Latest findings about happiness

Happiness is very abstract and difficult to explain. However, scientist have been trying to find the key to being happy for many years. This post shows three of the latest scientific researches about happiness.

1. The key to our happiness is connection not competition

This is something I always teach in yoga as it is the most basic principle of the philosophy. Yoga IS connection. I think connection can be related to happiness in a broader meaning, not only connection with other people but the connection between our mind, body and soul.

The research focus more on cooperation and helping others.

“In workplaces, research from Adam Grant, professor of management at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School shows that “givers” – people who help others without seeking anything in return – are more successful in the long term than “takers” – who try to maximise benefits for themselves, rather than others. For society as a whole, the World Happiness Report 2013, a major global study, found that two of the strongest explanatory factors for national wellbeing are levels of social support and generosity. Our success as a society directly depends on the extent to which we see each other as a source of support rather than a source of threat.”

http://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2015/mar/20/key-to-happiness-connection-not-competition

2. Life improves with age

This research will give you hope if you’re going through a difficult time, especially with your significant other.

“Research studies compiled at Buffalo University and Northwestern University followed 156 aging couples for 20 years focusing on the affects of aging and happiness. They found that these older couples argued much less and were more likely to agree to disagree instead of fight. It seems that as people age they learn how to direct their energy and attitudes better and feel less of a need to be right, and more of a need for peace and harmony.”

“Another study published in the Journal of Social Psychological and Personality Science followed 198,888 people from 83 countries and found that as people age, there is an increase in trust. This trust translates into a higher level of well being and general happiness.”

http://www.citywatchla.com/wellness-leads-hidden/454-wellness-leads/8737-science-study-life-improves-with-age

3. Chatting with strangers can make you happier

Most people like to keep to themselves during their morning commute but this study shows that we might be missing on the opportunity of a more pleasant experience.

“While participants predicted their ride would be more enjoyable sitting in solitude, the research team found the exact opposite — those asked to engage in conversation reported a more positive, and no less productive, experience.”

http://uk.businessinsider.com/talking-to-strangers-on-commute-makes-you-happier-2015-3?r=US#ixzz3Vy51bMQp

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10 Questions To Make You Think – October

So this post has been here since September but as I said, I didn’t have time to update the website. I realise it’s absurdly late but that’s the last post of questions and it completes the project. I’ll make a post with all of them next.

  1. What do you crave?
    Sometimes you can allow yourself some little pleasures. We make a lot of resolutions and objectives and try to control ourselves but every once in a while we should just let go.
  2. In three words, describe your love life.
    Whether we like it or not, our love life has a big influence on our happiness. We should try to remember that happiness is within ourselves and that we shouldn’t depend on anyone else for our happiness. (I’ll be honest and say I find it hard to follow this advice most times).
  3. Do you have any new friends?
    Friends make everything so much better. There are so many amazing people in this world. I’m sure you have great friends but there’s always room for one more.
  4. Are you happy with your choices today?
    This is something that’s extremely important. We make choices all the time and then we have to live with them so make sure your choices are making you happy and following your principles.
  5. What is your biggest dream?
    Make sure you’re taking steps to achieve it, even if they are really small steps. Don’t leave your dream tucked away in a closet.
  6. What makes you feel wonderful?
    Make sure you have more of that every day 🙂
  7. You need patience for _________.
    Patience requires practice. Think about it positively: “This was brought into my life to help me improve my patience.”
  8. How much time do you spend commuting?
    Commuting is sometimes part of life but we need to make sure it’s worth it. If you can find a useful way to spend your commuting time, even if it’s just in silence meditating then it’s not wasted time. But if commuting is making you miserable then it might be time for some changes.
  9. Who do you count on?
    It’s always important to remember who are the people we can look for in troubled times. Be grateful and don’t take them for granted.
  10. How do you feel about your body?
    Your body doesn’t have to be perfect but being healthy is a part of happiness. Learn to accept your faults and don’t compare.

