- By Ian Roth
Mayo Clinic Minute: The key to happiness in 2 simple formulas
What if the key to happiness could be found in a math formula? Dr. Amit Sood, a Mayo Clinic complementary and integrative medicine physician, says two formulas can make happiness much easier to find than most people realize.
Journalists: Broadcast-quality video pkg (1:00) is in the downloads. Read the script.
"H = R-E, or happiness equals reality minus expectations," Dr. Sood says.
Dr. Sood has spent his career researching the keys to happiness and says it can be much simpler than some people make it. A lot of it, he says, comes down to focusing on the things you can control.
"You cannot always change reality, but you can always work with expectation," he says. "And the more your expectations are reasonable, perhaps a little lower, the happier you will be."
Along with managing your expectations, Dr. Sood says happiness also can be maximized by putting equal effort into caring for yourself and others.
"If I have four pieces of chocolate, I can give you all four. It'll make you happy; it'll make me miserable," Dr. Sood says. I can eat all four. It'll make me happy, and it'll make you miserable. I think true happiness is in eating two chocolates yourself and giving away two. So you are nurturing yourself, and you are nurturing others. It is in this synergy, in this combination that you will find the greatest happiness."
So if you need more happiness in your life, just remember two simple formulas: two for me plus two for you equals happiness, and happiness = R-E, or reality minus expectations.