If you’re over 50—or if you’re currently enrolled in kindergarten—you’ll know the title is from a song. Though whether we’re happy or not may not be so simple to know. We all clap our hands anyway. Myren, my curmudgeonly chauffeur, says he never clapped his hands in kindergarten when his class sang that song. Big surprise. Myren aside, we all want to be happy.
But how do we know if we’re happy, technically speaking? Well that’s a matter for experts to examine, including Dan Buettner, a National Geographic Fellow and bestselling author on the subject of living long, healthy & happy. I’ve read Buettner’s articles and many others about happiness—took a whole college course in psychology focusing on what makes happiness tick. Myren is rolling his eyes and I’m ignoring him because I’m happy—and sane.
After all that reading and studying, I’ve come up with my personal list. Check it out (everyone except Myren) to see how happy you are.
Top 7 ways you know if you’re happy:
- You laugh a lot. Like every day. Multiple times a day. Sounds simple, right? But really think about this one before you answer it for yourself. How often do you laugh? (Also, how often do you cry?)
- You like going to work every day. Especially if you’re like me and you don’t have to go anywhere! It’s no surprise that a long commute can be a big negative in people’s lives according to Buettner. It’s also no surprise that liking your job can make you happy.
You don’t even have to like your job if you like the people you work with. In fact, according to Buettner and others, liking your fellow employees and having friends at work is more important than making more money.
I can personally attest to the truth of this! (Myren is suspiciously quiet on the subject of workplace happiness. His mouth is clamped shut. I think he may be asking me for a raise later. But I digress…)
3. You have a great social network and get together with friends/family often. Everyone agrees about how important the people in your life are to your happiness, right?
4. You are healthy.
5. You make a decent living. No need for riches. But just in case, I did buy a Powerball ticket when the jackpot went to $625 million yesterday. It would be a kick to play Santa Claus with all that money. Which brings me to the next tellfor happiness.
6. You focus on others with acts of kindness, helpfulness, care, donating and/or volunteering. Or maybe you’re there for someone with a shoulder to cry on in a tragedy.
7. Life Balance. You have the right amount of work, social and sleep—and all those other healthy things like staying active. This is no news for anyone who spends too much time at work, or too much time sitting around. Or not enough time sleeping!
Now that you know, what are you going to do about it?
I’m going to work on getting more sleep!
(And I’m going to give Myren a big hug because he needs it.)
Tell me what you plan to do to improve your happiness.