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Lies You Tell …. Debunking Happiness Myths! :)

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“Happiness is neither virtue nor pleasure nor this thing nor that, but simply growth. We are happy when we are growing.” [W.B. Yeates]

Okay so why am I writing this post? I don’t want to take up too much of your time, but can we talk about the “H-word?” — Happiness.  People hear the word “Happiness” and think it’s either too “flowery” or others say, “Well Chianti, I’ll be happy when I <insert major goal that requires a years of time and energy>.” *Loud sigh*  Can I serve you a bit of a happiness truth while you enjoy that latte, smoothie, or gallon jug of water (Hey, I’m assuming you’re health conscious like most millennials!)?

According to Professor Sonja Lyumbimirsky (whom shall be referred to from here on out as Sister Sonja), author of the How of Happiness, there are several myths about happiness.  Her research on happiness makes me feel all giddy inside, and I just can’t keep it to myself. Hey since we are here, in this our digital coffee shop, think of me as your millennial happiness co-pilot. My goal is to be your accountability partner as you to continue to navigate towards a happier and healthier lifestyle. So enough of the chatter.. Let’s see the “Happy” Facts!

Happiness Myths…

  • Myth #1: Some people are just born “happy”, I can’t do anything about it.
  • Myth #2: I’ll be happy when I meet the love of my life.
  • Myth #3: I’ll be happy once I have the career of my Dreams.

Show me the Happy Facts!

Screen Shot 2015-07-18 at 9.29.31 PMLet’s start from the top! In her book, the How of Happiness, Sister Sonja breaks down our happiness level formula into three sections – genetics, intentional activity, and circumstances.

There is proven evidence that states that we are all born with a happiness set-point which is attributed to genetics. Here is the breakdown: 50% of your happiness is derived from your genetics (family history and stuff), 40% of it is derived from intentional activity (Good news! You’re not screwed. You can boost it.), and only 10% of happiness is derived from your circumstances. So for all of the folks that are making excuses about why they can’t be happy until.. <insert marriage, children, money, jobs, travel destinations, etc.> Here is the fact – only 10 percent of your happiness depends on where you are in life. YOU can start being happy RIGHT NOW if you wanted to be.  40% gives you tons of room to start looking around for ways to increase your happiness. Not sure where to start?! I’ll talk about ways to boost your happiness levels in a future blog post.

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Source: Adapted research from“7th myths about happiness we need to stop believing”, Sonja Lyubomirsky. 2013 Mar 09

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