It seems like a weird question, but is it? Do you ever wonder about this abstract feeling? How exactly it feels like to be happy? Do you know when you are happy? Do you know how to describe happiness? What do you think, is happiness the same feeling to you as it is to others? Does happiness even make a difference in our lives?
What is Happiness?
Happiness is the state of feeling of being, showing pleasure or contentment. From this description of happiness, we can get a few important facts about happiness:
- Happiness is a state, not a characteristic, means, it is not a long-lasting, permanent feature or personality trait, but a fleeting, changeable state.
- It is a mere feeling of pleasure or contentment, and it is not to be confused with joy, ecstasy, bliss, or any other intense feelings.
- Happiness can be felt or showed, which means it is not necessarily only an internal or external experience, but it can be both.
How Can I Train My Brain for Happiness?
Happiness is a feeling that comes from within. It is possible to train our brains into thinking that we are happy. At the time of birth, our genetics provide us with a happiness set point that is about 40% of our happiness.
A good lifestyle as a child, means, having enough food, shelter, and security accounts for about 10%. Then the other 50% is entirely up to us and how we maintain it.
We can effectively train our brain through awareness, self-talk, which is sort of a pep talk to tell our brains to think in a positive and happy way. There are exercises to think in a happier, more optimistic, more resilient way.
New discoveries prove in psychology that physical health, psychological and mental health, and physiological functioning can be improved by how we learn to feel good and behave in a happy way.
How To Train The Patterns Of Our Brains?
- Perfectionism: is often confused with conscientiousness (being reliable or responsible)is a personality trait. Conscientiousness involves appropriate and tangible expectations. Whereas perfectionism involves inappropriate levels of expectations and impalpable goals. It causes problems and unnecessary sadness in adults, adolescents, and children.
- Social comparison: Social comparison is a curse. When we compare ourselves to others we would rather find others having more than us. But, healthy social comparison is seeing what you admire in others and learning to obtain those qualities. However, the best comparisons are when we compare ourselves with ourselves. How are we better than we were in the past?
- Materialism: Attaching our happiness to material things and material wealth is not only wrong but dangerous. Because as soon as we lose material things, we lose our happiness too.
- Maximizing: is wishing for more and more even when we are satisfied with whatever we have. This leaves us very little time to enjoy the good moments in their lives and have very little gratitude. We should stay happy with whatever we have and express gratitude.
How To Acquire Happiness?
Everyone in this world wants to be happy and acquire real happiness. In the pursuit of happiness, everyone set different goals and work on completing them. Science and Psychology have been working to find ways to apply in life and live a happy life.
What Are The Science-Backed Ways to Become Happier?
- Express Gratitude: Feeling grateful and expressing gratitude can bring happiness and joy in the long run. Gratefulness can be for many things such as your health, children, your home, food or even the tiniest of things.
- Practice Something Challenging: Learning a new language, playing an instrument or learning yoga, can help you to activate your natural endorphins or feel-good chemicals in the brain. Try to learn something new, that you can feel some sort of help to improve your mood and happiness.
- Connect To People: Making close connections, getting close to people or connecting with them is integral to your level of happiness, and fulfillment in life. It doesn’t necessarily matter if you connect over the phone, or in person. The act of connecting can help induce happiness.
- Stop Procrastinating: Procrastination makes a person lazy and stressed without any reason. Getting some work done on time may give you a sense of accomplishment. helps you feel proactive and happier.
More Science-based Ways
- Be Curious: Being positively curious can induce happiness as well. Reading an interesting book, watching a suspenseful documentary or having meaningful conversations with someone with a similar mindset can help you feel better.
- Be open to new experiences: It is important to experience new things. Trying new things can boost your level of happiness. Trying new things is fun even as simple as trying a new food or trying out something like scuba diving or skiing.
- Express Physical Affection: Expressing physical affection is also important to have positive health and feelings. Hugs are important and should be given to the family frequently. It’s scientifically proven that hugs create a trickle-down effect and release of oxytocin. Oxytocin reduces stress and elevates your mood.
- Strengthen your relationships: Strengthening your relationships is important for living a happy and stress-free life. Relationships have a strong impact on our health. Close relationships mean more than money, fame, or any personal accomplishment. Having a feeling of someone’s support or knowing that someone is there for you to protect us from mental and physical decline. Nurture your closest relationships and let go of those that cause you pain can go a long way to helping you live a better life.
