Happiness

When Size Doesn’t Matter! Value Happiness By Frequency Instead Of Intensity!

How often do you scroll through your social media feeds, seeing people having fun at weddings, parties, and events and think…

“Why am I not having fun?”

“My life is so boring.”

“Everybody seems so much happier than me.”

Many of us are guilty of this kind of thinking.

In fact, it’s been found that up to 1 in 5 of us feel depressed as a result of using social media. 1

The reason we feel bad when we see other people having fun on social media is simple:

We value big milestones more than small moments of happiness.

Luckily, we can fix this by altering the way we think about happiness.

Read on to find out how.

Are you only happy when something ‘big’ happens?

What’s the most recent happy memory you can recall?

If you’re like most people, it’s probably a big event. Maybe it’s a birthday, a graduation ceremony, or a party.

While it’s great to enjoy this kind of special occasion, it shouldn’t be your only source of happiness.

After all, why would you only allow yourself to have fun a few times a year, when you could be finding joy in small moments every single day?

We’re here to tell you how you can start feeling happy every single day – not just on special occasions!

Happiness begins with a generous spread of gratitude

Happiness doesn’t have to be about the intensity of a positive experience – it can about the frequency of positive experiences instead.

In order to feel like we’re having lots of happy moments, we need to be constantly on the look out for them.

Keeping a gratitude journal can really help with this.

Buy a new notebook, and keep it beside your bed. Before you go to sleep, take the time to list five things…

What Ancient Stoic Philosophers Can Teach Us About Happiness (& The Skills It Needs)

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1. The best we can hope for is “life, liberty and the pursuit of” stoic happiness. And that means we all need “happiness bootcamp” (to learn how harmful equating “happiness” with what’s beyond your control is).

2. That’s one key lesson from How to Be a Stoic: Using Ancient Philosophy to Live a Modern Life by Massimo Pigliucci (—>focus on your locus of control).

3. Stoics taught that we should desire the game, not only the win (the effort, not the goal). They were better “connoisseurs of human psychology” than many later experts (e.g., economists of the “unbehavioral” kind).

4. Stoicism, despite popular misconceptions, isn’t about Spock-like stiff-upper-lip suppression of emotions. Rather it’s about retraining (re-cognizing) emotional reactions, for a more skillful life.

5. Stoics trained themselves in “virtues.” But virtue meant something different in Greco-Roman wrestling with life’s challenges (we typically see the term through 2,000 years of Christian accretions).

6. Early Christianity was strongly influenced by stoic ideas—for instance, the Gospel’s “In the beginning was the Word,” uses the word Logos, the stoic term for that which organizes nature (~Einstein’s god).

7. Stoic training involves three disciplines (of desires, actions, and reactions) and four capabilities

What Ancient Stoic Philosophers Can Teach Us About Happiness (& The Skills It Needs)

Article Image

1. The best we can hope for is “life, liberty and the pursuit of” stoic happiness. And that means we all need “happiness bootcamp” (to learn how harmful equating “happiness” with what’s beyond your control is).

2. That’s one key lesson from How to Be a Stoic: Using Ancient Philosophy to Live a Modern Life by Massimo Pigliucci (—>focus on your locus of control).

3. Stoics taught that we should desire the game, not only the win (the effort, not the goal). They were better “connoisseurs of human psychology” than many later experts (e.g., economists of the “unbehavioral” kind).

4. Stoicism, despite popular misconceptions, isn’t about Spock-like stiff-upper-lip suppression of emotions. Rather it’s about retraining (re-cognizing) emotional reactions, for a more skillful life.

5. Stoics trained themselves in “virtues.” But virtue meant something different in Greco-Roman wrestling with life’s challenges (we typically see the term through 2,000 years of Christian accretions).

6. Early Christianity was strongly influenced by stoic ideas—for instance, the Gospel’s “In the beginning was the Word,” uses the word Logos, the stoic term for that which organizes nature (~Einstein’s god).

7. Stoic training involves three disciplines (of desires, actions, and reactions) and four capabilities

Wanting to Be Happy Can Make You Unhappy—Here’s What To Do Instead

A recent study in Depression and Anxiety found that social pressure to be happy can lead to increased levels of depression.

“We’re really starting to see that the culture and the social environment we’re living in is important for determining our level of depression and how we respond to negative events,” said Brock Bastian, associate professor of psychology at the University of Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences.

Depression is more common in Western countries like the United States than it is in the East, where people are more likely to recognize the relationship between positive and negative emotions. People aren’t happier in the East, per se, but they are less depressed.

“Depression is an epidemic,” Bastian said. “If it’s more prevalent in some cultures than others, we have to look outside individual biology to understand how these cultural factors can be feeding into making us depressed.”

