life and it doesn’t take winning the lottery! This is great news; you can be happier if you decide to.
While it’s great news, it’s not always easy. Anytime change is involved, it’s difficult. However, if you have some specific things you can do to help you create some new habits to improve your overall mindset, it can make it a lot easier. Below are four things you can do to help improve your happiness baseline.
“4 Things you Can do to Help you Improve your Happiness Baseline”
1.Prioritize Self-care –
Self-care consists of body, mind, and spirit. If you want to take care of your entire being, all three are important and work together. Without a healthy body, it will be difficult for you to have a high baseline of happiness. While it’s true, we may have to live with certain limited physical abilities, everyone can be better and stronger. Exercise should not be optional and anything you can do is better than nothing. Eating habits, sleep habits, and hygiene habits, all impact our body. Our mind is a powerful source of influence to our happiness baseline. What we absorb on a regular basis by what we see, what we listen to, what we read, and who we spend time with matters. It’s important to have boundaries so you don’t get taken advantage of or open the opportunity to feel used or not appreciated. You can be mentally strong, or you can be mentally weak depending on how you take care of your mind. Last and certainly not least is your spirit. Taking time to do deep soul-searching meditation and praying has been proven to increase endorphins helping with overall less stress and managing anxiety. There are some great therapies that can help you tap into the spiritual side of your self-care. The most important thing is that you spend time focusing on strengthening your inner self. If you want to improve your happiness baseline, prioritize your self-care.
2.Be intentional –
Living decided is a huge factor to long-term felicity. Having goals and setting standards for your life will make a big difference in how you feel. You were born to accomplish certain things in this life. You will be more fulfilled if you are intentional about figuring out what they are and creating a plan of action to accomplish them. Living free willy nilly so to speak, may seem like the easier route, but it will not bring long-term happiness. People who are intentional in setting goals, taking time to prepare, and follow through with a plan to successfully achieve what they desire, have a much higher happiness baseline than those who don’t.
3.Do what you say you’re going to do –
Let your yes be yes and your no be no. In other words, live with integrity. Do what you say you’re going to do and not just with others, but with yourself. One of the greatest happiness zappers is procrastination. When your actions don’t align with what you know you should do, it can impact your self-confidence and your overall self-esteem. These negative feelings can even cause depression and certainly cause your happiness baseline to be low. The struggle with doing what we say we’re going to do is that we may not always feel like it. For example, you set the alarm to wake up at 6am so you can go to exercise before work. When the alarm goes off, your immediate reaction is negative. You now don’t feel like waking up and going even though you had good intentions. The key to successfully doing what you say you’re going to do is to remember the emotion follows the action. You will never feel like doing something hard like waking up early, but once you do, you will be glad you did. Hence, the emotion follows the action. Elevate your happiness baseline by doing what you say you’re going to do.
4.Stop people pleasing –
Too much worry about what people think will drive you crazy. It’s better to follow the practice that what someone else thinks of you is none of your business. Really, it’s not. You can’t control them; you can only control you. Sure, it’s important to be respectful to others and take their feelings into consideration, but this is a fine line. If you make choices for your life based on other people’s opinions and what they think, you will never live with felicity. You know the motive behind every decision you make, and if your own heart doesn’t condemn you, then don’t let someone else do it. Being considerate, mindful, and respectful of other people is fundamental in getting along in society just don’t let it cross over into people pleasing. Your happiness baseline will be much higher if you focus on what makes you feel fulfilled and joyful.
Remember, your happiness is an inside job. When you have a high-level happiness baseline regardless of what is going on around you, it makes life so much more enjoyable and allows you to experience felicity. It allows you to genuinely revel in the temporary highs of life such as a promotion at work, buying your first new car, or taking a dream vacation. These things are like the icing on the cake, but it’s not what you’re counting on for true happiness. On the other hand, when you have a high-level happiness baseline, you’re able to rally back to your happy go lucky self relatively quickly even when life is hard. When life knocks you down, you don’t stay there too long. You get back to your happiness baseline. This is felicity.
Kim Martin, Founder of I’ve Decided, INC.