What Are The Things to do to Feel Happy Instantly?
Feeling happy does not have to be a long-term ambition. Anyone can be happy instantly and can start right now. You can elevate your mood in the next few minutes by tackling as many suggestions as possible.
Raise your activity level to fill up your energy.
If you’re on a phone call, stand up and take a fast 10-minute walk Put more energy into your voice and try to sound energetic.
Sit in sunlight for a good amount of time.
Research suggests, light stimulates brain chemicals that elevate mood.
Get yourself rid of pending tasks.
Buy something you need, or go to some postponed appointment. Completing a left-off task and cutting it off your to-do list will give you a rush of joy and relief.
Create a more peaceful and bright ambiance:
Low lights and deafening silence can make you unnecessarily Depressed. Clean up the room, pick up the lying clothes. Clean the piles of dishes in your kitchen sink or set the bursting wardrobe. Cleaning up a mess can make you feel better and give you a feeling of elation.
Act happy and try to feel happy.
It is as simple as ‘fake it until you make it’. Research suggests that a fake smile can boost mood. A smiling face is a symbol of a friendly nature. Other people will see you as friendly and approachable.
Plan a day or night out.
Call your friends or family and go on a road trip. Visit your favorite hangout place or discover something new! It will give an instant boost to your happiness and would improve your mood.
Show kindness in any way you can:
An act of kindness can make you feel better than anything. It is psychologically proven that a person feels happier giving gifts than receiving them. Gift your loved ones’ accessories, notebooks, diaries, or write short letters on cards to them.
Help someone out in shifting or simply help them in cooking. Listen to someone’s story and giving them hope that everything’s gonna be okay. Show kindness and you’d feel better.
Take a day off:
Give yourself a treat by going to the spa or simply having a bubble bath. Practice self-care through reading your favorite magazine while eating your favorite snack. Call someone dear to you and have a meaningful conversation with them.
Being happier is not a selfish goal. Research suggests that happy people are more sociable, likable, healthy, and productive. Happy people are more inclined to help other people. Feelings are contagious means by being happy you’re actually making other people happier.
Why is Happiness so Important?
There are many components of a meaningful life. Such as life satisfaction, meaning, and well being. But apart from these – happiness is still considered an important aspect of life.
Though life satisfaction, meaning, and well-being can be interlinked with happiness.
Happiness is not a basic overarching goal for everyone in life, but, it is still important because:
It has some undeniably positive effects and co-occurring factors.
- Happy people are more successful in life in aspects like marriage, friendship, work performance, and health.
- Happy people rarely get sick and experience fewer symptoms if they do get sick. They heal faster.
- Happy people are social. They have more friends and it builds a better support system.
- They are helpful and always ready to volunteer.
- Happy people have an easier time going through harsh times since their positive behaviour eases pain, sadness, and grief.
- These people have a positive impact on others. They encourage them to seek happiness.
- Happy people engage in meaningful and enthusiastic conversations.
- Happy people are happy with what they are and what they have. They don’t be jealous of others.
- Happy people tend to live longer than unhappy people.
- Happy people are productive and creative, which involves more positive emotions.
What Is The Relationship Between Mental Health and Happiness?
There is a solid relationship between mental health and happiness. A happy person has a strong mindset. Happy people tend to be healthier. They have better relationships, make friends easily, and find more success in life.
The factors that contribute to happiness are the same as which provide people with protection against mental illness. Which explains the close relationship between the two.
The connection between mental health and happiness is the reason to make happiness a priority in life. There’s no denying the simple fact that we all like to feel happy.
Success Versus Happiness – What is More Important?
It is a very long debate, success verses happiness – what is more important?
Success in professional life and monetary wealth does not equate to happiness and security but to a little extent. Success doesn’t matter much to boost your level of happiness if you are successful monetarily, but failing in your personal life.
On the other hand, if you’re incredibly happy in your personal life. But, struggling financially and constantly lacking in professional life. You will be stressed and unhappy in your life.
Both of these factors are interconnected and affect happiness equally. Your happiness affects your level of success and your level of success affects your happiness.
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