Intentional Activity

day-to-change-your-life-v1Making happy a habit

Take a minute. Think about what you’ve done today. How about what you did yesterday? Are these daily activities engaging, challenging, or goal orientied? Here at findingYOUphoria, we really focus on helping you change your life choices, activities, and habits. Why? Well, intentional activities, what you do on a day to day basis, is seen as the most important influence on your happiness. There are three primary factors that influence happiness. Genetics takes up about 50% of our happiness. Life circumstances take up about 10%, and lastly, intentional activities take up 40%. We are all born with a genetic set point, and some people are blessed with a higher one than others. Life circumstances are usually something we don’t have much say over. Why do life changes account for so little? Because of a very powerful force that psychologists call hedonic adaptation. Human beings are remarkably adept at becoming rapidly accustomed to sensory or physiologic changes. However, Intentional activities, or our behavior, is seen as the key to happiness.

Happiness_levels-e1348843732899

We can’t alter our genetic set points, and our life circumstances don’t have a lasting impact on our happiness, but we can increase and sustain our happiness through intentional activities. Studies have shown that sustainable happiness is possible through intentional activity changes, more so than through circumstantial changes. Psychologist, Sonja Lyubomirsky concludes that there are several “evidence-based happiness-increasing strategies whose practice is supported by scientific research.”

Here are the strategies you should try out:
1. Expressing Gratitude (count your blessings)
2.Cultivating Optimism (looking at the bright side of things.)
3.Avoiding Overthinking & Social Comparison
4.Practicing Acts of Kindness
5.Nurturing Relationships
6.Developing strategies for coping
7.Learning to Forgive
8.Increasing Flow Experience (Look for activities that truly challenge you.)
9.Savoring Life's Joys (through thinking, writing, drawing, or sharing)
10.Commiting to your Goals
11.Practicing religion & Spirituality
12.Taking Care of your Body

Practicing gratitude is one of the most important intentional activities. A study conducted by Emmons and McCullough (2003) found that sitting down weekly to write about five things we are grateful for increased happiness levels by 25%. Click on the link below and print off your gratitude chart. Write down what you’re thankful for everyday before bed and watch your happiness increase!

Gratitude Chart

lookgood-dogood-feelgoodHow well do you take care of your body?

Another crucial strategy on the list is, “taking care of your body”. Not only does society and social media portray women and men as being flawless, with perfect bodies, but also research shows that health and happiness are indeed positively correlated. A lot of prior research has also assessed the well-being costs associated with obesity. Many studies have found that obese people were, on average, less happy than the non obese. It’s not that difficult to maintain a healthy body either! You just need to set a goal and/or routine for yourself and become dedicated to it. Whether it’s to run a mile in your neighborhood every morning, taking a hike every Sunday, or changing out all your snacks for healthy alternatives such as, fruits & nuts! Do you wonder how healthy your current lifestyle/body is? Click this link to take a 10 minute quiz to find out where you fall on the “healthy meter”.

Health Quiz

The Biology behind it…

Why might our intentional activities have such a huge impact on our well-being and happiness? Well, biologically, we are all striving to be the best we possibly can be and to have successful reproduction. For example, by doing things such as getting our body fit, we are making our selves more “attractive” for mates. We are also making our bodies stronger for survival and from predators.


Citations:

  • Graham, C. (2008). Happiness and health: lessons—and questions—for public policy. Health affairs27(1), 72-87.
  • Sheldon, K. M., & Lyubomirsky, S. (2006). Achieving sustainable gains in happiness: Change your actions, not your circumstances*. Journal of Happiness Studies7(1), 55-86.
  • 3 Happiness Enhancing Activities With Evidence They Work – PsyBlog. (2007, November 28). Retrieved August 10, 2015.

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