“Don’t rely on someone else for your happiness and self-worth. Only you can be responsible for that. If you can’t love and respect yourself – no one else will be able to make that happen. Accept who you are – completely; the good and the bad – and make changes as YOU see fit – not because you think someone else wants you to be different.” ~Stacey Charter
New research from Cambridge University reveals that people are happier since the lockdown. While the researchers found that the beginning of 2020 dragged us down, with only half as many people reporting themselves as happy before the lockdown began on March 23. But by the end of May, when some restrictions began to be lifted, happiness levels had increased to nearly the same levels as they were pre-corona virus.
Using data taken from YouGov Weekly Mood Tracker surveys and Google searches, the researchers found that the number of people declaring themselves as “happy” went from 51 percent just before the UK’s first Covid-19 fatality to 25 percent by the time lockdown began on 23 March.
However, once lockdown restrictions started to be lifted, these figures reversed, with happiness levels increasing back to close to what they were pre-pandemic, reaching 47 percent by the end of May.
What are the keys to happiness?
The pursuit of happiness is one of the basic elements of human existence. We want to be happy. So why are so many people unhappy then? Most likely people are not happy because they are missing one of the keys to happiness.
The most important key to your personal happiness is determining that you will be happy.
For many people, their personal happiness is not a priority in their life. Too often, we put the happiness of others before our own. While this may please our children, spouse, or boss, this is not the path to happiness.
This does not mean you should make yourself happy at the expense of others, but you must remember that the reverse should also not be true — your happiness should not be sacrificed to make others happy.
Once you have determined to make your pursuit of happiness a priority you need to determine just what it is that makes you happy.
Spend some time reviewing the happy times in your life. Think about memories that make you smile or activities that make you joyful. Can you find a common element or theme? Then that is one of the keys to finding true happiness for you. Now that you have identified what makes you happy you need to engage in that activity.
- Perhaps you need a creative outlet? Join a writing group, take an art class, or learn an instrument.
- Do you need more physical activity? Then find a way to get back into a sport you love or start a new one. All that is necessary is that you find a way to reconnect with this key element.
- Do you need more people? Most of us also require special people in our lives to be happy. Perhaps you have lost touch with someone important and can reach out to them? Or perhaps it is simply a time to plan some special time with family. It is important to our own pursuit of happiness to stay connected with those we love.
- Are you giving of yourself? Helping others in both small and large ways can help make you happier and more content. You might even be able to find a way to combine giving and engaging in an activity that makes you happy. For example, if you love to make people laugh you could organize a community talent show as a fundraiser for a local charity.
Have you made a list of what makes you happy yet? So many of us get down because we dwell on the negative, but usually, there is something about your life that makes you happy. Make a list of these items so you can have a quick mood enhancer when you feel down.
The pursuit of happiness does not have to be challenging or arduous. Finding true happiness can be as simply as determining, identifying, engaging, connecting, giving and reminding yourself of the keys to personal happiness.