Living from the Inside Out

Did you have a nice summer with lots of fun and interesting experiences? Perhaps you went on special family outings or even on a vacation? If so, you have collected beautiful memories. If so, you have also intuitively made the perfect choice for happiness and to recharge your emotional tank.

Spiritual teachers, philosophers and scientists have been striving to answer the question “What is happiness?” for a long time and in different ways. I have previously written about the happiness formula.

H = S + C + V

Happiness = the Set Point in the Brain + the Conditions of Living + our Voluntary Choices


Depression and anxiety are almost epidemics today, and peace, joy and happiness seem more elusive than ever. Why is that?

Are we perhaps focusing too much on the conditions, the relative facts of our life? Do we allow those relative conditions to prevent us from choosing happiness and fully experiencing it? What if instead of living from the outside in, we chose to live from the inside out?

Living from the inside out means taking charge of our mind and using it to our advantage. It includes examining our beliefs and changing the ones which do not serve us. We have the birth right to be happy. Our Good is constantly flowing and waiting to be received by us. Our beliefs are merely the impressions we have bought into. Our beliefs create our experience.

What shows up is just the out-picturing of the way we have been picturing things inside, the way we have been using our mind. When we use our mind differently, the out-picturing will inevitably be different. That does not mean to ignore the conditions but to realize that they only determine 10% of our happiness while our beliefs and mind set determine 50% and our voluntary choices 40%.

Healthy Minds RC Barker 2


We overcome negative conditions by changing our mind to create better conditions. We need to choose to be grateful and happy, independent of what shows up around us. We need to make voluntary choices which increase our level of joy. Voluntary Choices are those choices we make for pleasure or for fulfillment.

Psychology Professor Thomas Gilovich from Cornell University has studied the subject of happiness and concludes that happiness is derived from experiences, not things.

“People often think spending money on an experience is not as wise an investment as spending it on a material possession. They think the experience will come and go in a flash, and they’ll be left with little compared to owning an item. But in reality we remember experiences long afterward, while we soon become used to our possessions. At the same time, we also enjoy the anticipation of having an experience more than the anticipation of owning a possession.” (Gilovich)


A get-away or other experience allows you to enjoy it in three different ways: the anticipation, the experience itself and remembering it in retrospect. Every moment spent on picturing it and reliving it brings up heartfelt feelings of joy and happiness again.

Furthermore, experiences with family and friends are like glue to our social lives. Experiences allow us to get closer to others in ways a material possession cannot. And ultimately, as human beings, we all long to be close to others.

Material possessions on the other hand give us less lasting joy. After we have acquired those inanimate objects, it is only a question of time until we get used to them. New things might be exciting at first, but then we adapt to having them.

Gilovich has also studied how we tend to have more regrets over missed interactions with others and missed experiences than over possessions we have not acquired. On our death bed, we might regret not to have connected more deeply with our children or other loved ones, but we won’t regret not having purchased the new car or newest TV.

As a society, we need to ask ourselves how to live more from the inside out, how to choose beliefs and activities that support joy and happiness. Social experiences and helping others lead to attention, affection and appreciation, and therefore to greater happiness and joy.

So next time you have the choice of whether to spend your money on a material possession or on an experience, especially if that experience involves connecting with or helping others, remember that the experience will enhance and make your life richer than the material possession.


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Angelika Baum, Belief Change Coach and Workshop Facilitator,

Happiness Formula

Around this time of the year, when we are doing our taxes, we might find ourselves re-assessing our charitable donations for the previous year. We might ask if we want to continue donating to the charities or organizations that we have donated to so far; are they still close to our heart, or do we want to re-direct that money and donate our time and/or money somewhere else?

Why is it an important question to ask? Because giving to others is an essential part of our own health and happiness. And the more we believe in a charitable cause and truly give from our heart, the more that heart energy circles back to us. By helping where we can, we acknowledge that we are all connected and inter-dependant. It is an opportunity for us to make a difference. Our voluntary choices, which include making the choice to give to others, make up 40% of our experience of being at peace with our life or of what we also refer to as happiness.

The Chopra Well Launch Event

Deepak Chopra talks about a formula for happiness which scientists have found. This formula for Happiness is

H = S + C + V

Happiness = the Set Point in the Brain + the Conditions of Living + our Voluntary Choices

The Set Point in the Brain is the happiness we received in our genes, what we experienced in uterus and in the first three years of our life. That “ability” for happiness makes about 50% of our feeling of happiness. This sounds terrible given that most of us had experiences as young children with parents or other care givers who weren’t really happy themselves. However, the good news is, the set point in the brain can be rewired, changed with belief work, with cognitive therapy (questioning our thoughts and beliefs) or with techniques like Hypnosis or PSYCH-K® that rewire the subconscious mind. We can unlearn old limiting or negative beliefs and overwrite them with supporting positive beliefs about ourselves and our world.

The Conditions of Living, which we always like to think are the only determining factor for our happiness, are responsible for only 10% of our happiness! How much money we have, for example, does not make us lastingly happy. It has been shown that even when somebody wins in the lottery, their level of happiness after a while returns to the level it was at before.

That leaves 40% for the Voluntary Choices. Those are choices we make for pure pleasure (e.g. activities, food, sex etc.) and even more importantly choices that bring us fulfillment (being creative or spiritual, being helpful and giving, for example donating our time or money to a charity, or simply making someone else happy through attention, affection and appreciation) The more we give positive attention to others, the more we show them affection and appreciation, the happier we are and the happier they are. The secret ingredients to Happiness are the three As: Attention, Affection and Appreciation.


There is one more factor to Happiness not contained in this formula, which is the Existential Unhappiness when we have resentments or other negative feelings about the past or worry about the future. The human being is the only creature who can replay negative events from the past and make him/herself thoroughly unhappy in the present, or worry about not being happy in the future with the same effect. Knowing this, it is important to let go of the past and not worry overly about the future.


For Hypnosis, PSYCH-K® or Forgiveness/Letting Go Work contact Angelika



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Do vacations make us happier?

I always assumed there was a correlation between summer and vacation time on the one hand and an increase of happiness on the other. However, after researching this a bit I found out that scientific studies show that there is no correlation. People aren’t happier because they can take time off or go on vacation.

I was puzzled. So I continued searching. What I came across next was a correlation of happiness and spending time with family or close friends. So the level of happiness is not dependent on the fact that I can afford to take time off or even go on vacation but it is dependent on how I feed my soul when I am on vacation. Deep nurturing connections, love, laughter, support, acceptance are a factor in my experience of happiness. Spending time with a partner you love, having fun with your children or people who you feel close to and loved by have the effect to increase your happiness.

Ultimately, happiness cannot be bought with a vacation, happiness can only be found inside us. When we accept and love ourselves and also value and appreciate those close relationships we have in our life we feel happier and healthier.

This is good news because it means we can keep that feeling of happiness throughout the year. It does not have to be summer for us to be happier. All we need to do is focus on the people we love, on our family and friends.

Of course the people close to us also trigger and irritate us. That is their job! They are supposed to help us grow personally and spiritually! They are mirrors for us so we can heal our own issues and wounds.


Do you have relationships in your life that you struggle with? Relationships that are less than smooth and loving? Do you find yourself misunderstood, unaccepted or unloved, or are you judging other people? Your partner or your ex-partner? Your children? Your parents or your in-laws?

Relationship Coaching, Forgiveness Work, Inner Child Work, Shadow Work and Psych-K® can all help you to shift your own beliefs, heal your wounds and create loving relationships that bring you happiness and health.


Contact me for a free phone consultation