Know how to manage happiness: practical guide
A few days ago I had a very interesting conversation with a colleague and great friend, about life and how to deal with it properly.
His experience, like mine, in talking with patients and also with acquaintances and friends, is summarized in that generally life is perceived as something complicated and happiness as something ethereal , immaterial and that constantly escapes. That it is a perishable state, temporarily short, almost unattainable, that it is outside somewhere, that it does not depend on oneself, that it can not be controlled ...
However, can one be happy even when immersed in painful situations? Does happiness depend exclusively on what one has achieved, or that everything around us is perfect and wonderful? Does not happiness depend on how we manage it?
- Related article: "The 10 keys to be happy, according to science"
What is happiness really?
Happiness is usually described as a state of great spiritual and physical satisfaction with no inconvenience or stumbling. It is a state that would be achieved when we achieve our objectives.
However, there are people who, still having your basic needs covered (having work, resources, housing, family and friends, etc.) are not happy ... Why is this happening?
Here we should mention what in social psychology is called locus of control (LC). It is about the belief (and its assumption) according to which the events that happen to us depend exclusively on external forces that we do not control (External LC) or our own effort (Internal LC).
It is clear that we do not always show a single LC at all times , since it is a continuum by which we move according to events, but we do set a trend.
Know how to manage happiness
Thus, those with an internal LC will be more likely to take responsibility for their own actions, will be less influenced by the opinions of others, will tend to perceive themselves as effective and confident in their obligations, will tend to strive in what they do , and they will report being happier and more independent.
By cons, those with an external LC, they hold external forces accountable to them everything that happens to them They are accustomed to attribute to luck or chance any success or failure they obtain, they do not think they can change their situation through their own efforts, often feeling hopeless or helpless in the face of difficult situations; therefore they are more likely to experience what is known as "learned hopelessness".
The way in which we learn to manage happiness through the locus of control , therefore, greatly influences what we feel.
What does it mean to be happy?
In our experience (my own and also my colleague's) happiness lies within us , it is an internal state of peace and well-being. We must differentiate it from joy and satisfaction, since these are transient feelings.
Aristotle already mentioned that "happiness depends on ourselves". For his part, Lao Tse understood that "happiness lies in the ability to live and enjoy the present moment, because if you were hanging on the past or constantly projecting the future, anxiety and stress would develop".
When we manage to quiet our mind, manage and fully enjoy our present and who we are, we can feel ourselves immersed in an ocean of peace and well-being , which leads us to experience that desired happiness. Understanding it in this way, it becomes an almost constant state, not so fickle, that lasts even in painful or complicated moments of our lives.
Be happy does not mean that at a certain moment you can not cry for a loss, or you can be stressed by a certain event, on the contrary, that state will allow us to have more resources and strengths to cope with those events, since our way of thinking will not depend on the external, it will be foreign to it, being able to adapt to each circumstance, allowing us to see the exit of the tunnel at all times, granting that light that guides and elevates us.