Check Your Happiness Ratio

April 18, 2011 at 18:27 Leave a comment

As I write this on Sunday the 17th of April the results of the Finland’s on-going parliamentary election are being counted. After the preliminary votes have been counted the situation doesn’t really enhance happiness. Still, with the zen quality of mind, reminiscing Tolle’s teachings I’m determined to post about happiness. So here’s to a brighter future!

Barbara L. Fredrickson, Ph.D. and the director of Positive emotions and Psychophysiology Laboraty, published a book called Positivity in 2009. In her book she describes ten different emotional states that reflect happiness. I haven’t yet read the book but I found these emotions interesting and useful as means to mindfully learn to facilitate feelings of happiness. I encourage you too to apply these into your life. It’s a possibility to affect the 50 000 to 60 000 thoughts that go trough your head every day.  Our thoughts are mostly repetitive so a minor change for the better might result in a noticeable improvement in experienced happiness.

There’s also a test on Barbara’s site (Positivity Ratio) that you can make to score your happiness ratio for today. I suggest doing it to gain a little insight for your emotional status. As for me, the ratio left room for improvement even though I consider myself being quite on the happy side.

10 EMOTIONAL STATES THAT REFLECT HAPPINESS

  1. Joy  – I get joy out of flow experiences such as a good workout or an inspiring conversation. Today I was overjoyed for getting to swim in the sea!
  2. Gratitude – I’m grateful for having been born in such a privileged position. Today I was grateful for having all my limbs after watching a video of Nick Vojicic.
  3. Serenity – Working on this one through meditation, currently Tolle as my guide. Today I did a 6 minute meditation in the morning and went for a walk in the evening to calm my election aroused mind.
  4. Intrest – I’m hopelessly interested in plentiful things in life! Today I was interested in the politics and the feelings the elections generated in people.
  5. Hopefulness – As a person and as an occupational therapist I’ve always seen more possibilities than boundaries. Today I tried to keep up hope despite of the political shift to the right in Finland.
  6. Pride – I’m proud of our profession’s ability to see the speciality in every client. Today I was proud of myself entering the coldish sea water.
  7. Amusement – I get easily amused; it could be a funny dog (or MY dog😉), myself screwing things up or some real life comedy such as a person’s “agenda” in a social situation going wrong. Today I was amused by a Spiderman band in the park consisting of elderly spidermen…
  8. Inspiration – I’m often inspired by extraordinary people or strikingly beautiful nature or a good book. Today I was inspired by the amazing Nick Vojicic mentioned above.
  9. Respect – I (try to) respect all living creatures. Today I really admired Nick Vojicic’s courage and life force. I also bought organic meat in respect of animals being treated well.
  10. Love – I’m lucky to have a tight knit group of my loved ones. Today I was happy to chat with my mom when I felt a bit lonely.
In occupational therapy we usually look at a person’s life in three areas: self-care (washing, dressing, eating, sleeping etc.), work (employment, voluntary work, studying etc.) and leisure (hobbies, recreation, socializing etc.). The emotional states mentioned above should be covered within those three areas. To ensure a good quality of life these areas should be in balance; the possibly neglected area or the area that’s been most affected by changes in the person’s state of health is usually the one that shall be paid the most attention in occupational therapy. This type of emotional analysis might help to work with a client on some specific areas and it most certainly will benefit all social relationships.

So, are you having any problems regards to these emotions and their manifestation in everyday life?

Entry filed under: mindfulness, Occupational Therapy. Tags: .

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