According to an article on Happify, “…scientists have determined that your happiness level is a result of a complex interaction of genes, behaviors, and life circumstances. While each person has a genetic set point for happiness (like we do for weight), a big chunk of how you feel is under your control…” The article points to research that says 40% of our happiness is up to us. So what do we do with that 40%? Happiness doesn’t just happen. Sometimes you need a plan.
I was on Instagram and saw a post by a fun blogger I follow who chronicled what’s she’s been doing to create more joy in her life. She’s been taking herself out for dinner, doing yoga, and some sightseeing around her city. It looked like she was having a really good time enjoying little things to create more happiness and peace. Just like we take time and energy to plan other areas of our lives such as our career and goals, planning our happiness is a great way to put more intention toward our overall well-being. Though I regularly do nice things for myself, lately I’ve noticed I’ve needed to put a little more intention behind creating enjoyable experiences.
Last week, instead of going to the gym after work, at the last minute I decided to attend a diversity and inclusion workshop. That may not sound like fun but I learned and met some really nice, like-minded people. After the session I felt validated and understood. My entire energy was different. It was great. The week before I went to a movie after work.
Planning to go on a weekday provided something fun to look forward to and broke up my routine a bit. And this week, I treated myself to Indian buffet!
There’s nothing like an Indian buffet – tandoori chicken, tikka masala, basmati rice…all you eat…until you can’t breathe. I was supposed to go to a different place with someone else, but she canceled and I took myself to my favorite Indian restaurant. I even asked to be relocated to a different table when I grew tired of hearing this woman complain to her friend. I was creating (and guarding) my happiness.
In addition to planning experiences, it’s important to set the intention to remain emotionally balanced. That can be very difficult at times when life throws us curve balls, or when people are just plain annoying. But deciding to remain at peace in moments of frustration offers great emotional and mental benefits.
Having a happiness plan is really about prioritizing your emotional well-being. Creating a plan to increase and maintain your happiness is essential to enhancing your quality of life.