05 Jan 3 foundation pathways to lasting happiness
Many things bring us a burst of happiness-family; music; a new Blue Ray TV… the list is infinite. But, according to self-determination theory (SDT), lasting happiness is built on only three basic, psychological needs that we all share-relatedness, which is connection to others; competence, which is taking on challenges and experiencing mastery; and autonomy, which is having a sense of acting of your own accord and in harmony with your sense of self.
Lasting happiness-or psychological well-being-involves a natural tendency toward pursuing our interests, enjoying activities in which we display competence, feeling connected to others, and feeling a sense of vitality. With it, we experience greater self-esteem. It also creates a tendency toward trying to create a coherent, meaningful life.
Research conducted internationally has shown impressive results in support of this theory. Satisfying the three basic needs of relatedness, competence, and autonomy has been associated with not just feeling good, but also high-quality performance, being better at maintaining desired behavior changes, and better overall mental health. In addition, people whose goals feed these needs (i.e. personal growth, connecting with others) tend to experience greater well-being.
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