photo © 2010 Jan Smith | more info (via: Wylio)There are people who seem to be bubbling over with happiness. Wow, I think to myself as I read their Facebook posts, talk with them on the phone, run into them at the grocery story, or read their tweets. Are they really that happy? Maybe I am not happy enough. The general consensus used to be that we really could not do much to be happier. It was just something that we had to deal with inour lives. We weither were or were not happy, and there was no sense trying to be something we were not.
New research suggests that this is incorrect. While some may be more predisposed to happiness than others, there are things we can to in order to be happier. A study of 60,000 adults, published in 2009 in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found that genes were responsible for only a portion of a person’s sense of well-being. “Life goals and choices have as much or more impact on happiness,” wrote researcher Bruce Headey, an associate professor and a principal fellow at the Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, in Australia. Lyubomirsky takes it one step further: Of the approximately 50 percent of our happiness that isn’t biologically driven, she says, 10 percent is connected to life circumstances (you’re beautiful, say, or uniquely talented). But that leaves 40 percent unaccounted for—and up to us to shape. (Pasted from <http://www.realsimple.com/work-life/life-strategies/inspiration-motivation/the-science-of-happiness-00000000050227/index.html?xid=dailynews-07-05-2011> )
It is possible to be happier. We can bring about change in our general well being and contentment with life. We know that happier people tend to make more, live longer, and have stronger immune systems, so there are definite reasons to pursue our own happiness. Leslie Pepper on http://www.realsimple.com shares 3 keys to making ourselves happier. First, do things that have made you happy in the past. Second, immerse yourself in what you are doing. Third, do something for the larger purpose. All of these can be accomplished when we care for our spirit. It seems that while we are trying to positively affect our emotional well being, what we need to be doing is caring for our spirits. As we care for our spiritual selves, there is high probability we will be happier.
When we worship God, we are called to offer our whole selves in worship, whether that be singing our praises, sitting in the presence of God, or sharing our hearts with God. We are called to allow the activity to be our focus. We are also encouraged to worship God in a way that connects with our preferences and comfort levels. Finally, worship calls us to care for others. Worshipping God is not just an activity of the heart and mind. Rather, our worship calls us to go and share with the world.
If you want greater happiness, it probably won’t be found in material things. Those material pleasures seem to fade after a while. Rather it is when we are living out our spirituality, worshipping God, we find happiness. Jesus offered us this opportunity for living in a new way we He was on earth. He invited the disciples to be fishers of men. He encouraged a life of balance. He shared in fellowship with others. He cared for others. We are called to follow his example for the sake of the kingdom. As we follow his example, we will find happiness.
- Positive Psychology News Daily ” So You Really Want to Be Happier … (positivepsychologynews.com)
- Do Something Every Day. Counter-Intuitive, But It Works. (happiness-project.com)