All humans want to be happier. And research is demonstrating that you can increase your happiness by making improvements in your social ties, body, spirit, and mind. But it’s also true we each have our own natural inclinations - you may strongly gravitate to one area over others. Maybe you love running regularly, while you spend less time on personal relationships or vice versa. Knowing the areas in which you are strongest and weakest can help you gain self-awareness, celebrate your strengths and really hone in on areas for improvements.
So take a short Happiness Strength Inventory: for each of the following areas, rate how satisfied you are on a scale of 1-10. It need not be a precise calculation, but try to answer by really paying attention to what your gut is telling you.
Social Ties – This relates to friendships and connecting with a greater community. This includes things like:
- Personal relationships where you can discuss personal matters
- Personal relationships you can rely on during trying times
- Belonging to a group or larger community
Body – This refers to all things that create and maintain a healthy body. This includes things like:
- Regular exercise and sports
- Eating right
- Sleeping well
- Minimizing habits that may damage your body (i.e. cigarettes and alcohol)
Spirit – This really refers to having meaning and purpose in your life. This includes things like:
- Feeling like you connect with something greater than yourself
- Feeling that you are on this earth for a special purpose and living it out
- Finding meaning in small moments
Mind – This relates to what’s going on inside your mind. This includes things like:
- Encouraging yourself and others
- Seeing the positive of a situation
- Self-soothing amidst trying times
Now look at your results – Where are you strongest and where are you weakest? The great thing is that we can improve in any of these areas through a little education and effort.
For your weakest area, then, take a moment to think about what might be holding you back, and then write down something you could do to take action. It doesn’t have to be big – in fact, it should be something small and attainable. Small wins are great beginnings.
For your strongest area, take a moment to reflect and celebrate. This is a gift and you may be able to even help others in this area.
I will elaborate more on tips and techniques to help you improve in each of these areas in my next post. In the meantime, you can signup for early access to Uplifter, a mobile app that provides daily positive journaling exercises to help lift your mood at http://www.uplifter.io