You may be thinking, “I think I’m pretty happy, but how do I know?” Well, if you’re asking that question, odds are you’re not 100% happy – but who is? Here are 5 ways to measure your happiness, and take stock of how happy and successful you are in life.
For some people, this means money or a great job. For others it means a strong relationship or situation that is familiar to them and not likely to change a whole lot. Whatever it means to you, focus on that and grade your situation in terms of how secure you feel. The higher your security score, the happier you probably are.
While some people claim they don’t need anyone to be happy, and that may be true, odds are that having a love interest in your life (that is secure) will up your happiness factor dramatically. You could even have a romantic interest in someone who doesn’t even know you exist, and it could increase (or decrease) your happiness. Take stock of your love life, and see if that is a source of happiness or unhappiness in your life – and change it if you’re not happy with that.
Health has one of the biggest impacts on happiness, aside from romantic love. Think about it: Could you be totally happy if you were constantly in pain, or terrified that death loomed just over your head? People who are healthier are happier, and people who are happier are healthier. It’s sort of a “chicken and the egg” argument – we aren’t sure which situation creates the other, but they are entirely connected. So feed yourself good food, exercise frequently, and smile more. Your health and happiness depend on it.
People who believe they are providing a value to others, whether in the form of money, time, expertise, love, etc. feel that they are happier. If you feel valued for whatever you have to offer the world, you’re probably happier. Take a moment to reflect on what value you bring, and what you would want to add if you could. If you don’t feel valued enough, think about what you have to offer, and offer it! Volunteer, help a friend, spend more time with your kids, whatever it is that you know will make an impact on someone’s life.
People who feel rushed, stressed, too busy with work or family, and feel they have no time to themselves feel the least happy. Having time to do the things you love to do is a sign of true happiness, and it’s reflected in the amount of effort someone puts into making time. Take a minute to consider how much time you set aside for yourself, or for your whole family, and decide if you’re happy with that amount. If you’re not, don’t just say, “Oh I’m too busy.” Physically carve out or schedule that time in for yourself, because the happiness of yourself and others can’t wait.