You can find a lot of simple ways to brighten up your day and secure a good mood, but if you crave for happiness, it’s another proposition. Compared to joy and pleasure, happiness is elusive, and beliefs going around about it turn out to be myths more often than not. Therefore, you may as well know what will never help you achieve happiness because it’s nothing but a misconception. Here’s the list of the most common myths about happiness.
1. Happiness is genetic
While there are people who are predisposed to feel happy more often by their genes, that doesn’t mean that much. Happiness can be taught – and learnt – just like anything else, and you can make a sort of a habit of being happy!
2. Happiness is a successful career
No matter how high you climb up the career ladder, it won’t boost your happiness a single notch. Nevertheless, it works the other way round: if you were able to heighten your level of happiness, your career could take a successful turn. It often transpires that happiness generates success.
3. Happiness is brought on by external circumstances
The majority of us are dead sure that our state of happiness is in strict dependence on our circumstances in career, relationship or social status, and if we consider ourselves to be in a low score on these, we cannot be happy. Experts say no, only about 10% of our happiness is brought on from outside, but most of it is our perception of what is going on. And you can always change that!
4. You can’t buy your way to happiness
It actually depends on how you spend your money! If you tend to buy experience and not material things – for instance, go on a journey instead of acquiring clothes – you can find you have gotten some happiness along the way. Also social money spending is associated with feeling happy, when you fork out to buy presents for your parents, donate to a cause you support or make your friends happy. So, when you want to splurge, be sure to invest in feeling fine!
5. Only naïve people can be happy
While there are people endowed with irrational optimism, it isn’t to be considered as a true state of happiness. On the contrary, a happily-working brain is high on intelligence, creativity and ability to solve problems.
6. Reaching your goals makes you happy
We all have goals which we are striving for, like losing extra pounds, buying a house, or building a satisfying relationship, and we believe that as soon as we reach them we will be happy. Actually it works for a short time only, for when your brain realizes you have achieved your goal, it begins to reach out for a new one. So just work in the most promising direction without assuming to necessarily find happiness there.
7. Happiness and performance are not connected
Many people believe your state of mind doesn’t affect your everyday activities in any way. Research shows the exact opposite: a positive attitude makes your brain function better and excel in your profession. Also, with a happy state of mind you’re likely to get over your failure or loss in a shorter time.
8. Negativity from others is contagious
This one is certainly true, but it isn’t only the negativity you feel from losers you know that can affect you: your positivity can be as contagious, and you can bolster people who are down up with your attitude. The strength lies with the person and not his frame of mind. So you will not suffer if you don’t coldshoulder your morose friends but try to respond in an optimistic manner.
9. Stress kills happiness
Once again, the most important way is how you perceive stress. If you are happy and positive, stress can also acquire a positive effect. Research reveals that stress can improve cognitive processes, make memory work better and even enhance social relations. You can also turn it into a habit by setting your mind to concentrate on the moments when stress didn’t hinder your coming out on top. Remember it often and keep it in mind next time you’re stressed so you can employ stress in your favor.
10. Exercising doesn’t make you happy for long
A proper workout leaves you bucked up, although this sensation can wear off later. Yet exercising also produces a more lasting influence. Studies show that half an hour of cardio done regularly during half a year is as good as taking an antidepressant, but relapse rate is much lower. Your physical activity has a sway with your mind, undoubtedly!
11. You can’t feel negative if you’re happy
Happiness doesn’t mean you are walking about starry-eyed. Reality can be grimmer than that, and denying the seamy side of life can end up in being stressed out. Instead of disguising bad emotions with your happy state, acknowledge the reasons for your dissatisfaction and think of the ways to eliminate the unwelcome influence.
12. Happiness is only in your mind
The frequent advice in bad times is to buoy up and snap out of it and keep yourself happy. You may have found out by experience it isn’t as easy as it sounds. The surest way to shift your mindset is to change the way you behave and your brain is liable to respond.