Have you ever imagined that it is possible to measure our happiness? Yes, it may seem like something that is within us, in a very subjective or practically inexplicable way. However, there are a lot of studies which proposes to research how happy we are, about what situations we can have more or less of that feeling and even where we can find our happiness. It is something very complex, philosophical and reflective, but it certainly has some meeting point with each one of us. Shall we understand more?
WHAT IS HAPPINESS?
The answer to that question is extremely broad, isn’t it? The scientists, philosophers and researchers it has many answers, which are totally valid because they are the result of much study. However, everyone can find their own happiness, wherever they go.
Martin Seligman, from the University of Pennsylvania, says that happiness is the sum of pleasure engagement and meaning. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, from the University of Chicago, says that everything is in spontaneous fluidity when we take action. For Leandro Karnal, a Brazilian researcher, happiness is possible to recognize when we can understand that it is the opposite of being unhappy.
Robert Waldinger, director of a 75-year adult development study at Harvard University, says people with good social relations have a higher level of happiness. Phew, this is just the beginning of the reflection and we have a lot of points of view 😉
This without forgetting to mention that there are several factors that can help us to classify how much we are, or rather, we are complete by this positive emotion, of well-being and pleasure that we call happiness.
THE LEVELS OF HAPPINESS
Happiness levels can be interpreted as “the temperature” how much we are exhaling the happiest emotions – like excitement, joy and enthusiasm – or parts of life and society that make us more or less happy. The latter can range from factors related to social relationships, financial stability, achievements or even genetics.
In the first case, it is very important to understand that emotions and happiness are part of something that we are feeling. That is, it is not lasting or constant and will not be at its maximum level all the time. In fact, we have a healthy level, but with big events we can be much more enthusiastic or less. And for that we don’t even need a lot of studies, right? Suffering, grief or loss can lead to the opposite feeling, sadness, but also in a passing way.
The second way of interpreting happiness levels is important to understand where we can find happiness. According to studies by Harvard University, following the lives of the same people for 75 years, those who remained happier and healthier physically and mentally maintained their higher quality social relationships. In other words, happiness can be in many things, but over one of them we have a little control: with whom we relate, who we listen to, with whom we speak and who we like to be close to.
THE SAD SONGS OF THE QUARANTINE
Of course, not everything is as controllable or easy that way. Sometimes we are plagued by a pandemic, for example. A survey by DeltaLeaf, who analyzed what was being heard in the Spotify in 34 countries during the quarantine, revealed that Brazilians were the ones who heard the most sad songs (the ones with more melancholic timbres, evaluated by the valence, that identifies melodic traces of the song).
On the other hand, even though this information makes the diagnosis that we are very sad, some researches have already reported that when listening to sad songs we are in search of happiness, in the opposite way. Crying listening to Adele can ease many tensions, right? The calming songs, to meditate or make the environment more peaceful and quiet are also among the most listened hits during this moment.
IS IT POSSIBLE TO PRACTICE HAPPINESS?
Listening to songs that make us happier is already a good way, right? But there are so many other practices that can help us find what we need to be happier. The first one, without a doubt, is the self knowledge. AN meditation it’s the yoga are great ways to experience these moments of greater insight and look inside yourself.
Practice routine self-care, keep the body and mind healthy, to watch good movies and starting to look at the world in a different way are essential practices for someone looking for happiness. And as already said by many researchers, to be happy, maintain good social relationships.
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