There are more than 7.4 billion people on the planet right now. The essence of what all people want comes down to four main things: love, peace, joy, and abundance.
I believe that people have an innate emotional set point—a place that a person returns to over and over on the broad scale of emotions we humans experience. So for example, I have an elderly relative has worried her entire life because she’s gone through many difficult times. Now that her life is actually better than it has been in a very long time, she still searches for things to worry about because that is where she tends to be most comfortable—and her brain is conditioned to this. Another relative from the same generation is always looking on the bright side and tends to have a very positive outlook. She’s full of energy and sometimes I can’t even keep up with her. Just comparing the levels of health with these two relatives shows me how your levels of happiness really does make a difference, especially over time.
During one of the toughest times in my life, I developed a way to become very aware or conscious of my feelings…and worked diligently to try and stay in a positive frame of mind. This tool is called the Joyometer™ and it is what I like to call a “mood management system” to help you stay aware of what you are feeling and how you can actively work to get yourself to a higher emotional state of being. (You can download the Joyometer here.)
Having had the good fortune to connect with hundreds of people through my work, and interview numerous thought leaders and change agents who are leaders in their field, I’ve found that there are three consistent strategies that people who are happier and living more joy filled lives actively work with to better their emotional state. They are the 3 G’s to Joy & Happiness:
Regardless of whatever is happening in your life, you can always find something to be grateful for…you are reading this right now and you are breathing! Finding things to appreciate and be thankful for in life helps you shift how you look at the world.
If you focus on what is going well, the tendency that more good will happen will generally increase. Gratitude helps your overall emotional well- being, helps you sleep better, increases your confidence and also betters your relationships. It’s a great way to lift you out of a funk.
Nature is constantly changing and our universe is continually expanding. As humans, we are happier when we are growing and learning on some level. We are meant to be pushing the boundaries and trying new things. People often say they are afraid of change but the reality is that life is constant change. Growth is optional and we can take a conscious effort to strive to be better and open our minds to new perspectives.
Just as water stagnates when it is still, so do we humans. It’s much healthier to be flowing like a river. When our basic needs are taken care of, it is natural for us to seek new relationships, new challenges, new jobs, and learning new skills. It’s a part of human nature to grow and that helps increase our levels of happiness as well.
Giving is the third strategy to increase the joy in your life. When you can help others, it will bring you a new perspective and studies show as we see others thrive, we feel better. Giving has three different levels:
- Philanthropy — such as writing a check at the end of the year for a charity, there is very little interaction and not a deeper emotional connection although the act is most certainly appreciated.
- Giving Back — for example, a mining company would give back to a community by planting parks and reforesting an old mine, there’s a feeling of doing something good to better a situation.
- Contribution – an example is volunteering with elderly or homeless, something that is more interactive with time and energy and also having a deeper emotional connection and understanding of doing something for the greater good of all.
Random acts of kindness will increase your own level of happiness and joy in ways that you might not even expect. The deeper the emotional connection in the giving, the more positive—and lasting—impact it will have with you.
When you consistently practice these three actions of Gratitude, Growth, and Giving, you will notice how it brings more energy and vibrancy to your own life. Play around and experiment with this for a week and see how it makes a difference, not only in your life but also those around you.