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A Science-Tested Way to be Happy

A Science-Tested Way to be Happy

Surprise, surprise! Scientists have proof of how you can be happy.

And their advice on how to achieve happiness echoes the beautiful thought in these lines:

Happiness is like a butterfly which, when pursued is always beyond our grasp but if you will sit down quietly, may light upon you.”    -Nathaniel Hawthorn

The message here is, don’t chase happiness. Let it come to you spontaneously, of its own sweet will.

But how many of us allow ourselves to wait in a relaxed way for that moment of happiness? Almost all the time we do things with the expectation that they will make us happy. And when that does not happen, we feel let down and low in spirits.

Yes, this does sound like oft-heard-but-hard-to-follow advice. Now here is the surprising thing: scientists have solid reasoning to support what philosophers have always taught.

In May 2011, researchers at the University of Denver concluded that women who were overly focussed on achieving happiness had trouble actually achieving it. Yes, it could be because they set their happiness standards too high, or because they gave more importance to their own happiness rather than building good relationships with others around them.

Whatever the reason, there was one thing scientists were sure about: it is much more effective to focus on doing things that make you happy, rather than pursue that elusive ideal called happiness…

To this I would like to add my own advice: don’t always do things with an eye on the results. I have realized that broken expectations are among the greatest reasons for unhappiness. And then, why place the burden of expectation on others to make you happy? Do it because you like it, and want to. That should be enough.

Do you agree?

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Shubhra Krishan

Writer, editor and journalist Shubhra Krishan is the author of Essential Ayurveda: What it is and what it can do for you (New World Library, 2003), Radiant Body, Restful Mind: A Woman's book of comfort (New World Library, 2004), and The 9 to 5 Yogi: How to feel like a sage while working like a dog (Hay House India, 2011).


+ add your own
1:05AM PST on Jan 12, 2014

It's true. It's you that makes you happy. You just have to be in that frame of mind and not rely on another. Don't let others define how happiness is but to realize and fine it yourself. I guess its like.........hmm.... the feeling of Om

1:41AM PST on Jan 6, 2014

As the great philosopher Bobby McFerrin said, "Don't worry; be happy."

1:36AM PST on Jan 6, 2014

yayayayayay happyhappyhappy

1:28AM PST on Jan 6, 2014

yayayayayay happyhappyhappy

7:42PM PST on Jan 1, 2014

I find "attitude of gratitude" helps. I need to learn to lower my expectations!

3:16AM PST on Dec 26, 2013

Not really scientific. More common sense.

10:52AM PST on Dec 24, 2013

Thank you.

9:55AM PST on Dec 24, 2013


8:11AM PST on Dec 22, 2013

kindness always comes back multifold.
an ounce of compassion & consideration grows exponentially as it travels the grape vine..
remember to SMILE... a crooked line that makes everything straight,
so miles of smiles... makes the world go round.
remove the sour face, & replace it w/ a happy face all season long!!

2:28AM PST on Dec 21, 2013

Thank you :)

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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