Is there a recipe for happiness? While it is different for everyone, science may give us a few ideas.
Everyone knows that money cannot buy happiness, but often, we begin to think that we will be happier if we have more money. We seek to become rich (even when we know that not every rich person is happy) and want to make more money because then we think we will have a good life.
But this does not necessarily bring us happiness. Does it really matter how much money we earn or have in the bank, how expensive are the clothes we wear or the car we drive, if all this does not make us really happier? The sad thing is that often, we spend decades of our lives in the pursuit of wealth and luxury items in order to understand this simple truth.
So what brings us happiness? These are a few simple things that cost nothing. There is a ‘recipe for happiness’ based on a number of studies that involved hundreds of thousands of people and included questions about what they have, what their life is like, and how happy they are.
Action for happiness
Based on the latest psychological research, a team of British scientists and public figures founded the charity movement “Action for Happiness“, which currently has more than 23 thousand members around the world.
One of the founders of the movement is the British economist Richard Layard, who thinks that, despite the amazing technological progress in the last 50 years, people did not become happier.
According to him, we need a new approach to understanding happiness in order to create a positive change in social welfare and “instill” a fundamentally new way of life. One of the mottos of the movement is “care more about the welfare of others, rather than about things you can get from others”.
The organizers have created a ‘recipe for happiness’ based on the latest research in this area. The distinguishing feature of this recipe is that it is not based on things like financial gains and is mainly built around concepts such as socialization, relationships with other people, involvement in community activities, optimism, and emotional stability.
Here are 10 ingredients of a recipe for happiness:
- Be part of something bigger
- Do more for others
- Interact with other people
- Take care of your physical health
- Pay more attention to the world around
- Constantly learn something new
- Set inspiring goals
- Be flexible and find new ways to adapt to the circumstances
- Practice positive thinking
- Accept yourself for who you are
The basis of this recipe for happiness is the idea that humans are social creatures and can’t be fulfilled if they have problems with communication, goal setting, and self-development.
Therefore, scientists say that to be happy, we should communicate more, join different communities, stay in touch with old friends, share new experiences and knowledge, and most importantly – give a smile to other people every day.
3 more secrets to happiness
If you ask me, these recommendations are a bit too general and might not work so well for certain personality types. For example, introverted people place more importance on inner peace, a sense of meaning, and creativity than things like socialization or a sense of community.
For this reason, let me share my own recipe for happiness:
1. Positive thinking
I’m a big supporter of positive thinking as one of the greatest ways to achieve one’s goals, but as it turns out that it is also a way to happiness. Self-esteem and optimism are some of the most common qualities of people who live a happy life. Happy people are confident because they feel like they have control over their lives and have a positive attitude to life.
Make positive thinking a habit. Make a conscious effort to confront your negative thoughts and replace them with positive ones.
2. Deep connections
We all need to have close people in our lives, and it is the depth of a connection that matters. A close friendship, a happy marriage, or a strong bond with our family members make us much happier than a hundred superficial acquaintances. Take some time today or tomorrow to be with your loved ones and tell them what they mean to you.
3. Find your state of flow
The flow is a very popular concept nowadays. It is a state in which we are totally immersed in work or performing a task. We are so immersed in the activity we are doing that we lose ourselves in this flow. Having a job or leisure activities that bring you into this state will almost certainly make you feel happy.
People enjoy themselves most of all not when they are passive and have nothing to think about but when they are involved in a process that requires active participation. Find a job that you truly enjoy. Find a hobby, turn off the TV, go outside and do something that brings you deep fulfillment.
These are my secrets to happiness. What about you? What is your recipe for happiness?
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