On Wednesdays I always post something about happiness and science. Last week I described aspects which, according to science, are not related to happiness. This week let’s focus on what actually makes us happier.
According to various research findings done in positive psychology happiness IS AFFECTED by your:
- Subjective health – which means basically how healthy you feel and what you think about your health rather than what doctors tell you;
- Social class – this is due to lifestyle differences and better coping BUT remember your circumstances DON’T define you
- Optimism (naturally!) 🙂
- Social relationships – meaningful relationships are vital for your well-being. You don’t need to socialise a lot but spending some quality time with people who you trust and who support you is very important for your mental health.
- Extraversion. “Lucas and E. Diener (2001) have recently argued that extraverts may be more sensitive to rewarding social situations than introverts, and that this may manifest itself as greater feelings of happiness by extraverts.”
- Being married (but as you know from part 1 of this blog post – having children may make you less happy! Anyway that’s what scientific findings say… )
- Having engaging work
- Religion or spirituality
Apparently watching soap operas can increase your well-being too but… I feel I probably won’t be very unhappy if I don’t try it…
You can read about this more in Positive Psychology in a Nutshell. The science of happiness by Ilona Boniwell, which is available here . Fantastic read I must say! 😉
What do you think about these studies’ findings?
What makes YOU happy?