Increasing Happiness

I’ve been having a lot of discussions recently about happiness. And as I was driving through the beautiful countryside on my way to have dinner with people I love, I couldn’t resist the urge to ask you for feedback. Here’s my question for you:

What have you done today to increase your happiness?

I don’t mean what have you done to increase happiness on the planet, or what have you done that you think might have made someone else’s day. What have you done this day to increase your happiness? What does that look like for you? What does it feel like?

There are big and little things that we can do. This article from Psychology Today on increasing our happiness set point is an interesting part of the conversation. The author posits, among other things, that the most effective way to raise our happiness set point (not just temporarily) is by helping others. However, somewhat like exercise, the times when it would benefit us the most are the times when we feel least like making it happen. What do you think?

I want to hear from you and we can take the conversation from there. I’ve got some ideas and I can’t wait to hear yours.

7 comments… add one
  • Heidi Spring Oct 14, 2013, 12:21 am

    I talked for almost 3 hours with my childhood friend (Kirsten). I always find that I’m happier having had even the briefest of conversations with her… 3hrs means a big shot of happiness!

    • Amy Oct 14, 2013, 9:42 am

      Big shot, indeed! Especially friends like Kirsten who have a little magic. I, as you saw, was thinking about this topic while on my way to spend time with people I love dearly. Relationships are high on my list. Nice to hear from you, Heidi! Making me think about my circle of happiness boosters.

      • Heidi Oct 16, 2013, 8:36 pm

        Always a pleasure to read your posts!

    • Kirsten Oct 14, 2013, 7:33 pm

      Reading your blog made me happy today! I agree with Heidi, a conversation with a friend is one of the biggest ways I boost my happiness too, and those 3 hours felt like 30 minutes!!! Getting feedback from others is so inspiring and comforting. I was touched by Heidi’s comments, and yours too Amy. Something else that really helps me when I’m not having the most wonderful moment in life is to re-read things that have helped me before. I came across a quote I forgot about that one of my favorite people told me awhile back, it goes something like this, “Focus on the capacity of life, not its incompleteness.”

      • Heidi Oct 16, 2013, 8:35 pm

        <3 you!

  • lauri Oct 14, 2013, 2:06 pm

    volunteer for the WW marathon and additional runs.(since I wasn’t running myself) And stand at the finish line hollering and cheering everyone to the finish line! I can’t talk today but what an exhilarating and happiness producing day it was for me yesterday.
    Of course connecting with friends who ran and meeting new friends to our community. Ah it was a good day.

    • Amy Oct 14, 2013, 3:03 pm

      There’s something about those athletic events that gets us all amped, huh?! So glad you had a great time! And the volunteering bit… did you read the Psychology Today article? (But I think you already knew all that.)

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