Art of Happiness
My quest over the last 30 years has been “What makes humans happy and healthy?"….
Most encompassing pathway : green spaces and blue spaces, out in nature.
These 8 points are about defining practical attributes that may be useful definitions that one can work at, but the most direct route is simply the green and blue, for proportion and perspectives.
- Strong Relationships: Human beings are social creatures, and strong, positive relationships with family, friends, and community members are consistently linked to happiness.
- Good Physical Health: Physical health and happiness are closely related. Regular exercise, a balanced diet, and good sleep habits contribute to both physical well-being and a positive mental outlook.
- Purpose or Meaning: Having a sense of purpose or meaning in life—whether it comes from work, hobbies, volunteer activities, or spiritual beliefs—can contribute significantly to happiness.
- Gratitude: Many studies have shown that people who regularly express gratitude are more likely to be happy. This can involve simple acts like keeping a gratitude journal or telling others you appreciate them.
- Mindfulness and Positivity: Being present in the moment and maintaining a positive outlook can greatly enhance happiness. This can be cultivated through practices like meditation, yoga, or other mindfulness practices.
- Resilience: The ability to bounce back from adversity, stress, trauma or tragedy is key to happiness. People who are able to maintain a positive attitude in the face of difficulty are generally happier.
- Personal Growth and Learning: The process of self-improvement and the acquisition of knowledge or skills can lead to greater happiness.
- Kindness and Altruism: Acts of kindness, whether small or large, boost happiness in the giver as well as the receiver. Volunteering or helping others can lead to increased feelings of well-being.
Happiness is not a constant state, but a series of moments that come and go…
Happiness is available - help yourself … Thich Nhat Hanh
Don't chase happiness, recognise it:
One day a fisherman was lying on a beautiful beach, with his fishing pole propped up in the sand and his solitary line cast out into the sparkling blue surf. He was enjoying the warmth of the afternoon sun and the prospect of catching a fish.
About that time, a businessman came walking down the beach trying to relieve some of the stress of his workday. He noticed the fisherman sitting on the beach and decided to find out why this fisherman was fishing instead of working harder to make a living for himself and his family. “You aren’t going to catch many fish that way,” said the businessman. “You should be working rather than lying on the beach!”
The fisherman looked up at the businessman, smiled and replied, “And what will my reward be?”
“Well, you can get bigger nets and catch more fish!” was the businessman’s answer.
“And then what will my reward be?” asked the fisherman, still smiling.
The businessman replied, “You will make money and you’ll be able to buy a boat, which will then result in larger catches of fish!”
“And then what will my reward be?” asked the fisherman again.
The businessman was beginning to get a little irritated with the fisherman’s questions. “You can buy a bigger boat, and hire some people to work for you!” he said.
“And then what will my reward be?” repeated the fisherman.
The businessman was getting angry. “Don’t you understand? You can build up a fleet of fishing boats, sail all over the world, and let all your employees catch fish for you!”
Once again the fisherman asked, “And then what will my reward be?”
The businessman was red with rage and shouted at the fisherman, “Don’t you understand that you can become so rich that you will never have to work for your living again! You can spend all the rest of your days sitting on this beach, looking at the sunset. You won’t have a care in the world!”
The fisherman, still smiling, looked up and said, “And what do you think I’m doing right now?”
Story: Heinrich Boll