SGPsychStud: How to be Happier in the New Year of 2016

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Everyone wants to be happy.  This is a definite thing.  However, what is happiness?

According to the dictionary, happiness is a emotional state where one experiences positive emotions, such as contentment and elation.  Other than the common positive emotional states in the English language, there are other types of happiness not available in English as described by Nancy Etcoff, such as fiero (the pride in accomplishment of a challenge), schadenfreude (the happiness in another's misfortune, a malicious pleasure) and naches (a pride and joy in one's children).

The science of happiness is very straight-forward and easy to understand.  What really happens when we feel happiness is the creation of dopamine by your brain, resulting in your emotions of happiness.  But it is really the situations that create the dopamine. Through the experiencing of the situations, we feel happy as dopamine is created in our brains.
Can we have happiness all the time? Is that possible?
Honestly, happiness is not achieved by constantly being happy or to be in happy situations, as most people may think.  You can experience the state of happiness by feeling happy momentarily, but you cannot feel happy all the time.
So how we can be happier in 2016??
Here are some suggestions:
1)  Have a sense of fulfillment and contentment.  Be grateful for your experiences and what you have in your life.
"We experience something that's valuable to us.  Something is given to us that's valuable to us.  And it's really given.  These two things have to come together...  And when these two things come together, something that's really valuable to me and I realize it's freely given, then gratefulness spontaneously rises in my heart, happiness spontaneously rises in my heart.  That's how gratefulness happens."

2)  Be open to new opportunities and experiences.  I have written on this previously in 2013.
This concept of not having the fear of new opportunities and experiences require a few conditions:

  • Thirst for Knowledge - Gaining more knowledge also helps you understand things better, and through understanding yourself and your fears better, it will help in reducing them.
  • Curiosity - With curiosity, it will make you ask more questions, get the answers, and then asking more questions, leaving no stones unturned.  Curiosity might also serve as a motivation to understand the situation better, than the focus on the negative thoughts relating to the fears.
  • Positive Mindset - When experiencing the fear, it is inevitable that one will have negative thoughts. Always having a positive mindset will help face these negative thoughts better, as staying positive in the face of fear will help you deal with it more rationally and calm. As we start to calm down, it will allow us to react better towards the situation and enjoy the experience much more.

3)  Being mindful through your experiences of everyday life.  Being mindful will make you more aware and open to your experiences.  This will help you understand yourself and the situations better, and hence reducing your unhappiness.
Here's my previous post on Mindfulness.
"Which leaves the question, what are the big causes of happiness?  I think that's a question we haven't really answered yet, but I think something that has the potential to be an answer is that maybe happiness has an awful lot to do with the contents of our moment-to-moment experiences."

4)  Maintain good social interaction with people.  It will also help you live longer, according to Robert Waldinger.
"The clearest message that we get from this 75-year study is this: Good relationships keep us happier and healthier. Period."

5)  Having neutral thoughts.  Most people will have the perception that we should not have negative thoughts at all.  This is quite impossible not to have negative thoughts.  The issue is  "How do you manage your thoughts"?  
Having too much and/or extremely happy and negative thoughts all the time is not good for your well-being.  Having too extreme thoughts may cause one to have over-expectations for the experiences, hence maintaining a positive mindset and having neutral thoughts would help better overcome most stressful situations..
Enjoy the song!!  All is well!!!

All Izz Well [Song]  - 3 Idiots Movie

Hope you like my five tips of achieving happiness in 2016.  Happy New Year Everyone!!!