The contributors to happiness
Most of us seek to have a happy and fulfilled life, but how do we increase happiness? When asked what we want for our children, most of us would say “for them to be happy”. Happiness seems a subjective notion and if there were a magic wand we’d all wave it to create our everlasting happiness wouldn’t we?
Studies into happiness have shown that there may be two very important contributors to happiness: these are well-being and purpose.
Well-being is more like a process that may be achieved over time. It’s a psychological construct rather than an emotional state. Pleasurable activities might result in short term happiness and research suggests that these pursuits are important to achieving that overall well-being, so long as they are not to the detriment of our health. So, this means that activities that make us feel good such as outdoor pursuits (the best for our state of mind), or creating things with our hands are very important for our overall well-being.
We know that living with a sense of purpose is very likely to increase personal satisfaction and lead to increased happiness. For some this is achieved via philanthropy; for others it’s about being the best parent they can and for others it’s about helping reduce plastics for example. It doesn’t matter what you feel passionately positive about, just that you do.
So make your resolution to buy a jigsaw puzzle. Go for a walk. Try and let go of negative emotion. Find a purpose. Your chances at achieving happiness are increased.