Happiness seems like such a personal emotion but what new studies show is that happiness is just the result of a very specific skill that is universally attainable.
The Mayo clinic has been studying happiness for decades. They are one of the most well known, esteemed health organizations in the world and have studied well over tens of thousands of patients. With nearly 10, 000 studies currently underway looking at every human condition, why focus on happiness? Well, according to the Mayo Clinic…happy is healthy!
According to psychiatrist John Tamerin, we are constantly in pursuit of happiness. We are looking for better jobs, more money, true love, more friends…we search and search but that search often leads us to unhappiness. Tamerin said “If you lead your life always waiting for a great thing to happen, you probably will be unhappy”.
So if trying to achieve happiness makes us unhappy, what can we do? Researchers have made a handbook with their findings. Their “code” for happiness. Leading the research was Dr. Amit Sood. What he found is that if we want to be happy, we have to develop a specific skill. We need to be able to focus our attention. Minds inherently bounce from one thought to another (good and bad) – but if we can ease that restlessness and shift our perspective to embrace the positive, we will be happier! Sood says that we can “choose to live focusing on what is not right in” our lives but if we can simply learn to command our thoughts and attention, then we can essentially CHOOSE to be happy.
Studies have also shown that resiliency is an important factor in happiness. The Mayo Clinic’s research shows a direct correlation between happiness and how well people deal with hardship. Happy individuals are able to easily compartmentalize their feelings and create clear boundaries between life’s curve balls and life’s gifts. Someone who has this ability would be able to come home after a really bad day and greet their family with genuine smiles, love and happiness. They make the decision to create a boundary and in that moment block out the bad bits of their day.
Lionel Ketchian, the founder of The Happiness Club, will soon celebrate twenty-five years of happiness. He specifically remembers the day (December 24, 1990) and the time (around 5pm). He said, “I found it. I felt it. I didn’t want to let go of it”.
Lionel Ketchian didn’t find happiness, he chose it – and he wants us to know that “happiness is a decision” that we can choose too.