How can I find true happiness? If I had a dollar for the number of times I’ve heard this question…well. In a world full of pain, agony, strife and tribulation, it can only be appropriate to ask questions pertaining happiness. We all want to to be happy and as humans we are willing to trade just about anything to be happy.
They say, money cannot buy happiness. This is nothing but the fact. Look around you, if money could buy happiness, billionaires won’t jump off a high rise building or drown themselves in the ocean or, you get the point already.
If happiness cannot be bought, how then can you be happy? In this article, I have compiled 5 scientifically proven ways to be happy in life.
This cannot be overemphasized. Happiness comes from contentment. A harvest of peace is produced from contentment. The number one thing you have to do to be happy is to be contented. To drive home this point, let us look at King Solomon, the wisest king who ever lived .
King Solomon wrote: “A lover of silver will never be satisfied with silver, nor a lover of wealth with income. This too is futility. His point? Greed is insatiable. While we may need money to survive, we should avoid greed. The writer actually experimented to see whether wealth and luxurious living fostered true happiness. His findings? “I did not deny myself anything that I desired,” he wrote. “I did not withhold from my heart any sort of pleasure.”
Having amassed great wealth, Solomon built grand houses, made beautiful parks and pools, and acquired many servants. Whatever he wanted, he got. What did he learn? His experiment made him somewhat happy, but not for long. “I saw that everything was futile,” he observed. “There was nothing of real value.”
It has been discovered that “after one’s basic needs are met, additional income does little to advance one’s subjective well-being.” Indeed, findings show that increased material consumption, especially at the cost of moral and spiritual values, can diminish happiness.
No one has a problem free life. I believe you know that already. If not, you wouldn’t be looking for how to be happy. Resilience helps us to get through difficult times, to bounce back from adversity. Consider Carol.
Carol has spinal degenerative disease, diabetes, sleep apnea, and macular degeneration that has blinded her left eye. Yet, she says: “I try not to feel discouraged for too long. I allow myself my ‘pity party.’ But then I set my feelings aside and thank God for what I am still able to do, especially for other people.”
Although Carol is interested in receiving good medical care, she focuses, not on her physical health, but on her attitude and how she uses her time. As a result, she has an inner joy that no one can take away from her. Additionally, she is much loved by others and is an inspiration to people who are going through various trial
One of the best piece of advice I found is that to make yourself feel happier, you should help others. In fact, 100 hours per year (or two hours per week) is the optimal time you should dedicate to helping others in order to enrich your life.
The Journal of Happiness Studies published a study that explored this very topic where participants recalled a previous purchase made for either themselves or someone else and then reported their happiness. Afterward, participants chose whether to spend a monetary windfall on themselves or someone else. Participants assigned to recall a purchase made for someone else reported feeling significantly happier immediately after this recollection; most importantly, the happier participants felt, the more likely they were to choose to spend a windfall on someone else in the near future.
So spending money on other people makes us happier than buying stuff for ourselves. Not just money, spending our time on other people can make us really happy.
Envy is the painful or resentful awareness of an advantage someone else enjoys. This is accompanied by a desire to possess the same advantage. Like a malignant growth, envy can take over one’s life and destroy happiness.
The Encyclopedia of Social Psychology observes that people tend to envy their equals, perhaps in age, experience, or social background. A farmer, for instance, might not envy a famous movie star. But he may envy a more successful fellow farmer.
Envy can poison a person’s capacity to enjoy the good things in life and snuff out feelings of gratitude for life’s many gifts. Such tendencies are hardly conducive to happiness. We combat envy by cultivating genuine humility and modesty, which enables us to appreciate and value the abilities and good qualities of others.
This is a seemingly simple strategy but I’ve personally found it to make a huge difference. There are lots of ways to practice gratitude, from keeping a journal of things you’re grateful for, sharing three good things that happen each day with a friend or your partner, and going out of your way to show gratitude when others help you.
In an experiment where participants took note of things they were grateful for each day, their moods were improved just from this simple practice. You can try this too.
These few tips if put into practice will make a big difference in your outlook and pave the way to amassing true happiness.