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What does happiness
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Here’s the GREAT DREAM model for finding the happiness we all aspire to

By Angela Civitella

For many people, finding happiness is almost an obsession. Whether we’re reading self-help books, learning to meditate, or installing play equipment in our workplaces, our quest to be happy seems to take up more and more of our time and energy.

But what does happiness really consist of? And how do you get there?

According to the GREAT DREAM model, happiness is really quite simple. It suggests that we can focus on a few key areas to enrich our lives and make them more rewarding.

For many people, finding happiness is almost an obsession… our quest to be happy seems to take up more and more of our time and energy.

In this two-part article, we explore the 10 elements that make up the GREAT DREAM model, and explain how you can use it to bring more happiness to your own life. Look for the second part in next week’s issue where the Dream component will be explored.

What is the GREAT DREAM Model for Happiness?

In the book the 10 Keys to Happier Living by Vanessa King, the concept of the GREAT DREAM model is analyzed. It is a straightforward guide to finding happiness and success in your everyday life, and it can help you to flourish both in and outside of the workplace.

GREAT DREAM is an acronym for 10 key areas:

Giving: doing things for other people
Relating: connecting with the people around you
Exercising: looking after your body
Awareness: being mindful of the world around you
Trying out: being curious, and open to new experiences
Direction: setting goals
Resilience: “bouncing back”
Emotions: being positive and emotionally intelligent
Acceptance: being comfortable with who you are
Meaning: connecting your work with a higher purpose

Using the GREAT DREAM model to feel happier

Here’s a step-by-step guide to using the GREAT DREAM model to raise your level of happiness.

G: Giving
Whether you’re donating money to good causes, sharing your expertise with a struggling colleague, or giving up your personal time for a corporate volunteering initiative, give.

But giving doesn’t just make others happy. It can make you happier, too. Research shows that doing things for others improves your own sense of wellbeing and has positive effects on your health. It can even make you live longer!

But it doesn’t stop there. Generosity fosters trust, and it can build stronger and more collaborative working relationships.

‘Research shows that doing things for others improves your own sense of wellbeing and has positive effects on your health.’

R: Relating
Good relationships are fundamental to our happiness and wellbeing. Both the quantity and the quality of our relationships matter, but of the two, quality is the more important.

Developing your ability to listen actively and to read body language will help you to improve your connections with others, and to understand and respect what they say and how they feel. Sharing positive experiences at work is another important part of relationship-building. Organizing social events is a good way to do this, but proceed with caution: you don’t want this to start feeling like an obligation and engage in what is referred to as “compulsory happiness”.

E: Exercising
Staying physically active is good for you, period. Exercise reduces stress, helps you think more clearly, and raises your energy levels. Even just standing up and moving around the office more, and going outside for a lunchtime walk, can clear your mind and boost your physical fitness.

Look after your diet, too. Be sure to maintain a healthy balance of the main food groups, and to limit your sugar intake. It’s also essential to get enough sleep: recent research links lack of sleep to a wide range of physical and mental problems.

‘Exercise reduces stress, helps you think more clearly, and raises your energy levels.’

A: Awareness
Being mindfully aware of the “here and now” can help you to deal with problems caused by stress. It enables you to be more creative, and more sensitive to your own feelings, as well as other people’s. It can also foster a nonjudgmental frame of mind, which will help you to keep your relationships on a sound footing. The key to mindful awareness is to focus on the present, and to notice the details of the world around you in an objective way.

T: Trying Out
Having the courage and the curiosity to seek new experiences and develop new skills, and to grasp the opportunities to do so, can be truly rewarding. It may help you to feel more in control of your life and work, which can raise your self-esteem.

Offering to work on unfamiliar or innovative projects at work, for example, can broaden your experience, build your expertise, and enhance your sense of mastery.

I look forward to sharing the rest of this story with you, hoping this inspires and enlightens you.

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Angela Civitella - WestmountMag.ca

Angela Civitella, a certified management business coach with more than 20 years of proven ability as a negotiator, strategist, and problem-solver, creates sound and solid synergies with those in quest of improving their leadership and team building skills. You can reach Angela at 514 254-2400 • linkedin.com/in/angelacivitella/ • intinde.com@intinde

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