The Secret to Happiness | Mind Food Monday
“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.” – Gandhi
Happiness and success are two goals shared by pretty much everyone in our society. Some people walk around like their whole world is basking in rays of sunshine and rainbows while you’re over here under your storm cloud thinking how can they possibly be this happy…in this weather?
Maybe the key to happiness is simpler than you think.
As humans, we have a lot of instincts and drives that are hardwired into our brains. There are instincts to find/eat food (gotta hunt down some grub in the grocery store to feed the family), to raise children, and drives for competition/achievement. But we also have a drive to be around and interact with other humans. We want to form groups and make friends. We want to be liked and accepted in our community.
You may be saying if it was that easy, wouldn’t everyone be happy? And this is a GREAT question!
You would think it would be easier now since we seem to have more opportunities to interact with new people and make new friends but, the method of these interactions is very important.
It turns out that to really benefit and utilize this “ticket to happiness” you actually have to go out into the world and talk to a real human….in real life! *gasp* the horror!
Let’s think about this for a moment, cause it will all make sense, I promise. In more ways than one, online interactions via social media or whatever else you’re using is definitely not the same as talking to someone face to face. For one, you don’t see their face or hear their voice so it is very hard to figure out inflections or emotion they are putting behind their words. So, if someone replies to your long text with “fine” or “k”, you don’t know if they are mad at you, if their okay, or if they’re actually just really busy at the moment. Thinking about it that way doesn’t sound too appealing, does it? Why would you want to sit around having emotionless, and sometimes mindless/meaningless conversations with someone through a screen?
read my post about social media [here]
Another reason people aren’t around other people is because of the internet/social media. These online activities eat up too much of their day which doesn’t leave a lot of room for much else, least of all interaction with other humans. Some people would actually rather stay home and play around online than hang out with their friends out in the real world.
This disconnection from society and lack of genuine social interaction can actually lead to feelings of depression or isolation. yikes!
The group that is really affected by this are the youngest generation in the U.S. today, iGen. This generation has actually shown a significant increase in depression and risk of suicide than any other generation. Guess when the spike in these symptoms occurred!…Around the same time as the smartphones were released and slowly started taking over the world!
Now, I don’t have anything against using smart phone OR the internet. But, obviously they have been causing a lot of problems behind the curtains.
Yes, symptoms of depression can have many other contributors other than excessive screen time, like simply having a genetic predisposition to developing the mental illness. BUT, there have been several studies that actually link increased time on social media to more feelings of unhappiness and not the other way around. This means that being unhappy does not lead to more screen time.
Not only is this overwhelming lack of human contact affecting these teens but smart phones can be causing yet another problem!
Over use of screen devices such as laptops or smartphones can actually disrupt your circadian rhythm and cause you to get less sleep which…you guessed it…leads to feelings of unhappiness and disconnect from others.
In defense of this, however, there are a lot of articles and books I’ve read saying that simple decreasing screen time before you go to bed can help you sleep better. Instead of laying in bed doing some last minute Facebook scrolls and checking if Susie posted any new pictures of her baby, you should try to read or meditate before sleeping. Basically, find something that you can do that doesn’t involve a screen and this will help your mind and body know when it’s time to wind down and prepare for some well-deserved rest.
If you want to find happiness, take the first step! Go out and experience the world! Meet some new people, maybe join some sort of club in your community. Stop texting while your walking and actually look around at these other humans that are living and sharing their lives with you on this Earth. I promise those posts and social media feeds will still be waiting for you later on.
Get out there and find your happiness!
Thankyou for reading and I hope you enjoyed this one!
Leave a comment telling me what makes YOU happy (: