Imagine this fictional story…
Janet is conscientious, which produces some anxiety. She studies hard and takes on a job with many responsibilities and, at times, becomes stressed from the long hours and expectations. She thinks this is because she’s an anxious person, however, using her conscientiousness, she starts an exercise program in the outdoors which helps her to think clearly and feel more calm at work. She realizes the stress isn’t solely genetic, but comes from the demands of her workplace which also affect her colleagues. She’s not alone.
In this example, Janet’s happiness comes from her natural self, her life situation, and actions she chooses to take.
This article is a 3 step strategy to boost your happiness by understanding who you are, what’s going on in your life, and the things you choose to do.
Happiness is harder to find when we aim to emulate someone else. It’s great to have mentors and role models, but it’s important to know who you are for happiness to be achievable.
Life is more fun when we use what we have already so we can enjoy each day, even in our routine responsibilities, but to do this we need awareness of three inputs to happiness and how to activate them.
The above three contributors to our happiness are explained by Kira M Newman [see reference 1] .
Kira Newman explains;
By engaging in healthy mental and physical habits, we can still exert a lot of control over our own happiness.
genes can influence our tendency to engage in activities that will make us happier, such as exercise, acts of kindness, or pursuing goals.
Hence, she is saying we have the ability to control our environment to some extent, but our genetic tendencies impact on our ability to take action in ways that benefit us.
So let’s understand our natural selves better and use these strengths to build the lives we want and feel happier.
These three things warrant three separate articles and I will cover these in more detail soon. For now, I encourage you to accept yourself as you are.
In the fictional example I gave, Janet realizes she is a loud extrovert (temperament) and sometimes she says things she regrets. But she’s friendly and generous with people and conscientious at work (personality traits). She knows she’s prone to thinking the world is ending when she makes a mistake (thought process), but she chooses to accept herself and set positive goals.
Temperament and personality are more stable than changeable, but you can grow your self understanding so you can choose actions and thoughts that boost your wellbeing.
Reference 2 below from Science Direct defines temperament as:
“differences in behavior between individuals that are consistently displayed when tested under similar situations (Hausberger et al., 2004; Kagan, 2005; Plomin and Daniels, 1997; Zentner and Shiner, 2012)”
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I’m the creator of Minutes to Happy and your go-to counsellor and wellness coaching companion.
I’m here to guide you in becoming your bravest self (no matter what wellness worries and chronic health challenges are plonked in your path).