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Happiness Defined: How to increase it

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It may be odd to ask, but how do you define happiness? Does your happiness have the same criteria as others? As you may hear it very often, do you think it makes a great difference in your life?

Generally speaking, happiness relates to life satisfaction and moments of pleasure. Therefore, a happy person is someone who frequently experiences positive emotions, such as joy and pride and infrequently negative emotions, such as sadness and anger.

However, each person summarizes their happiness in objects or things. Let’s read together some and find out whether they’re right or not.

Myths and Facts about Happiness

What is Happiness? Where Does it Come From? Many people have answered these questions, but which may be closer to reality?

Let's discuss together some opinions to come out with a more clear outlook about what is happiness.

  • Some people see happiness in money. However, the more money you earn, the more greedy you become. Such people keep worried about money, ignoring the fact that covering the basic needs is enough to feel satisfied! 100 more dollars have a zero impact on your happiness when you’re already rich.
  • Others view happiness as meeting the love of their life. Having a healthy and supportive love relationship may contribute to a person's overall sense of contentment, but this doesn’t mean that happiness depends only on it in a person’s life. High expectations that your partner will commit delivering your happily-ever-after may actually harm the relationship over the long term.
  • Some people link happiness to being young, so they start losing it as age goes on. Contrary to this belief, the older people get, the happier they are. When we're older, we no longer seek acceptance and approval from others. As a result, older adults are less sensitive to stress and more emotionally stable. Even with the losses that accompany aging, it is the most satisfying time of life for many people.
  • According to people’s definition of happiness, landing their dream job is enough to be happy. However,  your job is only a part of your identity, so why putting so much stock in finding a career? Human beings have a remarkable capacity to grow inured to most life changes. It means that whatever your dream job is, once you get it, you will be surprised to learn it was under the impression it would provide you with the satisfaction needed for being happy, which will definitely leave you in despair.

As indicated above, the source of happiness is not external objects; it comes from within. Read the following tips to learn how to avoid negative thoughts and approach every day with optimism.

Simple Tips to Make Yourself Happier

  • Conquer Negative Thoughts: human brains tend to ruminate more on bad experiences than positive ones. While we can’t change our nature, we can train our brains to be more positive. It doesn’t mean that we have to ignore reality and pretend everything is okay even when It is not. But just as focusing on negative incidents fuels depression and anxiety, choosing to notice and appreciate goodness is a powerful happiness booster. Here’s how:
  • Don’t focus on ending negative thoughts without actually ending them. Telling yourself not to do something makes your brain unconsciously think of it more. Instead, own your worries. Acknowledge the negativity and look carefully at what causes it and solve it at its roots.
  • Fuel your confidence and treat yourself like a friend: The first step on the way to happiness is self-satisfaction. You will never be happy if you keep telling yourself that you can’t be successful. Instead of blaming yourself, pretend that you are trying to ease someone who was down on himself, and then apply that advice on you.
  • Challenge your negative thoughts: Sometimes you are what's making you miserable, as you can’t stop thinking about how you have been wronged, or how you missed your life up. Continous negative thoughts like anxiety, self-judgment, and fear possess you and keep you miserable and stuck in your old place. Try to change this negative mindset into a positive one thinking that you deserve it. Instead of telling yourself (“I’m a failure.”), switch it to a more positive one (“I’ve made a lot of progress in my career. This is just one setback that doesn’t reflect on me. I can learn from it and be better.”)
  • Be grateful: Expressing gratitude can make a huge difference in your overall happiness. It helps you experience more positive emotions, decrease depression, and therefore, feel better about yourself. Start your day by acknowledging one thing you’re grateful for. As you go about your day, pay attention to pleasant things; verbalize your thanks and appreciation for good people, count your blessings, and try to find the positive in the negative events that happen to you.

In conclusion, happiness differs from one person to another. But the certain thing is that happiness is not only the thing you feel, but also the thing you do. You are responsible for your happiness. Disregard negativity and focus on goodness, and try to get the best of your life.

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