The Art of Happiness; an Ingredient of Life

The Art of Happiness; an Ingredient of Life

By: Iben e Saif

According to social psychologists, there are three main things that make people happy: close relationships, a job or past-time that they love, and helping others. If this question is asked to people, most of them are unable to decipher as what actually causes happiness in their life. Psychological research on happiness has identified several things people have in common: the types of things that make them happy, the things they think will make them happy, and the differences between the two.

Bertrand Russell was the most influential philosopher of the twentieth century, having written some of the most seminal works in both mathematical logic and analytic philosophy. In his book, The Conquest of Happiness,he states about two significant emotions of man’s life i.e. causes of happiness and unhappiness. According to him, one of the main ingredients of a happy life is what he calls a “friendly interest in things”. The secret of happiness is this: let your interests be as wide as possible, and let your reactions to the things and persons that interest you be as far as possible friendly rather than hostile.A 70 years old gardener who is a long distance biker, a wild boar hunter, a revolutionary who can die for his cause; so the zest, affection, family, work, perspective, balance and radiance are the ingredients that cause happiness in man’s life.

Similarly, there are some factors, habits and aptitudes that cause unhappiness in man’s life. It turns out that genetics and life circumstances, such as family backgrounds, careers, and finances, only account for about half of a person’s happiness, according to University of California researchers. Although it’s a common assumption that money can buy happiness, 100 years of data now prove that’s not true. While money can improve happiness when it lifts people out of poverty, after that it doesn’t make much of difference on their emotional well-being, research shows.

Likewise, Russell writes about main causes of modern unhappiness; meaninglessness, competition, boredom, fatigue, envy, guilt and shame, persecution mania and fear of public opinion. He would be horror-struck by the religious apologists populating today’s airwaves, those who believe godless liberalism and an insufficient sense of human wretchedness are the chief causes of psychological disorders and society’s downfall.

A great first step to increase overall happiness is to identify and change the habits that are dragging you down and change them to have a contented lifestyle. Nothing is more damaging to our happiness than choosing to wait for it.So stop waiting, be focused and practical. Isolating yourself from social interactions is one of the worst habits of unhappy people. Happiness comes from our ability to connect with others and have meaningful relationships. Nothing great has ever come from blaming or accusing others, so discontinue blaming others for your plight and circumstances. People who equate happiness with perfection are more likely to be unsatisfied. Don’t consider that you should be perfect all the time. One way to let go of perfectionism is to aim for “good enough.” That doesn’t mean that you plan for mediocrity. It just means that your goal is to finish a project or task to the best of your ability.

The common denominator among all happy people is zest, by which they roughly meant a kind of joyous interest in the multifarious aspects of their lives, not with excessive zeal, but with moderation in an Aristotelian sense. People with such a balanced but engaged temperament are likely to be happier than their counterparts, who could range from one who would starve oneself at one end of the spectrum to a gourmand at the other end.On a final note, having close family relationships is a blessing and cause of happiness that helps to retain the flavor of thankfulness and stress less life.


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