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Is there a recipe for happiness? Eduard Punset and Rojas Marcos respond

Is there a recipe for happiness? Eduard Punset and Rojas Marcos respond

April 3, 2024

Eduard Punset and Luis Rojas Marcos have spent years researching the elements that give meaning to happiness. A few months ago, the newspaper "El Mundo" presented a compilation of interviews to different professionals who spoke about their "recipes of happiness" and among which the reflections of these two authors stood out.

This week, the Mensalus Psychological and Psychological Assistance Institute talks to us about the recipes of Eduard Punset and Luis Rojas Marcos with the objective of extracting practical guidelines for the entire public.

  • Related article: "The 5 types of happiness, and how to achieve this state"

What is the recipe for happiness according to these authors

If you want to be happy, according to Eduard Punset:

  • Do not look back.
  • Discover what your element is and control it.
  • Learn to share the joy and pain of others.
  • Assume that you are in the tiniest place in the universe. One day humanity will want to explore everything.
  • The fifth key has yet to be discovered.

According to Luis Rojas Marcos, if you want to be happy:

  • Analyze where you are; how you rate your satisfaction with life.
  • Think about what makes you feel good.
  • Plan your life so that you can do more.

Be happy: a chimera?

"Satisfaction with life" is a term that Rojas Marcos habitually uses to describe happiness. What meaning can we draw from it?

Talking about satisfaction with life to refer to happiness is a great success. According to this psychiatrist, satisfaction is part of our instinct for conservation. Unconsciously, memory helps us to relativize because we are programmed to feel good and remember the good.

This primitive system focuses especially on what it does to us personally. In addition, it is very comforting to know that we can train through the exercise of positive thinking and recognition of achievements, skills and personal resources among others. The satisfaction with life, in part, depends on us and our attitude. It is in our power to enhance those elements that make it possible.

How to do it will be another objective. Now, to position ourselves in action instead of contemplation, without a doubt, from the beginning it offers us the reins of our own life and, with them, the privilege of feeling and enjoying it.

How can we put into practice the recipes of the two authors?

In both recipes are summarized useful headlines for everyone and extrapolated to any context, hence they become "lemmas" of life rather than specific indications on what to do to achieve happiness. So, these recipes can guide us to create our own recipe because, hardly, there will be a "magic recipe" that gives us the key to happiness.

To be more precise, if we take Eduard Punset's recipe as an example, we see that the first point is "do not look back". This phrase can be translated as "focus on the here and now, do not get hooked on messages from the past that move away from your current reality".

Looking back is helpful when we extract meaning and learning that offers useful information in the present. When the look into the past becomes an emotional burden, it is then that the wings of our freedom and happiness are cut off. An example of constructive reflection on the past would be the following:

  • How many times do I look back and blame myself with a "I should have done ..."? (Being aware of this helps us to set limits to repetitive thoughts)
  • What can I do now that, in the past, I did not do?
  • What do I need to make this possible? What personal resources can help me?

These questions exemplify how we can focus on the needs of the present instead of generating ruminative thoughts about the past.

On the other hand, the presented recipes highlight the responsibility of the individual as the engine of change. Responsibility is a "star ingredient" that takes shape when we respond: "what can I do?" (That is when the recipe becomes a practical guideline).

So, it's all about attitude?

The "everything" is hardly true. Now, the attitude yes that will condition the vision that we have of the world that surrounds us. For Rojas Marcos, talking about exact percentages is somewhat risky but, leaving aside the data, we can affirm that our ability to be happy depends, to a large extent, on our attitude towards life. The vision we have of ourselves and of others will determine the quality of our relationships. Likewise, the quality of our relationships will condition our "degree" of happiness.

There are many personal skills that play a role in this regard. Specifically, the capacity for emotional expression is a capacity that strengthens ties and allows established communication to enjoy a deeper component.

And what impact has emotional expression had on happiness throughout history?

Happiness is related to the ability to give and receive and, as we said, emotional expression connects people to a deeper level.

In this case, Eduard Punset points out the importance that the expression of feelings has had on emotional well-being and happiness, something that today occupies an important place in education (the famous Emotional Intelligence) but that, long ago, it was considered a "hindrance" and even a limitation of one's own strengths ("crying is weak" or "expressing emotions is useless").

Thus, happiness is linked to this capacity for emotional expression, a capacity that allows the person to put their names and surnames to their feelings, share them and, thanks to that, create bonds. Eduard Punset also relates emotional expression and new technologies. This scientist presents the technological advances of the 21st century as a facilitating tool for human relations at a new level.

Having said that, how can we understand this new tool?

Undoubtedly, technology has opened a new communicative window. Perhaps the smartest thing is to know how to use the different channels that are within our reach according to the time and context in which we find ourselves, so that our needs are covered and we find a personal and collective balance.

In short, happiness is that state of satisfaction in which, actively, we participate in the present taking learning from the past and directing our gaze towards the future, living each of the experiences that the relationship with ourselves and with others. Finding an exact recipe is complicated, but today we have seen some common points that, adapted to who we are, position us in an active role to be happy.

Felicidad: la autoayuda no tiene nada que ver con esto — La Noche del Conocimiento (April 2024).

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