These intriguing happiness facts will show just how much you didn’t know about happiness. I’ve also added 3 easy exercises that will change your life for the better.
As children, happiness seemed simple. Just the sight of a candy could bring up joy in our hearts.
But as adults, we are drawn deeper into the complexities of life, and we lose our sense of wonder and appreciation to enjoy the small things, making happiness a very intricate subject.
In fact, happiness has been a field of study that has been researched from different directions in the past 20 years. Positive psychology research from the behavioral point of view.
Neuroscience looks into our brain to find out what happens when we experience a moment of enhanced emotional happiness, and they have been coming out with really good conclusions to what one can do to build skills for better living and happiness.
Why would our brain drift away from happiness?
Happiness is a fascinating topic! One might feel like if we experience this emotion of happiness once, our brains would almost be hardwired to do nothing but remain in a state of bliss but, unfortunately, it is not the case.
The real problem is that people often confuse happiness with being externally driven.
That kind of happiness really depends on our current financial situation, the relationships that we have with our life partner or friends, our jobs, etc..
But if we think about, it’s actually the other way around: we tend to succeed in life when we are happy.
So, the thing we should focus on is how to increase happiness.
Studies have shown that even if you smile or laugh for no reason, will put you in a good mood. Think about positive things, express gratitude, recall positive incidents and moments in your life, and these will have long term positive effects for your general mood.
How much does being in the present translate into happiness?
Being mindful and savoring a moment in the present is one of the key elements of happiness. Our mind today is wondering so much into the future or the past that we are not really living and experiencing what’s happening in the present anymore.
All negativity is caused by an accumulation of psychological time and denial of the present. Unease, anxiety, tension, stress, worry – all forms of fear – are caused by too much future, and not enough presence. Guilt, regret, resentment, grievances, sadness, bitterness, and all forms of nonforgiveness are caused by too much past, and not enough presence. ― Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment
It’s really important to learn how to extract yourself from the busy lifestyle and be present in the moment.
It’s about having a positive outlook. And there is three parts to it:
- positive thought,
- positive emotion,
- positive behavior.
If you focus on the negative on any of these three areas, then that’s where you would naturally gravitate towards.
So it’s important to be living in the moment, but also think about the good aspects of that moment. Remember that you tend to go wherever your thoughts are.
So, if you are focused on the positive aspects of your life, then that is where you will go.
How do you find happiness after a tragedy?
Scientists believe that happiness is an emotional skill that one can learn and can get better in. It is really working your brain as if you are training your mind for that moment. And training can require some consistency but it’s not any different from physical training that has been so embedded in our life.
Interestingly, scientists have concluded that about 40% of our happiness potential is something we can work on, 50% is genetics, and only 10% is circumstantial.
Occasionally, unfortunate events will come your way and there is nothing you can do about that. However, the way you react to those events is entirely up to you.
Just remember the proverb: “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” ☺
How do we measure happiness?
Happiness is a subjective measurement, though scientists have found an interesting way of measuring it. The two factors taken into account are: positive emotion and life satisfaction.
Positive emotion is really how you feel in the moment, but this is not what is going to change the life satisfaction (the overall sense of well being). So that’s why a combination of the two is required.
Understanding these two concepts will give you the answer of how happy you really are.
Three easy exercises that will change your life for the better
- Find your life’s purpose (what you wake up in the morning for) and remind it to you every day.
- Give more and empathize with others.
- Before you go to bed, write down 3 good things that happened to you during the day.