The Science of Happiness!

March 15, 2016

The pursuit of happiness is something we can all relate to because it is a feeling we all want at the end of the day... for ourselves, friends and loved ones. Happiness sounds so simple but is quite complex. Some of us would do almost anything to have it because it is somewhat essential to living a fulfilled life.  Others take what joys they can get.

 

Being happy is more then having material things ... or having the perfect body ... or having the most instagram followers. As we grow older and wiser we realise happiness is a state of mind.

 

Here are 7 habbits of happy people!

1.  Expressing yourself with others who are close to you. Research has shown people who have close friendships and relationships live longer. The daily interaction with close friends & family  makes us feel apart of something greater then ourselves. Humans need to relate and connect with one another mentally or physicially because loneliness is a silent soul killer. There is nothing worse then feeling like nobody understands or cares for you. Not being able to relate or connect with someone on a deeper level can also be just as damaging because feelings of alienation and disconnection can manifest into depression. Unlike the flu or a bacterial infection, depression is harder to cure. Taking some antidepressants won't rid of this condition once and for all because it effects everyone differently and the cause can be a combination of many things- chemical inbalance in the body, bad experiences,  physical changes, addiction, environmental or lifestyle changes. Some things we can change while others we have no control over. ie losing a loved one, losing a house in a bushfire, being diagnosed with a terminal cancer. Happy people tend to have real positive people to support them through tough challenges.  You may not be able to control who you are related to but you can control who your friends are. So pick wisely when it comes to friendships. Toxic relationships can destroy you.

 

2. Exercise. People who exercise daily are happier. Research has shown that people who are active were less likely to suffer from mental health issues or depression. Exercise creates endorphins... endorphins make you happy.  Exercise doesn't have to be boring .. if you grab a bunch of mates to play cricket or footy in the park for an hour or two... it becomes a fun social occasion where you can connect.  Exercise promotes healthier eating choices because you are more mindful about how many calories you are consuming and how long it takes to burn those calories off. I don't know about you but I know if I fall off the wagon ... I tend to get food amnesia. I'll eat more then I normally would. But if I work out everyday I am frequently reminded that it's hard work burning off calories. Don't forget if you look good you will feel more confident and good about yourself.

 

3. Finding own flow. Research has shown that people who have found a mission or goal to work towards are happier people. A sense of accomplishment and drive keeps us content with life. Purpose and meaning builds resilience especially if everything seems to be going wrong because often the reason outweighs all else ie - sleepless nights, time, energy, mindspace...

 

4. Positive mindsets. Happy people tend to be very positive people who try to see the brighter side to life. They are more outgoing, open minded and motivated.

 

5. Mindfulness. To be understood, one must first seek to understand. That is understand your feelings and thoughts. recognise what you are feeling and why and accept that it is normal and also be able to let go of those feelings so that you can focus on living in the present moment.  This technique has been  recognised as an effective way to reduce stress, increase self awareness, as well as enhances emotional intelligence which are all great skills to have to manage painful thoughts and feelings. 

 

6. Gratitude. People who can appreciate everything in life are happier. I guess because they aren't ridled with envy, guilt, jealousy. They are more admired and respected by others.

 

7. Hope & happiness coexist because hope is a symptom of happiness.The three elements of hope include having goals (seeking out where you want to go), feeling empowered to shape your daily life, and identifying multiple avenues toward making your goals happen. Working toward meaningful life goals is one of the most important strategies happy people utilize.  Hoping for the best in a situation can push us through the uncertainty and gives us strength to overcome the obstacles.

 

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