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In the last post, we learned about creating your own happiness formula. Your happiness formula is an easy way to plan how you will get in some daily happiness. But what if you something happens and you are missing a critical part of your formula? You’ll have to make a substitution. This is why having a diverse source of happiness is important.
Being able to diversify the sources of happiness, it allows you to have a back up plan. By having a backup plan it makes being happier easier and more sustainable.
Honestly this is a lot like a brain dump for coming up with happiness ideas, except it is a bit more structured. When you do a brain dump of happiness, you are listing things that you already know make you happy. Diversifying your happiness sources requires you to expand past what you already know makes you happy and into new happy activities.
If you read yesterday’s post you know my happiness formula is:
[ Coffee Time = (coffee + reading + quiet) ]+Shower – waking up early = Perfect Morning
Well, today I didn’t get my coffee time or my shower and I had to wake up early. Hello! That’s all of the things in my happiness formula!
I can’t get my morning back but I can get my happy back because I have diversified my happiness sources.
If you look at my happiness formula, you will see coffee time. That is my time to use my Nespresso machine, read, and sit in quiet. I love coffee and that adds to the happiness but it isn’t actually the important piece of the equation. I love coffee time because I love reading and I love getting a few minutes of peace and quiet. See what I am doing here….
Break down your happiness formula to its smallest parts. We want to find the lowest common denominator so to speak.
Let’s look at my example again. If we break down my formula we find that I love reading, I like having some quiet time when the kids aren’t around, I like to be well rested, and I like to be clean… The coffee and the time of day are negotiable.
[Relaxation Time= (bath+ quiet+reading)]+ going to bed early= Perfect Evening
But that equation isn’t very different from the first. There is still room for improvement. We can break things down even more.
Here, I’ll show you some examples.
Intellectual Stimulation, Flexing Those Brain Muscles: I personally love to read because it helps me flex my brain muscles. But reading isn’t the only way to do that. How about crosswords, Sudoku, trivia, or puzzles?
Sensory Experiences: This is one I forget about all the time. We can make the happy hormones dance if we have the right sensory experience. Is there part of your happiness formula that could fall into this category? Things that could fall into this would be the feeling of cleanliness or the feel of silk sheets. Maybe its a favorite smell like rain or fresh laundry? Can you substitute something in your happiness formula with a different sensory experience?
Relationships: Do you love half-priced drinks and appetizers during happy hour? Or do you really love spending time with your friends? Do you love to throw large parties for a crowd or small intimate dinners for a couple of close friends? Maybe you like to have small dinners because you like intimate and in-depth conversation? How about having a coffee date with one friend? Or go on a girls trip with a group?
So lets look at my happiness formula again. Maybe it could look something more like this:
[Brain Flex = (news + discussion with husband)] + [Me Time= ( home pedicure + face mask+ YouTube)] + going to bed early= Perfect Evening
With this formula, I am doing different things but I am still getting in the different types of activities that make me happy.
But diversifying your happiness sources doesn’t have to be limited to your daily activities. You need to expand your happiness sources on the micro and macro levels.
For tonight: Yes it is time to put your thinking caps back on and do a bit more thinking about what makes you happy. We want to make sure you have a really good list built up. So come up with some additional happiness activities that are synonymous with your current list. Your list might include things you haven’t tried before and that’s okay too. I know we are doing a lot of list-making but I promise it won’t be a waste of time.