 

10 Questions To Make You Think – September

The questions are almost coming to an end. After September, it will be only one more month to go. I hope I can think of something to keep this blog interesting. For now, here are the questions:

  1. Where do you see yourself in five years?
    This is a good way to think about your goals. Sometimes what you want to be in five years depends on actions you need to take right now.
  2. Today you learned __________________.
    Every day we learn something but we usually don’t pay attention to these little life lessons we receive.
  3. Who can help you?
    We might be reluctant to ask for help but little things people do can make a big difference in our lives and most people actually like feeling needed.
  4. Who are the most important people in your life?
    Make sure to keep this people close, not necessarily physically close but in the way you deal with the relationships.
  5. What’s a new place you’ve recently been to?
    This question is related to the last one. It’s very important to have new experiences in life and not let the days just go pass.
  6. Write down a quote for today.
    Quotes can be really inspiring. I think some of the quotes I stumbled upon became sort of mantras or mottos that help me remember what’s important.
  7. Do you plan or are you flying by the seat of your pants?
    It’s good to have a balance so it makes sense to think about this. If you’re always planning, maybe you should try to be spontaneous for a change. If you never plan, you might want to think about your long-term goals and how to achieve them.
  8. When was the last time you went dancing?
    I think the idea here is to think about making time for leisure and for yourself. Maybe dancing is not your thing so you could think of this question as “when was the last time you did something just for fun?”.
  9. Today was amusing because ____________________.
  10. How do you get out of a rut?
    There are people who actually like routine. However, we need new experiences to feel alive and to put things into perspective.

 

10 Questions To Make You Think – July

July is coming to an end. Summer is here (or winter depending on where you live) and it’s a good time to reflect upon yourself and your year so far.

  1. What is your motto?
    It’s good to have an ideal to live by, something to remember who you are when you need to make decisions.
  2. Who’s your best friend?
    Friends are our support. It’s important to appreciate the ones that are worth it and keep them close.
  3. What are you sentimental about?
    We all have an emotional side, sometimes we need to let it out.
  4. What is your heroic downfall? Your Achilles’ heel?
    It’s important to know not only our strengths but also our weaknesses. When we are aware of our faults, we can deal with them in a better way.
  5. How can you help?
    Helping in any way has been proved to make you feel better. What’s your cause and how you can do something to help it?
  6. Where do you go for good ideas?
    It’s good to have a ‘temple’, a place to be in peace, to let yourself be yourself, to let ideas flow freely.
  7. Write a phrase to describe your year so far.
    It’s the middle of the year so a good time to reflect upon what’s happened so far and what you want to do with the rest of it.
  8. Do you have a secret? More than one?
    Sometimes telling your secrets can bring you relief. Don’t keep everything to yourself, share with people you trust.
  9. What are the ingredients for a perfect day?
    Plan a day that can get close to that ideal.
  10. ______________________ is funny.
    When you’re feeling down is good to remember what lift up your spirits and take advantage of it.

 

10 Questions To Make You Think – June

Ready to answer some questions about yourself? These will bring you self-knowledge that is essential in order to achieve happiness.

  1. On a scale of one to ten, how healthy are you?
    Health plays a big part on our happiness. Can you feel completely happy when you’re ill or overtired? Probably not. So make sure your health is your priority.
  2. What do you feel grateful for today?
    The exercise of being grateful always brings great rewards. When you feel grateful, you become a more positive person which brings you and the ones around you more happiness.
  3. What makes you miserable?
    How can you change it, get rid of it or accept it?
  4. What makes a good friend?
    Make sure your friends have the qualities you value and you’re surrounding yourself with the kind of people that will create a positive environment of friendship.
  5. When was the last time you cried?
    Crying is not always bad. We can cry because we are emotional or even happy. Sometimes crying is necessary to release something that is haunting you inside and you actually feel relieved. Think about the reasons why you cried and how you felt after it.
  6. Which family member are you closest to?
    Family is very important in anyone’s life. Having a good relationship with family influences our happiness. Keep in touch with those you love.
  7. Is something in your way? Can you move it?
    It’s always healthy to think about what’s troubling us and work to find practical solutions.
  8. Something that made you worry today ___________.
    Reflect upon it. How much will this matter one year from now? What’s the worst that could happen? Don’t turn small things into catastrophic events.
  9. Did you exercise today?
    This is closely related to number one. Exercise is actually proved to boost your mood and energy. When you’re feeling down, sometimes the last thing you want is to exercise. However, if you force yourself, you will feel the benefits right after it. Make time for your health.
  10. Who is your closest companion?
    Don’t take this person for granted. Show him/ her how much you appreciate their company.