en españolCómo lograr una vida feliz
We all want to be happy. But we sometimes think of happiness as a thing that happens to us — something we have no control over. It's easy to link the idea of happiness with the situation we're in. We might tell ourselves, "If only things were different, then I'd be happy."
But that's not really how happiness works. Research shows that just a small portion of happiness (only about 10%) depends on a person's situation. So where does most of our happiness come from?
Part of happiness depends on personality. Some people have a naturally happy nature. We all know people who are cheerful and optimistic most of the time. Their upbeat personalities make it easier for them to be happy.
So what does that mean for people who are born with a personality that's on the grumpy side? They might see the faults in people and situations instead of the good. Their mood might be glum more often than it's cheerful. But if they'd like to be happier (and who wouldn't?), it is possible to get there.
Happiness Is Up to Us
Researchers have found that more than half of happiness depends on things that are actually under our control. That's really good news because it means everyone can be happier.
A big part of how happy we are depends on our mindset, the habits we practice, and the way we live each day. By learning the key ingredients of happiness, we can use them to become happier.
Why Happiness Matters
Happiness is more than a good feeling or a yellow smiley face. It's the feeling of truly enjoying your life, and the desire to make the very best of it. Happiness is the "secret sauce" that can help us be and do our best.
Here's what researchers found when they studied happy people:
- Happy people are more successful.
- Happy people are better at reaching goals.
- Happy people are healthier.
- Happy people live longer.
- Happy people have better relationships.
- Happy people learn better.
Ingredients for a Happy Life
Happiness is so important in our lives that it has it's own field of research called positive psychology. Experts in this field have found that there are key things that make people happier:
Joy. Gratitude. Love. Amazement. Delight. Playfulness. Humor. Inspiration. Compassion. Hope. Creativity. Interest. Excitement. Enjoyment. Calm. We all like to have these positive feelings.
Besides feeling good, positive emotions do good things for our brains and bodies. They lower stress hormones, help ease anxiety and depression, and improve our immune system.
Feeling some positive emotions every day has a big effect on our happiness and well-being. That's why it's so important to do things that give us positive feelings. Even simple actions like playing with a child or a pet or going for a walk outdoors can inspire these feelings.
Knowing how to manage our negative emotions is also key to happiness. Difficult emotions are a fact of life. But the way we handle them makes all the difference.
Strengths and Interests
The things we're good at, and like to do, are our strengths. We all have strengths, even if we haven't discovered them yet.
- the things we're interested in — for example, music, art, science, building things, cooking, reading
- any skills we have — like painting, playing an instrument, or playing a sport
- our good qualities — such as kindness, humor, or leadership
Happiness increases when we discover a strength and practice it. The more we practice a strength, the better we get until we really master it.
When we get really good at doing something we enjoy, we can get lost in it. That's called flow. Experiencing flow helps boost happiness. Finding daily ways to use our strengths is a key ingredient for a happy life.
The people in our lives matter. Good relationships are one of the best ways to enjoy happiness, health, and well-being.
Developing certain emotional skills can help us form and keep good relationships. When we are there for the people in our lives — and when they're there for us — we are more resilient, resourceful, and successful.
Here are some of the skills that help us build good relationships:
Finding Meaning and Purpose in Life
Our lives can be busy with day-to-day activities and responsibilities. Many of us multi-task, so we might race ahead, thinking about the next place we need to be. But slowing down to pay attention to what we're doing and why builds happiness.
Pay attention to the effects of your actions. Notice the ways (big or small) that you make a difference. Live life based on the values that are important to you. Take time to think of what really matters to you (like helping others or protecting the planet).
In what way do you want to make the world a better place? Notice any small daily actions that point you in that direction. They help give your life a sense of meaning and increase happiness.
When our lives are rich with positive emotions, great relationships, strengths to practice, and a sense of purpose, we are ready to accomplish things.
Setting and achieving goals gives us something to put our energy into. It lets us see how we make a difference.
