Happiness is a priority for all of us, but why does it have to be so hard?
The simple answer is that our genetics and the environment around us are wired in such a way that negativity is on a free-flow and happiness has to be consciously manufactured. Just check out these alarming facts –
- The average person has about 70,000 thoughts per minute and on average, 70% of this mental chatter is overwhelmingly negative.
- Media studies show that bad news outweighs good news by as much as 17:1 i.e. seventeen negative news reports for every one good news report.
- An Investigation into the social media use, discovered that one in three people surveyed felt worse (“lonely, frustrated or angry”) after spending time on Facebook.
- Our materialistic lifestyle is not helping – people overestimate the influence of wealth on happiness by a whopping 100% and similarly the pleasure we derive from possessions or objects steadily depreciates.
Given these facts, it appears that happiness is not only about acquiring more stuff, or just trying to feel good or having positive emotions. A large part of it is about finding meaning and purpose in life, building relationships that enrich our mediocre existence and being actively involved in larger societal actions and aspirations. It is in this context that community connections define, influence, and elevate our potential for happiness.
Community and social interactions have been the cornerstone of human survival and success since time immemorial. Unsurprisingly, they also exert vital influence over our happiness prospects.
A big drawback of our super busy lifestyles is that opportunities, time, and space for meaningful social interactions are shrinking and in-turn our shot at lasting happiness is also being affected. While social media seemed like a viable solution in the beginning, over-time it has created more complications due to the excessive focus on quantity over quality of interactions and rampant commercialization. In such a scenario, dedicated online community platforms like CareSpace are coming up as avenues for sustained and meaningful digital social interactions whose benefits often spill over into our everyday lives.
CareSpace is a comprehensive digital healthcare community platform and it has a dedicated Happiness community formed by members in the pursuit of happiness. On this community and other mental/physical/emotional health support communities of the platform, members come together for extending non-judgemental support, finding expert advice, and resource sharing.
Here are 3 major recommendations backed by research for promoting happiness and how online communities like CareSpace can help you use them to maximize your happiness –
- Make mental health a priority –
- Tackling mental health problems would be 4 times more effective at increasing happiness than reducing poverty.
- The strongest factor predicting a happy adult life is not children’s qualifications but their emotional health.
- Addictions directly lower wellbeing and are associated with personal unhappiness and depressive disorders.
Mental health need not necessarily refer to the diagnosed ones like depression or addiction. Simple everyday stress or not dealing with grief can erode your happiness in the long term. Also, it is important to understand that good mental health is not about the absence of challenges like stress or anxiety but having the tools and support systems that help you navigate them successfully.
CareSpace has several specialised mental health communities (depression, stress & anxiety, grief management, addiction, bipolar disorder, etc.) that can act as a valuable resource for finding info, expert advice, and non-judgemental support that is crucial throughout recovery. The option for taking part in discussions and expert sessions within the platform anonymously without the fear of judgement. Moreover, you need not share any personal details like phone number, email, or social media handle or even create a private community and invite selected members – so you can seek the help you need without compromising on privacy. If you are taking any medication, CareSpace has a handy tracker on which you can set reminders for dosage and timing of your medications.
2. Free yourself from the clutches of social media –
- Social media invites social comparison which has a negative impact on happiness by undermining self-esteem. Therefore, the more you use social media, the less happy you tend to be.
- The study into Facebook use and Depression found that Facebook use triggers social comparison resulting in depression.
- People who checked social media the most frequently had almost three times the risk of depression, compared with people who checked less often.
Online connectivity and interactions are a huge part of our day to day lives so we can not have a blanket ban that takes us back to the stone ages. So, while CareSpace support community helps us with behaviour change when it comes to social media consumption, specialized community platforms like CommunityZapp help us stay socially active with focused interactions and intentional content consumption minus the addictive elements and the urge to overshare.
If you are struggling to quit or limit your social media consumption, CareSpace has a dedicated Social media addicts support community wherein you can get the practical strategies that fit in with your life from fellow members in recovery and also from experts like therapists and counsellors. In the same community, you can get recommendations for local support groups and therapists from fellow members, if you feel the need for such professional help. Similarly on the specialized hobby communities on CommunityZapp like travel, sports, etc. are ideal if you are looking for digital spaces that provide constructive and non-addictive options for pursuing your interests.
3. Break a sweat
- Physical exercise releases chemicals called endorphins which are associated with positive emotions and mood. In fact, exercising for as little as 30 minutes at a moderate intensity can boost your overall mood.
- Harvard Medical School has found that exercise helps to curb stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline. A workout also helps to release feel-good endorphins and good-mood brain chemicals like serotonin and dopamine.
- A number of past studies have noted that physically active people have much lower risks of developing depression and anxiety.
As we can clearly see, exercise even at moderate levels and durations can have a huge beneficial impact on our brain chemicals and in turn on our levels of happiness. Having an exercise routine can give you an instant mood lift at the end of a stressful day or make sure that you begin every day on a relaxed and happy mood. Along with improving your overall mood, exercise also helps to minimise your risk of anxiety, depression etc which hamper happiness.
The Fitness support community of CareSpace should be your go-to space if you are looking for motivation, expert advice, and a supportive fitness community. If you are struggling to plan or keep up with your fitness schedule, you can get recommendations for apps and real-life strategies for the same from fellow fitness enthusiasts. Apart from this online info and daily inspiration, you can also find workout buddies and get recommendations for local gyms and dance/yoga studios along with qualified trainers. Additionally, in the events section of CareSpace community, you can get info about sporty events and activities like marathons, mountain treks, flashmobs, rock climbing etc. This will create opportunities for combining your fitness passion with social interactions that are crucial for happiness.
The pursuit of happiness has long been a journey that people all over the world are increasingly obsessed with. Unfortunately, our lifestyles and warped priorities have made this chase complicated, harder, and confusing than ever before. In such a scenario, science and research do offer viable solutions that can give immediate benefits. Combining them with right community interactions and support will not only enhance the effectiveness of such solutions but help you boost your potential for happiness.
So, take the first step towards the happiness and satisfaction that you have always been aspiring for by joining the exclusive Happiness support community of CareSpace today!