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How to Have More Happiness Everyday with Katie Jefcoat. Learn 7 Simple Steps that Can Add More Happiness to Your Life
Episode 2178th March 2023 • Building a Life You Love- Life and Wellness Tips to Live Your Best Life • Kristin Fitch - Transformational Christian Life Coach & Wellness Coach
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On today's episode it's all about Happiness! Kristin talks with Katie Jefcoat, happiness curator, speaker and author and podcast host of Everyday Happiness, about the science and steps we can take to be happier.

Kristin and Katie talk about the little shifts we can make to increase our happiness. And we discuss why we struggle to be happy and joyful. And we discuss being intentional with our time (margins) and how love is happiness.

This is a can't miss episode if you are ready to supercharge your life to be happier.

Connect with Katie at or check out her podcast here.

This is Your Life. Your One Life. How Will You Choose to Live It? I choose to celebrate those among us who stepped off the path of expectation and into their purpose and a life worth celebrating. Step into an Abundant Life & Business God has called you to.

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Kristin speaks to entrepreneurs who are doing work they love and building lives they love and doing it on their terms and stepping into what God has called them into-  let's start taking action to create and monetize our creative ideas and passions and turn them into thriving businesses-  let's go after our dream work, make more money and spend more time with people we love living our best lives and have lasting impact in the world.  

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SPeakers- Kristin Fitch & Katie Jefcoat

Hi, and welcome back to building a life you love. This is your host, Kristen, and I am so excited I have a special treat today, my guest and I are going to talk about how we can be happy in our lives. We're going to talk about happiness, science, and what are the actionable things we can do the steps we can take to increase our happiness. I cannot wait to share this with you. So let's dive in. We are going to have so many good conversations this year, we are going to talk about stepping into an abundant life and business that God has called us into. For some of us it might just be our lives. For some it might be that we also are being prompted to step into a business or ministry, whatever it might be. That really gives us a life of freedom, right flexibility around our families, and being able to step into what our true purpose is. So I cannot wait for the season we're going to have great guests would have great information for you. i Today on the show. I would like to welcome Katie Jeffcoat. She is the host of everyday happiness a daily micro podcast. She's a happiness curator, kindness Crusader, a speaker and author. She fundamentally believes we deserve to make time for our priorities. As a happiness curator Katie distills happiness science into bite sized nuggets for her audience. She's obsessed with the idea that kindness is contagious and spreading kindness. He is especially fond of kindness cards, her brand of happy mail. I'm so excited to welcome him to the show today. Welcome, Katie.

Thanks for having me. I'm really excited to be here. Oh, I cannot

wait for this conversation because we aligned so much on our idea that people should be able to build their lives if you want to track their lives around things that bring them joy, things that bring them happiness, and that people should be able to live a life that feels good. And that makes them have purpose in their lives. So I'm excited to bring you on the show and let you share even more about happiness science with us. So I cannot wait to share this conversation when it's released. Well, I

am excited to jump right in. Because there is so much goodness, we've had the best little chat before we hit record and I'm here for it.

Love it. I love it. Okay, first, could you start off with just sharing a little bit about your backstory? And then how you got into this and what things look like now for you?

cause I grew up in a town are:

Oh, I love it. I love everything about that one. Yes, we've all. I mean, it's one of the first things at least for a lot of us in this in our lifetime, where we all went through the same thing at the same time, you know, globally, you know, and so one we all relate to all those feelings you were having, you know, at different levels, right? depends kind of on your work and where you lived, maybe. But the fact that then you've dug in, and your friend said that too. And you're like, Yep, I can do that. And then you did that you were willing. So even though we're more talking about happiness and kindness, say, I love that, you know, because on the show a lot, I talked about that, that you were willing just to take the next step, you didn't know, what would be the outcome, you just knew, you know what you're right. Like, I have information that I've learned that I think, my friends and they appreciate it help them, it might help other people. So I'm just going to try it. I'm just going to show up and do it. And I love that because so many times I'm trying to share with my audience that that's the whole point is just be willing to take that one baby step. And then the next step. And so I love, love, love, love that you shared that.

Yeah, it's been really fun. And, you know, the next best step that's I always think of and what I even tell my kids like, what's the next best step? That's all we need to do? That's right. Oh, and love it.

So why don't you first share this a little bit? Just, maybe let's start with as we dig into this happiness, you know, like the happiness science?

