Mindfulness Brings Happiness
Mindfulness, a mental state of relaxed awareness of the present moment, marked by openness and curiosity toward your feelings rather than judgments of them, is a powerful tool for experiencing happiness when practiced regularly. "If you bring mindfulness to bear on negative feelings, they lose their impact. Just let them be there without struggling against them, and you'll eventually feel less anxiety and depression," Harris says. Don't banish your negative feelings, but don't let them get in the way of your taking productive actions, either.[Don't worry about the lack of money to pay that huge gas bill laying on your table, NC]
Happiness Lies in the Chase
Action toward goals other than happiness makes us happy. Though there is a place for vegging out and reading trashy novels, easy pleasures will never light us up the way mastering a new skill or building something from scratch will.
And it's not crossing the finish line that is most rewarding; it's anticipating achieving your goal. University of Wisconsin neuroscientist Richard Davidson has found that working hard toward a goal, and making progress to the point of expecting a goal to be realized, doesn't just activate positive feelings—it also suppresses negative emotions such as fear and depression.[Can i have some money for MBA Course, please? NC]
Yes, Money Buys Happiness—At Least Some Money and Some Happiness
Money does buy happiness, but only up to the point where it enables you to live comfortable [See Abraham Maslow's hierarchy of needs. No money for safe living - no happiness. NC] Beyond that, more cash doesn't boost your well-being. But generosity brings true joy, so striking it rich could in fact underwrite your happiness—if you were to give your wealth away.
Happiness Is Relative
Whether or not we are keeping up with the Joneses—a nagging thought known as status anxiety—affects how happy we are. Some are more obsessed with status than others, but we're all attuned to how we're doing in life relative to those around us. To stop status worries from gnawing at your happiness, choose your peer group carefully. Owning the smallest mansion in a gated community could make you feel worse off than buying the biggest bungalow in a less affluent neighborhood.[ And don't look for friends in workplace. NC]
Options Make Us Miserable
We're constantly making decisions, ranging from what to eat for dinner each night to whom we should marry, not to mention all those flavors of ice cream. We base many of our decisions on whether we think a particular preference will increase our well-being. Intuitively, we seem convinced that the more choices we have, the better off we'll ultimately be. But our world of unlimited opportunity imprisons us more than it makes us happy. In what Swarthmore psychologist Barry Schwartz calls "the paradox of choice," facing many possibilities leaves us stressed out—and less satisfied with whatever we do decide. Having too many choices keeps us wondering about all the opportunities missed.[That doesn't really apply to job market, does it? NC]
Happiness Is Other People
Positive psychologist Chris Peterson, a professor at the University of Michigan, says the best piece of advice to come out of his field is to make strong personal relationships your priority. Good relationships are buffers against the damaging effects of all of life's inevitable letdowns and setbacks.
["Hell is the others" Jean Paul Sartre, NC]
Psychology Today Magazine, Jan/Feb 2009
Last Reviewed 02 Jan 2009
Article ID: 4738