The 3 things that determine our mood and resilience according to science

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Is our mental wellbeing determined by how we wake up each morning? Are we just victims of the events that happen to us? With so many bad news stories in our 24/7 news cycle, sometimes it is tempting to roll over and stay in bed. But what if we had control over our wellbeing – and our resilience, fulfilment and productivity?

Sonja Lyubomirsky, a psychology professor at the University of California, wrote a book called The How of Happiness. In researching the book, she reviewed  400+ peer review studies to understand what influences mood, or what psychologists call “positive affect”.

She found that our mood largely came down to three elements. These were our genetics, the events that happen to us, and the intentional actions we take each day.  What do you think would be the biggest contributor to our mood? Events, genetics, or actions?

Genetics contribute 50% of our mood. Some people are born with higher mental wellbeing and resilience than others. They’ve done studies with separated identical twins that confirm this. The circumstances or the events in our lives were only found to be responsible for 10% of our wellbeing.

Our “intentional actions” were found to contribute 40% of our mood. We can’t control our genetics and often we have very little impact on the events that happen, but we can control what we do each day. This is great news because if we can consciously improve our mood, we can have a positive impact on the mood of our loved ones and work colleagues.

It is not selfish to make our mood and mental wellbeing a priority. We can’t help a work colleague if we aren’t in good shape ourselves. We can’t give what we don’t have.

To lead a rewarding and fulfilling life, we need to have rituals that lead to the right “intentional actions” each day.

If you are interested in being in a positive mood for most days, you may be interested in a public workshop in Sydney on September 1 which is geared towards helping you to master your mood.

Click here for more details and registration to the September 1 Sydney Workshop: LEADING THRIVING TRIBES: 5 rituals to increase your – and your tribe’s mental agility and resilience.

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