Maybe what's the first overarching thing you just want to share with the audience about what you've learned? You know, and how, like you said, how do we scientifically boost our happiness? How do we find fulfillment? And happiness? Yeah, well, Happiness can be kind of elusive, like everyone has their own definition. So I'm going to give you some concrete stuff. And then I'm going to share with you some definitions that most of the scientists agree on. And then we'll have a framework as to where we can dive in. Because this is really where the magic is. It's so much fun. So happiness, generally speaking, is about 50%. Genetics, your DNA actually determines about 50% of how happy you're going to be like how you kind of fall on the glasses half full, like how you go about in the world. And then 25% is circumstantial. What's happening to you? Did you know something bad happen? Are you ill? Are you injured? You know, all those things, right circumstantial, and within that circumstantial section, you can choose to look at it, like the silver lining. So that's part of it, right? So then we get to the last 25%. And that's the part that is really in your control. So there's definitely 25% that is in your control, where you get to actually boosts your happiness. If we're talking about a pendulum, you could just sway it a little bit, one way or the other. And that circumstantial section, you you get to manipulate a little bit depending on your mindset, right? So maybe you can get even a little bit higher than that. But that's really where we're at. We're at this 25%. But then, if you start to think about what is happiness, most scientists seem to agree that happiness is really to put prompts. So we have the happiness in emotions, right? We this is the joy that we feel the contentment, the positive well being, you know, it's the life is good, meaningful, it's the, I got a great parking spot, it's I got an A on a test, it's, I got a card in the mail, it's this like little boost of happiness, right? This is the emotion side. But then there's this other side, this other part of happiness, we're really the magic is, and this is where you can make the biggest difference in your own fulfilled happiness. And that is purpose, and satisfaction. So purpose is how you feel when you're doing the thing you love. This can be academic research your work, building a business, being involved in the community, being a parent, knitting so much, right? The purpose is how you feel when you're doing the thing that you love. And Arthur Brooks, who is a happiness scientist in in this field, he also writes a column for The Atlantic, and he has a podcast, he says that long lasting happiness comes from human connection, and productive work. So it's doing the thing that you love, he found in his scientific research that it was overwhelmingly clear that a productive human endeavor creates a sense of purpose in your life. And that is something that you can control. And then the second part is satisfaction. So what is satisfaction? It's simple. Satisfaction is what? What you have more than what you want. So it's an equation. So it's, I want you to appreciate what I have more than pining for what I want. So that's tricky, especially as humans, because many of us think that we'll be more satisfied, happier, even if we get more of what we want. However, there's this scientific theory called hedonic adaptation. And what that tells us is that we get comfortable with what we have. And so we always want more. So satisfaction can be really elusive. And it doesn't last, with that mentality of wanting more. It's like running on a treadmill, and you're never getting to the destination. So it's basically impossible to get more to be happier long term. It's impossible. The more that you want that less happy you will be. And we see this all the time right? The bigger house the bigger car, the newer car, the fancy shoes, the handbag, the you know, Lululemon yoga pants, you don't whatever it is, like we see it all the time. Yeah. So satisfaction really is. This is where like, gratitude comes in and appreciation and all that it's really this equation of wanting what you have more than wanting what you want. So you certainly don't want things. Let's just really having what you want, like having appreciation for what you have. Right? So that is, you know, that's where all the magic is.

That's so good. There's so much in there for sure. Oh, my gosh. So okay, so you learned all this stuff you share, you know, the the nuggets on your micro podcast, but what? So from there, how do we start trying to make these changes, right? For some of us, maybe we're already doing, you know, some of these things, but where have you found that people are struggling so much to have this happiness and this joy if you told us the background and the definitions, but in actually applying it to our own lives to make that shift of that 25% or the 25%. And then the how we our mindset around the our circumstances. So how do we actually start implementing these things? Yeah, well, that takes intention and effort. So you don't get to be happy by osmosis. Right? You have to do something you have to, you know, have some intention. You have to make some efforts and how and how this shakes out.

u'll find it. It's in January:

