Happiness is a state of mind that’s influenced by numerous internal and external factors. You might occasionally feel like it’s out of your control, but creating a happiness tracking project to record your experiences and appreciating simple pleasures can help you take control of your life and find the positivity in what you have. Take a closer look at what a happiness tracking project involves and how it can help you look on the bright side of life.
What Is a Happiness Tracking Project?
There are many benefits to tracking your happiness. You will get to know yourself better by becoming more aware of your mental and emotional states, and will be able to consciously work towards becoming a happier person. Essentially, a happiness tracking project is a way to collect “data” on your happiness and make changes in your life based on those insights.
How to Track Your Happiness Levels
The best way to tell if you’re happy is through self-reflection and introspection. You can even use questionnaires and tools to help you figure out what matters most in your life. The following are some of the best options for tracking happiness levels.
The Oxford Happiness Questionnaire is a psychometric scale of happiness developed by Peter Hills and Micahel Argyle. It’s a 29-item questionnaire that asks you to rate your responses to a variety of statements on a scale of 1–6 (1 being “strongly disagree” and 6 being “strongly agree”). The questionnaire involves statements such as “I am satisfied with my life” and “I rarely wake up feeling rested.”
The answers to these questions correlate to life satisfaction, with an overall average above 5 indicating higher levels of well-being and happiness. A score of 3–5 indicates that you are moderately happy. A score of 6 represents the happiest you can be, where you feel as though all your needs have been met and life is going better than expected.
The Subjective Happiness Scale, developed by Sonja Lyumbomirsky and Lepper, is a short questionnaire measuring subjective happiness. It’s comprised of a four-item questionnaire that asks participants to rate their levels of happiness as well as rate their happiness levels relative to others in their age group and demographic on a seven-point Likert scale.
How to Create a Happiness Project That Works For You
Everybody wants to be happy, but each of us has a different idea of what happiness means. You can make your life happier by making specific changes and learning strategies for preventing relapses into negative moods and behaviors.
Make an Honest Inventory of Your Life
When you’re out to start a happiness journey, you’d need to ask yourself if you’re happy with the way things are, or if you want to improve certain aspects of your life. After all, the key to your happiness lies in knowing yourself. Make a list of everything that brings you joy, as well as everything that doesn’t.
Identify Areas With Low Happiness Scores
Once you’ve figured it out, look at the areas of your life that are giving you a low “happiness score”. To do this, consider one element of your life (like spending time with friends) and rate it from 1 to 10 (one being low happiness and 10 being high happiness). Ask yourself why it has such a low or high score.
Once you’ve figured out what needs work, start making changes. For example, if spending time with friends makes up half of your happiness score, then try finding ways to arrange meet-ups, join book clubs, and more.
How to Improve Your Happiness Score
There’s nothing more important than feeling good about yourself, which is why it’s essential that you take steps to improve your happiness score. Here are some ways you can make positive changes.
1. Draw Up SMART Goals
It’s all about taking a look at your current situation. Try asking yourself questions such as:
- What do I want in life?
- What makes me feel alive?
- What would make me smile right now?
Of course, these would be different for everyone, but some common aspects include:
- Health issues
These goals should always be specific and measurable so that you can see what progress has been made over time.
2. Use Bullet Journaling Apps to Record Experiences
When you want to track your happiness, it can be hard to start. But once you’ve got a system in place, it’s easy to keep up the habit—and reap the rewards.
Use a bullet journaling app like Bujo to record and reflect on your best moments, positive emotions, experiences, thoughts, and emotions regularly. You can use it to track your daily tasks and set goals and deadlines. It can help you be more grateful and mindful of the things that matter.
To keep things organized, you can color-code and categorize your thoughts in a variety of ways (like by topic or emotion). You can even track your moods and log in sleep schedules.
3. Check for Happiness Triggers
Happiness is a state of mind—it’s something that you can usually control by choosing to do things that make you feel good. One way to do this is by using a mood tracker app, such as Moodflow. This type of app allows you to log positive behaviors and actions (happiness triggers) and also can show you patterns in your life that are making you sad. It’s up to you to make a conscious effort to stay away from these stressors.
4. Create a Happiness Tracker Template
A happiness tracker spreadsheet is yet another easy way to keep track of how you’re feeling, what makes you happy, and what you want to do more of. You can create a simple spreadsheet in Google Sheets or Excel, but if you want something more visual, try a template from Canva. Once you’ve created your template, add some columns such as the following:
- Happiness Score (how happy you are on a scale from 1–10)
- Mood (what makes you feel good/bad today?)
5. List Your Happiness Strategies or Actions
Make a list of possible strategies you can use to stay happy, such as the following ideas:
- Optimism: Find ways to be more optimistic about your life and the world around you. Focus more on the positive aspects of a situation instead of simply dwelling on the negatives.
- Improve communication: Improve your communication skills so that you can express how you’re feeling and what you need from others. This can include practicing active listening skills and being more clear about what it is that you want, need, or feel when communicating with others.
- Keep away from stress: Use meditation apps to help you relax and reduce stress levels. You also need to get plenty of sleep, exercise regularly, eat well-balanced meals, and drink plenty of water throughout the day.
- Focus on self-care: Take out time each day when you do something just for yourself. This might mean going out for coffee with friends or taking a walk around town while listening to music; whatever makes you happy is fine.
Get on the Path to a Happy Life
Ultimately, all of these tips boil down to creating a happiness-tracking project that will work best for you—and then deciding to follow through with it. Take a little time, think about the things that are important to you, and begin tracking your progress in the pursuit of an enriching experience. This process may take some trial and error to get right, but it’s certain to be a rewarding experience as your life becomes more in line with what you want it to be.