There’s no magic formula for happiness. However, we seek it fervently. Our most joyous moments are made up of the big things, the every day and the smallest of gestures, and while these are difficult to bottle, experts at The New York Times believe they have pinpointed the nine steps we can take that will help us get closer to contentment.
1. Make Family And Friends A Priority
As the researchers looked at the factors throughout the years that strongly influenced health and well-being, they found that relationships with friends, and especially spouses, were a major one. The people in the strongest relationships were protected against chronic disease, mental illness and memory decline – even if those relationships had many ups and downs.
2. Weekends Should Increase Your ‘Happy Factor.’
The results of a survey on happiness pinpointed the precise time of 7.26 pm on a Saturday as the most joyous time of the week for many. The reason for this being that at this stage, most of us have managed to unwind; the stresses of the previous five days feel like a distant memory. These feelings also peak because it’s time spent with friends and family.
3. Gratitude Helps
Happiness isn’t always down to the big moments in life; it can be found in everything that you’re grateful for. That first cup of coffee in the morning, the friend that picked up your forgotten bag on the train, the partner who cooked dinner on the evening you got soaked in the rain; anything you’re grateful for, should make you feel uplifted.
4. As Does Income Equality
Research shows that unhappiness is strongly associated with a country’s social inequality. One index finds that Scandinavia, a place with a wide and broad social net, is the location of the world’s happiest countries. Road trip, anyone?
5. Your Health Is Your Wealth
Happiness and health have been anecdotally linked for quite a while now; in fact, a recent study found that people with a positive outlook, those who are cheerful, relaxed, energetic, or just generally satisfied with life are at a reduced risk of having a heart attack. Happier participants in the study had one-third fewer coronary events than those who are not happy.
6. Happiness Is Really Good For Children
According to a study by the New York Times, happy kids learn faster, think more creatively, tend to be more resilient in the face of failures, have stronger relationships and make friends more easily.
7. You Can Have Too Much Of A Good Thing
Some companies try to boost employee morale by hiring happiness consultants and finding ways to inject fun into the workplace. This is what’s known as “fungineering.” However, research suggests that this may backfire. Experts found that fun activities imposed by bosses can damage productivity, though they help reduce turnover. Other workers concluded that a management effort to stress “focus, fun and fulfillment” was a burden to many of the workers.
8. Don’t Obsess Over It
These four academics suggest that preoccupation with happiness – making it a “personal goal” instead of letting it happen naturally – defeats its purpose.
9. Fake It