Are you feeling especially happy today? If you are following the Action for Happiness movement, like some of our team at SSRN does, we can probably guess why. March 20th marked the International Day of Happiness. People across the globe that day were collectively challenged to focus on what made them happy. Were you one of those people?
Maybe you’re practicing Mindful March along with our staff and maybe not. My question to our collective blog readers and researchers has much less to do with celebrating on March 20th (which I personally did with a loaf of homemade bread) and much more to do with the question of what makes you happy. Have you actively asked yourself what makes you happy recently?
There is plenty of research discussing the science behind happiness. It affects us so deeply that even as a researcher you might not consider the real reasons behind you feelings. Feelings come and go so fleetingly and are easily influenced. For instance, I spent a full evening last week feeling irrationally sad because of the song I listened to in the car on the way home! Then there is the general question, the one we don’t ask ourselves often enough in a general sense “Am I happy?”
I ask you now, if you were to step back to March 20th, 2019 what would be the thing you focused on that day? What area of your life does that thing, or things, fall into? Is it part of your personal life or professional life? Maybe it is a hobby or a person you are especially grateful for.
In the past, psychologists have largely focused on how people deal with negative feelings. As we understand more about what we can do to make us feel happier overall we open a gateway to feeling more fulfilled. It may not be as simple in practice as it sounds, but it offers a place to start.
As we reach the end of Mindful March we’re very interested to hear from the researchers and scientists in our community. How do you understand the things that make you happy in your life? Do you actively influence your own feelings of happiness? Finally, how often do you focus on those things which do make you happy?
Now the super-grand question of them all- drumroll please- what aspects of researching, and the research process, make you happiest?
Let us know in the comments! And if SSRN makes you happy, please let us know by leaving a review on your user homepage!