23 May 5 of the most powerful happiness habits
by Melanie Greenberg
In the past few years, there has been an explosion in books and courses about happiness. Brain science has progressed more in the past decade than the previous hundred years, allowing us to understand the biological bases of human emotion. Research in positive psychology has made great strides in clarifying the things that make us happy. Through social media, we have more access to this information than ever before. Yet we don’t seem to be happier than we were a generation ago. In fact, statistics show that more of us are suffering from clinical depression and anxiety. and that teens are becoming stressed and depressed at younger ages. How do we explain this paradox and what are some simple things we can do to bring more happiness into our lives.
There Are Some Limits To How Happy You Can Be
The reasons for our moods are complex and not entirely under our control. About 40 per cent of happiness lies in our genes. You are born with a certain temperament that makes you more likely to see the sunshine or more likely to see the rain. Researchers call this our biological set-point. Some of us are naturally more optimistic or more extraverted, which helps us connect with others and get out in the world, leading to more opportunities and a stronger support system. When good or bad things happen, they make us happier for a while, but then we adjust our expectations and begin to take them for granted. Researchers call this “hedonic adaptation” and estimate that it takes an average of two years to adapt back to our regular happiness level. We go from being giddy in love to complaining that our partner won’tdo the dishes or from celebrating our new home to complaining about the utility bill.
Science Reveals Ways to Improve Your Happiness
Despite these limitations, there are some things you can do that have been proven to increase enjoyment of life. Some of these involve a change of mental focus, others involve building certain types of relationships, while still others involve learning and practicing new habits and ways of behaving. To be happy in the long-term, we may have to stretch ourselves in the short-term. A willingness to try new things or see old things in new ways may be a prerequisite for lasting happiness. Below are some rules you can follow for a happier life…
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