Happiness might very well be the ultimate human aspiration. From our own little corner, we all pursue a formula or any method to achieve it. Unfortunately, most of our efforts are fruitless or bring us but a very short-term happiness.
What if I told you that there are some successful techniques you can easily incorporate into your daily routine to make you happier? Sounds great! But before we get there, let me explain how emotions work and what they have to do with our being happy.
How Emotions Can Lead (or Not) To Happiness
Emotions add spark to our lives and are a reaction to external factors. Thus, they influence on how we act, though not always in a good way. That’s why it is important to learn how they affect us and how to make the best out of them.
Let’s start explaining that emotions have both mental and physical aspects. The mental aspect has to do with how we feel towards something or someone and how it affects us; the other aspect is the physical response we have about that emotion.
What you cannot lose sight of, is that negative emotions – as much as they might hurt – are also important. They keep us alert about dangerous people or situations. As a matter of fact, research also shows that the healthiest psychological pattern is to be opened to a broad variety of emotions. In that way, we won’t miss out many valuable parts of the human experience.
Happiness In Theory
There are a bunch of different theories about how emotions can be shaped, but one of the most interesting ones is the facial feedback hypothesis. According to this theory, the way we gesticulate (e.g. frowning, smiling) can make emotions more, or less intense. Hence, if you keep on smiling (as a conscious effort) you’ll enjoy things more than if you’re frowning.
We also use facial feedback when we recognize emotional expressions in other people. When we see others smiling, we’re prone to smile as well, and that helps our brains understand others’ emotions.
Happiness Can Be Trained
Positive Psychology is a scientific study that look for actions or exercises that can increase happiness. The idea is that if we reinforce positive traits we can lead meaningful and fulfilling lives.
Happiness has not only proved to boost our mental health, but our physical health as well. Research has shown it strengthens our immune system, prevents us from chronic diseases, and it’s also true that happier people live longer.
If you’re positive about becoming a happier person, you should begin questioning yourself which thoughts and actions you can change to become happier. Researchers have found that some thoughts, such as forgiving, expressing gratitude, being optimistic, or retelling all those good things happening around help us to focus onto positive things.
Other kind of decisions can also play a big part in your happiness. For instance, if you decide to change your habits and become more active and healthier, the process of achieving it may bring you positive emotions that will make you happy. Losing weight, studying something different, or have a new hobby, may also be very good options. Don’t waste more time. #DecideItNow, happiness can’t wait!