For many people, the primary purpose of life apart from health, family, and good work is to be happy. We have been looking for ways to achieve well-being in our lives for centuries. Is there a general method to become satisfied and to make our family and close friends feel good? Is it possible to keep this state and positive emotions for a long time? This year illustrated that people’s well-being is fragile, and it appears to be difficult to pursue contentment. Happiness is easy to reach, and there are simple methods that can suit anyone no matter their income, living conditions, family status, and other differences.
First of all, let us discuss what people think about their well-being and how they achieve enjoyment in life. Suppose we survey to discover what makes humans happy. In that case, the expected answers will include being healthy, having a family, working in a good position with a comfortable income, and possessing some property. Is that really what leads us to contentment? Some of the mentioned concepts provide joy; however, people stumble at correlations between happiness and material things. To be more specific, studies conducted by Push Doctor in the UK show that the amount of income does not have a significant impact on the level of well-being. 22% of people with more than £50.000 of earnings and 20% of people with less than £50.000 respond to their unhappiness (Push Doctor 8).
Unemployed people are less content, partly because they are in a stressful situation worrying about their future. Another example of misapprehension is marital status. According to the same study by Push Doctor, the difference between happy married and single people is not much relevant (9). Moreover, another study illustrates that having too many children affects contentment negatively (Jain et al. 10). Thus, we think the reports demonstrate that sometimes people’s views on happiness may not be relevant.
Therefore, the question remains what is well-being and how can one achieve it? Studies report a strong correlation between health status and happiness level. For example, more than 50% of happy respondents state that they exercise at least twice a week (Push Doctor 11). It is not a surprise because if one feels good physically, nothing hurts, and the body functions work well, leading to a positive mental state. While exercising, our brain produces endorphins, the main elements of satisfaction. It can be said the same, which helps us to consume necessary and valuable vitamins and minerals. Thus, to achieve contentment, one needs to do sports regularly, have a balanced diet, and perform various activities every day.
Another essential concept in the science of well-being is social interaction, including family, friends, co-workers, and even strangers. As we have already seen, marital status does not play a significant role in reaching happiness. However, having any relationships is crucial for people’s contentment. According to Keyes, integration in social activities and being part of a community bring personal satisfaction and lead to comfort around people (122). Social acceptance is crucial in modern society, and there are ways to build more bonds with individuals. For instance, gratitude visits and acts of kindness to your friends and strangers make a person feel better, which increases self-esteem. These activities will bring coherence to life and, therefore, humans will relate to their life as more sensible and meaningful (Keyes 124).
However, other methods are more straightforward to perform if one aims at reaching well-being in life. Firstly, generosity is essential for contentment. Being kind and helpful towards others makes an individual’s environment a safer and more comfortable space. According to Nelson et al., such activities as gratitude letters, assistance, and acts of kindness enhance enthusiastic emotions, which lead to positive thinking and behavior (256).
Secondly, performing various activities is significant if one wants to pursue happiness. Thus, one’s work will remain fresh and encouraging. It is not so challenging to bring some difference in life. For instance, sports can be done in different places; the exercises can vary weekly or monthly. Consequently, a person will not become tired or bored with these activities. Finally, savoring the things one likes to do is essential for well-being. People should choose the activities they would like to perform based on their personal preferences, goals, and interests. Thus, one can stay motivated and enthusiastic about the tasks.
To conclude, contentment is crucial in our life as it helps us develop, enjoy, and accomplish our goals. To become happy is not as difficult as it may seem at first sight, even in such terrible conditions related to lockdowns and the pandemic worldwide. There are simple methods that help feel more optimistic immediately. These activities involve sport and exercise, social interaction, an act of kindness and generosity, work and life balance, and finally, savoring one’s favorite hobbies or pastimes. Moreover, to keep positive emotions, one needs to bring some change regularly. All of these steps are necessary to bring contentment. Therefore, let us be in charge of our well-being and join me in reaching happiness by implementing the manageable actions in our life immediately.
Jain, Mansi, Sharma, Gagan Deep, & Mahendru, Mandeep. “Can I Sustain My Happiness? A Review, Critique and Research Agenda for Economics of Happiness.” Sustainability, vol. 11, 2019, pp. 1-36.
Keyes, Corey Lee M. “Social Well-Being.” Social Psychology Quarterly, vol. 61, no. 2, 1998, pp. 121-140.
Nelson, Katherine S., Kurtz, Jaime L., & Lyubomirsky, Sonja. “What Psychological Science Knows about Achieving Happiness.” Health, Happiness, and Well-Being: Better Living Through Psychological Science, edited by Steven Jay Lynn, William T. O’Donohue, & Scott O. Lilienfield, Sage Publications, Inc., 2015, pp. 250-271.
Push Doctor (2017). Happiness Survey 2017. Web.