Happiness Over Happiness to Improve Personal Well-Being

Although happiness and joy are two words that are used interchangeably, studies show that they are different concepts and the key to living better and longer is happiness.

While happiness is fleeting and may be caused by external stimuli (a television series, a meal we enjoy), happiness arises from situations related to our life goals, our desires, and our search for meaning in life. In other words, happiness is a response to everything we consider. Well,

This may appear when we achieve something that we have desired for a long time and that we have worked hard to achieve, such as finishing school or breaking a personal record. In general terms, when a situation gives us something that we consider important, stable and comfortable, the feeling it awakens in us is happiness. The same happens, for example, when we meet a loved one whom we have not seen for a while or when we have a sincere conversation with our partner, our parents or a friend.

Although happiness can help us feel happy on a daily basis, it is a deeper and more lasting emotion than happiness in itself.

A Harvard University study on the personal development of adults determined that social relationships are important for generating positive emotions and increasing longevity. Furthermore, interpersonal relationships are essential to our survival. Positive emotions broaden our field of perspective and motivate prosocial behavior in us, allowing us to make connections, create community, and feel part of something.

When we succeed in giving more meaning to our lives and contributing to building communities around what matters to us, we feel a greater sense of happiness.

There are many studies that try to understand human development, our ability to manage change and the way we respond to challenges. They all refer to inner capabilities resulting from resilience and positive emotions. For example, when we connect with our purpose, we contribute to building relationships, we work on something we find important, or we create positive impact.

It is valuable to analyze all our emotions in detail, but only when we focus on learning and knowing what we can contribute to others can we truly stop seeking momentary happiness caused by external factors. and get closer to a deeper feeling of happiness.

Many investigations have analyzed the relationship between life expectancy and aspects such as socioeconomic status or psychological factors. The importance of solid relationships has become clear in all this.

85 years analysis

To carry out the Harvard study on adult development, a large group of individuals and their descendants were followed for 85 years, documenting all kinds of effects through their successes and failures. It turned out that, although physical health should not be underestimated, people with strong and satisfying interpersonal relationships were more likely to live longer.

Since happiness can arise from a sense of connection (or reconnection) with the self and others, participants who felt close to loved ones showed greater signs of health and vitality than subjects with weaker relationships. In fact, study director Robert Waldinger explained in his TED Talk that good relationships “not only protect our bodies, but also our brains.”

TED talk by Professor Waldinberg from Harvard. Source: TED, YouTube.

create happiness

Since we know that happiness has such a positive impact on our performance, our health, and our life expectancy, how can we encourage it in our daily lives? There are many ways to incorporate happy moments into your daily routine that improve our health in the long run. Below, we leave you some tips based on scientific evidence that will help you cultivate happiness and take advantage of its health benefits.

  1. Take care of your relationships. Having deep relationships and a support network is essential to a happy life, and a good way to form bonds is through common hobbies or interests. If you like movies and your friends are also movie buffs, go watch movies together and then discuss them over dinner or coffee. You can meet people for hiking, or call a family member who lives far away to visit. Relationships at work can also increase our sense of belonging and connection to our community, so make an effort to get to know your coworkers. Meeting someone in person is a particularly effective way to create happiness. Still, it is logical that every relationship goes through better and worse times, but you can always look for ways to strengthen the bond. To do this, you have to be vulnerable and talk honestly.

  2. Practice gratitude. Gratitude is considered a fundamental component of happiness. Taking time to reflect on what we are grateful for can increase our levels of confidence and appreciation. And “practicing gratitude” is more effective if we make it a daily habit, because it is in our daily routine where we can identify what makes us happy. We may be especially happy in nature, cooking, talking with our friends, or reading a book. The next step is to integrate these activities into your daily life. When it comes to boosting our own satisfaction, taking the time to notice and even write down moments that bring us joy and gratitude can be a very effective practice.

  3. take things with humor, One of the most stress relieving activities is laughing. Laughter has been shown to reduce stress hormones, boost the immune system, reduce inflammation and increase good cholesterol. It’s also a great way to improve your social relationships. Notice how you react to humor and find out which people always make you laugh. If you can, it’s also helpful to write down funny moments in your daily life in a journal.

  4. Limit social media use, Theodore Roosevelt said, “Comparison is the thief of joy,” and he is right. Social networks are currently one of the factors that most influence our self-esteem, and not always in a positive way. These apps present a detailed version of other people’s lives, which can make us feel lonely or depressed and lead us to compare ourselves to other people in unhealthy ways. On the other hand, there are studies that suggest that using the network to actively connect and communicate with our family and friends (rather than just seeing what they post) can have a positive impact on our well-being. Is. So, if being on social media is bothering you, it’s time to stop following certain accounts or start using them with a clearer intention.

recreate happiness

Seeking out moments of happiness can strengthen our social bonds, bring us peace and help us live healthier and happier lives, as scientific studies have shown over the years. One way to feel happy is to spend time with the people who mean the most to you. It also helps to know when you feel most at peace and try to recreate them. Thus, by enjoying small joys, you will improve your daily life.

In conclusion, while happiness may give us a temporary positive feeling, happiness has a lasting impact on our well-being as well as many other health benefits. Fill your life with good experiences and increase your and others’ happiness. You will be surprised by all the positive effects it has.

The English version of this article was published on IE Insights.

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