10 paradoxes of happiness

Yesterday was the international day of happiness. Being happy is one of the critical motivations for the health of the people I work with (+healing, prevention, energy, beauty, and active longevity). Happiness is the main category of ancient ethics and the right to happiness as a human right is enshrined even in documents.

1. Happiness is not a result, but a process. Happiness is like driving a car, you can’t get behind the wheel and relax; you need to carefully monitor the road, avoid obstacles, be attentive every second, and constantly adjust your route. It is worth distracting yourself — and you are unhappy))). Therefore, it is essential not to lose either vigilance or happiness.

2. Happiness is a secondary value, that is, the pursuit of happiness will make you unhappy (as well as money, beauty, and power). Do your job well — you will get secondary value and authority, do helpful things — earn money, take care of your physical and mental health — and be beautiful. Therefore, you need to strive for virtues (wisdom, courage, justice, moderation) and you will become happy.

3. The more you strive fur happiness and attach importance to it, the more unhappy you are. Therefore, it is vital to live, work, and be unhappy — and this is the way to happiness. And think less about personal happiness, and more about how to make others happy — paradoxically, this will make you happier.

4. You misjudge what makes you happy. Surprisingly, we are terrible at predicting what will make us happy (affective forecasting), fantasizing about moving, the amount earned, or buying. What we want most often is different from what will make us happier. For example, a shorter commute time will make you as happy as a noticeable salary increase. Therefore, carefully study and write down what makes you happy.

5. Happiness will come by itself. That’s not so. Even when we know what makes us happy, we find it challenging and put it off. That is why it is so important to plan your happiness, to put it in your diary. Happiness is only in activity, not passivity. Yes, it can be not easy to start a business, but at the end of, it you will be happier.

6. Will some event make me happier? No. It seems that something is about to come, and we will definitely heal ourselves and will be happy foreverer, or that some event will overshadow our whole life foreverer. That’s not so. We have a hedonistic adaptation — people tend to be at a certain level of happiness (set point), so after a good and bad level of happiness, it returns to the basic set point of happiness. The basic level of happiness is 50% dependent on permanent components (character and genetics), 10% on — external events, and 40% on — daily activity.

7. It is not events that make you happy, but a change in character and perception. Regular meditation changes our brain and makes it happy. You can optimize your character by increasing openness to new experiences, maintaining an internal locus of control and , reducing neuroticism. It is helpful to develop aesthetic taste and becomes a gourmet in everyday things. It is beneficial to prolong the memory of pleasures.

8. A healthy lifestyle is not a guarantee, but a condition of happiness. Physical inactivity, overweight, insulin resistance, hypogonadism, anemia, hypothyroidism, lack of sleep, depression, and other diseases steal our happiness. It is crucial to track and treat them in time. An unhealthy physical and social environment can also make you unhappy (the principle of cucumber in brine).

9. Happiness is not inside, but outside — a good strong relationship with family, friends and colleagues is one of the most important factors of happiness. But at the same time, the opposite is also true — happiness is inside, not outside. The happiness of your life depends on the quality of your thoughts. It is helpful to develop the skill of asymmetric perception: we increase sensitivity to the good and reduce it to the bad.

10. Happiness is non-extreme, but a golden mean, a balance between addiction and a painful desire for endless self–stimulation on the one hand and burnout, loss of the ability to enjoy or even disgust with what you used to love and what used to please you.