How to change your happiness set point

By M.Farouk Radwan, MSc.

What is the happiness set point?

The happiness set point is your normal level of happiness when you are not facing a major life problem. Do you know those days where you feel normal not sad or down? Those are examples of days where your happiness levels are around your set point.

Now the good news about the happiness set point is that it can be changed. Let's suppose that happiness ranges from 0 to 100 for each person. If your normal set point is 62 then you can change your set point to 75 or even higher.

Many of those who are too afraid to face life , especially procrastinators, try to convince others that this set point can't be changed. One of their most popular arguments is that money can't buy happiness. Yes happiness in life is not about money alone but getting 1 million dollars today would certainly push your set point higher.

The extent to with which the set point will be pushed up will depend upon how money is important for you but in most cases getting more money will push that set point up.

Now the reason so many people think that this can't happen is that they say that people get used to the good things they get. Yes people get used to those things and their happiness levels go lower after sometime however their happiness set point changes as well. See Can money buy happiness.

So if your happiness set point was 52 then you got 1 million dollars then your happiness levels might temporary go up to 95 then as you get used to the money the level will lower until it will reach your new set point which will be much higher than the 52 you had earlier. This could be 65 , 75 or 82 depending on what you want in life.

How to change your happiness set point

So how to change your happiness set point?
Could meditation, Yoga, exercising and even positive thinking help?

All of those beautiful things will help but to a very limited extent. Those things , along with any short term objective, can push your happiness levels few points higher but to get a real push you need to make a real change. See why it is not easy to find happiness.

Your happiness set point is the result of all of the emotions you are feeling at a certain point and those emotions are a direct function of your unsolved problems.

Let's say you are always struggling to pay your bills. In such a case finding a job with a much higher salary will certainly increase your happiness set point since the negative emotions associated with not having enough money to pay your bills won't be there.

The same would happen if you dislike your looks. If for example you don't like the fact that you are obese then certainly losing weight will change your happiness set point. See does being obese affect your self esteem.

In my book, The ultimate guide to getting over depression i said that at any point of time you will be feeling less happier because at the back of your mind there are so many things that are troubling you.

Now as soon as you make a serious live change some of those bad emotions will be erased for good and so your happiness set point will become higher.

The happiness levels can go up and down

The important thing you should understand is that if you worked on raising your happiness set point by focusing on one life area while ignoring the other then certainly your efforts will go in vain. See tips for living a happier live.

If for example you focused on work to get promoted but you ignored your health then even if your happiness set point went up because you got promoted it might also go down because your health have changed to the worse.

So in order to increase the happiness set point you need to make a serious change to your life without affecting any of your current life areas in a negative way.

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