Do you remember the last time you smiled? The last time when you felt that everything was right? In other words, when was the last time you felt happy?
Happiness is an amazing feeling, which many of us do not get to feel often enough. Moreover, we feel like aiming towards more money, better carries or serious relationship are directly linked to it. However, this way of thinking is not only untrue but also very damaging for us.
In order to measure the level of somebody’s happiness, psychologists and scientists use different questionnaires and researches. Many of these show that the feeling of happiness actually transfers genetically. According to some studies around 30% of happiness is related to genetics and about 60% comes from our view of life and our mood. This means that outside factors such as changes in our career, personal life or income constitutes only about 10% of our happiness. This means that pursuing that promotion you have always wanted might make you happy but this is just the tip of the iceberg.
There is a psychological phenomenon called ‘’hedonistic adaptation’’ that dates back to the ‘70s. According to it, all of us have a base level of happiness that doesn’t change no matter what happens in our lives. This theory states that all outside factors, such as a promotion, only bring us temporary happiness.
Instead, psychologists recommend a few simple rules you can follow in order to feel happy in the long run.
Try meditating – focusing on yourself for a while releases the tension and eases depression.
Go out more – being out in nature reduces the level of a hormone named cortisol, which is responsible for stress.
Involve yourself in cultural activities – going to a play or joining a club reduce bad emotions and make us more content.
Spend your money on others – no matter, if you are giving a gift to a relative or donating for a good cause, spending your money on someone else will make you happier.
Volunteer – recent studies show that volunteering has a positive impact on psychological health. It is related to a lower chance of depression, lower risk of psychological damage and higher overall fulfilment.
In other words, if you want to be happier in the long run, focus on yourself now. Try to be happy with what you are doing right now and take a moment to enjoy it. In a few months or a year, you will be glad you did it.