In the never-ending pursuit of happiness, people have discovered, and maybe still discovering more ways to find it. The search has made us change the way we think, live, and interact with other people. Before we know it, we have developed these changes into a lifestyle of gaining happiness. But really, what are these things we do or we are in that makes us happy?
Faith is something we can consider as a belief in a higher power or of something unseen, something abstract, or something immeasurable. It is also often associated with a practice of a certain religion.
Many surveys have already shown that people with strong religious faithâ€“of any religious or denominationâ€“are happier than those who are irreligious. Through religion, people develop the mindset that the Higher Power they believe in is someone who can help them or rescue them from life’s pitfalls. It is where they go to ease their burdens and find forgiveness. It drives people to becoming better persons that eventually leads to spiritual satisfaction.
When a person gains spiritual satisfaction in practicing his religion, he becomes motivated in finding reasons to live life and be happy. Being spiritually satisfied also has an impact on a person’s health and well-being. According to studies, for the more inwardly focused, deep breathing during meditation and prayer can slow down the body and reduce stress, anxiety, and physical tension to allow better emotions and energy to come forward. Not only that, the happiness we get from practicing our faith also helps us to have a better sense of ourselves. According to David Myers, a social psychologist at Michigan’s Hope College, faith provides social support, a sense of purpose and a reason to focus beyond the self.
The happiness a person gets from being faithful is not necessarily measured by the religious practices he does and how often he does it. In 2004, studies showed that 36 percent if people who prayed everyday said they were very happy, versus 21 percent who never prayed.
In a 2002 survey, more than 1000 Americans were asked, “If you were to get enough money to live comfortably for the rest of your life, would you stop working?” and fewer than a third of the respondents said yes. Apparently, most Americans love their work. And for a person to love his job, he really must be happy with it.
Reasons why people are happy with their jobs may vary. For one thing, our jobs provide for us. The money we earn through it helps us pay our bills, settle our financial responsibilities, and buy the things that we want. Having a job that suffices our needs to the extent of giving us comfort is a sure source of happiness.
Another is that our jobs make us useful. Aside from the basics of the work itself, we learn a handful of attitudes such as independence, self-esteem, cooperation, and even leadership. Being happy with our work makes us realize our self-worth. It causes us to be more productive and efficient not just within the workplace but also our homes.
Companies should be conscious about the happiness and satisfaction of their employees. They should pay attention to the performance of each worker. They can do this by having regular evaluation within co-workers and bosses. Employers may give incentives to the employees who have been excellent. If they feel appreciated, they are more likely to engage themselves in their work. On the other hand, employees who have poor performances should be given a chance to improve.
In the long run, happy employees are able to handle workplace relationships, stress, and changers better than unhappy employees. They also feel more secured and they usually have lesser frustrations.
However, not everybody is happy with his job and for most people, a job is not something you can just leave the moment you feel like quitting. If you feel unhappy about your work, you can consider seeking the advice of your boss or of a trusted co-worker. Ask them what they think your strengths and weaknesses are. After this, you can start on developing your strengths and improving on your weaknesses.
Finding happiness in our job is important because how we perform at work has huge effect on our well-being and on how we deal with life. If we want to be happy at work, we should strive hard in getting a job that we really like to do. However, we have to remind ourselves that there’s no such thing as an easy job. We always have to work hard and improve ourselves whenever we can.
The belief that marriage tends to hold people, especially women, back from their full potential to be happy has been around since the 1960s. However, a 2004 survey in America says that married people were six times more likely to say that they were very happy than those who are single, divorced, and separated. And generally speaking, married women say they’re happy more often than married men.
We know that marriage is not something people just get into. Since it is a lifetime commitment, people consider many things such as financial, mental, and emotional stability, before tying the knot. This helps the couple to have a secure and happy married life.
According to Claire Kamp Dush, a postdoctoral fellow at the Institute for Social Sciences at Cornell University, being married is connected with less distress, higher self-esteem, greater life satisfaction, and grater happiness. On the other hand, married men are more successful in work as well, getting promoted more often and receiving higher performance appraisals.
Studies also show that married people tend to live longer. Having a spouse can decrease your risk for dying from cancer as much as knocking ten years off your life. As for married women, they are 30 percent more likely to rate their health as excellent compared to single women.
What about kids? Children, on their own, don’t appear to raise the happiness level. In fact, they actually tend to slightly lower the happiness of a marriage. However, a 2003 study suggests that children are almost always part of an overall lifestyle of happiness. Taking care of children may take its toll on the parents’ patience and understanding, but the more they develop their parenting skills, the more they can improve their married life and gain further happiness.
These days divorce is getting popular because of couples separating from left and right. We see them in the movies, the television, and yes, even in our neighborhood. But let’s face it, nobody really wants to have his or her marriage be ruined especially if it can be avoided.
Giving is one trait that bounces back, often immediately, once you throw it away. Aside from making other people happy, the feeling of being a blessing to them makes you happy, too.
We’ve all heard that money doesn’t buy happiness. The truth is, it does, only that it tends to be short-lived when we do it for ourselves. To make it last longer, we can try buying happiness for other people. One way to do this is by donating to a charity. Studies show that 43 percent of people who give money to charity say that they are very happy than non-givers. On the other hand, 42 percent of volunteers say that they are happy compared to non-volunteers.
According to Elizabeth Dunn, a psychologist from the University of British Columbia, regardless of how much income each person made, those who spent money on others reported greater happiness, while those who spent more on themselves did not.
In practicing charity, it doesn’t really matter where your money would go or how it would be spent. The only assurance that you need is that it will be of good use to the people you gave it to and the happiness giving has brought you.
Being generous however doesn’t always mean giving money away. Sometimes, it could mean giving a part of yourself. This can be done by donating blood, volunteering for a charitable organization, or simply offering to babysit you neighbor’s child. Acts like these are always appreciated and causing both giver and receiver happiness.