Can Getting Rid of Things Lead to Happiness? Science Says Yes

A lot of people would argue that money, power, and fame are the crucial attributes to one’s happiness but well… think again. Do you think people who are rich and influential feel uplifted all the time? Nah. Do they feel joyous and cheerful every day, every minute? Nope. Not at all.

Happiness is neither money nor influence. Happiness in itself can be explained as an appreciation of your current situation. Bad news – you’ve got to work on your happiness day after day to feel good. Good news – everyone can do it despite their age, education, experience, the level of wealth or circumstances.

Laughing Man

Take Less, Give More

Neurologists suggest that our brains are wired to derive pleasure from giving: numerous studies have shown that giving, rather than taking, makes us far happier. The paradox of generosity suggests that regardless of income, individuals who spend both time and money on others are significantly happier than the ones who spend on themselves.

We, humans, are social species – we take pleasure in both verbal and non-verbal contact with other people. We appreciate when others notice us, talk to us and praise us, so the psychology behind happiness in giving can be explained quite easily: giving gifts and doing pro-bono work produces endorphins (since you see another person happy because of your effort), and endorphins make us happy in return. Voilà!

Live, Laugh, Love

Have you ever looked at an uncontrollably laughing person? I bet he looked happy, free and careless. Perhaps even had healthy red cheeks and you found yourself not being able to resist giggling for no reason at all. The human brain is wired to respond positively to smiles and laughter: the wiring is so strong that we, in most cases, cannot stay non-responsive and usually join in with the great enthusiasm. It’s highly infectious.

Yet another infectious thing is appreciation. If you’ve ever traveled to India or have seen footage of people living in slums you’ll get where I’m heading to: people who seem to have very little in their lives seem to be happy and satisfied. Even more than that, if you happen to be around a slum, you’ll realize you get “infected” with happiness and appreciation, too!  People living in slums are very verbal about their small successes and tend to appreciate and share those small bursts of happiness at all times, with everyone. They praise, compliment, laugh and sing. Actually, slum-dwellers are said to be happier than an average British child. How can they shine with happiness when there seems to be no reason at all? The reason behind is experiencing and appreciating joy in small, every day things: family, kids, neighbors or a fulfilling meal.

If you laugh your lungs out and appreciate yourself & people around you, you’re kind of “doomed for happiness.”

Dance in the Rain

Being more spontaneous, living in a moment and saying “yes” more often could be one of the elements that add to our happiness. Adventure does not necessarily translate into traveling around the world; it could be just waking up at 5 am and watching a sunrise from the rooftop of your house with a cup of hot, fragrant tea. Or perhaps going on a road trip to a nearby town if you feel like.

Happiness is highly infectious – happy people tend to attract other happy people, success, and popularity without even trying. Happy people also have a tendency to infect other people with smiles, positivity, and appreciation. And that’s probably the only “infection” that I’d highly recommend for everyone to get infected with.

Viktorija Gorcakovaite

Hey! Welcome to my lifestyle blog. I write about healthy vegan lifestyle, inspiration, happiness, food and traveling. I'm dedicated and passionate about living a happy, healthy and fulfilling life - and I document my way in finding how to be the happiest and healthiest I can be.

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