What makes one happy? This is question that has been asked since the ancient times. We, the people of the 21st century, are also looking for answers. Happiness has no secret, like most wise people tell you. Everyone finds happiness in different things. Every individual’s idea of happiness is also different. So how can we look at one possible answer or solution?
Jason Wheeler, a psychoanalyst in New York City, says that “lots of things in life just happen to us, but many other things we have to do, and being happy is one of them.” We need to constantly work on being happy, it is not a given thing. Psychologists have now found some key things that make us happier individuals. Here’s a list of some of those:
1. Being mindful
When we hear the word mindfulness, our first thoughts are about meditation and yoga. But mindfulness is not limited to the sphere of meditation. You can be mindful while swimming also. This is because mindfulness is about being aware of your present moment that you are conscious of your body physically, mentally and emotionally.
So when you swim you are aware of the movement of your body and your mind. Jason Wheeler says, “to swim well, I must concentrate just on what I am doing,” and “I exist from stroke to stroke, from breath to breath.” Swimming is a low-impact workout and it is a really good way to relax and rejuvenate yourself.
2. Being grateful
This should not be limited to holidays like Thanksgiving! Being grateful is something that we should practice in our lives on a daily basis. According to studies, expressing gratitude can be beneficial for us as it can lead to a lower risk of depression and better sleep.
If you are feeling low or dispirited, then you can make a list of things that you are grateful for. It will take your mind off the negative things that you were dwelling on and you will feel positive after literally counting your blessings. Acknowledging and expressing gratitude is good for your mental health. It will uplift your mood and you will feel calm from within.
3. Exercising/Working out
Workouts can be a really great way to clear your head of all the cluttered thoughts and feelings. For some it is running, for others it could be a heavy cardio workout! Exercising is a good way to relieve stress and to think of new ideas.
Exercise leads to a hike in the levels of adrenaline in the body which is followed by a release of mood-boosting endorphins. A recent study showed that even a light physical activity than the heavy workouts is emotionally benefitting for us.
4. Connecting with others
In a 2015 study of newlywed couples published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, researchers found that wives who perceived their husbands to be habitually suppressing their emotions reported lower marriage quality over time.
Communicating with our loved ones is a really crucial task. If we want to have quality relationship with others then we have to talk to them and connect to them emotionally. People who have been married for years say that the one thing that kept them together is the daily dose of “us” time that they spend. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a romantic dinner date or something; it could be simply spending some time together during the day.
Connecting with friends and family will also give you happiness. Meaningful relationships give you genuine peace and harmony in life. If you don’t have such a relationship with your partner, then it’s time to think about it.