Conducted by Bastian and other researchers, the study examined the relationship between social expectations of happiness and depressive symptoms. It found that the more someone felt pressured to be happy, the more depressive symptoms they experienced.

Another study by Bastian showed that people who felt social pressure to be happy also experienced more rumination after failure. Moving past failure is important because ruminating too much can lead depression.

“There has been a shift to differentially valuing positive and negative emotions,” Bastian said. “We tend to value positive emotions much more. We see negative emotion as not much use to us.”

Luckily, there are many ways that we can change our perceptions to focus less on trying to be happy.

Be Aware of Social Influences

“We don’t often realize how much happiness is being pushed down our throats,” Bastian said. “Anytime you see an advertisement, you see people who are happy. Advertisers don’t sell their product with negative faces. They push a message that if we work harder and earn more and buy more stuff, we’re going to be as happy as the people in the advertisements.” By acknowledging these influences, we can better control how we respond to them.

When using social media, it’s also important to remember that other people tend to present an idealized picture of their lives rather than representing the whole story. “We’re surrounded…

A museum of happiness? World’s first will open in London after crowdfunding success

The world’s first museum for happiness will open in London after a successful crowdfunding campaign

The science, art and history of happiness will take centre stage at the world’s first museum dedicated to the subject, after a successful crowdfunding campaign.

The Museum of Happiness will be located in Arlington House in Camden, north London, providing a space to explore the importance of happiness, and how science-based techniques can help people find greater happiness in their lives. Arlington House is the UK’s largest homeless hostel. Founders also hope the museum will help reduce isolation and depression among members of the capital’s homeless community.

We are creating a place where people can explore the science, art and history of happiness

Due to end midday tomorrow (10 June), the crowdfunding campaign has already surpassed its £25,000 goal and has since announced a £35,000 stretch target.

“Not only are we creating a place where people can explore the science, art and history of happiness in fun ways, but we will also be working with very vulnerable adults, who were recently homeless, helping them to…

Are Friends More Likely to Make You Happy Than Family as You Age?

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Want to have happy sunset years? Make sure you have lots of friends. Family? Not as important, according to a pair of new studies involving 280,000 people.

The studies, led by William Chopik of Michigan State University, found that relationships with friends are a stronger predictor of health and happiness in older people than close relationships with their relatives.

hatfields

The Hatfields

According to Chopik, speaking with MSU Daily, ““Friendships become even more important as we age. Keeping a few really good friends around can make a world of difference for our health and well-being. So it’s smart to invest in the friendships that make you happiest.”

It was the first study that put friends before family as a good thing to have. The team analyzed survey responses from 271,053 people of all ages from almost 100 countries — the subjects had been asked to rate their health and happiness, and to report whether their most valued relationships were with friends or family. The researchers found that having a greater interest in friendships proved a stronger and stronger predictor of health and happiness as people got older. On the other hand, no such correlation was…

There’s No Perfect Family, but a Happy Family Doesn’t Need to Be Perfect

Family members offer more support to us than just about anyone else in the world. Odds are, those who raised you are willing to help you in any way they can.

While family dynamics are as unique as the individuals themselves, most families strive to be healthy and functional.1 Humans desire love and sense of security, and who else can do that better than our families? We all want families we can trust. Being able to count on those closest to us resonates feelings of love and appreciation.

However, achieving a family environment that is happy, healthy, and loving this isn’t always so easy. And arguments and the occasional “head-butting” certainly occur in most families.

Your parents may be helping you through college, for example, but may still argue with you about financial situations such as getting a part time job while attending school.2 This could stem from many things such as guilt, miscommunication, or simply a bad day.

The thing is: it’s completely normal to have conflicts.

But what separates happy and unhappy family dynamics are the ways in which conflicts and arguments are handled, as well as the severity of arguments.

Achieving this level of happiness isn’t always easy. In fact, dissecting exactly why a family feels unhappy is quite the endeavor. Think about the following: how constant are conflicts? What about miscommunications and arguments over minor stuff?

The only way to be happy is to comprehend where sources of unhappiness lie.

It’s important to be conscious of these types of unhappy tendencies. This is an important first step.

When unhappy families start to really comprehend and adjust their lifestyles, everyone wins. Family members experiencing difficulties are more apt to reaching out in times of need if they are confident that their relatives will respond with love and compassion. Additionally, most day to day activities are easier and more enjoyable when we feel overall, happy.

Every family defines happiness differently.

It’s true that happy families are the closest families, but they are not all alike.3 This is because many family’s definitions of happiness differ. Some family groups require frequent dinners and rituals like game nights, and others are content with regular phone calls and the occasional family reunion.

Consider picking up a book on the subject of happiness!…

5 Apps to Make You Feel Truly Happy Even If Life Is Hard Sometimes

Fact: Life is stressful. Another Fact: It does not have to be.

