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What makes your life happy?

What is a happy life made of?
  • Is happiness linked to maximize pleasure while minimizing displeasure (pleasant life - Aristippos, Epiker)?
  • Or can happiness only be reached through a virtuous way of life (meaningful life - Aristoteles)?
  • What about the impact of maximizing one's own potential/character strength which is the way the positive psychology is looking at it? 
Studies have shown that a combination of all three styles is the best mix for a fulfilled life: Focussing on pleasure, meaningfulness and maximizing character strength. 
Umm, sounds good, though a bit vague.
What is a more concrete recipe then? According to an article in Psychology Today written by Marianna Pogosyan Ph.D. about the recipe of a happy life, it's the formula: A happy life = positive emotions + connection - stress.
  • Emotions: According to the research of psychologist Dacher Keltner the positive emotions with the highest value for a happy life are compassion, gratitude and awe. 
  • When it comes to connection the most important points that are mentioned are: cooperate, touch and forgive. 
  • Reducing stress is linked with mindfulness, narrative and play. 

These ingredients seem to be quite accessible for the many. Therefore "Is it possible, then, that most of us are leading happy and meaningful lives without being aware of it?" Psychology Today asks.

Good question and looking at my own life I fully agree that I have all ingredients in place. My life is filled with positive emotions, as well as connection in its wide range, I consciously decided to reduce stress in my professional life.

AND I am aware of it. 

 

That's where mindfulness appears on the stage: "Mindfulness is a state of active, open attention to the present." (Psychology Today). Being grateful for what I have, consciously doing whatever I do, recognizing, acknowledging, being here, NOW.

 

Whether if it's meditation, yoga, thoughts-controlling, breathing, whatever method you use to be mindful, it's maybe not the guarantee for a happy life, but definitely it's a very important step.  

 

"Mindfulness is a state of active, open attention to the present."