Saturday, 13 August 2016

Proven Secrets of Happiness



By Bayo Ogunmupe

      We  all want to know how to find happiness. Here is Robert Biswas-Diener who has spent time studying happiness in India, Greenland, Spain and Israel. Diener is the author of the book: Happiness, Unlocking the Mysteries of Psychological Wealth. He explains how to find happiness in a three word acronym: AIM. A is for attention. You will be as happy where your attention is directed. Focus on what is good and positive, be optimistic and you will feel good; feeling good is happiness. Focus on bad stuff, that means bad news, you will feel worse.
      The I in AIM means Interpretation. We tend to think that the way we see things right now is the only way to look at them. That is wrong. A promotion can feel good or it can scare wits out of you, because you don't feel up to the new challenges. Losing a job can be awful, but if it was a lousy job, it can be the best thing to happen to you in years. You cannot control the facts, but you have control over how you interpret them. And it is interpretation that determines whether you will feel happy or not.
      The M in AIM stands for memory. You do not know what is going to happen next in life, so thinking about the future can be fun or terrifying. However, happy memories are safe bet. You can turn to them for a guaranteed boost when you need it. Take time to look back and savor those moments that made you smile. Memory has to do with savoring: reliving the positive moments. This is counterintuitive but the past is a more secure repository of happiness than the future. We always make future decisions in the hope that it will make us happy. But your past has guaranteed points of happiness. If you occasionally look back to the past, you can dredge some of those happy memories into the present  and feel them with the same emotional resonance that you did at the time they occurred.
     So AIM is a good way to remember fundamental things that can keep you happy. But what should you do everyday to build a happier life? Here are some principles to guide your actions at work and at home that can surely get you more pleasure. One, use your strengths.The more you do things that you are good at, the happier you will be. The psychologically wealthy are characterized by the ability to see what is good in the world. Nonetheless, they are grounded in reality. They are involved in activities they believe are meaningful and important. They have found these activities as places they can use their strengths.
      Two, the projects you take on at work, the activities you engage in during your leisure time, the more you involve skills you are uniquely good at, the better you will feel. And research shows this has no small effect on your happiness and well-being. So, doing what you are good at can even make the office you are occupying more pleasurable. But given that work is called work, not called unending fun; it is often the source of a lot of stress.
      Three,for enduring happiness, you must have a calling. When you think of the end result of your work, the benefits it provides to others and feel like you have a mission,it is your calling that can gain you the boon. Thus, the mindful way to happiness is in choosing the life you want. It is not what you do, it is your perception of the effect of your work that grants you happiness. So, contributing to the betterment of the lives of others will finally get you to the state of pure bliss, gliding on a cloud of never ending joy.
      Four, happiness is a process, not a place or destination. Nobody is always happy. We are made happy by what we think and do everyday. It is an ongoing process. You cannot stop the waves but you can learn to surf. An interesting fact about happiness is: frequency beats intensity. That means, lots of little good things make you happier than a few big things. Research shows religious and sports services bring people a disproportionate amount of happiness. This is because churches and gyms do not have much in common, though both make you sweat on occasion. Scheduling frequent little things that make you happy is the real solution.
      Five, balance pleasure with meaning. Pleasure is pleasurable; that is totally legit form of happiness. But living fast is often followed by dying young. And all work and no play might get Jack promoted but it also makes him a very dull companion. For true happiness, pleasure must have meaning. Short term fun and effort toward long-term goals produce happiness. To be happier, spend more time on your relationships. Support your friends, kiss your partner, hug your kids. Relationships are vital to well-being. Envy no one, be happy for what you are. Invest in others, it gains you the ultimate in happiness.

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