In a sad statistic, only 1 out of 3 Americans can say they feel truly happy 1. This means the other two are either depressed or general ‘meh.’ These unhappy feelings are certainly valid in difficult economical times. It gets harder and harder to find work every day, and the bills and payments associated with adulthood don’t slow down just because your paychecks do. People also feel unhappy when a relationship ends or becomes challenging. There are plenty of explanations as to why we are all so bummed out.

We live in a crazy world full of obligations, responsibilities and time frames forever-shortening with the advancements of Technology. Picking up your beloved cell phone can be a great distraction throughout the day, but did you know there are certain apps that can help you to feel happier and less stressed?

Nearly two-thirds of Americans can say they own a smart phone 2, so read on to find out how you can make your phone work for you.

Why our recommendations can be trusted.

Social media and content platforms can be tricky to navigate. Often times, influencers across the web are paid to advertise a product. This doesn’t automatically mean they wouldn’t use the product otherwise, but the line blurs. The apps that will be featured in this article have either been used by us here at lifehack.org, or we have researched the app and paid close attention to the reviews. This isn’t a sponsored ad, so don’t worry about getting conned out of $0.99. Besides, I prefer free apps myself.

I became interested in happiness-inducing apps as soon as I realized they existed, but I was also well-aware I needed them. Have you ever noticed how anxious you can feel after scrolling through Facebook, Instagram or Twitter? It’s so common to come across a picture of your ex with their new partner, or see a friend you’ve been arguing with getting coffee with your frenemy. Sure, it seems petty, but that doesn’t make it any less true; it’s hard to not be bothered by things when they’re directly in your face. So I’ve found apps you can install to split your time between chaos and stress and meditation and bliss.

If you go to the app store and search ‘happiness,’ you will be inundated with thousands of apps. So where do you start? We’re going to list out our top five happy apps that we have used and love, and the highest rated. These apps will be rated on their uniqueness, price, usability and appearance.

Headspace

I’ve used this app and I really enjoy it. It’s short meditations which is great for beginners who don’t yet know how to quiet their mind. There are levels to ensure you slow…

5 Reasons Being a Millionaire Is Overrated

All told, 10.4 million households in the U.S. have $1 million or more in investable assets, according to a 2017 study by investor research firm Spectrem Group. Sounds pretty nice, doesn’t it?

You may want to reconsider those feelings of envy. Does the money really make life any more enjoyable? As Bill Gates once said, “A hamburger is still a hamburger, millions in your pocket or not.” Read on for our roundup of reasons why you should feel perfectly content to live on Main Street.

1. Happiness can be bought — but most rich people aren’t doing it right

Do you have enough money to eat, pay for health care, and make the rent? If so, you’re off to a good start. Research shows that as long as your basic needs are met, you’ve got as much of a shot at living a joyful life as anybody else.

In fact, the relationship between money and happiness is surprisingly weak. A positive experience, such as working hard to attain a goal or falling in love, will make you happier than a new Porsche. Over time, the Porsche will rust, dent, and age. The car simply won’t be as thrilling to drive as it was when you first bought it. But the memory of a first love or receiving a reward for your hard work won’t as quickly deteriorate.

Indeed, money can be used to have more of the positive experiences that make us happy. But research shows that people who are well-to-do don’t often spend their money this way.

2. Small delights bring more joy than big, expensive ones

A series of small, frequent treats — a pedicure, a day at the beach, a box of chocolate-covered strawberries — is more fulfilling than a big, blowout, annual gift to yourself. In this way, even millionaires are limited by their funds. If a millionaire wants their fortune to last, they can’t spend it all at once. And if the goal is happiness, money should be spent in…

Too Good to Be True: The Older You Are, the Happier You Become

Do you remember as a teenager, all the things you worried about that seemed crucial for your happiness? With high insight, how many of those things still matter to you?

There is a famous saying, “Youth is wasted on the young.” It would appear that young people have the world at their feet. The reality is, however, that they lack the clarity of someone who has gained those life lessons that enables real happiness.

A recent study 1 revealed that the happiest people are the over 50s. An astounding 61% said they were happier and enjoying life more. Even more interesting was the fact that more than half had been travelling, one in five planned to learn a new language and one in ten were learning to play an instrument.

Things that you find happiness in as you get older

Your looks

When you were younger, there were so many things you obsessed about when it comes to your looks. You didn’t like your body or focused on an imperfection that seemed so much bigger than what it was.

Ironically, as you get older and may not have a body that is as fit or agile, you feel far more content about it. You finally learn to embrace your flaws. You know that you are not perfect, and that’s ok.

Do you remember following the latest trend or taking two hours to get dressed on a night out?

As you age, you are more comfortable in your own skin. That doesn’t mean that you have given up wanting to look nice. It just means that you realize that other people’s opinions about your looks aren’t as important.

Someone once told me that you know you…