“Happiness is an attitude of mind born of the simple determination to be happy under all outward circumstances.”-J.Donald Walters
Different people have different priorities and thus happiness is subjective. For some people, happiness lies in success while some people find happiness in being and spending quality time with their loved ones. But most importantly you must understand that happiness is a choice. Everything we do-be it earning money, becoming successful, working hard to have a lavish lifestyle. The desired end product is that we primarily want is to be happy.
Is there any Science behind being Happy?
Stimulating high levels of activity in the left prefrontal cortex,( an area of the brain) is closely correlated with happiness and positive affect. Certain hormones can be a cause or a result of happiness. Take for instance:-
- Dopamine: “The Reward Molecule”
It is responsible for reward-driven behavior and pleasure seeking.
- Endocannabinoids: “The Bliss Molecule”
It is responsible for the creation of a feeling of joy or bliss.
Other molecules like serotonin, oxytocin etc increase levels of confidence & human bonding emotions, thereby boosting happiness levels.
Are there any Types of Happiness?
Yes, Happiness can be characterized by certain factors.
- Hedonic well-being (characterized by happiness gained from pleasurable experiences, such as romance).
- Eudaimonic well-being (originating from theories of Aristotle, this form of happiness comes from activities that bring you a greater sense of purpose, life goal, or self-actualization).
There are some common characteristics of Really Happy People.
i) They surround themselves with positivity and avoid negativity
Positivity and negativity are both contagious. Optimism triggers happiness and one can find opportunities even in the most challenging situations. A study has shown that spreading happiness keeps the person who is spreading it twice as happy.
ii) They make the most of what they have
Happy & Successful People accept where they are and appreciate whatever they have. They find pleasures in little things in life and see the world through a colored glass.
iii) They understand the power of now
Celebrate the present, because you only live once. Constantly worrying about the future or being caught up in the past does not do any good.
iv) They aim high and expect less
If expectations are not met then they set you up for disappointment. Keeping a goal and aiming high is very important, because-“Shoot for the moon, even if you miss you’ll land among the stars.”
What Happiness Does to You?
1. It is a stress buster-Happiness eliminates anxiety and this, in turn, increases one’s focus. Also, it prevents the harmful impacts of stress and boosts mental health.
2. It improves family and social life-No one likes to be around someone who is constantly complaining and cribbing. Grumpy people repel others. Staying happy attracts positivity, increases popularity and helps to maintain a functional society and family life.
3. It increases success rates when one is dealing with clients, co-workers, and seniors; having a smile is an indication of respect and interest. There have been several cases where people who were inherently happier had higher chances of getting promotions and deals.
4. It keeps us healthy-People join laughter clubs which is known to be therapeutic. Also, it takes fewer muscles to smile compared to the number of muscles needed to frown. Happy people tend to live longer and stay healthier.
5. It boosts creativity and productivity-Staying happy keeps the mind relaxed and calm. This translates into an increase in productivity in work, academics etc. Also along with this, it helps people think more creatively as it stimulates the right part of the brain.
Sometimes it is good to take a break from our pursuit of happiness and to just live in the moment and be happy.