While most people believe that being popular, and having influence, wealth and luxury make people happy, it is not so. In fact, research has shown that when people are asked what makes them happy, these factors are the bottom of the list of psychological needs.
A study was conducted as to what makes people happy and the following needs were unanimous:
- Autonomy or the feeling that the person has shown the activity himself
- Competence or the feeling that one is effective in their activities
- Relatedness or the feeling of being close to others
- Self esteem
Psychology has been trying to find answers to what makes people happy. A recent research has revealed that people may not actually know as much as they would like to about what makes them happy. Researchers are constantly looking for tips on what make people happy.
One research conducted by Hungarian psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihaly gives us insight into what makes people happy. Csikszentmihaly interviewed hundreds of people who were successful in different fields and found that they all experienced a similar feeling when describing the time they were most happy. Csikszentmihaly calls this feeling the flow. It describes the feeling where time seems to disappear and a person's actions just flow without any effort. The flow can be described as a state of bliss where the person becomes one with his surroundings.
In order to experience the flow, a person should be involved in a challenging situation and should have the skills to handle the situation. Too much challenge brings anxiety, while to little leads to boredom. So, the challenge has to be perfectly balanced.
So, how can a person be happy? According to psychologist Martin Seligam, a happy life is of three types, namely pleasant life, good life and meaningful life. A pleasant life is one where a person looks for pleasurable activities, feels pleasure in everything he does and has a large network of relationships. A good life is one where a person knows his interests and strengths and indulges in activities that optimize his interests and strengths. A meaningful life is one where a person derives happiness from helping others. According to Seligman, a person needs to have a blend of three types of lives to be most happy.
More Articles :