How can I be happy today
That’s why it’s today
harder to be happy
Is it harder to be happy today? It's hard to say, says the happiness psychologist Renate Pils. And asks the counter question: What does happiness mean to you? Touché! Much more important but perhaps still: How can we help the long-awaited feeling on the jumps? And what do our genes have to do with the whole thing?
While satisfaction is a feeling that can accompany us for longer stretches of our life, happiness can only be found in the moment. Be satisfied for a lifetime? Not to be ruled out entirely. Be happy for a lifetime? Hardly likely. Feelings of happiness are intense but brief moments of wellbeing. According to the expert, however, there is no definition that is valid for all individuals. Rather, a study by the University of Munich would have shown that what makes you happy varies from individual to individual as well as from moment to moment. Pils therefore prefers the term zest for life.
Is it harder to be happy today?
But back to the question asked at the beginning: Is it more difficult to be happy today? "From the gut: Yes. Because our society has changed massively in the last ten or twenty years," replies Pils. Keyword fast pace, keyword technologization. "If we get a call today, they expect us to get back to you immediately." And even more than that: While we are given a multitude of communication channels, "the life that really happens, face-to-face communication" is falling by the wayside more and more often.
What does that have to do with happiness? "Many come to the practice and say: 'I should be happy, but I don't feel anything anymore.' Or: 'Actually, I should be sad now. What's wrong with me?' "Explains the psychologist. "This is a phenomenon of our time." The reason: a constantly growing offer across all areas of life. "That can be an advantage when I'm 18 and the world is at my feet. Diversity is basically something beautiful. But having many options can also be exhausting. Because you have to constantly make decisions. And because permanent stimuli for the senses act. "
That's what it takes for happiness
This oversupply of stimuli would make it more and more difficult for people to be with themselves, to perceive what is happening in their immediate surroundings and to recognize the possibilities of being happy. "Because there are enough possibilities," says Pils. According to the psychologist, it is now more important than ever to calm down, take your time and ask yourself: What does happiness mean to me? When am i happy? When do I feel the joy of life? You just have to consciously deal with the topic of happiness.
Discuss and feel within yourself: What is good for me? What not? Which people are good for me? Which less? "Some people's hearts open up," says Pils. "Others cost energy and are exhausting." And last but not least: Where can I find enough rest? Speaking of rest: While we follow the motto "What you can get today, don't postpone it until tomorrow", in South American regions it is said: "Tomorrow is also a day". "In our culture everything has to happen immediately. But how important are things really? And what happens when I say: I'll do that tomorrow?"
Letting go instead of rolling around problems
Mindfulness, good quality relationships and a certain amount of serenity are therefore basic requirements for happiness. As well as the ability to assess the relevance of problems. "On a scale from zero to one hundred - how dramatic is it?" If the value is in the lower third, you should ask yourself whether you can't just let go. Whether dealing with the problem is really worth the effort, the worry - the negative feelings. Ultimately, however, everyone has to decide for themselves how important it is to bring the problem to the table.
This is how you can train happiness
But luck can also be practiced very easily. For example with a luck diary, in which you record every evening which moments you experienced during the day as bringing luck. According to the expert, this exercise has three important effects:
1. We end the day with something positive. We tend to review the negative events of the day before falling asleep. However, the thoughts we deal with before we go to sleep affect sleep. Therefore, it is important to focus on something positive.
2. We feed the emotional experience memory. Once put on paper, as we read about our experiences, we can empathize with them. If we are not doing so well, we can use this treasure trove of positive experiences to get us in a better mood.
2. We sharpen our perception. After ten to 14 days, we become more sensitive to the perception of moments of happiness. Be it the look out of the window or the smile of a colleague - we think more and more often: This is a moment of happiness that I can write down in the evening.
It all depends on the mix
Of course, we don't have to strive for happiness around the clock. On the contrary: You also need negative feelings, as Pils emphasizes. "Sometimes we want to be angry or sad." Thinking positively doesn't mean putting on rose-colored glasses. There are positive as well as negative - but it depends on the right ratio: "In order for us to feel well, the ratio of positive to negative must be 3: 1." Incidentally, a ratio of 4: 1 is necessary for a love relationship that is perceived as positive.
How genes affect our happiness
Did you know that 50 percent of our sense of happiness is influenced by our genes and only 10 percent by external factors such as a bigger car and a nicer apartment? All the things that we think will make us happy actually have little effect on our happiness. The good news: The remaining 40 percent represent our room for maneuver. So now it's up to us to make something of it. Because, as the expert knows: "It's never too late for a happy past."
Renate Pils is a clinical and health psychologist. She also works as a humor trainer. Here is the homepage of Renate Pils.
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