Research shows the happiest people in our society are young children and the elderly.
Dr. Amit Sood at the Mayo Clinic works in the field of positive psychology. His research shows that up to 50% of our happiness depends on our conscious choices that, with time, become enduring habits. Most material gains, on the other hand, provide happiness only for a short time because of our tendency to quickly discount the good and rearrange our expectations. The afterglow of " happiness" from purchasing a shiny new car or those cool new shoes is fleeting. We end up looking for another happiness fix.
Dr. Sood's research also found that the happiest people in our society are the young children and the elderly. Children's happiness centers on feeling loved, having pleasant immersive experiences, and not spending time overthinking--aka getting caught up in negative ruminations. Think about a familiar two or three-year old you know... It's all about the process and not the product. The joy is in the doing! Just like the kiddo pictured here. Young children are immersed in the experience without wondering how it will turn out or what others will think about their "work."
At the other end of the age continuum, elderly gain wisdom as they age. A mature perspective generally includes lower expectations and concern about other peoples' judgements, as well as a focus on savoring experiences and relationships. They recapture a sense of that younger child who immersed themselves in the experience --though maybe without making such a mess..
So, choose happiness today. Make it an enduring habit. Reconnect with your inner toddler. Find something you enjoy doing and really do it! Be present. Enjoy the "process" without worrying how it will turn out or what others with say or think. Have more immersive and joyful experiences. What will that be for you? Joyful movement? Time with a loved one? An artistic endeavor (even finger painting?) Go get your happy on!
Thanks for visiting the Uplift Blog! I'm an educator, Pilates enthusiast (NCPT), reflective practitioner and Ironman triathlete. I love helping others discover their joy and confidence as movers. I support others in making lifestyle changes to improve health and well-being. As a life-long educator, I am especially committed to joining together with teachers to uplift each other.