If you haven’t read the first part of the Happiness Deception, but sure to check it out before you continue below.
After years of research, Dr Fredrickson has found a ratio of negative to positive events of people who flourish verses those that don’t. There is also a ratio of maintaining healthy relationships. Being aware of these ratios can have a dramatic positive impact in your life.
Dr. Fredrickson’s research suggests that those that are able to bounce back from tough times and flourish in life have a 3:1 positive to negative event ratio. For healthier relationships, her research points to a ratio of 5:1. For every argument or disagreement, they have five other events that are positive allowing for the relationship to grow. So, next time you’re with your spouse, try to give a compliment or two along with doing some actions (laundry, cleaning, dishes) and you may just be pleasantly surprised at the results.
Look for the small things around you and use them to empower you in creating a better day for yourself.
Some people go after money, expensive cars, the latest fashion and travel to chase happiness. Although all those things can give momentary feelings of joy, it’s very short lived if those things are not in line with your values.
This brings us to the third and final point
Often times people confuse values with goals. Wanting to get married and have five kids is a goal. Wanting to be a loving and caring mother is a value.
Life is hard and anything meaningful brings challenges. This often leads people to quit. Values make the effort worthwhile. Someone looking to lose 20 pounds in one month because they want to look good for their High School reunion may not be able to do it simply because that goal (losing 20 pounds) is not anchored to something more emotionally compelling such as: “I need to lose 20 pounds because I value my health and would like to spend more time playing with my children” (another value).
People that don’t enjoy their jobs face a double (sometimes triple) dilemma. That job could be something that’s not in line with the person’s values and it’s also taking away time from things that they do value (family and freedom).
I suggest you make a list of your top 3 values and line it up with the activities you’re doing right now. Here are some examples of values:
- Freedom and independence
- Family Time
- Contribution and generosity to give, help, assist others
- Health and Fitness to get me to my later years
- Adventure; ability to travel learn and explore other cultures
- Authenticity; to be authentic, genuine and true to myself
- Compassion for myself and others
- Fun and humor
- Honesty Integrity
- Mindfulness to engage and enjoy present moments
On the journey to developing the best version of yourself, it’s important to keep in check how we look at happiness and positivity. Take note of the micro positive moments in your day and don’t listen to everything that happens inside your head.
Link your goals and everything you do in life with your values, and soon you’ll start noticing a sense of peace and happiness within.