In August, my Be Positive evening retreat, based on Gratitude and Positivity, focused on how 40% of our happiness comes from intentional activity and the group ideas generated from the retreat exercise made us feel 100%. I explained how author Sonja Lyubomirsky’s research shows 10% of our happiness comes from life circumstances, 50% is from genetics, and 40% from intentional activities. This breakdown is turned into the Happy Pie – the representation of what we can do for ourselves to be happy!

Over 30 women put energy into what they can intentionally do to create their happy pie! After giving each group an opportunity to describe ingredients to create a whole pie, they came up with Fulfilled Pie, Soul Pie, Whoopi Pie, Peppy Pie, and Positivity Peachy Pie! They were ready to embrace what they had control of, such as:

  • Being in Nature
  • Making their Bed
  • Self -Compassion and Gratitude
  • Pet Love
  • Connection, Dance, and Laughter

What are your intentional activities to feel whole and happy?

The practice of gratitude, or being in the present moment here and now, is many things to many people.  During Be Positive, we discussed how expanding our horizons to express gratitude gave us more energy and positive emotions, and as a bonus, it has many health benefits as well. The happiness tool I often use to measure positive change is If I were 3% more grateful in my day, I would ______________.

I was over three percent more grateful to partner with Cathy Hansen, a certified Laughing Yoga instructor, to help us put some of these intentional activities into practice. We focused on many ideas, but here are five we explored:

  1. Journaling – A healthy way to reflect on the day in a written way. Take time to reconnect with yourself and your thoughts on paper.
  1. Smile – Everyone knows that when you’re happy, you smile, but it’s also true that when you smile, you are happy.
  1. Compliments – Brightening someone else’s day also brightens your own. Sincerity is a key component as well.
  1. Volunteer – Helping others, like victims of Hurricane Harvey or more recent Hurricane Irma, is a great way to boost how you feel about yourself.
  1. Meditation – Take 2 minutes to be calm and silent. Clear your mind and be present.

What are habits you create to find the positive side of your situations?

Whatever your habits are, if being more positive is on your mind – move forward with some of these or try something else without overthinking. Shake it off. It’s time to cut loose and have some fun. We think so much all day, every day, so start to set aside some thoughts for you. Don’t sweat the small stuff and enjoy your fresh Happy Pie!

Today’s author: Kelye Rouse-Brown, CHA, CHT is a business owner, joint venture partner, HR expert, certified coach, and training professional. Her 3 components: Educate, Motivate, and Cultivate help her clients develop, spark action, and grow a successful career/business and life from the core. Kelye can be reached at 301-371-9300 or by visiting her website: