Happiness is a mental or emotional state of well-being characterized by positive or pleasant emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy.
Positive Psychology researcher Sonja Lyubomirsky describes happiness as “The experience of joy, contentment, or positive well-being, combined with a sense that one’s life is good, meaningful, and worthwhile.”
Sonja Lyubomirsky: The Benefits of Happiness
Sonja Lyubomirsky discusses research linking happiness to other positive things in life, including health, creativity, and better relationships.
The Greater Good Science Center at the University of California, Berkeley has a website http://greatergood.berkeley.edu with wonderful information and research regarding happiness. The following information is taken from their website.
Happiness leads to what we want: success, good health, friendships, generosity, better ability to cope with stress and trauma, leads to creativity, assists us in seeing “the big picture”
How to Strengthen Your Happiness:
- Build Relationships
- Practice Kindness, Compassion, and Empathy
- Don’t Focus on Material Things
Please be sure to read my post: Navigating “My Happy”
Changing Our Mindset
Below is a chart explaining Carol Dweck’s Growth Mindset vs. Fixed Mindset. We not only need to understand this for ourselves, but CHOOSE to have the growth mindset for our children, students, and/or employees. I believe most of us have a mix of both mindsets depending on the situation and the people involved. Sometimes we might use a fixed mindset for ourselves, but a growth mindset for our own children. It is definitely something to be aware of and observe where you see the two mindsets come into play in your life.
|The following information is adapted from Carol Dweck, World-renowned Stanford University psychologist’s theory on changing our mindset||GROWTH MINDSET
I believe my character, personality and intelligence can be developed. My true potential is unknown.
I believe that my character, personality, potential and intelligence are carved in stone and determined at birth.
|Desire||To push myself, take risks and constantly learn new things. I enjoy a challenge.||To look smart in every situation and to prove myself again and again. I must never fail.|
|Evaluation of situations||“Will it allow me to grow?” “Will it help me to overcome challenges?”||“Will I succeed at it or fail?”|
|Attitude to setbacks||“I failed. I’ll learn from it and move on.” “I’ll try harder next time.”||“I’m a failure.” “I knew I’d fail. I’m not smart.”|
|Attitude to challenges||I embrace challenges and persist when things get tough.||I avoid challenges. I get defensive and give up easily.|
|Effort||I believe that personal growth and learning require effort.||Why bother with effort? It’s not going to change a thing.|
|Criticism||I try to learn from criticism. “What can I do to improve?”||I ignore criticism. I do things my way.|
|The success of others||I find lessons and inspiration in other people’s successes.||I feel threatened by the successes of others. If they succeed, I fail.|
|Result||They achieve ever-higher levels of success.||They plateau early, and never reach their full potential.|
The following video explains the difference between having a fixed mindset or a growth mindset. Carol Dweck (Stanford University psychologist), Christine Carter (sociologist, happiness expert, author) and Kelly Corrigan (author) discuss mindset and motivation.
To learn more please visit their websites: