Ten Steps on How to Be Happy

I’m so lucky to be at Brigham Young University’s Education Week! Here are the notes from one of my favorite classes.

Happiness, Justin B Top

Science, Psychology, Saints & Scriptures

You can’t use happiness as a gauge for your righteousness

WHAT IS HAPPINESS?

Emotions fluctuate/sleep/hormones/ health

Happiness is your perspective, a way of thinking, a state of mind ELEVATED PERSPECTIVES that leads to optimism, greater confidence,

To view the world, we all have our own unique world glasses: experiences, social influences, biological factors, genetics, gut bacteria, relationships. But we are not our glasses.

Consumerism is a huge factor in unhappiness.

Community and community celebrations increase happiness.

Happiness factors

50% genetic/biological

40% what you do

10% circumstances

Can you influence your bio? Yes, with sleep, exercise, healthy nutrition.

WE AREN’T GOING TO BE HAPPY IF WE’RE JUST ALONG FOR THE RIDE. WE NEED TO CREATE OUR OWN HAPPINESS

All we have to do is take steps. Be intentional about doing things to make our lives better

TOP TEN FACTORS OF HAPPINESS

  1. Freedom

Some people look at commandments as restrictions, but addictions and sins are the true restrictions.  A BIG PART OF HAPPINESS IS UNDERSTANDING THE CORRELATION BETWEEN SELF CONTROL AND FREEDOMS. Act for themselves and not to be acted upon, 2 Nephi 2:26  Every time we make a choice, it influences the future choices available to us.

  • Choice

Happiness is a choice. Abraham Lincoln, folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be. Freedom and choice relationship. When you choose to live a healthy life, you have more freedom to do things. Use choice wisely. Finances, relationships,

TAKE CONTROL AND CHOOSE TO BE HAPPY between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our power to grow. Frankl

You do not find a happy life, you make it—Thomas S. Monson

No one sees the world exactly the same

  • You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step. Emotional hygiene: taking daily steps to emotional steps. Take action. Chase after being good.

Life satisfaction: Ideals vs our behavior. The goal of life’s satisfaction is to get our ideals to match our behavior. The further they are a part, the greater our internal conflict. You can raise your behavior or lower your ideals. You can leave the church, but you can’t leave it alone, Joseph Smith. Unrealistic expectations. Comparisons to others. Acknowledging progress. Are we pushing to be better? Do you recognize God’s hand in your life? Do you give room for the atonement? Direction is more important than speed. Where do we find feelings of self-worth? It has to come from inside ourselves. It can’t be dependent on others. Does being more perfect make us feel closer to God and happier? Be compassionate with yourself

  • Pursuing Meaning choose one’s own way. Find something that gives us roots rather than being a tumble weed blown around by life. Stop and find a sense of joy. Marriage is about making us more like God. It’s a process. What brings joy? And what is the purpose of pain? Embrace pain and its meaning. Don’t try and avoid pain. Stability.
  • Direction and purpose: Where do you want to go and how will you get there? Everyone’s task is unique. We need to create our own path. It’s so easy to get off track. Every step ask yourself, does this line up with my purpose and goals?
  • Spirituality: A personal light that makes everything clearer. How is religion different from spirituality? The goal of religion is to lead us to spirituality. But you can be religious without spirituality and you can be spiritual without being religious. Oddly, being religious without spirituality is mentally dangerous and will cause unhappiness.
  • Live with passion: Flow. Finding the right reason for doing the right things. What makes you feel alive? What fills you emotionally? Find things that fill you, not drain you.
  • Gratitude: Gratitude can transform common days into Thanksgiving. Express gratitude to others. Write letters to people. We can refuse to remain in negative thought.
  • A sense of awe: Be content in whatever state we’re in. Be overwhelmed by the earth and its beauties.  Nature is the best medicine. Celebrate the sacred in your life. Remember the life moments that changed you forever. There’s beauty in everyone’s story.
  • Truth: Man should look for what is, and not for what he thinks should be. Einstein. Finding truth is a process, it’s getting to better know God. The nearer man approaches perfection the clear are his views and the greater his enjoyments, till he has over come the evils of his life and lost every desire for sin. Joseph Smith What truth really matters?

Truth about me

Relationship with others

My relationship with God

Truth is about peeling away all that doesn’t matter and facing who and what we really are. Identify the distortion of your lenses. 12 Steps of addiction are about identifying truth within ourselves, digging it all up and exposing all the lies.

Admit wrongs

Ready yourself for change

Seek God’s help

We create stories, we think we understand the truth of things, but often we really don’t. Like the apostles sitting around the table of the last supper, we need to ask, Lord is it I? What can I learn from this? Posture says something about our happiness. Take a receiving posture in life. Happiness is a butterfly—Hawthorne Let yourself be lived by life Lao Tzu. The more you fight against God’s plan for you, the unhappier you’ll be. Trust the journey. Go forward.

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