What you need to know about happiness, not to be afraid of him?

What you need to know about happiness, not to be afraid of him?

The majority of Russians consider themselves lucky: it claimed 85% of the respondents. But to speak openly about the happiness is still pending. It seems that the "happy man" - a title that must be earned and to confirm the time. Earn a lot, but not as necessary to have a model family and a good job.

But studies show that happiness can not be reduced to "a better life". It looks like a bizarre picture that each looks different. And yet - is it possible to "measure" happiness? What people are saying about it representatives of different fields of science?

Neurobiology: neuron-balm

From the point of view of neuroscience emotion - no more than the interpretation of brain signals that it receives. When we catch yourself admiring glances, waiting for the order in a restaurant, the first time we see the face of your child, our nerve cells exchange signals through hormones, neurotransmitters. Dopamine, for example, is responsible for the anticipation of pleasure from eating. When love inspires us - it is the action of oxytocin. And when we are praised, we bathed in serotonin.

Emotions are so much because it provides survival and procreation. They are given to us from wild ancestors, which was more important to quickly navigate than speculate.

"Elephants do not need to" try "to remember the signs of areas where there is water, - says Loretta Breuning, author of" happiness hormone ". - Dopamine automatically creates in his brain neural pathway. The next time he would see something similar to the spring, will follow the impulses of neural chain and cause a tide of "happiness hormone".

The paradox is this: to gain a conscious happiness, we need to understand the language of the unconscious brain

But our life is more complicated than that of the elephant, so besides fast "unconscious" we have still "conscious" part. She is responsible for the plans, goals and behavior in difficult situations. The problem is that the two "accounts" of the brain may not always agree with each other. For example, consciously we want to look good and for that refuse high-calorie food and go to the gym. But as soon as we feel the hunger in us awakens mammal that does not understand our goals. He is interested in one thing: to get the nutrients and to stock them for future use. To resist temptation, we have to strain your will power and to feed itself promises a future happy life in the slender body.

"The paradox is this: to gain a conscious happiness, we need to understand the unconscious language of the brain - says Loretta Breuning. - And perhaps to deceive him. "

What you need to know about happiness, not to be afraid of him?

Economy: dancing on the treadmill

The brain of each of us is unique, and therefore happiness images at everyone. But that provides a happy life as a whole? For a long time economists believed that happiness is the maximum satisfaction of needs. It can be measured objectively - the money in the bank account, the quality of products and services.

Indeed, up to a certain point, we are happier when the rich. However, in 2010 laureates Daniel Kahneman the Nobel Prize in economics and Angus Deaton proved that after reaching an "optimal level" income growth happiness stops.

Moreover, the effect of "treadmill" - standard of living, has recently seemed to us an accomplishment in a week, month or year does not satisfy. You want something more, and this desire to successfully parasitize advertising. The pursuit of sensations becomes an end in itself, but the new model, gadgets and more expensive entertainment only give the opportunity to "stay in the saddle" for a while to calm anxiety.

Recently, this problem jointly tried to solve the Canadian, American and British economists. In 2011, they released an article "If the money does not make you happy, you may spend it properly." Their prescription boils down to discipline yourself to: 1. To pay for "impressions" rather than goods;

2. Consume pleasure "small portions", but often;

3. investing more not in the status thing, and that provides a stable, "good life" - medicine, education, living conditions.

Genes decide for us?

It seems that some of us from birth are more prone to happiness than others. The first evidence of this is almost twenty years ago discovered the psychologist David Lykken of the University of Minnesota. He was interested in twins, separated at birth.

According to his studies in identical twins, that is, those with a genetic set is identical, life satisfaction levels remained similar even if they grew up in different environments. In other words, each of us lives with a smile on his face, but in some it is wider.

Cultural: by the rules of life of

The experience of happiness is related to the state of society and cultural norms - people in different countries as happy as they "allow" mainstream setting. For example, China's personal well-being depends on the well-being of the team: to be happy alone ashamed, and the wealth and success are valued less than caring for others.

