Happiness is the sum of three components. Something called your Setpoint for Happiness (which I’ll talk more about in a moment), your Conditions of Living, and your Voluntary Choices.
Happiness = Setpoint + Conditions + Voluntary Choices
Before birth, you have full potential for all three ingredients. Your physical needs were being met, and there weren’t any choices you could make that would take away from your happiness.
At the moment of birth, we all had 100% potential for not only transient happiness, but also for pure and lasting joy. That’s our potential, but it’s not the current reality for a lot of people.
The good news is you can fine tune the components of the happiness equation to increase your overall happiness.
Setpoint for Happiness:
Your setpoint for happiness is part of your neurology, the Limbic (emotional) part of your brain to be specific, and it’s responsible for 50% of your happiness today.
During infancy and childhood, if you had ample supply of the 4 A’s from your caregivers, you developed a hearty and healthy limbic brain.
The 4 A’s are attention, appreciation, affection, and acceptance.
Were your needs recognized and supplied by the people around you?
Were you acknowledged as special just for being you?
Did you receive healthy and appropriate physical contact and expressions of love?
Were you accepted as you were, or made to feel like you had to change or weren’t good enough?
This is the part of the discussion that can feel discouraging. Too many people didn’t grow up in an environment that supplied ample doses of the ingredients to make a healthy setpoint for happiness.
Before you come to the conclusion that part of you will never be able to be fully happy because of a low setpoint, I assure you, you can do things today to improve your setpoint. I’ll talk about that more a bit later in this piece.
Conditions of Living:
Your conditions of living supply about 10% of your happiness.
As loving and supportive as your environment may be, if you’re cold, hungry, homeless, or living in a dangerous environment, happiness suffers. But if living conditions are adequate, you have what you need to supply that 10% toward your overall happiness.
Several studies agree that the ideal income for peak happiness is $75,000–$90,000. Beyond $95,000, happiness actually declines.
That’s why money and material objects don’t necessarily lead to happiness, and why more money leads to more happiness only up to a point.
This is a good reminder that your happiness potential is incredibly strong. Except in the worst of conditions, humans can be and are happy regardless of material objects.
Your day to day choices make up 40% of your overall happiness. These are the choices you make for personal pleasure.
Some of your voluntary choices concern the material aspects of life. They’re the whims of the human ego. In order of preference, they’re shopping, food/alcohol/entertainment, and sex.
The catch with these things is that they’re all temporary. You get a boost of happiness in the vein and it eventually wears off.
That’s where choices of a higher and more spiritual vibration come in. Choices that involve fulfillment, meaning, purpose, giving, and gratitude. These supply a sense of happiness that’s long lasting. They involve the divine emotions of Love, Compassion, Empathy, Joy, and Peace.
Use the Happiness Formula to your advantage to increase your level of happiness.
Increasing any of the three components of happiness increases your total happiness level.
While your happiness setpoint is determined possibly before you even learned to speak, you can still do things today to shift it upwards.
Practices like meditation, mindfulness, and cognitive behavior therapy can all increase your happiness setpoint. Techniques used in Neuro Linguistic Programming, Cognitive Behavior Therapy, and Emotional Freedom Technique can help reset how the brain interprets past events.
Recognizing your divine spiritual nature and seeing it in others helps to neutralize the painful events of the physical world.
Prioritize voluntary choices that emphasize the divine emotions (Love, Compassion, Empathy, Joy, and Peace) over the temporary boosts that the ego looks for.
True happiness is yours.
It’s there for you. It’s not something that passed you by, or was given to just the lucky few.
Happiness is part of your creation. It may have been covered up, but it’s still in there.
Over time, I’ve shared my own path to happiness in articles here. You can read more here:
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Visit me at www.christinebradstreet.com
all images open source from Pixabay.com