Happiness…Simple in theory, not always as easy to put into action. So how does one expand their happiness? How do we truly know the difference between content and happy? What are the criteria for happiness? Are they fixed, or subjective? And of course it begs the question, can we be happy all the time?
So I suppose we start with a definition of what it means to be happy. Happiness is defined as the state of being happy; synonymous with pleasure, contentment, joy, merriment, glee, etc…
Well, that narrows it down-yeah right. What then, does it mean to be truly happy? There’s the problem though, happiness is a state of being that is totally subjective. Something that makes me completely blissful, May in fact drive someone else up the perverbial wall. While other things are pretty much universally agreeable sources of child-like joy.
So what then is the formula for growing our level of content? Most psycologists would agree that our level of happiness is based on the ratio of our reality to our expectation.
Now then if that’s true, then there has got to be a way to increase that ratio. And low and behold, thank you psychology for your dedication to picking apart our brain until it can be quantified. And our good fortune we can limit our grief and exponentially increase of happy factor with just a few simple steps.
*3 WAYS TO INCREASE HAPPINESS*
1. Life is short, don’t waste it: Studies suggest that dwelling on the impending nature of our demise decreases our capacity for happiness…DUH! So with this in mind, any act that counters those negative ending thoughts can only add to our joy.
-Spend a little time each day visualizing on a long,full life.
-Imagine yourself in your 70’s, 80’s, or older still doing the things
you enjoy today. See yourself doing them with ease.
2. Switch Up The Program: Due to Hedonic Adaptation, after awhile, life- no matter how extreme we live will cease to thrill us. Basically, the more we do something, the less it excites us. Its similar to a drug addict, who after that first high has to chase after the rush. Which inevitably will not be as satisfying with each subsequent attempt.
-so change your routine, push your limits, try new things. Try
everything you’ve never dared. Get a new job, move to a new
town, make new friends. Anything to keep it fresh.
3. Do Good Works For Others: It’s a fact that we as humans are fairly self-serving. However, we can only derive just so much pleasure from heathen pleasures. So a good rule of thumb would be to do charitable works often. Research has shown that service to others, most notably those who can not do for themselves, is linked to a greater life/satisfaction ratio. So help others often to help your smiles.
To be realistic though, nobody is ever completely happy all the time. Although through regular “bliss-maintenance” we can optimize our levels of happiness to live a richer, and more full lifestyle. Honestly, I think without some degree of down trodden and melancholy in our world, it would simply rob us of the ability to truly appreciate this gift of life. So it’s ok to allow yourself to feel the full range of human emotion, but naturally be sure to return yourself to your normal bliss-filled state of mind.
All in all, sadness will come and go-let it! Then plant seeds of ecstacy, and water the garden of your joy. Let in the sunshine regularly, and watch the merriment and happiness grow. This life is a playground, and my friends…This is RECESS! Get out there and live a life wide open. Be you. Be beautiful. Be blissfully blessed and live the healthier, happier life of abundance the universe has in store for you.