It is possible to become happier.
Aiming to be happier is not an unrealistic goal, though building happiness is a more useful description than seeing it as a destination. Happiness is not just the absence of unhappiness, it is something more.
Happiness is about 50% determined by genetics (the happiness set point). Then only about 10% is determined by the things we tend to pursue in the name of happiness: like wealth, possessions, occupation, living conditions, family relationships. The remaining 40% is determined by habits, behaviours, and thought patterns that we can directly address on purpose.It makes more sense to address the 40% associated with our own behavior than it is to pursue the 10% associated with life circumstances.
Happy people tend to be healthier, more effective at work, more energetic, and of greater benefit to the people around them. “In a study of nearly 3,000 healthy British adults, … [researchers] found that those who reported upbeat moods had lower levels of cortisol — a “stress” hormone that, when chronically elevated, may contribute to high blood pressure, abdominal obesity and dampened immune function, among other problems.
The Mental Fitness Training @ manchesterCBT
The Way to Enduring Happiness.
The programme uses all the evidence based exercises from Positive Psychology that have been shown to improve your long term happiness levels, including:
Working to your Signature Strengths
Developing and Improving Relationships
Managing Stress, Hardship and Trauma
Mindfulness - Living in the Present
Commitment to Goals
If you want to be happier over the long-term, then you need to work at it over the long-term. There are no short-cuts. Maintaining happiness gains requires work in the same way that maintaining gains from a diet and fitness program does. Without sustained effort, changes in happiness are likely to be temporary.
Summary of the 24 Signature Strengths
Curiosity in the world
Love of learning
Judgement, critical thinking and open-mindedness
Ingenuity, originality, practical intelligence, street smarts
Social intelligence, personal intelligence, emotional intelligence
Valour and bravery
Perseverance, industry and diligence
Integrity, Genuineness, honesty
Humanity and Love
Kindness and Generosity
Loving and allowing oneself to be loved
Fairness and equity
Prudence, discretion, caution
Humility and modesty
Appreciation of beauty and excellence
Hope, optimism and future-mindedness
Spirituality, sense of purpose, faith, religiousness
Forgiveness and mercy
Playfulness and humour
Zest, passion and enthusiasm.
Redesigning your life and job to deploy your signature strengths more effectively can turn something that is just good enough into one that is significantly more satisfying.