We all know how happiness feels, but most of us don’t realize what it really means to be happy. In this episode of ITK: Things You Should Know, our host Eli Rallo (@eli.rallo) explores the science of happiness to reveal helpful facts, tips and exercises you can use that will enable you to unlock a new level of happiness in your life and your relationships.
“Happiness isn’t a commodity – it’s a skill,” Eli says. “Cultivating happiness in your daily life can have some surprising benefits beyond just feeling better.”
Here are the five things you should know about the science of happiness
Happiness Fact 1: Happiness increases resilience
“Happiness is like an armor you wear that protects you both physically and mentally,” Eli explains. “Studies show that happier people are healthier, but they’re also more able to weather the ups and downs of life.”
Happiness Fact 2: Happiness is a skill
Eli explains that you can and should learn for yourself. “Research has suggested that around 40% of happiness comes from the choices we make in our everyday lives.
Happiness Fact 3: Happiness can predict your health
“One of the best things we can do to protect and foster our happiness is to protect and foster our healthy relationships,” Eli says. “According to the world’s longest examination of happiness, an eight-decade Harvard study, close relationships are what keep people happy throughout their lives and help delay mental and physical decline.”
Happiness Fact 4: Healthy relationships are key
Eli says that according to research, maintaining healthy relationships outweighs social class, IQ and even cholesterol levels. She adds, “It’s all about the quality of these relationships and not the quantity of them.”
Happiness Fact 5: You can cultivate happiness
“Our outlook on life has a strong influence on our mood,” Eli says. “And the good news is there are things you can do to help create a fertile field for happiness.”
This includes a journaling exercise of writing down three positive things that happened to you each day and detailing how they made you feel.
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