Six skills to increase happiness
These abilities are linked to emotional balance for all agesBy Brandpoint
How would you describe happiness? You may have trouble putting it into words, but you know you want it for yourself and your loved ones. One thing that’s harder than describing it for many people is knowing how to achieve it.
Researchers studying social emotional well-being define happiness as a balance: the combination of how frequent and robust your positive emotional experiences are, how gracefully you recover from difficult experiences, and how meaningful and worthwhile you feel your life is overall.
“Happiness is the ability to consistently recognize that life is good, even if it’s difficult,” said Dr. Emiliana Simon-Thomas, Ph.D., science director of the Greater Good Science Center at the University of California Berkeley. “It’s being able to identify and enjoy the positive times but also have resiliency to bounce back from the hard times.”
It’s important for everyone, but particularly youth. Research shows two out of three American teens are stressed and many don’t know how to cope. When school is in session, teens are the most stressed group in the country. The inability to reduce and cope with stress and anxiety can negatively impact different facets of a teen’s life, including their health, friendships, relationships with parents and academic performance.
To help further the idea that happiness skills can be learned, Simon-Thomas identified six Sustainable Happiness Skills that provide the foundation for an initiative called Life’s Good: Experience Happiness. The platform aims to reach, teach and increase sustainable happiness. It focuses on youth, but anyone can benefit from reviewing and practicing these skills. You can learn more about the initiative at lgexperiencehappiness.com. The six skills are:
Being aware of your thoughts and feelings in the present moment, without judging those thoughts or feelings as admirable, shameful or anything in between.
Building and sustaining relationships with significant others, friendships and social engagement with peers, which is the most reliable, enduring predictor of happiness in life.
Harnessing the ability to imagine a fruitful outcome and maintain a readiness to pursue and experience the opportunity in any circumstance.
Understanding your ability to make a difference in the world, at work, school or for a team, leads to a refined sense of purpose and increases your sense of happiness.
Helping and giving to others can increase one’s own happiness. According to a study overseen by Harvard University, people who donated time or money were 42 percent more likely to be happy when compared to those who didn’t.
The simple act of appreciating and thanking others for the goodness they contribute to your life helps foster happiness.
Healthier minds, bodies and homes