President Abraham Lincoln once said
“Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be”
Not very long ago the scientific field thought that each person is born with their own set “happiness level” and once this level is set at birth, it could never be noticeably changed. Those old theories of one’s happiness level have recently been turned upside down. New research is proving that happiness is not static but in fact is fluid. One of the foremost researchers in this burgeoning field of positivity is researcher, lecturer and author Dr. Barbara Fredrickson
One important point to make about happiness is to dispel the myth that a person cannot change their happiness level. Conventional science has always taught that our happiness level is set by the random influence of genetics, and once set there was very little we could do to make a lasting impact.
It wasn’t until the end of the 20th century with groundbreaking research findings from doctors Fredrickson , Sonja Lyubomirsky, Martin Seligman and others, that the scientific community started realizing that we humans have much more control over our own personal happiness than previously thought. In fact recent research evidence has proven that we have as much is 40% of our holistic happiness factor is within our personal control.
the media “encouraged belief that happiness is achieved with the acquisition of things. Happiness through hedonism, or “the indulgence in sensual pleasures” (dictionary.com) caters to the thought happiness is achieved when you get that dream car, or job, birthday gift, or something else. While there is some truth to this because a sense of happiness is improved, the happiness level improvement is relatively short-lived. And in fact acts of charity and helping another person out, which is the opposite of hedonism, brings about one of the greatest and longest lasting improvements to holistic happiness.
The third widespread miss-belief is :
… the notion of a “one size fits all solution” encouraged in our media. Consumers are targeted by advertisers to take their pill, by this diamond ring for Christmas, join that weight loss program, or buy these fashionable clothes in order to be happy like the smiling people in the commercials.
We as consumers are told we should meditate, volunteer at a local animal shelter, and try this herb or “medication du jour” to cure all your problems. However, it’s important to remember that each person is a unique individual, and what brings joy to one person may feel like a punishment to another.
For instance one person may delight in 30 min. of quiet meditation in front of a fireplace. That same activity, sitting still for 30 minutes, may feel torturous to another person. Perhaps the active person may enjoy a moving meditation like tai chi much more. Or the person who is allergic to cats may prefer volunteering one hour a week at a nearby nursing home rather than at an animal shelter.
The Dalai Lama Speaks – Secular Meditation
The video introduces you to the basic techniques of meditation as recommended by one of the best known and most respected spiritual leaders of our times — H…
So to conclude, the conventional wisdom told to you about improving your happiness may well be wrong in light of new exciting evidence. The truth is, you can improve your holistic happiness (happiness through non-chemical means) quite a bit, even without medications. And if you need some medications to help you along too, that’s ok. Some people do not produce the chemical endorphin s and neurotransmitters in quantities that they need. And don’t believe any stereotype ideas of what you think meditation is or has to be, because you may well be wrong. So open your heart, open your mind and seek more information on this path to holistic health happiness.