Happiness – We Create our own Happiness
How do you achieve Happiness?
Are you born with it?
or can you buy it?
We at Empowered Mind believe that: We Create our own Happiness
Happiness is not something you postpone for the future; it is something you design for the present.
What’s your definition of happiness?
Research in the field of Positive Psychology & Happiness often defines a happy person as someone who experiences frequent positive emotions, such as joy, interest, pride, and sometimes infrequent (though not absent) negative emotions, such as sadness, anxiety, and anger (Lyubomirsky et al., 2005).
Happiness has also been said to relate to life satisfaction, appreciation of life, moments of pleasure, but overall it has to do with the positive experience of emotions. [Psychology Today]
The ancient Greeks defined happiness as:
“Happiness is the joy that we feel when we’re striving after our potential.”
HAPPINESS has traditionally been considered difficult to find or a fading thing.
To some, even trying to achieve it is an exercise in futility.
It has been said that:
“Happiness is, as a butterfly which, when pursued, is always beyond our grasp, but which if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you.”
[NY Times ]
Happiness is not ready-made – We Create our own Happiness
Like the Dalai Lama states so well:
Happiness is not something ready-made. It comes from your own actions.
– Dalai Lama
The power is within us.
“We are the Shapers of our Destiny – I strongly believe we need to actively participate in our own healing (mind-body-spirit) to enhance our Health, Happiness & Prosperity”
– Dr. Arathi Rao
The 3-pillars of happiness are: We Create our own Happiness
The foundations for Happiness are good Relationships, good Health, and Abundance (fulfillment, contentment, sense of accomplishment, sense of purpose)
The dictionary defines relationships, abundance & health as:
Re·la·tion·ship (noun) The way in which two or more people regard and behave toward each other
A·bun·dance (noun) A very large quantity of something.
Health (noun) The state of being free from illness or injury.
Happiness comes from choosing to be happy with whatever you do, strengthening your closest relationships and taking care of yourself physically, financially and emotionally.
Thus revealed a recent survey of Harvard’s class of 1980 – with data likely biased to those feeling good enough about their lives to respond to the survey. Responses were compared between those “extremely happy” and the rest of the respondents. [Forbes ]
Importance of Social relationships and our mental and physical health
The research by the London School of Economics looked at responses from 200,000 people on how different factors impacted their well-being. “The evidence shows that the things that matter most for our happiness and for our misery are our social relationships and our mental and physical health.
The study was based on several international surveys from around the world.
On a scale of one to 10, the doubling of someone’s pay saw their happiness rise by less than 0.2. The researchers said this was down to people caring more about how their incomes compared to other people’s than how it affected them. [ BBC ]
Audio summary published by BBC:
Happiness lies in the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative effort.
-Franklin D. Roosevelt
What’s the secret to a happy life?
Many might say that money is a big part of the equation. But intrigued with discovering the secrets to a meaningful and happy life, a group of Harvard researchers launched a study in 1938. Then, they followed 268 male Harvard undergraduates – for 75 years.
The unique Harvard Grant Study collected data on the men’s lives through surveys and interviews. They looked at all aspects, including relationships, politics, and religion, coping strategies and alcohol use. What they found may surprise you.
Perhaps one of the biggest revelations was that love really does matter when it comes to living a fulfilled life.
The study’s most important finding
Relationships are the only things that matter in life. You could have a successful career, money and good physical health, but without supportive, loving relationships, you’d be unhappy. The ability to take in love is a great human skill. Even our earliest relationships are important to long-term happiness, especially the mother-child relationship. [First things ] We are social creatures and from cradle to grave. We have a range of relationships that we need to navigate and grow i.e. family, teachers, classmates, co-workers, spouse or partner, children, etc.
What makes a good life? Lessons from the longest study on happiness
What keeps us happy and healthy as we go through life? If you think it’s fame and money, you’re not alone – but, according to psychiatrist Robert Waldinger, you’re mistaken. As the director of a 75-year-old study on adult development, Waldinger has unprecedented access to data on true happiness and satisfaction. In this talk, he shares three important lessons learned from the study as well as some practical, old-as-the-hills wisdom on how to build a fulfilling, long life. [TEDTalk]
The 3-pillars are key factors to Happiness. However, the 3-pillars mentioned above i.e. Relationships, Abundance & Health are closely interconnected or intertwined.
At different times in our lives, we can be in a vicious-cycle or virtuous-cycle depending on where we are in our Happiness Journey!.
You see, unhealthy or toxic Relationships can adversely impact you Health and impede your success and be a roadblock to Abundance (i.e. contentment, sense of achievement & purpose). The opposite is also true, poor physical or emotional health such as chronic illness or being stressed, anxious & depressed can definitely impact your Relationships and Abundance. Also, feeling of discontent, feeling defeated, self-doubt, being “lost” and lacking a sense of purpose can have a negative impact on your Relationships and Health. This leads to a vicious-cycle or unhappiness spiral.
On the other hand, if you strengthen your Relationships, with yourself and others, you Health and Abundance/success will increase tremendously. Also, managing your stress, anxiety & depression reduces your risk for chronic illness and/or may help you recover faster. This, in turn, will enhance you Relationships and boost your Abundance & success. This leads to a virtuous-cycle of joy & Happiness.
What keeps us healthy and happy as we go through life?
If you were going to invest now in your future best self, where would you put your time and your energy?
So now it’s your turn to begin finding the happiness in you. What brings you joy?