New Happiness Findings in this Issue of Real Conscious Living
- Are You Sabotaging Your Own Happiness?
- Does Social Media Rob You of Your Happiness? New Research
- Does Money Buy Happiness? It just might!
- How Does Body Image Cause Happiness?
Are You Sabotaging Your Own Happiness?
Stop waiting to reach all of your goals, make lots of money, be healthier or have more friends! The truth is in the small things that you do every day. Science tells us that it’s your daily habits from your morning ritual to your daily coffee break that will make or break your smile!
Habits structure our daily lives and define how we feel. So unhealthy habits such as fast-food drive through break or a gossip break will prompt a swing away from good feelings. It may feel good at the time, but very shortly, the good feelings will predictably fade. When your values and your goals are supported by your habits, you will simply be happier! Here are a few ways to create healthy habits that I shared with Kerrie Lee Brown at Canada’s Glow Magazine and many more ideas from the research to help you create happiness.
- Start Small and expect short-term results. Research from Stanford University’s Persuasive Technology Lab reports that by starting small and slowly to build motivation, without grand expectations, you will be more likely to succeed. So if you are just starting, you can get your thirty minutes of walking a day into three ten minute bouts, according to Health Canada.
- Stay Positive and calm by asking yourself what will make you happy, and deciding on the moment. Will each small choice lead you toward happiness? If you are struggling, do something to break the old habit: smile, take a deep breath, make a move toward your happy choice, change your activity for 10 minutes, go outside and appreciate the beauty of the outdoors.
- We know that exercise makes you happier and more creative by changing the brain, but the exercise works best when it takes you away from daily stress and is fun, like an exercise class with friends. Remember how much fun you had with even unplanned physical activity when you were a kid, says John Stanton, CEO of The Running Room.
Does Social Media Rob You of Your Happiness? New Research
- According to a January 2016 issue of Depression and Anxiety, researchers at the University of Pittsburgh found that depression is more common with the highest users of social media, among young adults aged 19-32. Heavy users of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and others were more likely to be depressed compared with those who used social media the least.
- Another study from the University of Pennsylvania and Brigham Young University found that “technoference,” everyday intrusions and interruptions from technology, have an effect on relationships. Women in relationships reported that technoference from phones, computers and TV caused conflict in the relationship, lower relationship satisfaction, and more depressive symptoms. By allowing technology to interfere with conversations or time spent with a partner, even briefly or unintentionally, an implicit message about what they value most may lead to conflict and negative outcomes.
Does Money Buy Happiness? It just might!
A study at Cambridge University in collaboration with a United Kingdom bank looked at surveys on life satisfaction in comparison with their bank transactions. They found that people spent more money on things that match who they are; for example extroverts spend more on nights out on the town and report higher satisfaction. When you buy products that most closely match your personality, you may feel more life satisfaction, according to the study reported in Psychological Science this spring.
How Does Body Image Cause Happiness?
42% of first to third grade girls want to be thinner, 81% of ten year olds are afraid of being fat, and 46% of nine to eleven year olds are sometimes or often on diets. Their families who are on diets 82% of the time, according to the National Eating Disorders website as reported by Connie Schultz from Creators Syndicate. In America, elementary school girls who read magazines reported that the pictures influence their body image, causing them to want to lose weight.
However, as reported in Get Reel: Produce Your Own Life, black women show less internalization of media ideals of body image. They showed less “wishful identification” with a favorite media personality, according to a University of Michigan study. Self-acceptance and a realistic approach to setting goals, as noted in the Glow Magazine article may be the answer to too much exposure to unrealistic ideals. Self-acceptance is a powerful tool that leads to happiness!