Now I say that to people and they're like, well, but it's my spouse or it's my parent or it's my best friend. I can't remove myself from those people like you. Maybe you can do that because you're a cold hearted person, but I can't remove myself. And this is what I say. Because like all of us friends I I also have evolved in toxic relationships and continue to be because that's how it seems to be like no one is immune from this situation. But what I started doing is reminding myself when I'm in these situations to lead with love, love is happiness, full stop. So lead with love. So when I have to go talk to somebody who is going to tell me about their view on politics that is not mine, or their view on the dark web, or global warming, or whatever, and I do not agree, it's not my job to change their mind. It's my job to lead with love. And I found that if I could really sit in that for a moment, like take a breather, it really helped frame my mindset, which helped me frame the way that I show up in those relationships, because it's really all about the way we show up. We can't control anybody else. That's right. So that I felt has been really, really powerful. And you know, just also letting go of this unnecessary drama can come from just taking a deep breath, meditating, spending time with people who make you happier. Letting go, right. Yeah. So fascinating. Man I've been, I've been in it, and I get it, man. Does it feel hard when you're in it? But yeah, here we are. So two more. The sixth is being kind to our bodies. It goes back a little bit to like, you know, we should exercise and stuff. But this is more about how we care for our bodies. So that, that sometimes the aches and pains and this is what I hear from a lot of my community. Also kind of irritates us and makes us feel unhappy. My knee hurts my this my that I gained weight My back hurts, right? Like all this with how do we care for our bodies? Yeah, and I find number one is sleep. It's my number one. core value. And also, I feel like it's been so important for me and for so many people in my community, like when they can get enough sleep, it just changes your perspective and attitude. So sleep is number one. But also, the other things are a well balanced diet, drink a lot of water, skip alcohol for a bit, maybe take deep breaths. remind ourselves to smile, play laugh, like that kind of stuff, like just take care of our bodies. Yeah. And some days are better than others, because I like a cocktail. And, you know, I'm, you know, like, we're all like, in it. So which is why there's so many things. So maybe it's I don't skip alcohol, but I drink extra water, I

go to bed at night, you all you get to pick whatever you want. One of these, like, these are just ideas and examples. You might have your own too, right? So this is just getting you started on your own recipe. Like, we've all created a recipe, we can do whatever we want. Right? Well, and I think how your body feels was the indicator of what maybe you need to change or tweak. I mean, that sir, grew to the point. So if you're not having aches and pains, and you feel like you're doing a pretty good job, maybe you are right, but if you're starting to have continuous chronic issues, then you need to look at right start investigating the things right. Is it water or sleep or diet or food, you know, allergies or whatnot? So, absolutely. You know, we have to list our bodies, because that's going to help inform us, you know, as to what's going on there.

There's no question your body knows, I mean, not only does your body hold trauma, right, but your body your body knows like, yeah, it just does. So like how do we take care of it so we can age gracefully? I don't know. That's the secret. I have not cracked, but I like the idea of it. So we'll see. Well, the seventh ingredient is making time for intentional margins. So I have a concept called intentional margins. And it's finding the harmony between our two dues and our priorities. Because what I was finding when I was in law school and even practicing law and having kids and all of these things I had a to do list that was 70 miles long had 278 things on it at all times. I would get 274 things done, and I beat myself up for the three things I didn't do. Yeah, we've all been there, right? Yep. Yeah, sucks. And I wasn't really building time for what I cared about, but I was checking the boxes. Yeah. And what I found was that wasn't creating and intentional day, and intentional life and intentional happiness wasn't created creating any fulfillment, because I wasn't making time for my priorities. So date night is a priority or what Be brave, let me step back. If my husband is a priority, where does date night fall on the calendar? Maybe it does. Maybe it doesn't maybe it's coffee time instead, right? We get to decide make our own recipe. But intentional margins matters. It's that buffer of time. So I have a free printable on my website, Katy that has an intentional day, you can print it, it's free, use it, you know, figure out what it looks like for you. It's not a planner. It's not doesn't have times on it. It's just how do you start your day. But it could also be the way that you balance life and work. And, you know, I like to ask people like, what sets your hair on fire? What are you doing right now? That's so exciting. Can you do more of that. So it's reflecting on what your wants and your needs are, it's setting psi, setting aside time for what matters. So if my so my kids, I've got kids go to school, so and we do family meeting, and we block that time on our calendar, we do it in the morning before they go to school, because we set them up for success. We figure out if they need a lunch that day, we talk about how their day is gonna go we do family meeting, it's intentional. It's where we connect, we say our gratitude, I watched them their vitamins, because they're still at an age where they want to seek them into their pockets, and then never eat them. So we're trying to like, do all of that. Right. So that's intentional. Is my marriage a priority? How am I making? You know, what am I doing? What's the action? So that my marriage is a priority? Right? Like, how is that shaking out? Is knitting a priority? Is it having coffee with one of my best friends a priority? Where does that time fit in? Absolutely doesn't have to be every day. And like only doing priorities, we still have to go to the dentist or prepare taxes and forgot to run children everywhere. I was about to take out the trash. But it's finding moments where we can then create this priorities that we can live in the margins. So were we ever so if you think about it like this, you open a book, right? So you open a book is fully justified, you have all the words, you have the margins on the edge. But if all of a sudden you turn the page, and there's like four lines that creep out into the margin, or maybe it's not fully justified, or the paragraphs aren't spaced correctly, it starts to feel random randomness causes overwhelm, it starts to feel chaotic. And when our to do list, those words start to bleed into our margins. We don't feel balanced. Yeah. Right. So that's, that's the concept like, how do we create, you know, some buffer?

