Increase Your Happiness by Choosing the Right Relationships and Community

 

“We must select our environment with the greatest of care, because environment is the mental feeding ground out of which the food that goes into our minds is extracted”~Napoleon Hill

 

 

Increase Your Happiness by Choosing the Right Relationships

Everything in one’s life can be viewed as a relationship of one kind or another– from our relationship to our physical and social environment to our relationship to our own self.

Understanding how your relationships effect your happiness and well-being is essential to your ultimate success. You can begin to subtly shift your relationships to directly increase your happiness, productivity and overall well being.

The first and most fundamental relationship is the one you have with your physical environment. The town, city, state and even nation we live in will directly effect our lifestyle and the outcomes we produce in life. The way that our communities are built can deeply effect multiple factors and consequently the course of our lives.

An article written recently in the Los Angeles times discusses the concept of tracking environmental factors in city residents. The article states that “well-being measures can capture intangible factors important to civic life. For example, the more connected people feel to their community, the more likely they are to bounce back after a natural disaster. And people with better mental health tend to pay less for healthcare.”

Start to notice the way in which your environment effects your day to day choices and ultimately your outcomes. Are there factors in your city or even home or office that can be changed to support you?

The second relationship is the one we have with our social environment. The people we decide to associate with, the community events we attend and the relationships we engage in will be the most influential part of our lives. Even the choices the people we associate with make will directly result our own choices.

In their book Connected: The Surprising Power of Our Social Networks, Doctors Nicholas Christakis and James Fowler discovered that if your friend’s friend’s friend starts gaining weight or takes up smoking, you’re more likely to do the same. That is powerful. It is essential to look at who you are associating with. Are the people in your life inspiring and uplifting? Who are they connecting with and what does their life consist of? Do you have positive networks in place? Do you have mentors you look up to?

The last relationship discussed here is the relationship of internal self talk. It is easy to overlook but our relationship with the thoughts in our very own head are key to our happiness. Do you let negative self talk or limiting beliefs get in the way of how much happiness you allow in your life? If so, know that there is so much more available to you. There are many awareness techniques available including practices such as meditation and breathing that can begin to alter the environment of internal self talk. Check out what is going on in your local community.

Coaching Questions:

What do you think? Can you clearly see how your relationship with these areas is effecting your choices and your actions and ultimately your happiness in life? Which of these three relationships is effecting your day-to-day results the most? Write down three things can you change in that area today to increase your happiness.

Leave me a comment and let me know what comes up for you and how I can support you in increasing your happiness by choosing the right relationships and community. Wishing you a very happy and fulfilling day!

Appreciatively,

Dr. Lynn K Jones

P.S.  Be a source of inspiration to the people in your life and share this post!

Dr. Lynn K. Jones is a Board Certified Coach and an Advanced Certified Personal and Executive Coach based in Santa Barbara, California and a sought after coach and consultant for organizations and individuals across the US.   Her doctoral work completed at the Wurzweiler School of Social Work, Yeshiva University concerned organizational culture; she coaches, consults and trains organizations on what they need to do to create organizational cultures that are aligned with their vision and values using a process of Appreciative Inquiry.  She coaches individuals on achieving their reflected best selves.  A MSW@USC faculty member, Dr. Lynn K. Jones, MSW, DSW, CSWM, teaches Human Behavior and Social Environment and Leadership to social work students at the University of Southern California.

10 Comments

  1. Calla Gold on April 16, 2013 at 9:12 pm

    Great post! The old adage “You are who you hang out with” is pretty accurate. Expanding that to where you live, who your friends’ friends’ friends hang out with, and your own internal relationship makes sense.

    • DrLynnKJones on April 17, 2013 at 11:06 am

      @Calla Gold I know that you inspire positivity every where you go @Calla Gold Thanks for being such a beacon of hope and being in my world!
      Appreciatively,
      Lynn

      • Calla Gold on April 17, 2013 at 9:45 pm

        @DrLynnKJones  @Calla Gold  That just makes my day Dr. Lynn! You have more of my admiration to so bravely being appreciative like you do.

  2. LeadingEdgeTutors on April 24, 2013 at 9:46 am

    Great article. Are greatest wealth is the relationships we have. Very true and I think it takes time and “weeding out” to get to that wealth. We can sometimes waste time in thinking that we have connected with the “good” relationship, then to find out that it is not. My question is, how can we know that it is a healthy relationship without spending all the “weeding out” time?
    Thanks!

    • DrLynnKJones on April 24, 2013 at 3:03 pm

      @LeadingEdgeTutors Great question.  I think that it easier for some than others.  In the new book Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg (highly recommend it) she says that a colleague always used to tell a new date that she had to cancel for a work reason.  If he balked she knew he wasn’t for her because respect for her work in a relationship was critically important.  Perhaps you can find a question that really tests someone about something that you care about to help you weed them out or in.
      Appreciatively,
      Dr. Lynn

  3. Tim Welch on April 27, 2013 at 9:24 pm

    Lynn:

    I just presented to the National Association of Activity Professionals on the topic of “Inspiring Extraordinary Individual and Organizational Performance” and found myself accentuating the importance and value of connectedness across the human spectrum. The sub-topics were Kindness and Civility, Positivity and Optimism, Forgiveness, Fun and Gratitude all of which are powerful connection builders in the workplace and—in life.

    • Dr. Lynn K. Jones on April 29, 2013 at 10:41 am

      Hi Tim,
      That sounds fabulous. I don’t know about the National Association of Activity Professionals. Would love to hear more about it!
      Appreciatively,
      Lynn

  4. GabePerez on August 25, 2013 at 3:48 pm

    I think people really underestimate how much influence your environment can have on you.  There have been some studies that show that temperature can affect the rate of violence.
    Fascinating to know that people who are so seemingly far removed can still play a role in our lives.
    Great info!

    • DrLynnKJones on August 25, 2013 at 4:19 pm

      GabePerez How interesting, Gabe!  I agree, we need to tune in to our environment and be more sensitive to how it may be influencing us.
      Appreciatively,
      Lynn

  5. Creating a Healthy Environment at Work on June 26, 2016 at 1:45 pm

    […] you create a healthy work environment? I got some inspiring responses last week in my post how to Increase Your Happiness by Choosing the Right Relationships.  One woman shared…. “I just resigned from an Office RN position because of the toxic […]

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