The art of happiness

Positive psychology

Whatever it is, everyone defines happiness differently. Pixabay, jill111
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The individualized herding society

Modern-day people know the phenomenon of accelerated society only too well: expectation patterns that are to be used are waiting everywhere and many see themselves rushing from one to the next point on their daily task list. At such a speed with which life is to be denied, it is not surprising that quite a number of people lose sight of the personal meaning of their existence. There are also social developments - such as the loss of meaning of sincerity, modesty, sense of community and principledness - which are very disturbing. The fact is that the ability to exert power, to be flexible, and to preserve the variety of options that have become the definite maxims of late-modern society. Underpinned by the constant search for authenticity and experiences as well as by an apparatus of post-panoptic self-control techniques, man constantly strives to follow the "fashionable" ideas of a "good life", without, however, classifying his own reflections as relevant meaning-defining.

The formula for individual happiness

Especially in times of highly individualized, late modern society, happiness - as well as the understanding of beauty - lies entirely in the eyes of the beholder. However, this knowledge has to be supplemented, because in general a distinction has to be made between "active" and "passive" happiness. "Passive" happiness implies the conscious reception of what is, such as the admiration of a beautiful natural event. Rather, "active" happiness is a human-controllable happiness. The feeling of happiness can be considered as a kind of overcoming premium. Overcoming means being able to leave one's own "comfort zone" of whatever kind and to reach a goal or equalize the state between actual and target. Therefore, a person striving for happiness should, on the one hand, re-learn the principle of mindful life and slowness - ie not always be the head person - and, on the other hand, deal with personal "happiness makers" - beyond external expectations.

Resonance areas for those seeking happiness

A type of "passive" luck is the game of chance dar. Here, the random component of the prospective happiness is in the foreground. Having luck means, therefore, not actively being able to influence the outcome of the game, for example through the mind, but merely hoping to passively be weighed against the vagaries of chance. While Roman emperors were enthusiastic gamblers and in the Middle Ages gambling was always the expression of a noble lifestyles (lower classes were forbidden), nowadays this is legally accessible to the general public. Back in 1994, the first gambling software was developed for the digital world. Nowhere else is one's own luck easier and easier to test in blackjack, poker and sports betting than on the Internet. With so-called "social gambling" on social networks now accounting for one-fifth of the online gambling market, it becomes clear that while there have been repeated attempts to curb the human propensity to gamble, the overly humane tendency to challenge one's happiness to want will never disappear completely.

Regularly feeling lucky can be trained. But for this it is indispensable to consciously create situations that can be completed successfully and finally. This is because the "reward center" in the brain is activated only when the person has done a task targeted. The resulting neurotransmitter dopamine provides a sense of well-being. A predominantly passive or task-defying person therefore takes the opportunity to actively cultivate this sense of happiness. For example, gardening, your own home improvement project, the consistent pursuit of a sport or the assumption of a special responsibility in the job can make you happy. In general, it is advisable to simply pursue the things for which you actually "burn". Thus, each person has his own happiness compass, which he only has to learn to pay attention to. The fact that feedback, compliments and praise also albeit only short-term aus feelings of happiness also illustrates the relevance of harmonious, social relationships.

In the end, searching for happiness is all about achieving some kind of resonance. It is not only necessary to achieve the absence of any disturbance factors or to have a pronounced care for others and self-care. In this context, it is not intended to focus on the typical behavior of an adventure society fixed on flight from the world. Rather, it is about the perception of one's own needs in order to achieve resonance with oneself, with others and with the world itself. It's about finding, your own decelerating response to the modern, fast-moving society. After all, too much activity and stress can endanger the happiness of every person (→ burnout). display

The 6 pillars of well-being

Believing the American psychologist Carol Ryff so the pursuit of personal happiness by the obey the so-called "6 pillars of well-being" favor. These are therefore:

  • Active environmental design (social environment)
  • Experience Autonomy (Independence)
  • Finding a purpose in life (professional and private)
  • Personal growth (professional and private)
  • Self-acceptance (accept weakness)
  • Social relations (harmonious, positive and stable)

These 6 imperatives of wellbeing include the ability of a person to adapt to changing living conditions and problems. Whether a person is ultimately happy or not depends solely on how he responds to events in his life and what meaning he attaches to them. Thus, fortunately, it is not about whether a person has a light or a difficult life, but rather whether he is able to deal with difficult events and situations. So happiness does not depend on who a person is or what he has, but only on what he thinks.

Beware of the self-fulfilling prophecy

Since the happiness of a person depends on what he thinks, he should not think the wrong thing. Anyone who thinks he is a lucky guy will also experience more fortunate coincidences and vice versa. In addition, positive feelings can protect one's health, because the immune system of happy people better ward off inflammatory body processes. So the art of living is always to train your own perception for the positive and to gather snapshots of happiness. Make negative experiences positive, recognize opportunities and be more relaxed. Because whoever wants to be happy, ensures his own unhappiness.

(The article was written in collaboration with the external author Daniel Theiss., 25.04.2018 -)