“The Science Behind Being Happy”
This headline posted on a national news website caught my attention. Haven’t we read this before while standing at the checkout? Happiness is scientific? So can science fix my bad days, bad moods and tough relationships?
Sounded simple, so I kept reading. The ideas sounded easy, but I had to wonder if I could really carry any out. Could I be more selfless? Give my money, time or talent away? How about you – could you turn off your iPhone? Call your Mom more? Live within your means?
The fact is it’s natural to be selfish, not selfless. Maybe it’s easier for some more than others, but either way, it requires effort and conscious decision-making to follow what their scientific research suggests. The article went on to describe a movement that emerged from the evidence:
“The movement, set up last year and inaugurated on Tuesday, rejects individualism and the pursuit of material wealth and provides alternative practical tips for a happier life, which it says are based on scientific evidence.”
Reject the desire for material possessions? We like our stuff! The article also said we are not any happier than people were in the 50’s. Sorry, but your flat screen, monthly pedicures and favorite flip flops are not making you happier. I have to pause here to say, I highly doubt I would be happy cooking dinner in high heels! But really, couldn’t keeping up with the Jones’, comparing Facebook updates and browsing unaffordable fashion trends be draining your happiness?
The article was intriguing enough, but then I visited, www.actionforhappiness.org, and I loved it! It made me smile as soon as it appeared! The colors, the little icons and the scrolling blurbs at the bottom are just plain fun. Even though one of the recommendations is to take a break from technology, you may want to check out the website. Many of their ideas are not just about giving of yourself, but about having a healthy focus for your life such as setting goals, pursuing good relationships and getting enough sleep and exercise.
If I were going to summarize the Action for Happiness movement, I would have to say it’s about perspective. A healthy balance between getting your needs met and meeting the needs of others is a Happy Place! So, smell the flowers, follow a dream, and look into the eyes of someone in need and help.
If you’re interested in reading the full article, click here.