Social cohesion is important, not least for the happiness of its members than material well-being

In the US, on the contrary, happiness seems the result of his own human achievement and a happy person to be successful. During the Second World War in Japan, thousands of young people were happy to become suicide bombers and bring glory to the homeland, even though he knew that they would have to become killers themselves and die. Interestingly, the cohesion of society is important, not least for the happiness of its members than material well-being.

"Many Latin American countries are almost as happy as Scandinavian, although they are much poorer, - says the sociologist Edward Ponarin. - But they "warm" culture, where the high value of communication, religious people and tend to worry about the country's victory as their own. " But the collapse of norms and values ​​change can become a personal tragedy. This was the case in Russia in the early 1990s. "After the collapse of the Union level of happiness has fallen sharply - continues Eduard Ponarin. - Crumbled world system gone landmarks, material well-being decreased. As the situation is getting better, the level of happiness grew. Increased pride in the country. And now, although revenues declined, judging by the polls, the Russians are happy. "

What you need to know about happiness, not to be afraid of him?

Psychology: true formula of

And yet, in many ways our happiness depends on what we do with your life. American psychologists Sonia Lubomirski and Ken Sheldon summarized data of various sciences and concluded that only 10% of happiness falls on external circumstances - the place where we live, wealth, family, and education level.

Exactly half of the ability to be happy is dependent on given at birth factors - the structure of the brain, warehouse personality temperament. But for the remaining 40% of happiness depends on us - on what kind of people we communicate what activities we choose, how we live. What exactly can we do to be happier?

In the late 1990s, there was the whole direction of positive psychology, whose supporters have aimed to "tame" happiness. Or, at least, accurately calculate its components. In one of his last works of Martin Seligman, one of the founders of this direction, he proposed a formula, which he called PERMA the first letters of its constituent English words.

According to him, in everyone's life must be present positive emotions involved in any business, relationships with significant people important to him, the experience of the meaning and purpose of his existence: "Who am I? For what I live? "And personal achievement.

Anhedonia: without the right to happiness

Terry Bradshaw, one of the most successful football players, admitted that even after his major victories did not feel joy and pleasure. Inability to experience pleasure psychologists and psychiatrists called anhedonia. This condition usually occurs because of a failure in the development of the neurotransmitter dopamine, which is responsible for pleasurable sensations and thoughts. Anhedonia may be a consequence of psychiatric disorders such as depression, schizophrenia, post-traumatic stress disorder. To cope with it, necessary medicines, which release dopamine.

Philosophy: A decoy?

From the point of view of philosophy, which originated from the Greek Stoics, we do not have to pursue happiness, to eventually come to him. Moreover, the very desire to be happy, or "to have happiness" takes us to the side.

"All people want to live a happy life, but they are vague idea of ​​what is a happy life," - Seneca wrote more than two thousand years ago. He believed that man "goes the farther from happiness, the more he is interested in the pursuit of it: when the path is in the opposite direction, haste is the cause of an even greater distance from the destination."

The same approach was adopted and the Austrian psychotherapist Viktor Frankl passed through the concentration camp. He considered the pursuit of happiness less worthy goal than the search for meaning and transformation of the world. In the opinion of Frankl, following desires, we go the easy way - avoid what can harm us, regret forces and stop, if the purpose of threatening peace of mind.

"Happiness is like a butterfly, - he wrote. - The more you catch it, the more it slips away. But if you move your attention to other things, it will come and sit softly on your shoulder. "

Better than yesterday

You may have noticed this effect: the present seem more dull and drab in comparison with how we imagine the future. Such an innocent self-deception allows us to keep looking to the future, writes philosopher Jennifer Hecht in his book "The Myth of happiness." Dissatisfaction with the present and dreams of the future support our motivation to move forward. A fond memories of the past, convinces us that feeling that we are looking for, we are available, we are already experiencing. If we were satisfied with the status quo, it would completely undermine our will to act, and to achieve complete that whatsoever. "Those of our ancestors who were quite happy with everything, relatives quickly around the superior" - concludes the philosopher.

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