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Increase your happiness and well-being

There has been a lot of research in the psychology community around the topic of happiness and/or well-being.

One of the main ideas we take away from all the research is that to be happy/joyful/well we need to be connected in positive relationships with other people. While this seems overly simple, it is much tougher to achieve than you would initially think, especially in today’s high technology, highly competitive, and politically divisive world.

In fact, Gallup's research shows that to have a thriving day, people need six hours of social time. Now this does not mean you should be on social media for six hours a day. This means being in positive and personal interactions with other people six hours each day. This could be in meetings, at the dinner table, serving with others, or conversing over a cup of coffee. To really thrive you need to connect with others every day. Henry Cloud says, “The right kinds of relationships wire us for resilience and success.”

You may feel that you are with people all day long and you just need some down time or alone-time to recharge, which we fully understand. However, have you stopped to consider if those people are energizing you or zapping you of your energy? Are they helping you to be happy and joyful, to have a sense of well-being or are they making you miserable and grumpy?

Here are three tips to help you increase your happiness and well-being:

Find and build relationships with people who are positive and growing.

The person who is choosing to develop themselves in order to add value to their organization or family is likely driven by a positive energy. Positive energy is contagious. Positive people can help “infect” you with positive energy. You’ll recognize these people because they will be talking about their goals and what they plan to achieve. They will have a certain “pep in their step” and will be connecting with others. Go connect with them.


Be intentional about spending time with other people.

Put connecting time in your calendar and daily agenda. Decide who you need to spend time with and for what purpose (hint: to benefit them as well as you!). Then, just like all your other daily tasks, prioritize the time and make it happen. If you aren’t intentional about this connecting with others, it will not happen as you get caught up in other tasks of the day.


Find a way to serve with other people in meaningful ways.

Some of the most positive relationships and happiest times we’ve had have been when doing something meaningful and purpose driven with other positive and like-minded people. Whether it was serving in a church, community, or non-profit organization we all knew that what we were doing was making a difference. And that drove a sense of joy and happiness.


What can you do to connect in positive relationships with others, and increase your joy and happiness?


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