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Happiness From The Inside Out

On January 14th 2013, H3BE welcomed wellbeing coach Scott Kelly, ATC, NMT, FDN, CIPP, to talk to us about happiness. In case you missed the event, we summarized some of Scott’s main points in the article below.

Happiness is an inside out job.  Without discovering what is meaningful and pleasurable and feeds our strengths, happiness becomes something we search for from external sources.

Happiness from the inside out has been shown to increase physical and mental health, boost the immune system, increase creativity, decrease stress and boost the psychological immune system, protecting you from negative thoughts.

Tal Ben Shahar’s Happiness Model shows us how we may experience our life in search of happiness. There are four types of people in this model:

  • The Rat Racer: Live for the future (no pain, no gain)
  • The Hedonist: Live for the now, mistaking pleasure for happiness (seek pleasure, avoid pain)
  • The Nihilist: Live in the past, give up on happiness
  • The Happy Person: Focus on the journey and the destination while working within your strengths, meaning and pleasure

Where do you see yourself in this model? What are some ways you can move to the Happy Person quadrant?

Barbara Fredrickson and M. Losada’s study on positivity ratios shows us that an optimal ratio for happiness, flourishing and thriving is 3:1 positive emotional experiences (love, joy, gratitude etc.) to negative emotional experiences (anger, guilt, hatred etc.). The study also showed that most people experience a 1:1-2:1 ratio and are “comfortably numb”.  How can you create more positive emotional experiences in your life to achieve the 3:1 ratio more often?

Here are three simple positivity boosters that take no more than five minutes a day and can help create more positive emotional experiences:

1.  Gratitude Journal (5 min) –  A gratitude journal can be very easily integrated into your day.  Simply designate a note pad, journal or writing pad to write down your thoughts. Here are the guidelines:

  •  Each day, write down five things, people or experiences that you are grateful for
  •  Be mindful, present and heart-centered and visualize the thing, person or experience as you write each item

This practice can be done any time of day.  Scott likes to do his journaling before bed with his two young boys. He then reads his entry from the night before when he wakes up.  This whole process takes about five minutes.

2. Loving Kindness meditation (5-20 min) – Find a quiet space to sit comfortably.  Allow your thoughts to settle as you bring your awareness around your breath.  Think of a person or a pet that you would like to share loving kindness with.  Bring them into your awareness and then into your heart.  Breathe into your heart while wishing them happiness, health and well-being.  You may choose to do this with as many or few people as you choose.  I encourage you to choose yourself as well. Barbara Fredickson showed in her study that when done for two months, individuals showed increased productivity and flourishing.

3.  Listen to music – For this to be an effective positivity booster, I encourage you to truly listen to the music—not as background music while you do other things but simply sit and listen to the music.  If you want to move with the music, feel free to do so.  (At the Happiness 2013 Event, we had the privilege of hearing the voice and talent of Sophia Dion. Listen to the song she wrote called, “I Just Want To Sing” on iTunes and feel yourself be moved).


About Scott Kelly, ATC, NMT, FDN CIPP
Owner of Rebound Health and Wellness, Scott is an expert in total health and wellbeing. For the past 20 years Scott has been an integrative health practitioner and transformative well-being coach. In addition to his practice, Scott leads workshops empowering individuals to live an extraordinary life by bridging science and wisdom for optimal living. To learn more about Scott, click here.

If you would like to take attend his upcoming workshop called, Insight Out Happiness, click here to learn more.


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