Happiness – What Is It All About?
No matter what you are doing or who you are, you seek happiness every step of the way. It is an ephemeral feeling that often goes unnoticed and unrecognized. However, people have been striving to find a definition of happiness for centuries now, trying to catch a glimpse of this fleeing moment and ameliorate their existence.
You may argue that happiness is different for everyone. However, it has been proven that there are certain aspects of our lives that influence this feeling in a positive way. It is, therefore, important to evaluate your own life in the light of these characteristics.
When you are in college, it is especially difficult to uphold this feeling because as a student you are constantly under pressure. Here is an article to help you stay happy throughout college.
In this article, however, I intend to give general directions on finding your path to happiness.
It Is Temporary
Grief and tragedy are, unfortunately, inevitable for most people. There are lucky few who escaped them, but most of us will probably have to deal with heartbreaking events at one point of our lives. The important thing here is not to despair. The agony and distress you may experience as a result of your misfortune are totally temporary.
One American professor, namely Ed Diener proved that negative incidents only impact people’s lives for the maximum duration of three months. After that period you would bounce back and restore your original level of happiness.
Therefore, do not rush to commit suicide when you lose hope. Your soul just like your body has a remarkable ability to regenerate. So, give yourself a chance for more happiness that definitely awaits you in the future.
If you are lone wolf, maybe, it is high time you reconsider your choice. It has been confirmed many times that happiness is directly correlated with the level and strength of your relationships with family, friends and even your overall community.
Harvard Medical School conducted one the longest study on happiness that affirmed this conclusion. They interviewed more than 800 people throughout almost 80 years about their level of happiness, having found out that it had nothing to do with income, education or status.
One of the leading researches, George Vaillant remarked that happiness was love. Having strong ties with your loved ones can improve your productivity, career, even health, while being isolated can lead to loss of motivation and dementia. Therefore, no matter how busy your life is, it is crucial to allocate time for communication, otherwise, regardless of your professional achievements, you do not stand a chance to find true happiness.
That sounds like something your annoyed parent would say. However, do not discount this argument just yet. Many scientists proved that those who count their blessings, instead of their failures, are much more likely to have a happy and fulfilling life.
There was a study where three groups were asked to write in diaries every day about their experiences. One group was asked to write about things that went wrong, another – vice versa, about positive moments, and the last one had to simply describe their day.
It was clear that those who emphasized the good stuff demonstrated a higher level of satisfaction with life and a general optimistic attitude. Therefore, no matter how miserable your life may seem to you, you need to always look out for the good stuff. It is very human to always want more. However, if you shed some positive light on your reflections, it will instill you with a sense of happiness.
Trust the Subconscious
Do not underestimate your brain’s aptitude for adapting to the present and recovery. Quite often this transformation happens without you being aware or cognizant of the change.
People have a psychological immune system that helps them combat any distressing events and ideas imposed on them by life. For instance, an American professor Jack Brehm proved a human capacity towards reconciling and accepting the present situation.
In 1956 he carried out an experiment where a group of people (mostly women, yay 1950s with its cult of domesticity) was asked to choose a household appliance. Later, when asked to evaluate the objects in the order of importance, they invariably graded the ones chosen before as higher in value.
This test was later conducted with a group of amnesiacs who demonstrated the same pattern. It confirmed that this choice was subconscious; something that people’s mind did not register. So, do not be sad if you did not get into the college of your dream. Time will pass, and your current university will seem to be the best option for you thanks to your brain’s malleability.
Appreciate Little Things
Researchers have shown that people’s happiness is only mildly influenced by big events such as a wedding, a promotion or a trip to a foreign country. Usually it is the quantity of such pleasurable activities that counts, not their quality or grandeur.
It is a common situation when people dismiss little moments in life as insignificant or distracting. It is laudable to have a grand dream and work hard to attain it. However, it detracts from your happiness, as you forget about your relationships and seemingly minute details like watching a comedy show or taking an aromatic bath.
No matter how busy you are, those little things are the little bricks that constitute your happiness. If you forget about them, your whole life will fall apart. It is much easier to indulge yourself a little every day than to recover from a complete burnout.
Control Your Life
It is palpable that a feeling of happiness is impacted by your hormonal system. In order to stimulate the right hormones, you need to learn to organize your life in a way that would trigger the best, most conducive to your happiness emotions.
You need set realistic and important for you goals to increase dopamine. This will lead to the release of serotonin as your productivity and effectiveness will boost your ego (which is a good thing, by the way). You need to do sport to augment the number of endorphins. Learn the rules of time management to preclude cortisol and meet regularly with those close to you to have more oxytocin.
Of course, those are general recommendations. However, many studies have proven them to work for the majority of people. Try those tips and see your life become better in no time at all.