What is happiness? And how can we achieve it?
Happiness can be obtained through a self-gratification approach or alternatively, can relate to experiences that give us a deeper sense of purpose and lead to personal growth.
A 2007 study followed over 6000 people who rated themselves as happy, and found that happiness and emotional validity (Enthusiasm, Hopefulness, Engagement in Life and the ability to face stress from a balanced perspective) appears to reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. This effect was distinct and measurable, even when taking into account healthy behaviours such as not smoking and regular exercise.
There are ways that people can bring more happiness into their lives including:
Acknowledging and appreciating the good things in your life can lead to a more positive perception of how your day was spent. Keep a gratitude diary, or a list of all the good things that happen over the course of a day.
Exercise causes your body to release endorphin’s, which are the body’s natural feel good chemicals. Being fit and healthy also makes it easier to undertake everyday activities.
Sharing makes us four times as happy as being selfish. This doesn’t have to cost a lot, and can be as simple as cooking a meal for a friend, or buying a loved one flowers.
Close friends and family help you to enjoy life and pick you up when you are down. Make the time to catch up with those close to you, even if it is only for a short period of time.
Developing new skills stimulates the brain. Your brain loves to learn and your mood will improve from learning new knowledge. This also helps to build self confidence.
The simple act of smiling causes us to feel happiness. It also has a positive effect on those around us!
By making small changes in your life, you may be able to have a big impact on your overall levels of happiness.