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Video: About Happiness - Blogs
In the human dictionary there are several inspired beautiful words behind which whole illusory worlds are hidden, one of them is happiness. Thousands of volumes, author's opinions have been written on the topic of happiness, but not much has been written about it from a scientific point of view, this "problem" is dealt with by such a section in psychology as "positive psychology". In this article I will try to summarize what is known about happiness today on the basis of research, although, of course, I will not be able to completely deviate from my own interpretation of these opinions.
It's not about happiness
Happiness, from the point of view of psychology and philosophy, can be defined as a by-product that arises in the process of achieving an authentic meaningful elusive goal. Authentic goals are goals that arise from your own values.
In numerous trainings in which I participated, I had to observe the following picture. To the coach's question "What do you want?" most of the participants answered that they wanted a house by the sea with a mountain view, a car; women are a real man, and men are a beautiful woman without bad habits, children and mother-in-law. But millions of people live by the warm sea in such conditions and do not have the desired happiness. Why?
Apparently, because personal goals should not be imposed by society, advertising, friends, but be deep, then there is a sense in achieving them. It is in such a deep, meaningful, “flow” (according to Csikszentmihalyi) process of such goals that the phenomenon, which is usually called happiness, is born.
Happiness is when you are understood in the way that suits you
The first step in identifying an authentic goal is to “define yourself”. Actually, it makes sense to determine who he is - this “who” (personal characteristics, values, etc.), who sets this goal, and where this “who” is (social characteristics, etc.). Until the answer to these questions is received, until personal characteristics and personal coordinates on the map of life are determined, it makes no sense to set goals. These will be goals set without considering you as a person.
Happiness and time
The acute phase of happiness and unhappiness is short-lived. A person will be happier if he wins 1000 rubles 10 times during the year than 1 time 10 000 at once.
Conclusion: happiness must be stretched and fragmented. The nervous system cannot "digest a lot of happiness at one time."
On the other hand, you cannot define yourself and your coordinates once and for all, these concepts are situational and dynamic. And you shouldn't "stick" in this situation of self-determination forever, otherwise you will never take the first step. Strictly speaking, cognition of oneself occurs during this path. The path of life "makes" us as we walk along it.
From values to goals
Once we understand the values, we define the goal. Movement towards the chosen goal and gives meaning to life.
The question of purpose and values cannot be answered once and for all. You can clarify these answers using different types of psychotherapy, introspection. This is what existential therapy, logotherapy, meaning therapy does. Having determined your own psychological semantic location, you can also determine the goal. On the other hand, psychological location is a set of inner values. We invest meaning in achieving goals in line with our values.
There is, of course, another definition of happiness as a meaningless, animal, carefree, childish state, but this is a different category - physical, physiological, I do not want to dwell on this in detail. I just want to note that a child, unlike an adult, has no obligations, worries and worries, and that is why, as is commonly believed, he enjoys every day of his life.
But here, too, there is deceit. Psychotherapists are well aware of how happy people really were in childhood. If people were happy in childhood, as it seems to us from the outside, then they would not have grown into such unhappy adults.
How to be happier?
1. “The same things can be looked at in different ways: the glass can be half empty or half full. We often do not notice something in life, and we must not only notice, but also act. A very powerful thing is gratitude. This is one of the techniques that reliably works (it has been proven): every night before going to bed, remembering why today you could thank someone from those around you, yourself, some higher power - it doesn't matter."
2. “With a certain frequency, remember a specific person who did something important for you, deserving gratitude, and for one reason or another you did not respond in any way. We need to find this person, come and thank him personally (telephone and e-mail work much worse). This feedback increases life satisfaction. When responsiveness and gratitude become a habit, people begin to see their life differently - more emotionally - because they stop taking all good things for granted and begin to rejoice at it."
Studies show that the level of happiness does not depend on the level of intelligence, but the level of unhappiness does. A fool will always find misfortune on his head. Happiness does not depend on health, but unhappiness does, that is, if you are healthy, it is not a fact that you will be happy, but if you are not healthy, then most likely you will be unhappy.
But psychologist Jonathan Hyde, in his book The Happiness Hypotheses, argues that the human brain is by nature more focused on unhappiness than happiness. In the process of evolution, the strongest survival instinct was the ability to make a decision in time: “fight-or-flight” - that is, “fight or flee”.
Let's start with prevention
A good base for happiness is to reduce your unhappiness. If a person is not feeling well, he has little money, he is in constant danger, it is difficult for him to be happy. First, he needs to get out of the zone of unhappiness, and this will be a good basis for achieving happiness. This is a necessary condition, but not sufficient.
Happiness / unhappiness is not one scale, but two different scales closely related to each other. In my opinion, the best way to be happy is to prevent unhappiness. Yes, of course, prevention of unhappiness does not lead to happiness, but at least it allows you to achieve it.
Happiness depends on external conditions by about 10%, on genetics and personality - by 50%. About 40% of happiness is determined by the meaning that we put into our activities. Thus, a very significant proportion of the difference in happiness depends on our specific decisions and is in our hands.
Happiness is to have what you want and want what you have, research has shown. Two psychologists (Larsen & McKibban, 2008) asked students about the material things they already have and the things they would like to have. The participants then completed a questionnaire measuring their satisfaction with life. It turned out that both those who like to possess the things that they have and those who have the things that they wanted to have are happy are happy.
Happiness is more than emotion. Happiness is like the weather - it's more than temperature, pressure and wind speed combined. For some, such weather characteristics will be happiness, but for someone it will be misfortune.
Happiness, studies have shown, does not depend on health, but on well-being.
“An analogy can be drawn between well-being and the weather. Anyone can tell about the weather: good or bad weather. But there is no such scale for measuring the weather, which would allow one to give a unified digital assessment of the weather in general, except for subjective expert judgment. It is necessary to separately measure pressure, wind speed, temperature - the weather as a whole cannot be measured."
Happiness, from the point of view of neurophysiology, is a cocktail of certain neurotransmitters that cannot be synthesized constantly, the body is depleted. An orgasmic state of happiness cannot last long. Then devastation often occurs.
The desperate pursuit of happiness is precisely indicative of unhappiness. Those who most want to get close to him are the most unhappy people. They seek happiness as compensation for their condition. Making happiness your main goal in life is taking risks. If this goal is not achieved, the person is forced to devalue either the goal or himself.