Finding Happiness - Architect Of Your Life

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Saturday, September 23, 2017

Finding Happiness

The expression happiness captures a vast variety of optimistic emotional responses, as well as such things as brightness, serenity, optimism, and enjoyment. Throughout history, philosophers, religious writers and poets have pondered on the implication of happiness and how it might be achieved. More recently, scientists, psychologists and even politicians, have united the pursuit. 

Emotions are forever on a roller coaster so the absence of unhelpful feelings, although desired, involves an individual’s ability create a positive wellbeing or positive mood contingent upon the individual’s ability to:

- Being a part of and contributing to society
- Integrating inside your community
- Participating in social groups and forums
- demonstrating acceptance and tolerance of others
- Experiencing self-acceptance by others
- Being able to master your own natural environment without fear
- Having positive relationships with others
- Being autonomous from others
- Demonstrating personal growth
- Pursuing one's personal desire and purpose in life.

History of happiness - Common sense says that the more positive our emotional state is, the more our brain produces endorphins. As we evolve from cradle to grave or birth to adulthood, our personal experiences are developed via our thoughts and actions, consequences, whether positive or negative. The more positive our thinking becomes, the further willing we are to be creative and incorporate new ideas and new experiences.

Happiness and meditation - Neuroscientist has determined, through research that the left side of the brain is more active when individuals are feeling happy and that the balance of activity between the left and right parts of the brain moves as mood changes. Experiencing meditation on a regular basis produces extra high activity on the left side which is an increase in happiness. To feel renewed and positive and happy in your work performance then try meditation, relaxation, yoga will increase your happiness and wellbeing.

Is happiness a geneticattributet? - One's satisfaction with life comes from a genetic predisposition. Neuroscientists have learnt that the brain is highly plastic. It rewires and changes itself in response to experience. A genetic predisposition does not mean aspecificr trait is always expressed or can't be modified.

Memories and happiness - When thinking about happiness, it isnotablet to recognize that life is a longsequences of moments. In any of those moments there is a lot going on and you could stop and ask, what is happening right now? We all have mental, physical and emotional activity at each of those points in time. However, almost all of those moments are lost to us forever. We keep memories very selectively and certain moments count more than others. We tend to hold onto beginnings, the peak moments and the endings. For example, a parent might remember with great pleasure the day their child scored their first goal at sport. They'll have forgotten the early start, the driving back and forth and the uneventful evening.

Happiness and life circumstances - Life circumstances such as marital status, education, religion and income count for just 8% of life satisfaction. That is consistent with the studies that show very little connection between income and happiness levels. Interestingly, high education or IQ levels are not associated with greater happiness. Olderpersonse are consistently more satisfied with their lives than the young. Married people are happier but that could be because they were happier people to begin with. Religion has a positive effect on wellbeing. Ultimately, it's family and friends that are the most important. We need these interpersonal ties and social support to be happy.

Health and happiness - Did you know that happiness is associated with longer life andoutstandingr health. Research has shown that happy people are better at health maintenance, such as spendingadditionale time exercising and having routine checkups.

Money doesn't make you happy - Research has shown that there is no significant relationship between how much money a person makes and how happy they are. Although it is better to have money in the bank, wealth, fame, and stardom does not make you happy. How many times have you seen a person win the lottery only to end up divorced and broke within years.

Compare and despair - It seems we are driven to compare ourselves with others, and noat this timehat we have access to pay TV and the internet, it has never been easier to see how the very wealthy live. Instead of asking 'do my possessions meet my needs', we become anxious about how we are faring relative to others.

The hedonic treadmill - How well do we adapt to change? When we want something and then attain it, we don't seem to be any better off. This is called this the hedonic treadmill. It's like we are walking on a treadmill but not really getting anywhere because we are adapting to things. This process of adaption explains why we are not significantly happier despite significant increases in the standard of living over the last 50 years.

The slow movement - The book 'In praise of Slow' by Carl Honore is something of a handbook for an emerging 'slow movement'. The 'slow movement' is a backlash against the idea that that faster is always better. The idea is that by slowing down we can enjoy richer, fuller lives. It's not about rejecting modern life, but rather striking a balance between fast and slow. That might mean making time for a hobby that slows you down or leaving some gaps in your day rather than striving to fill every moment with activity. Setting aside time where you turn off all technology or seeking out flexible working arrangements may also help you find balance. Some people make even more significant changes such as changing careers or locations. People who have made those significant changes are happy with their decision to downsize their lives.

Author: David M Arnoold, MSSW

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