To mark International Happiness Day, John Drake, DO, Parkview Physicians Group – OB/GYN, and certified life coach, shares his findings on the pursuit of joy.
Q. Why do you think so many people struggle with happiness?
I think that people struggle with happiness because they dwell on the 10 percent or so of negativity in their lives and not on the 90 percent of good things. Positive people tend to have gratitude for the simplest positive things in their lives.
Q. What are some of the simplest ways to achieve happiness or work toward feelings of happiness?
Make a list of things that are important and good in your life and that you can do something about. I love to use the statement, "Every time I do [something], I experience joy."
Q. What are our six core needs?
Certainty, Uncertainty, Significance, Love/Connection, Growth and Contribution. Each need fits a purpose. It’s a matter of understanding each one of these and balancing them out. We need to make Growth and Contribution the highest needs.
Q. If you could suggest three simple things people could change today to work toward happiness, what would they be?
Decide if what you’re stressing out about is worth it or not, figure out something you can do each day to help someone else, and pat yourself on the back every day. Look in the mirror and say, "You rock!"
Q. What’s something simple you can do in the morning to fuel happiness throughout your day?
In the morning, I journal. I write some notes about how I feel and what I need to do. I try to give 10 minutes of gratefulness to my creator each morning as well. Then I take 30-60 minutes for myself to exercise or walk.
Q. What is a simple change people can make in the evenings to achieve greater happiness?
Spend a little time with loved ones. Turn off the TV and communicate or read a book.