So we get to have live in our priorities in the margins? Doesn't mean we don't do our to do list and all the things you have to do? Of course we do. Right? Well, yeah. And so I talked about some very similar concepts regularly. But really, you know, what I say to people is a schedule and your priorities like you're talking about first. So for me, I know not only because of the science to build social bonds, but it's important and necessary in my life, right? I need the time girlfriends, my husband, all these things. So I scheduled them in, I'm intentional during the beginning of the week, oh, when might I have time that I can plan on penciling this in? So I say to people, don't schedule your work first. I know, I know, there's seasons where sometimes we have to do that. But when we when we have a little more flexibility. And I think we all have some, whether it's a weekend or your evenings, schedule, and the things that are important to you at the beginning of your week or the beginning of your month, because if we wait, we're being reactive instead of proactive with our schedule. And the most important thing we have the most valuable thing is time, we get to decide how we spend that time. And so to your point, these intentionality into our week, how do we want to spend that very valuable time that we have when we aren't doing, you know, either our work, or like you said, an obligation of taking the kids somewhere. And often I think we overschedule more on a day that can fit and I say one of the reasons that we have a, this feeling of busyness and anxiety is because we're fitting in more than a day than was ever meant to be in one day. And we have to assess that we have take responsibility for it. And slowly start, maybe paring down one thing that we could carpool with someone else so that maybe that night, we can get other things done when someone else picks our kid up, and vice versa. And so I think that's important too, to take responsibility for our time. And if it's not working for us, or for that season, modify it so that we are spending the time with the people and doing the things that we love. And I think that's so important.

No question, that's exactly the way it is, you know, we don't want to get to the end of our life and be like, well, I checked all my boxes gonna be like I had social connection, I, you know, made a meaningful impact. I left a legacy and all those things. Absolutely. So,

and that's what they talked about, right? The Five Regrets of the Dying it's those things, it's the things people regret. If they didn't do it was spending more time with people they cared about it was doing, you know, having more impact in the world, it was saying their truth, right? Or you know, so it's these things that we have the opportunity now to do these things without getting to the end and going, I wish I'd done it different, you know. And so that's what's so exciting to me is we get to keep changing course right? Just course correcting pivoting just slightly, to keep, you know, adding more of this joy and this happiness and fulfillment into our lives. And I think that's just so exciting to me, at least. It really is. So let me let me just tell you there were so much there, oh, my gosh, that you share that, of course, I wanted to be like, Hold on, I have so much I can say there. But I was like, Okay, let's get through them since there was seven, that so many things. For instance, a lot of the things with the happiness science actually very much tie in with the things that tell us that people that live the longest longevity has a lot to do with these same concepts are many of them. Difference, people that have deep connection, deep relationships, as we get older, are typically that's an indicator of the people that live the longest. Typically, it's not just your diet and exercise. Of course, those are important. But it's deep connections. And then that purpose, right? Both of those things are so important. When they studied longevity and people it's those things. So I think if people are thinking like happiness, I don't even have time to think about that. This is also about how do we live purposeful, fulfilling lives into old age, it's by making sure that we are making time for deep meaningful relationships with someone at least a person or two, and that we do have purpose in our life, whether that's if you're retired, or whether you're working still in the main part of your career. And so to me, I think it's so important. And when you mentioned the mission, is it mission ocean? Ocean? Yeah.

Yeah. It's kind of hard to say but Lucien no shin.

Oh, notion got it. In your mind? No. Okay, got it. What was reminding me of also the Japanese fence up of geeky guy, which obviously is very tied, right to purpose, and people's reason for being reason for getting up in the morning. And I thought that was, you know, I had written that down earlier, as you were talking about happiness, and just that fulfillment and purpose. And I think they have such a lovely idea of the three legs of the stool and the different parts of their life, and how they, their their culture, they are raised from a young age to understand that concept. And I think, at least in our country, right, we're both in the US. We, that was not we weren't raised to have this concept that's so deeply ingrained, culturally, I don't believe from the time we're little, there's so many other concepts, I think that kind of get, get put in there, you know, do a good job, and all these other things. And so I think it's interesting that, you know, our culture sense seems to struggle a bit more with this happiness. And this fulfillment, just culturally, I think, is partly the reason? Absolutely.

