Happiness = Gratitude + Authenticity + Service + Self-acknowledgment + Play
Thanks to Melissa Simonson for sharing with us her happiness formula. She also wrote:
The beauty of any of these joy elements is that just by focusing on even one of them an individual will find a rise in his/her sense of well-being. By seeing the ways in which there are gifts in each moment, by asking even in our most desperate times, “Even in THIS situation, what do I have to be grateful for?” we tap into joy. Through honoring our authentic nature, the fullness of what we are feeling, and what we really want, even if that means to scream and cry in the moment, we tap into joy. As one of my favorite teachers, Adyashanti, puts it, “Grief unresisted is grace” — when we honor what we are feeling we find that our sadness begins to dissolve. By serving others, we feel empowered, but also through approaching our lives with an awareness of how everything we do is an act of love (even cleaning a toilet is an act of love for self and others!) we feel a deep inner sense of worth. We can do all of the above mentioned things, but if we cannot receive our own acknowledgment and feel good about what we have accomplished, we will not feel the full joy of those actions–when we can acknowledge ourselves and see the wonder in all that we do and are, we feel joy. Finally, it is tremendously important that we take time to play and to have fun in our lives–having time for self, to feel free of obligation and to pause and reflect is crucial in cultivating joy. Happiness is learned state of being, and the more that we cultivate these positive thought and behavioral patterns, the more that we strengthen our ability to experience joy on an ongoing basis.