Wednesday, March 9, 2011

High on the happiness scale

I read this article a few days ago and found this section particularly intriguing: 
In a recent study, Schkade and colleagues asked more than 900 working women to write down everything they'd done the day before. Afterward, they reviewed their diaries and evaluated how they felt at each point. When the women saw how much time they spent on activities they didn't like, "some people had tears in their eyes," Schkade says. "They didn't realize their happiness was something they could design and have control over."
I would classify myself as quite high on the happiness scale, but the idea that I may actually be bad at understanding what makes me happy gave me pause. Yesterday I decided to write down everything I did throughout the entire day - ate granola while listening to NPR, edited an e-newsletter in the office, had a terrible, long commute home, and on and on. This morning I went over the list and ranked everything on a scale of 1 (miserable) to 10 (super happy!).

Not surprisingly, my happiest times were in the morning and evening, i.e., when not at work. There were lots of 7 and 8 moments, and even a 9, but not a 10. How upsetting to not have a moment of complete happiness during the entire day!

This morning I started to write a little list of things that have made me super happy (!) in the past. Sending or receiving a note. Getting a little dressed up and going on a date with Peter. Arranging a bouquet of flowers and sprinkling them throughout the apartment. Small things, really. Which should make them incredibly easy to incorporate into everyday life.

Here's to embracing even more joy and happiness!


  1. this is such a great reminder - we can absolutely influence our days by choosing to live intentionally.

  2. Yes! I love this... we should all spend more time focusing on the little things that make us happy in life.

  3. Thanks for the reminder! Let us put away the things that make us sad, worried, or just less-than-happy, and focus instead on the good.

    P.S. The Life image is adorable!

  4. Thanks so much, ladies. It's nice to know we all need the reminder sometimes. It's a bit scary how easy it is to let all the happy, fun stuff fall by the wayside!


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