The Science Behind Happiness

Did you know that 50 percent of your happiness is predetermined by your genetic make-up? That means the other half of the formula is influenced largely by you! A research study conducted by the University of Minnesota found that human beings are born with a “happiness set-point,” or in other words, a default happiness level that we return to after positive or negative life experiences. The key to influencing your happiness regardless of your “set-point”— Positive Thinking!  To find lasting happiness you first need to become aware of and focus on savoring positive experiences. The ability to savor enhances your ability to find joy regardless of life’s circumstances. This is because it increases your mindfulness and appreciation of positive experiences. Staying engaged and identifying your meaning and purpose in life are also key influencers of happiness.

Here are some ways to incorporate Happiness

  1. Snap a Picture Challenge: For 30 days, challenge residents and team members to draw or take one photograph a day of something they find meaningful, interesting, beautiful or enjoyable.
  2. Gratitude Challenge: Place a gratitude bucket in a central location within the community for residents and team members to write down what they are thankful for.  At the end of the challenge create a collage of written gratitude or tally them up and share with the community!
  3. Gratitude Journal: Challenge team members/residents to keep a journal/notebook and fill it with things they are thankful for.  Encourage them to create their own personal goal. For example, record 100 things they are thankful for in one month.
  4. Say “Thank You”. Encourage the community to choose someone who has had a positive impact on their life and write them a letter expressing their gratitude.
  5. End the day on a bright note. At the end of each day, encourage team members/residents to think about three positive things that happened that day.  At the end of the week, create the opportunity for everyone to come together and share how this activity impacted their happiness.

Sources:       In the Pursuit of Happiness                10 Tips to Boost Your Happiness