"If you're happy and you know it, clap your hands." Remember that song from your childhood? Sometimes I sing it to my kids and it always makes them laugh. Do you know if you're happy?
Abe Lincoln said, "Most people are just about as happy as they make up their minds to be." Based on history, we know that Lincoln had tremendous personal, business and political problems throughout his entire life.
In order to overcome his many disappointments, bear his heavy burdens and accomplish all that he did, while still considering himself to be a happy person, Abraham Lincoln must have realized that he was responsible for his own happiness.
But, if that's true, how do you create happiness? Is there a formula that we can use? And, if so, what is it?
Recently, British researchers interviewed and studied a wide selection of over a thousand men and women to find out what makes people happy. Their intention was to discover a formula for true happiness. Here's what they found.
Whether you're young or old, married or single, you probably already realize that men and women are different, right? After all, men are from Mars and women are from Venus. So therefore, the research results would have to reveal something that most of us already know - men and women find their happiness in different ways.
You're probably aware of some of the ways, but others might surprise you. The women, for example, enjoyed being with family, felt good when they lost weight and said that sunny weather really turns them on. These were the specific daily events that, on the whole, were found to most influence women's happiness.
Men, on the other hand, had a completely different list for their favorite happy events. The men's happiness was most influenced by hobbies, sex and the victories of their favorite sports teams. So far, is anybody surprised?
But weren't there any areas where men and women agreed? Happily, there were! Both found that, in priority order, good health, strong friendships and financial stability were at the top of their list. And that's not all the grounds for mutual happiness.
This research proved that, without a doubt, what had the most influence on a person's happiness was his or her general attitude about life. That included feelings about their past, adaptability to their present and expectations for their future. In other words, an optimistic, positive point of view creates happy feelings.
So, what's "The Happiness Formula"? Just like Lincoln said, you have to first make up your mind to be happy and lay down a foundation of optimistic attitude. Changing your perspective to a positive outlook about your past, present and future can take some work, but happiness is worth it.
Next, you need to add health, friendships and financial stability. This means you take steps to get and stay healthy, cultivate relationships and effectively manage your finances.
After that, throw in a sprinkling of all the other male or female things that turn you on - depending on which you are. And, voila, according to research, you've got the natural formula for true happiness!