More Likely If You Know and Focus on the 4 Keys to Happiness!

 If you are focusing on the four keys to being happier, then probably YES, according to Dr. Albert Brooks, Harvard PhD who teaches the Art and Science of Happiness.  Those four elements are family, friends, faith, and purpose

However, there are lots of things that can negatively impact holiday happiness, and it is worth pondering these obstacles.  “Won’t it depress me to think about them?” you might wonder?  Not according to Brooks, who is the co-author of Build the Life You Want.  Brooks and Oprah Winfrey  promote using  metacognitionthinking and writing about your thoughts as a way to bring to the surface those thoughts that are subconsciously controlling your life from behind the scenes.

 Three Big Impediments to Being Happier!

Impediment 1 is when reality does not meet expectations.  Case in point, our youngest son and his lovely girlfriend visited for a week.  I thought about all the cool things we were going to do together when they arrived.  I cleared my schedule and then – Covid hit her really hard.  Our dear Claire ended up being in a room isolating for more than 5 days.

It is a good thing I cleared my calendar because I switched my priorities to having fun with them to helping her get better and keeping the rest of us from getting sick.  But I needed to quickly shift my mindset and my heart  to embrace the time we were given together.  What emerged was a greater closeness and so much gratitude and appreciation on her part.  Guess what contributes to being happier–gratitude and appreciation! WOW!

Impediment number 2 to being happier during the holiday and for that matter any time of year, is the pursuit of the golden idols. The question to ask yourself according to the Professor Brooks is “are you choosing specialness over happiness?” Often that decision determines how much time is spent pursuing money, fame, status, and “deal relationships” versus your “real relationships”.  Before 2024, it might be worth pondering how many of your friends are “real versus deal”.

Impediment number 3 to being happier is very ingrained and difficult to diagnose and stop doing.The curse of social comparison and as Dr. Brooks points out “nobody’s safe!  The brain research on social comparison helps us understand why it is so detrimental to our happiness.  To simplify, social comparison activates the part of the brain that seeks reward and pleasure.  Pursuing these fleeting emotions do not last as I pointed out in the last blog.  If you missed it, you can read it here. 

Another danger of social comparison is that it can lead to envy, a dangerous and depleting emotion.  “Observe More, Judge Less” is a piece of advice Brooks gives.  Easy to say, not easy to do.  You might practice with simple things like catching yourself before you say “I hate … for instance, the weather!”  Instead, you might say something like the “weather is very cold today which means I am either staying at home or bundling up.” Do you see the difference?

The first statement is full of comparisons that create a corresponding negative emotion. The other one is a neutral observation that conveys information and helps you make decisions that could lead to being happier and less judgemental.

Being Authentic On Social Media Has Worked for Me! 

Social media can be very dangerous at this time of the year if you believe your circumstances are not as good as what you are seeing portrayed.  I will use me as an example again.  I have many fond memories of eating yummy sweets around the holidays.  But my stomach issues have been rearing their ugly heads a lot lately.  So not only do I have to avoid most of the foods that are being doled out, but I have decided to talk about these issues publicly to help others. Helping others has also made me feel better and now I know the science behind it thanks to Dr. Brooks.

If I can personally help you in 2024, I have a few openings for online private health coaching, HeartMath emotional regulation coaching and yoga teaching.  You can check out all my services through my website by clicking here.  You can also schedule a 20 minute one time FREE consult to see if we are the right fit by clicking here.

Wishing You Health and a Happier 2024,



Translate »

Get Instant Access to 5 Gentle Somatic Yoga Ways to Ease Chronic Low Back and Hip Pain

Join our mailing list to receive the weekly tips to Age Vibrantly No Matter What You Are Facing! 

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This