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Want to Lead a Happy Life? Science Says to Focus on These 10 Things.

Cultivate More Happiness

Cultivate More Happiness
  • Find your right fit or match, both personally and professionally.
  • Appreciating life’s small moments.
  • Smile more, even if you don’t feel like it.
  • Perform random acts of kindness.
  • Spend money on experiences versus things.
  • Avoid comparisons.
  • Build and maintain close relationships.
  • Make little changes in your daily routine: getting more sleep, exercising, getting out into nature, and meditating.

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Want to Lead a Happy Life? Science Says to Focus on These 10 Things.

Want to Lead a Happy Life? Science Says to Focus on These 10 Things.

https://www.becomingminimalist.com/science-happiness/

becomingminimalist.com

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Key Ideas

Hedonic adaptation

It explains our tendency as human beings to chase happiness, only to return back to our original emotional baseline after getting what we want. 

We run on a hedonic treadmill, and get nowhere, despite exerting massive effort along the way.

Tal Ben-Shahar

Tal Ben-Shahar

"Attaining lasting happiness requires that we enjoy the journey on our way toward a destination we deem valuable. Happiness is not about making it to the peak of the mountain nor is it about climbing aimlessly around the mountain; happiness is the experience of climbing toward the peak."

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The arrival fallacy

It's our false belief that once we make it, once we attain our goal or reach our destination, we will reach lasting happiness.

It’s the strong belief that when you accomplish something...

Pursuing goals isn’t a problem

It becomes dangerous when you focus on attaining them for your happiness in life. 

Goal attainment is, at most, equally, if not less important than the progress towards the goal. 

Achievement doesn’t equal happiness

Achieving a goal usually reveals another, even more, challenging goal. This may bring in much more work because the pursuit of goals never ends.

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Adaptation and happiness

Adaptation is the enemy of happiness.

We buy things to make us happy. And they do, but only for a while. New things are exciting to us at first, but then we adapt to them.

Experiences vs. Objects

Objects fade and become part of the new normal. So you’ll get more happiness spending money on experiences like going to art exhibits, doing outdoor activities, learning a new skill, or traveling. 

Experiences really are part of ourselves. We are the sum total of our experiences.

Shared experiences

They connect us more than shared consumption.

Even if someone wasn’t with you when you had a particular experience, you’re much more likely to bond over both having hiked the Appalachian Trail or seeing the same show than you are over both owning Fitbits.

Learn something new

... even if it's stressful. Mastering a new skill means more stress now but more happiness later.

The key is to choose the right new skill to master, a challenge to undertake, or ...

Friends near you

Geographically close friends (and neighbors) have the greatest effect on happiness.

Individual happiness cascades through groups of people, like contagion. So make friends with people who live near you.

Embrace opposing feelings

Happiness can come from noticing and embracing a wide spectrum of emotions--both good and bad. 

So don't ignore negative feelings. Embrace them--and then actively work toward overcoming whatever issues you face.

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