Turning Happiness Inside Out

 

You may recall my blog earlier this year about the balance between focusing on internal vs external happiness. I’d been concentrating for so long on the internal, I wondered whether I’d forgotten that external factors do play a role. So, in true Sally style, I have thrown myself wholeheartedly into changing the external. I have been meeting puppies with a plan to get a dog; I have been looking at houses with a plan to move; and I have been getting myself out more with a plan to meet a man.

So how is it going? Well, it’s been interesting. Very. I have found my dream home – it’s on an island! I have met the Mum and Dad of my puppy to be (predicted arrival in the autumn – a black Lab FYI).

But, and there’s a big but, it all feels a bit strange. On one hand I have been terribly excited by the future potential. The ‘HOPE’ as I have talked about before. On the other hand, nothing has drastically changed in my life – if anything it’s all a bit more challenging as I juggle finally having some type of personal life with a professional one. I have noticed that my daily happiness has become a bit more of a rollercoaster – if the house situation is positive, I’m on a high. If I find a hurdle (my house isn’t worth what I thought it was) I plummet. And then there are the fears that start kicking in. What if it all goes wrong again? What if none of this actually happens and I am back to where I started? How will I cope? It’s all been a bit scary to be honest. “Don’t get too attached to any outcomes,” I keep telling myself. But then I want to be excited about my possible future!

I guess that is where all our internal happiness work kicks in. I have been doing extra meditation, trying to focus on the positive, being super grateful for all I currently have in this present moment. But it’s still tough – as human beings, we can’t help but be affected by the external.

However, research by Ed Diener and others suggests that overall our circumstances only account for about 10% of our happiness. Some of it comes from our genes, but Sonja Lyubomirsky, professor at University of California, Riverside, found that as much as 40% of our happiness is determined by ourselves. It’s down to our intentional thoughts and activity, suggesting regardless of our situation, happiness is something we can have control over.

The conclusion I have come to is that it’s all about having that solid emotional base. Some days I feel disappointed, often sad, when bad things happen. But I ride them better, I bounce back quicker, I accept them more easily. Sometimes I feel old negative emotions, bad habits returning; miserable thoughts overwhelming me. But I recognise them and I make a conscious decision to address them with one of my Happynesshub tools (there’s been a good deal of dancing to happy songs around my house recently!). It’s not easy – to change your thoughts when you feel emotionally overwhelmed by them; when you feel your heart may burst with sadness. But, there are ways and I reach out to my 21-Days and use those tools – to remove fear, to maintain hope and to lead my life from intuition and love.

So, you may ask, where am I at? Well, I am hoping the house is going through, I’ve fallen in love with it. I am planning the arrival of my new best friend end of year (that’s the dog BTW). And the rest… well watch this space!

By | 2017-05-25T09:29:11+00:00 May 25th, 2017|0 Comments

About the Author:

Hello! I’m Sally, Head of Happyness, as the team calls me. Crazy title, I know, but it makes everyone giggle including me, so we’ve stuck with it. I’m the founder of the Happynesshub and I am passionate about our work. I’ve spent years reading about happiness and wellbeing, putting the research into practice, and trying to navigate the ups and downs of life’s rollercoaster ride. My dream is for our community to grow, to share the work and the love, and to make the world a happier place. May sound corny. But it’s true.

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