Do you believe that there are certain things you must achieve to be happy? Society teaches us that wealth, health, romantic love, and family are essential for happiness. But are these externals really the most important things in life?
Psychologists say that a salary raise, losing weight, a fancy new car, or an exciting romance might well make us feel happier at first, but the pleasure often doesn't last. Humans have evolved to adapt quickly to changes in the environment, which helps to survive risks and dangers. But this means that we soon come to accept changes that make us feel happier as our "new normal", and our happiness levels revert to their former baseline.
But there are ways that you can boost your happiness and increase your contentment with life, and you don't need to win the lottery! The secret is to change your inner attitude and perspective, and the good news is that anyone can do it.
There are many misconceptions about what's important in life. So before taking a look at techniques for increasing happiness, let's consider the things that aren't as important as we might believe.
It's true that not having enough money can be very stressful. To be happy, you need enough to pay for your basic requirements such as food, clothing and a home. But once you've covered these base, becoming richer won't make much difference to your happiness. Researchers studying lottery winners found that while their happiness levels increased at first, they soon reverted to their usual level of contentment.
Being in a loving and supportive relationship can play a part in happiness, but it's not exclusively true. Single people also live happy and fulfilling lives. In fact, single people with lively social circles and plenty of interests are probably more content with their lives than people in unhappy relationships. It's also true that even good marriages or partnerships won't create a permanent increase in happiness. Your partner can't guarantee a fairytale "happy-ever-after": it's essential to realise that only you are responsible for your feelings.
It's not true that your school days are the happiest time of your life and that people become less happy as they move through life. There's a wealth of research demonstrating that older people are happier and more satisfied with life than young and middle-aged adults. Even with the poorer health that often comes with age, the golden years are the happiest for many.
Are some people born to be a bit miserable? Research suggests that we are born with a specific set point for happiness, But this natural level of optimism accounts for only around half of our contentment. A further ten per cent is the result of circumstances. So you're left with around 40% of happiness that you can determine by your choices and lifestyle.
We all face challenges in life. But it's how you deal with them that matters. Rather than letting negative thoughts hold you back, try to accept that things happen for a reason. Look on difficulties as an opportunity to learn and make a fresh start. You can still achieve anything you want to, but first, you have to accept the past. Once you have accepted the situation, you'll soon feel happier about your life.
You'll start to believe in yourself again. You're the only thing standing in your way. Once you have the self-belief to accept and look past challenges, you'll have the resilience you need to face difficulties throughout your life. You'll be able to think more rationally and will be able to move on from challenging events.
Your new sense of self-confidence will give you the strength to give up bad habits that you've been relying on to prop up your emotions. You'll probably find that it's now much easier to give up those cigarettes or drinks. You and your loved ones are the only really important things.
It's often the easy option to put on a pretend smile to get us through the day rather than facing up to our problems. If you're ready to make changes, Bach Flower Mix 44 can help you believe in yourself more and give you the confidence to move on in your life.
If you regret anything at all, it's just that you didn't make the change sooner. But you'll accept that it wasn't the right time to do so until now. When you accept what life brings, you'll find that you feel less stressed and happier.
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Are you unsure which Bach flowers can help you? Contact Tom for free advice.