The Science of Happiness
February 1, 2016
Ask anyone to list what they value most in life and chances are that happiness ranks near the top. Merriam-Webster defines happiness as, “a state of well-being and contentment; a pleasurable or satisfying experience.”
Happiness is a broad set of emotions that are defined by an individual’s unique perspective. Whereas one may find happiness running a marathon or jumping out of a plane, others may find that curling up with a good book, hearing the laughter of a loved one, or enjoying a fantastic meal evokes just as much joy.
Go to any bookstore’s self-help section and you can see that finding the secret to happiness is big business these days. Especially in the fast-paced world we live in, where the stresses and harsh realities of daily life can become overwhelming. Sometimes it seems that finding and staying happy can be a struggle, and determining that daily life balance may take practice.
Of course, we all have searched for ways to be more satisfied at some time or another, but does happiness help you live longer? Google that question and you’ll find recent articles claiming that it may not. However, after learning more about these studies it seems that while momentary, pleasure-oriented happiness may not improve health and lengthen lives, leading a more fulfilling and meaningful life does actually contribute to our longevity.
Research has found that that there are several factors that contribute to a happy life. Namely, having an altruistic attitude, employing a variety of stress-management strategies rather than worrying constantly, getting a good amount of sleep, smiling often, and having meaningful relationships, to name a few. Nurturing your own happiness, surrounding yourself with people who value your social and emotional well-being, and finding little things that bring you joy are all ways to foster joy in your life each and every day.
We have all heard the sayings ‘don’t worry, be happy’, ‘don’t sweat the small stuff’, and ‘if you want to be happy, be’. When it comes to thinking about the journey that is life, it is worthwhile to take these truths to heart. After all, what can be more blissful than to discover that the secret to your own happiness has been with you all along?
Looking for some sources of happiness in your life? The Merion offers opportunities to stay active and healthy, exquisite dining options and a multitude of exciting activities and rich cultural events…The Merion is proof that happiness is simply a state of being.