How do you measure your happiness?  Where does it come from?

Sometimes, or often, we get lost in the idea of what makes us happy, ie. getting a new car, finding that special someone and getting married, having more money, buying a bigger house, having more friends, etc.  But for how long do these things really make us happy? Does it last?

Research shows that 10% of our happiness is due to personal circumstances, 50% comes from our internal makeup, and the rest of our happiness is directly under our control (“The Law of Happiness” by Dr. Henry Cloud).  It is not things or circumstances that create lasting happiness.  It is the behaviors, thoughts, and practices we engage in that create sustained happiness and satisfaction.  The behaviors listed below align with principles and behaviors the bible tell us to do.  Therefore, God and science agree that the following actions/behaviors will lead to our happiness:

  • Happy People Give
  • Happy People Work to Create Happiness
  • Happy People Do Not Wait for ‘Someday’
  • Happy People Pursue Goals
  • Happy People Fully Engage
  • Happy People Connect
  • Happy People Do Not Compare Themselves
  • Happy People Think Well
  • Happy People Are Grateful
  • Happy People Have Boundaries
  • Happy People Forgive
  • Happy People Have a Calling
  • Happy People Have Faith

Happiness is vital to living a satisfying life.  Sometimes circumstances, like physical or mental health conditions, broken relationships, or a loss of a loved one, can get in the way of taking actions that lead to happiness.  Happiness is not what happens to us; happiness is who you are.

If you or anyone you know are having difficulty achieving happiness, consider learning more about the ways of achieving happiness discussed above by reading the book “The Law of Happiness” by Dr. Henry Cloud.  Or, reach out to Lutheran Family Service (LFS).  LFS has counselors that are available and interested in helping you cope with your circumstances and learning how to achieve happiness and satisfaction in your life.

Jennifer Miller, LISW

Lutheran Family Service

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