In Pursuit of Happiness. What does it mean to BE HAPPY?Aug 03, 2022
What does it mean to be happy? What things make us happy? Why should we care? And, why should we care if our friends are happy? We talk about all this and more on this episode of The Digital Dreamer.
Happiness is Contagious
Did you know that happiness is contagious? Your happiness is affected by the happiness of - not just your friends, but also the happiness of your friends' friends. You can read more about it in this study. Similar to Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, the happiness of our friends affects us for three degrees of separation. (Your friends, friends of friends, and your friends' friends' friends. Woah.)
Connection and friendships make our lives better, getting us to the gym or out on hikes. Friends give us someone to lean on in tough times, someone to laugh with, someone to share our dreams with... and all this connection and community helps us live longer.
Quality and quantity of friendships are both important, but quality matters most.
The F Words
Other areas that affect happiness happen to (mostly) start with the letter F. What you'll find on this list varies, but generally the things that contribute to happiness are:
- Friends / Family
- Fitness/Food (nourishment)
- Faith / Spirituality
- Philanthropy (giving back)
We can elevate our happiness by making sure we cover most of these categories frequently (Whatever that means to you!)
Celebrate the Big and Little Things
You can't take it with you, so why are you saving the nice dishes, the fancy dress, and the good wine for a special occasion? Take time out to notice - and celebrate - the things that bring you joy.
You will invite more joy into your life simply by being on the lookout for things that make you happy. When our co-founder (Kim) had breast cancer, she was surrounded by friends who helped her continue doing the things she loved (walking and running while catching up with friends). Someone told her to take a picture of something each day that brought her joy. To her surprise, as she looked at the photos months after completing chemo, there really was something good in every single day -- even throughout one of the hardest times of her life.
Keep your eyes open. And, find non-traditional things to celebrate, like a friend's promotion, or her new apartment, or the first time she navigates the subway all on her own. Finding reasons to celebrate equals more reasons to laugh, smile, and connect with friends.
And celebrations don't need to involve food, alcohol, or lots of money. Be creative!
Positive Coping Strategies
And, of course, positive coping strategies will help us find more happiness because when we flex our mental muscle and use all the tools we have to manage stress, disappointment, grief, external pressure, and other things that bring us down, we are taking control of the situation to the best of our ability. This might look like:
- Mindfulness practices
- Positive self talk
- Talking to a friend
- Seeing a therapist
- Reframing the situation
Get the Full Scoop
Abby and Kim discuss happiness on this episode of The Digital Dreamer Podcast. Hear their full list of ways to be happier anywhere you listen to podcasts or via the player in this article. Follow us on social media (@TheDigitalDreamerPodcast on Instagram and @IrisDigitalMediaGroup on all platforms) and let us know what makes YOU happy!
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