Could you use more happiness? Is there actually a way to be happier? 

In Gretchen Rubin’s book, The Happiness Project, she challenges us to look at happiness and see what we can do to boost it. Gretchen engages her readers in different concepts each month to build a stronger foundation of happiness.

In her first chapter, she focuses on how to find happiness. Her happiness project is fun and helps us explore the idea of happiness and how to increase it. 

Happiness is the state of being happy, a feeling or showing pleasure or contentment. Do you know that 1.2 billion people are looking up happiness on the internet? This tells me that lots of people are trying to find more happiness.

Not sure how happy you really are? One way to determine your happiness is to take the Subjective Happiness Scale (Lyubomirsky, S., & Lepper, H).

Subjective Happiness Scale

For each of the following statements and/or questions, please circle the point on the scale that you feel is most appropriate in describing you. 

  1. In general, I consider myself: 

1     2     3     4     5     6    

Not very happy                 very happy  

  1. Compared to most of my peers, I consider myself: 

1     2     3     4     5     6    

Less happy                     more happy 

  1. Some people are generally very happy. They enjoy life regardless of what is going on, getting the most out of everything. To what extent does this characterization describe you? 

1     2    3     4     5     6    

Not happy at all                 Very happy 

  1. Some people are generally not very happy. Although they are not depressed, they never seem as happy as they might be. To what extent does this characterization describe you? 

1     2     3     4     5     6    

Not at all                     a great deal.

*Lyubomirsky, S., & Lepper, H. (1999). A measure of subjective happiness: Preliminary reliability and construct validationSocial Indicators Research, 46, 137-155. The original publication is available at www.springerlink.com.

Taking that quiz can be an eye opener to how happy you are. How did you score? Did you notice in some ways you are not happy or not as happy as you want to be?

Gretchen Rubin spends time in each of her chapters looking at how to increase happiness. I think you will find the ideas presented are helpful to boost happiness.

One way to increase happiness is to boost your energy, which entails increasing some basic shifts in your life.

First, go to sleep earlier.

Focus on getting 8 hours of sleep. Truthfully, many of us are sleep deprived. Here are some ways to get better sleep:

  1. Turn off electronics.
  2. Make the room dark.
  3. Keep the room cold. 

Second, exercise better (this is a term Gretchen uses)

She talks about being more efficient in your exercise/movement. I am really a just do it kind of girl. There are many hacks I try to use: 

  1. First, I call it movement. I find many people are turned off to “exercising” because they have felt so much shame over their lives about their weight and body image. 
  2. Second, I put it in my calendar. I actually have my gym time in my schedule. I find it is hard skipping a day when it is in my calendar.
  3. Third, my movement is fun. Yes, it is fun. I make it a goal to find movement that is enjoyable. We are physical beings in a physical body that does require us to have some form of movement. Do what is fun!

Third, get rid of the clutter: toss, restore, organize:

Look around and see what type of clutter you have. 

  1. Nostalgic clutter 
  2. Conservation clutter 
  3. Nostalgic clutter
  4. Bargain clutter
  5. Freebie clutter
  6. Crutch clutter 
  7. Aspirational clutter
  8. Outgrown clutter
  9. Buyer’s remorse clutter

This clutter can make you feel energetically stuck. See where your clutter is and find a way to either toss, restore or organize. You will feel more energy from it.

Fourth, tackle a nagging project.

What is an unfinished task that is nagging at you? We all have them and they help us to remain energetically stuck. I have some craft project that I either need to finish or get rid of. What about you?

Fifth, just act more energetic.

Putting out energy or effort does increase energy. I find action creates more action. It is a physical phenomenon. 

Lastly, listen to the Feed Your Soul with Kim podcast focused on Finding Happiness


Getting happier is a goal I can get behind. It makes me feel good. What can you do today to get happier? 

Kim McLaughlin, MA is a Counselor, Speaker, Podcaster and Inspirational Coach who specializes in working with people who suffer from binge eating and emotional eating. She is a Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor. She is the author of the book Feed Your Soul Nourish Your Life! A Six Step System to Peace with Food and the Amazon #1 Best Selling book Discovery Your Inspiration

You can find Kim on her podcast Feed Your Soul with Kim and you can find it on all podcast platforms. 

Determine if you are an Emotional Eater by signing up for the free Am I an Emotional Eater Quiz at https://kimmclaughlin.influencersoft.com/FYSU-EE

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