Reality minus expectations equals happiness
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Great Expectations1 of 9
By Shannan Rouss
The formula for being happy is simple, according to experts from UCLA's Andersen School of Management and the authors of Engineering Happiness. Their findings? Happiness equals reality minus expectations. If your expectations are unrealistic, then happiness will remain out of reach. To help you keep your expectations in check, Glo has your down-to-earth guide to the good life.
Flying Blind2 of 9
In the same way that too much hype can ruin a perfectly good movie, knowing too much about a potential blind date can build him up in your mind and lead to disappointment. Instead of scouring the social networks for any scrap of information on the guy, allow yourself to be surprised—hopefully pleasantly.
Nostalgia No-No3 of 9
Looking back on the past can be a comfort—just be wary of romanticizing previous events or relationships. Remembering only the good things about a former flame will make it impossible for anyone new to compete.
Opportunity Knocks4 of 9
Make sure to have a backup plan just in case things don't turn out the way you'd hoped. You may not get that job you really, really wanted, or the charming two-bedroom you made an offer on. So plan for that outcome, as well—and think of it as an opportunity to find something even better.
Quiet Time5 of 9
Sometimes it's better to keep things to yourself. It's fine to share the details of a potential promotion at work with a close friend or relative, but talking up something that might happen with too many people will only make you feel that much worse if it falls through.
Hooray!6 of 9
It's great to celebrate your accomplishments—whether personal or professional—but don't get caught up in the idea that life will be perfect once you land that book deal, get engaged, buy a home or even win the Mega Millions jackpot.
Take a Moment7 of 9
In one happiness study, most people got "used to the change that had made them happy in the first place" after just six weeks. To up your appreciation and prolong your happiness, researchers recommend seeking fresh experiences connected to the original positive change. For example, if you've moved somewhere new, continue to go out and explore the area. Or if you've begun a new relationship, don't stop doing new things together.
Ruff'ing It8 of 9
A little altruism can go a long way. For years, researchers have recommended volunteering—whether at an animal shelter, food bank or after-school program—as a way to increase your own happiness. The "helper's high" will help lift your spirits and put things in perspective.
Nothing Compares9 of 9
The surest way to spoil your happiness is to compare yourself to others. With a keeping up with the Joneses attitude, you can always have more money, a bigger house, a better job. To avoid the comparison trap, start by signing off Facebook, where others' self-congratulatory status updates can be a downer. And feel superior knowing that you don't need to post your life on Facebook to get an ego boost.
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