Happiness can be learned and here is the key to being (truly) happy!

Happiness can be learned and here is the key to

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    Do you really need a little to be happy? A difficult question at a time when the mental health of the world’s population continues to deteriorate. A recent study, the main lessons of which have been compiled in a book, attests that happiness is not innate: it is learned and cultivated on a daily basis through gestures and habits to be repeated tirelessly, until satisfaction and felicity follows. On the occasion of World Wellbeing Day, June 10, here are some to put into practice as soon as possible.

    Happiness should be the ultimate goal, but it seems increasingly difficult to achieve. According to the latest data from the World Health Organization (WHO), some 970 million people suffered from a mental disorder worldwide in 2019, with this number having increased significantly since the Covid-19 pandemic. An issue that has become a priority, and for good reason… The global health authority defines mental health as “a state of mental well-being that enables us to cope with life’s sources of stress, to realize our potential, to learn and work well, and to contribute to the life of the community. It is an integral part of health and well-being, on which our individual and collective abilities to make decisions, form relationships and build the world in which we live are based.

    Daily training

    A description which shows how important it is to put in place actions to guarantee the development of populations, and to turn to science to try to discover what can – or not – contribute to this. A recent study conducted by researchers from Bristol University, in the United Kingdom, to which we also owe the “Science of Happiness” program, launched in 2018 and based on the study of scientific work focused on happiness, reveals that the latter is learned and worked on on a daily basis . The authors of this work even specify that it must be understood as a sport, which requires training and determination. A positive observation if we consider that it is, therefore, well and truly within everyone’s reach.

    It’s like going to the gym: you can’t expect that one class will be enough to be fit forever. Just like with physical health, we must continually work on our mental health, otherwise improvements are temporary“, estimates Professor Bruce Hood, main author of this study. The specialist is also at the origin of the now famous work “The Science of Happiness: Seven Lessons for Living Well” which summarizes the main lessons, just like tips and tricks to apply on a daily basis to achieve ultimate well-being.

    Turn to others

    Published in the journal Higher Education, the study tracked and assessed the well-being of students who took this happiness course, long after leaving the program. It appears that the students concerned observed an improvement in their well-being, of the order of 10% to 15% on average, in the short term. But when surveyed again two years later, only those who continued to apply the lessons learned during the program retained these benefits.

    This study shows that simply taking a class – whether it’s an exercise class, a meditation retreat, or an evidence-based happiness course like ours – doesn’t is just the beginning: you must commit to regularly using what you have learned“, continues Professor Hood. And specifies: “Much of what we teach revolves around positive psychology interventions that shift your focus away from yourself, helping others, being with friends, showing gratitude, or meditating“.

    Good in his body, good in his head!

    These habits to adopt

    As World Wellbeing Day looms, set for June 10, 2024, here is what the study and the work we owe to the professor at the University of Bristol recommend. We will have understood that turning to others is one of the keys, as the specialist regularly reminds us on his X account (formerly Twitter). “Has individualism gone too far? Why are the streets full of tattoo parlors, nail bars, beauticians, botox clinics, etc.? People prioritize identity and self-care, but I think this level of vanity fuels negative social comparisons“, does he have recently posted.

    If we focus on this point, the study recommends in particular increasing social relationships, and even more engaging in conversation with strangers, but also fighting against loneliness, and favoring acts of kindness. As such, it is specified that giving gifts to others “activates the reward centers [du] brain and often provides a greater feeling of happiness than spending money on yourself”. Social media is also seen as a (good) solution, provided however that you do not focus on your reputation.

    Among the other points to work on: focusing on the positive events of the day, or the positive aspects of your life, getting enough sleep, but also favoring greenery. “Walking in nature deactivates the part of the brain linked to negative ruminations, which are associated with depression“, specifies the study. And even more generally, the researchers point out that there is “a correlation between the kindness and the happiness“. So many tips to put into practice on a daily basis to achieve absolute well-being.