There's no, there's no doubt, which is why, you know, the stuff that you do, and the stuff that a lot of these happiness, scientists do so important. And, you know, reframing the way that we show up in the world, because whether it's happiness or kindness, there is a ripple effect. And you can ripple effect your small community, but that, you know, that little ripple just keeps getting bigger. So it's, it's incredible.

Is there any other last thing that you just want to share with us? Any other little tidbits we didn't already go over about happiness or kindness,

I think the last thing that I would share is that it's our responsibility to find happiness wherever we can. And that does not decrease our compassion for what's happening in the world around us. So we, it's our responsibility to find happiness. Even when the world feels like a dumpster fire. There's salmon and war and global warming, and maybe your best friend, you know, broke her big toe. And that's really sad. Like, it could be lots of things, right? Lots of bad things can be happening around us. But that does not decrease our empathy and our compassion for them. If we also want to find happiness, it's infinite. We get to have both. We don't you know, it's not a well, I can't be happy because this bad thing like that's just not true.

Oh, you're so right. And I'm glad you brought that up, because I have a note somewhere of a podcast that I had written down so many notes from this podcast, but it was a rabbi talking and I'm actually Christian. But, you know, of course, I like learning about lots of faiths and listening to other just, you know, thought leaders or religious people about their perspectives. And he said something really amazing but it was very it was aligned with what you just said. So I'm gonna find it and see if there's like a piece to pull out to share. But it was that same thing like so many people think oh, how can I be happy? How can I feel joyful when this war is going on when the cost of living when now we just had this horrifying earthquake right and all these people have lost their lives? and have lost their homes. I mean, there's a lot of hard stuff. But that's sadly been true of all of history. There's always conflict going on, there's always these things. And so he talks about how can we still find happiness and why we should, even in the midst of these things. So I'm glad you brought that up. Because I think a lot of us want to hold that. Like on this pedestal that all the conflict and the trauma and the external stuff and say, like, well, then I can't, I don't deserve to be happy then. And that's not true. Because how do we make the most impact it's by showing up in the world, and serving and having enthusiasm about something and going out, and like you said, just being kind to other people showing its love and action, which like you said, Love is happiness. So if we can't get to this place where we're serving, and we're being kind to people, we're taking action in love. Well, if we're always gonna say, Woe is me, we're not going to show up in that way. So I think it is important to nurture our happiness, nurture our joy and nurtures nurture our service. Heart, I think you know, our heart of how we show up in love. Yep, absolutely. Oh, so good. All right, Katie. So tell us how can people connect with you? You know, you shared your website before but tell us again, your website tells the name your podcast again, or any other ways people can connect with

you online? Yeah, my podcast is on every platform, you can think of plus on Amazon Alexa flash briefings. It's called everyday happiness, finding harmony and bliss. I also am becoming obsessed with my bi monthly email. I don't know what it is, I'm not really an email person, because I feel like we get too much email. So I have made it like a mission this year to send like really good stuff. And it's been really, really fun. And people are responding, like just hitting reply, and I'm replying back and having amazing conversations. So I am focusing a lot on my email right now. And you can subscribe at Katy Jeff And it's just been, I don't know, it's been really fun. And all the freebies and all the blogs, it's all there. It's all free. Everything is free, I don't sell a course I don't sell on my podcast. It's all free and all available to you. If that is something that you're interested in.

I love it. Well, thank you so much for coming on today and sharing so many golden nuggets about happiness, and how we can really step into more of this into our everyday lives. I loved it so much. And I know our audience will as well. So thank you. Before I wrap up, I had mentioned the rabbi and sort of how that tied to this conversation. So I wanted to just share that real quick. The rabbi is Rabbi David Aaron. And when he was asked, How can I feel good, when so much bad is going on in the world. The his response was, you can feel good that you are doing some good in the world. And so if we show up much like I was talking about, to be of service to show up in love and action, that gratitude, appreciation and actually serving others. This is how we can actually still feel good, have some happiness, because we are being part of the solution. We are being part of doing good in the world. And so I just wanted to share that tidbit with you before we wrap up. And I hope until next time you have an amazing week and that you can apply some of the happiness science that Katie share today in your own lives to increase your happiness. Thanks again for listening to the show. If you enjoyed it, we would love it if you could leave us a rating and review on Apple podcast so that more people can discover the show and connect to our community.





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