How to Gain Happiness this 2018?

Closeup shot of young friends sitting on staircase having fun. Happy girls and guys smiling and looking at camera. Young men and young women stay together.

How to Gain Happiness this 2018?

Contributed by
Dr. Alicia La Hoz

“When you have a job” was my quick response to my four-year-old’s question about how she could buy things. When she probed further and asked “what type of job could I have?”, I proudly smiled at her curious perseverance and her innocent interpretation of the world.   After the questions kept coming up for several nights in a row, I realized my abstract explanations were invalidating her desire to participate and to work. I thought, “well, why not take her up on her request?”  Thus, I took her to work on a quiet Friday morning where with focused determination she shredded papers for a couple of hours. She had been prepared and put her earned dollars in a small wallet previously given to her.  She said she wanted to go to the store to buy Christmas gifts.  She didn’t wait till Christmas day to give away a couple of the gifts she purchased at the dollar store. She was giddy with excitement at giving her gifts away.

My daughter experienced the blessing that comes with giving. Many of us were blessed this past season with the opportunity to serve and to share gifts with our loved ones and friends. Sure, the gifts we receive are nice but the cheerfulness of the season comes because of the fun we bask in while giving. Studies show a significant uptick in happiness for those who give. Those who give their time, their money, or their talents are much more likely to feel satisfied with life than those who don’t.

Would you like to be happy in 2018?  Make generosity a goal.

  • Be generous with your attitude: adopt an attitude that gives others the benefit of the doubt.
  • Be generous with your gratitude: be thankful to your family, to your co-workers. Don’t grow weary of telling them and showing them how grateful you are for them.
  • Be generous with your time: spend time with those you love. Cut back on the things that waste your time if need be in order to invest in people.
  • Be generous with your talents and gifts: volunteer, help someone in need, go out of your way to make a difference.
  • Be generous with your finances: next time you really want the next shiny item on your wishlist, choose to donate to a cause that matters to you as well.

This 2018, surprise your family and loved ones with a generous spirit, and in the end you may very well be surprised at the happiness in you find in return.

For more resources on personal and professional development,  you can follow Family Bridges on social media @familybridges.

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