A Formula for Happiness

Student Editor: Andrea G.

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We are all looking for happiness. To most, happiness is a joyful and pleasant state of mind where an event brings you fulfillment. In today’s world, happiness does not come easily, and with the stress of the daily routines, we forget to think about what makes us happy. Even though we may not think about it, it is important to stop and take a “happiness check” every once in a while, before we drown in deadlines and stress.

The best way to determine if what you are doing makes us happy is to align our actions with our values. Values are fundamental beliefs that you deem important aspects of your life. We all have basic fundamental values such as family and health, but how we actually amount for these fundamental beliefs and desires will differ. Some of us value getting good grades in school, so if we get an A+ on our test, we will feel happy! Others value competition, so winning the track race will make others feel happy. Make a list of the most important values in your life, and then determine if everything that you are doing (school, work, and free time) contributes to your values. When your actions fulfill your values, you will lead a purposeful and happy life!

Most of us actually lead happy lives but we are just focused on the negative aspects. Reminding ourselves of the things in our lives that make us happy is a great way to stay optimistic and grateful for the good things in our lives. Once a day, make a mental list of the good things in your life. It only takes a few minutes every day before you go to bed, while brushing your teeth, or on your way to school, to feel happy about the accomplishments and successful things in your life. Happiness comes when we look at the world with a better light. 

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Did you know our brains are wired to feel happiness when we are rewarded? That explains why it feels so good when you accomplish a goal! The problem is that most of us do not actually set goals in our lives even though we all want to accomplish something. So instead of wailing and sobbing about something that you want, go get it! Set S.M.A.R.T. goals (see our Consumer Jungle article referenced above for more on S.M.A.R.T. goals) for the things that you want, and work towards your goals. You’ll not only trigger a chemical response in your brain that makes you happy, but you will also obtain the thing that you wanted, adding to your happiness. Setting goals and accomplishing them makes you happy!

There are many things to feel happy about, and there is plenty to look forward to in the future. Remember to align your actions with your values to lead a purposeful and fulfilling life. Be grateful and happy with your daily list of the happiness in your life. Lastly, make S.M.A.R.T. goals and work towards them to earn the things that you want in your life. And smile! Even smiling for no reason is contagious! Happiness is what you make of it, so always make it part of your life.