Understanding happiness, Dr. Emiliana Simon-Thomas highlights resilience and positive relationships as crucial, emphasizing the role of cultivating a positive mindset through practice.
It's likely that you are not alone if you have ever wondered how to make yourself happier.
Over time, numerous ideas have been proposed, and scientists have now clarified certain basic aspects of our existence that may have an impact on our level of happiness.
However, defining happiness is a necessary first step towards learning how to be happier.
Happiness is more of a broad perspective on the world than a transient feeling, according to Dr. Emiliana Simon-Thomas, head of the University of California's Greater Good Science Center.
According to Dr. Simon-Thomas, IFLScience, this concept of happiness encompasses our capacity to handle the more difficult situations we will unavoidably encounter.
She said: “If you think happiness means pleasure and entertainment and maximizing material comfort, then you are never going to be happy.”
“You will be on what's called the ‘hedonic treadmill’, and that’s connected to a persistent sense of disappointment.”
We now understand what makes us happy and what we should avoid doing. How are we going to get there?
Given that humans are social creatures by nature, it should come as no surprise that our relationships with other people play a significant role in our capacity to be happy.
Creating a sense of belonging and connection with both strangers and those we are close to could be one way to achieve this.
Additionally, Simon-Thomas refers to this as our "threshold for experiencing positive emotions."
Lastly, there is "resilience," which refers to the way we handle and react to setbacks, challenges, and hardships.
No matter what we do, we will go through challenging times in our life, and we must make every effort to cope with them.
However, how can we specifically assist ourselves in adopting this perspective of the world?
It turns out that, like everything else, this is something we have to practice rather than something that is inborn.
Dr Simon-Thomas said: “The more we practice focusing on one kind of idea, or awareness, the more salient that idea or awareness becomes on a routine basis.”
“So we'll think of things that are positive more readily if we practice thinking about things that are positive.”
Basically, you have to teach your brain to see things positively if you want to feel better.
It would appear that "thinking happy thoughts" has a real effect.
By understanding the broader perspective of happiness and actively engaging in practices that promote well-being, we can navigate life's complexities with a positive and resilient mindset.