Try to live happier

Habitomic Journalist
Habitomic Journalist

 Happiness is an emotional state characterized by feelings of joy, satisfaction, contentment, and fulfillment. While happiness has many different definitions, it is often described as involving positive emotions and life satisfaction.

Because happiness tends to be such a broadly defined term, psychologists and other social scientists typically use the term ‘subjective well-being’ when they talk about this emotional state. Just as it sounds, subjective well-being tends to focus on an individual’s overall personal feelings about their life in the present.

Two key components of happiness (or subjective well-being) are:

  • The balance of emotions: Everyone experiences both positive and negative emotions, feelings, and moods. Happiness is generally linked to experiencing more positive feelings than negative ones.
  • Life satisfaction: This relates to how satisfied you feel with different areas of your life including your relationships, work, achievements, and other things that you consider important.

While perceptions of happiness may be different from one person to the next, there are some key signs that psychologists look for when measuring and assessing happiness.

Some key signs of happiness include:

Feeling like you are living the life you wanted, feeling that the conditions of your life are good, feeling that you have accomplished (or will accomplish) what you want in life, feeling satisfied with your life, feeling positive more than negative.

One important thing to remember is that happiness isn’t a state of constant euphoria. Instead, happiness is an overall sense of experiencing more positive emotions than negative ones.

Happy people still feel the whole range of human emotions—anger, frustration, boredom, loneliness, and even sadness—from time to time. But even when faced with discomfort, they have an underlying sense of optimism that things will get better, that they can deal with what is happening, and that they will be able to feel happy again.

There are many different ways of thinking about happiness. For example, the ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle made a distinction between two different kinds of happiness: hedonia and eudaimonia.

Hedonia: Hedonic happiness is derived from pleasure. It is most often associated with doing what feels good, self-care, fulfilling desires, experiencing enjoyment, and feeling a sense of satisfaction.

Eudaimonia: This type of happiness is derived from seeking virtue and meaning. Important components of eudaimonic well-being include feeling that your life has meaning, value, and purpose. It is associated more with fulfilling responsibilities, investing in long-term goals, concern for the welfare of other people, and living up to personal ideals.

Hedonia and eudemonia are more commonly known today in psychology as pleasure and meaning, respectively. More recently, psychologists have suggested the addition of the third component that relates to engagement. These are feelings of commitment and participation in different areas of life.

Research suggests that happy people tend to rank pretty high on eudaimonic life satisfaction and better than average on their hedonic life satisfaction.

Happiness has been shown to predict positive outcomes in many different areas of life including positive emotions increase satisfaction with life, happiness helps people build stronger coping skills and emotional resources, positive emotions are linked to better health and longevity, positive feelings increase resilience, being happy may make help you get sick less often, and happier mental states are linked to increased immunity.

History of Happiness

 Happiness has long been recognized as a critical part of health and well-being. The “pursuit of happiness” is even given as an inalienable right in the U.S. Declaration of Independence. Our understanding of what will bring happiness, however, has shifted over time.

Psychologists have also proposed several different theories to explain how people experience and pursue happiness. These theories include:

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

The hierarchy of needs suggests that people are motivated to pursue increasingly complex needs. Once more basic needs are fulfilled, people are then motivated by more psychological and emotional needs.

At the peak of the hierarchy is the need for self-actualization, or the need to achieve one’s full potential. The theory also stresses the importance of peak experiences or transcendent moments in which a person feels deep understanding, happiness, and joy.

Positive Psychology

The pursuit of happiness is central to the field of positive psychology. Psychologists who study positive psychology are interested in learning ways to increase positivity and help people live happier, more satisfying lives.

Rather than focusing on mental pathologies, the field instead strives to find ways to help people, communities, and societies improve positive emotions and achieve greater happiness.

How to Cultivate Happiness

While some people just tend to be naturally happier, there are things that you can do to cultivate your sense of happiness.

 1. Enjoy the Moment

Studies have found that people tend to over earn—they become so focused on accumulating things that they lose track of actually enjoying what they are doing.

So, rather than falling into the trap of mindlessly accumulating to the detriment of your happiness, focus on practicing gratitude for the things you have and enjoying the process as you go.

2. Reframe Negative Thoughts

When you find yourself stuck in a pessimistic outlook or experiencing negativity, look for ways that you can reframe your thoughts more positively.

Reframing these negative perceptions isn’t about ignoring the bad. Instead, it means trying to take a more balanced, realistic look at events. It allows you to notice patterns in your thinking and then challenge negative thoughts.

3.  Focus on the positive things

To find happiness and stay happy, it is very important to train your brain to focus on the positives instead of the negatives.

Some ways you can do this is to recite a positive mantra to yourself every day, or when things start feeling negative. Use this simple phrase or sentence to remind yourself to focus on what you have. Some examples include, “Today is great!”, “I am grateful for what I have”.

Do this three times a day for a few months and your brain will start doing it automatically. Remember, positive thinking is important to set the baseline for your long-term happiness.

4. Do what you love and enjoy

It’s hard to be happy when you are always doing things you don’t like, such as working in a terrible job or being belittled by your peers.

Find what you love and start doing it more. This will fill you up with joy each time and keep you happy and lively. Everyone loves it when they get to do what they enjoy. If possible, try making that hobby into a career as well, this way you will be happy even at work!

5. Help others and give back to society

Sometimes we feel happier when we helped someone else. When we volunteer or help others, they will be happy, and so will you! It’s a win-win situation. Think about all the times when someone has given you a hand, and how that made your day better. When you help others, you feel good and become happier!

6. Smile

When you smile, it causes the brain to release dopamine, which makes you feel good and feel happy. You don’t have to plaster a fake smile on your face 24/7, but make it a habit to just crack a smile. When you smile at someone else, they will feel good and smile back at you, which returns the favor and makes you happy as well.

7. Be grateful

Being grateful can already give you a big boost of happiness among other benefits. When you think about all the things you have and realize how blessed you are, you’ll begin to feel happier and appreciate your life more.

Start each day by appreciating something you are grateful for, such as having a house to live in or having good friends.

8. Get plenty of exercise in your life

Exercise has been proven to reduce stress and release endorphins, which help you feel great. Regular exercise can help you reduce feelings of anxiety and depression while giving you a happiness boost.

9. Forgive and forget

When someone does you harm, learn to forgive and forget. Holding grudges harm you more than the person you are hiding them against. It hinders your judgment and makes you feel moody and angry all the time.

Instead, learn how to let go of your anger for a few seconds and forgive the person who did you wrong. This way, you will relieve yourself of this emotional burden and focus instead on the bright future ahead. This will make you feel better and make you happier.

In conclusion, happiness is something everyone deserves and wants, but not everyone has. Happiness is often seen as the meaning and purpose of life and the point of our existence. Despite this, many of us are plagued with sadness and persistent negative emotions like stress and anxiety instead of feeling happy.

Happiness is a life goal that pretty much everyone wants to attain, but not everyone has. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t get it. Just do your part and try out these habits listed above. Good luck!