Today I´m very excited about this post. This is my first collaboration post, ever! I´m collaborating with my friend Sareena, the awesome blogger behind The all of it blog. Fortunately, she has more experience than me in this sort of post, and working with her was an absolute pleasure.
She showed up with a lot of topics and we choose happiness. Happiness is a familiar topic for me, not because I am a very happy person, but because I studied philosophy. Back in the day, I decided to study philosophy because I needed to understand what it is needed to be happy. Happiness is a fundamental concept in philosophy and I already had to write about it for several teachers. I never imagined that I would write about happiness again. I really enjoyed writing this post, revisiting old Greek authors, old pieces of advice, realizing which ones worked for me… A million thanks, Sareena!
In philosophy, happiness translates the Greek concept of eudaimonia, and refers to the good life, or flourishing. Aristotle stated that the happy life is the good life, that is, a life in which a person fulfills human nature in an excellent way. Since man is a rational animal, human happiness depends on the exercise of his reason. Happiness is not pleasure, nor is it virtue. It is the exercise of virtue. Happiness depends on acquiring a moral character, where one displays the virtues of courage, generosity, justice, friendship, and citizenship in one’s life. These virtues involve striking a balance or “Mean” between an excess and a deficiency.
From Tales to Adorno, all philosophers have reflected on happiness and good life, so we have a wide variety of opinions on what´s happiness and how to be happy. Exploring philosophical, cultural and historical variation in concepts of happiness is the best way to realize that happiness is a fuzzy concept.
Psychology reduces happiness to a mental or emotional state of well-being which can be defined by, among others, positive or pleasant emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy. Since the 1960s, happiness research has been conducted in a wide variety of scientific disciplines, including gerontology, social psychology, clinical and medical research and happiness economics. In my opinion, it´s pretty interesting how science tries to probe and translate to cold scientific language things that philosophers and poets said thousands of years ago.
“The physician heals, Nature makes well” Aristotle
Spend time outdoors. Recent studies show we spend too much time enclosed in buildings and vehicles. Up to 90% of the time, we´re inside. This is not just unhealthy but unnatural.
By definition, a jail is a place for the confinement of people accused or convicted of a crime. If you haven´t committed a crime, why do you confine yourself? How are you going to be happy if you´re punishing yourself by locking yourself? Happiness is outdoors!
Go outside and enjoy nature, earth and sky, lakes and rivers, beach and mountain. Time outdoors will improve your mood, self-esteem, creativity as well as your vitamin D levels. Also, many studies have found that regular exposure to nature helps to reduce mental fatigue and relieve stress reducing cortisol levels.
Make being outside a ritual, try gardening, find a trail, go to a local park or just sit outside quietly and appreciate the natural beauty around you! Notice the scents, sights, and sounds as you sit quietly and focus on the moment.
“A healthy mind in a healthy body” Juvenal
Exercise. Science can´t explain how it works yet, but exercise brings feelings of euphoria and general well-being. Endorphins, Serotonin, Norepinephrine, it´s not clear what causes these feelings.
A recent research shows that while many people started an exercise program to lose weight and improve their appearance, they continued to exercise because of the benefits to their well-being. Physical activity is an elixir of life, not a punishment for bad numbers on the scale. Give yourself 30 minutes a day to take care of your body, and you´ll see awesome improvements in your mood.
“The key is to keep company only with people who uplift you, whose presence calls forth your best” Epictetus
Enjoy time with friends. There is no better way to spend our time in this world than doing activities that we like with people we like. Recent studies about friendship and happiness have found:
- Friendship is the single most important factor in determining a person’s happiness.
- Those who considered friendship very important were more satisfied in every category from their health, their personal achievements, their safety, their relationships and their lives as a whole.
- For married people, their level of happiness is significantly dependent upon the intensity of their friendships.
- Single people who think of themselves as being extremely happy and who believe friends are important are happier than married people who do not think friends are very important.
“Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything” Plato
Not just music, but arts in general. Make more art. In 2010, researchers analyzed more than 100 studies about the impact of art on your health and your ability to heal yourself and published the results in the American Journal of Public Health.
From five visual arts studies mentioned in that review (visual arts includes things like painting, drawing, photography, pottery, and textiles), the researchers described the impact that visual art activities had on the patients:
- Art filled occupational voids, distracted thoughts of illness.
- Improved well–being by decreasing negative emotions and increasing positive ones.
- Improved medical outcomes, trends toward reduced depression.
- Reductions in stress and anxiety; increases in positive emotions.
- Reductions in distress and negative emotions.
