In recent years science has been aiming its exploratory eye at the question, “What makes us happy?” A roundup of some of the emerging trends, Science of Happiness: 7 Habits of Happy People, distills the findings into these seven themes:
Relationships: “People who have one or more close friendships are happier.”
Caring: “People who volunteer or simply care for others on a consistent basis seem to be happier and less depressed.”
Exercise: “Regular exercise has been associated with improved mental well-being and a lower incidence of depression.”
Flow: “If we are deeply involved in trying to reach a goal, or an activity that is challenging but well suited to our skills, we experience a joyful state called ‘flow.'”
Spiritual Engagement & Meaning: “Studies demonstrate a close link between spiritual and religious practice and happiness.”
Strengths & Virtues: “…the happiest people are those that have discovered their unique strengths (such as persistence and critical thinking) and virtues (such as humanity or justice) and use those strengths and virtues for a purpose that is greater than their own personal goals.”
Positive Thinking: Optimism & Gratitude: “Grateful people have been shown to have greater positive emotion, a greater sense of belonging, and lower incidence of depression and stress.”
I know I have a bit of a one-track mind on this, but I can’t help seeing how these fit into the Ripple Revolution way of thinking (which is, in summary: You are at the heart of any positive impact you make. Feeling more energized means you have more to put into making a difference. Making a difference in turn feels good and energizes you. The energy loop continues.)
All the things listed here serve to strengthen and happify your own experience of life. And some of them (like caring for others and applying strengths and virtues towards a purpose greater than their own goals) relate directly to making the world a better place.
And the experience of caring for people / working toward something greater than yourself in turn feeds you, giving you a more fulfilled and energized experience of life. And guess what you can do with that? Yup! It gives you more to put back out into the world.
Be sure you check the page out at the link above. Each of the categories has a link to a page that takes a deeper look at what researchers have found.
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