Put effort into things that matter to you. Do your best at whatever you try, without a need to be perfect. If things don't work out at first, keep an optimistic mindset and try again. Believe in yourself and your dreams.
Set realistic goals and small action steps to turn dreams into realities. To make a success even sweeter, celebrate it with people you care about.
OK, so you can learn how to be happier by managing your mindset, calming your mind, becoming more confident, using your strengths, building your self-esteem, doing things you enjoy, and creating good relationships. That's a lot of things to think about! You can't tackle them all at once. But you can start small and pick one thing to work on.
The best way to reach any goal is to begin with small, specific actions. After doing these for a while, they become habits — things that fit into your day without you thinking about them too much. That's when you move on to build a new daily habit. Achieving small, specific goals can add up to big happiness!
Importance of music in my life
March 11, 2010
Image Credit: Sandy H.Music is one of the most important and powerful things in my life. My life without melodies and harmonies would be totally empty. Listening to and playing different tunes helps me to de-stress, relax and it can also help to motivate me in trying times. I love listening to music while on my way to school, as I feel it helps me to prepare for the day that waits. I think it is like the memoirs to my life as it has been there throughout everything with me.
When I was younger, I didn’t have the great love for musical as I do now. I mainly listened to whatever was playing in the background or what my parents were listening to. I didn’t have much of a care for musical compositions. There was sometimes a little bit of pop music thrown in to the mix here and there, but that’s really all I liked back then. Whether I was in the car, the house, or anywhere else there was sure to be some Beatles, Buddy Holly, or the Dubliners constantly playing somewhere in the background. At the time I didn’t care for that genre of music much, but now as I’m older, I enjoy it as it allows me to reminisce on memories from times of my childhood. Once I hit my teenage years music became my life and gradually started to inhibit my soul.
I believe music has the ability to convey all sorts of emotion. Whether the emotion is joy and happiness or sadness and despair through rhythms, harmonies and the lyrics music shows it. The song “A little bit longer” by Nick Jonas is such an emotional and inspiring song that when I hear it, I always come close to tears, especially when I watch it being played live. The effect that music can have on our emotions is tremendous, as it can bring people to floods of tears or bursts of laughter.
The musical images that music and song are able to create are amazing. Music has the ability to transport me back in time just like a time machine. It lets me revisit lost and forgotten moments in life. Songs can paint a picture, for example in classical and country music where a story is being told. The music in classical music tells a story without lyrics which is an immensely powerful thing. I feel that this applies to the saying “music imitates life and life imitates music”.
Recently song writing has wandered its way into my life. I believe there is no better way to express myself than through song. After a bad day, it’s nice to be able to sit down and write about it. It can make all your problems just disappear and float away. Listening to other musical artists that I like gives me inspiration. My guitar teacher also points me in the right direction and gives me guidance as I need it. I love to just sit with my guitar and make up random lyrics about past experiences or what I’m going through at the moment.
I started learning how to play the guitar last year and within the past few months I have fallen completely and utterly in love with it. Once I start playing, I find it extremely hard to put the guitar down again. It’s very addictive and can also be distracting sometimes. It distracts me from my homework since my guitar sits right next to my desk. Playing guitar is one of the only things in my life in which I don’t feel pressurized to do well in. I think this is because I have a great teacher and she doesn’t push me to the music exams.
This past summer my grandma taught me how to play the piano. I had always heard stories about how my great grandfather, her father, was brilliant at the piano. He would sit at the piano for hours on end playing different well known songs as making up his own little tunes. He had taught my grandma how to play and I felt it was about time that I learnt. So when I was staying with my grandma and grandpa during the summer, I asked her to teach me. She was delighted to and now it’s something nice that we can both do together and bond over.
I believe music effects people in many different ways. To me music is more than just something to listen to or play, it’s something to feel. Music is extremely important in my life. I think it brings me closer to my friends and family. I also feel that it helps me to get through things. For example, I remember doing the twenty six kilometre gaisce hike and the whole way along the hike we sang songs. Music is an immensely powerful thing and has a huge place in my life right next to my heart.