- Improvements in flow and spontaneity, expression of grief, positive identity, and social networks.
The impact of art, music, and writing can be seen in your physical body as well. In fact, this study published in the Journal of Psychosomatic Medicine used writing as a treatment for HIV patients found that writing resulted in “improvements of CD4+ lymphocyte counts.” In other words, writing actually impacted the cells and improved their immune system.Build something. Share something. Craft something. Make more art. Your health and happiness will improve!
Build something. Share something. Craft something. Make more art. Your health and happiness will improve!
“The happy man is the one who has a healthy body, a wealthy soul and a well educated nature” Thales
For many, formal education ends after secondary school or university. Of course, adults learn things outside of formal education such as how to manage their finances and make a success of their personal lives. Many will learn new skills in the workplace, and some do courses as part of their professional development. Continuing to learn well into adulthood is beneficial to health and happiness. Never stop learning!
These are my tips for you: enjoy time outdoors, with friends, take care of your body, express your creativity, and never stop learning. What are Sareena’s?
This week I´m pleased to introduce you a good friend and a great blogger, Brooke Smitham. Her blog is fully charged with positive vibes, make sure you follow her for your daily dose of positivity. She here to talk about one of the toughest topics, success. Hope you enjoy the reading as much as I did.
Hello everyone, I have to express to you all, what an honor and pleasure I have in writing this post for my colleague David, who I have now followed for a long time and enjoy his blog each day, thank you for this opportunity, David.
This is a topic I and many other blogger’s write about, but at times the clear message does not seem to be getting through, are we convinced of our own control over our lives? What we always have is total control of the reaction we have in situations that appear in our everyday being, yes it is only you that makes that decision, and we have all made mistakes at times, nobody escapes that, but if we give it some thought and change are thinking a little, if we allow ourselves to open our minds somewhat, we could make more positive decisions, it is also important that we believe in the help that we always have with us, the universe always works with us, guiding us along our life journey, it is the divine power which we store inside of us which we can lean on at anytime we need that support, many people hold this belief and name it God, that choice is yours.When we speak to this power, we are answered, but we have to listen, you may be told many times, and sadly at times we just do not listen and we do not take the advice given, your intuition talks to you, do you listen? When we don’t, things will come tumbling down around us, but don’t panic, nobody likes this but it is an opportunity for us to start again, with this experience now well within us, to guide us on, and we learn to listen, this power will never abandon you, we just need to learn to listen in a better way.
You, as an individual are here for a reason, it is important that you understand that you are creating on a daily basis with the help of the great creator, what better partner can you wish for in life, the Universe/God it is no accident that you are you, just stop and think what set of sequences had to be in motion in action for you to be here, it is no accident believe me……….
Do you know your purpose, are you working towards your purpose in life, achieving your dreams and goals? If you are not aware of your purpose I urge you to find this out as soon as possible, without knowing your purpose, it is like driving in the fog with no map, no gps, you could be swimming around a fish bowl looking for a corner to get out, there is no way out, so knowing and finding your purpose is extremely important, the sooner you know the sooner you can act and the sooner the universe can connect with you . You are a citizen of the universe, a very important part, you form part of the universal energy and it becomes part of you, your confidence will flourish when you understand there is something much bigger than you, far greater than you, you cannot do it alone. Everything happens for a reason, when you do not live your life as your true self, you are unable to obtain your personal intent, you are here, you are you, in your uniqueness and that is what matters, you are here and part of all this wonderfulness, when things go wrong and not the way you were expecting, it is experience you need, it is not a failure it is part of a preparation of what is to come, you are always preparing yourself with the help of the universe for what is to come.
Every thought you have, every thought you put out there into the universal energy flow and you put into action, is going to come back to you, when you believe and trust your partner, you will start to feel the flow, you will be in the flow of life, you will no longer be against it, you will be part of it, you will be connected to your inner power you will be aligned with the world that you want.
When you achieve the things you want in your life, you have to give back, your intention rules your life and determines the outcome, never worry about your competition, they will always be there, we all have competition in life, but the time and energy you give this, may give them the opening and opportunity they have been waiting for, you can only control yourself you cannot control others, for everything you put into motion the universal law states, “For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction”.
Brooke Smithan is a fully qualified Psychologist,Life Coach,Performance Consultant & LOA Practitioner. Since 2013 she blogs at The Utopia Universe, helping lots of people.
“Always do right, this will gratify some and astonish the rest.” Mark Twain
“If a man knows not to which port he sails, no wind is favorable.” Seneca
“Forever is composed of nows.” Emily Dickinson
“When in doubt, punt!” John Heisman