Frequently Asked Questions About Science And Happiness

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Do you know how some people receive a cancer diagnosis and get depressed initially but manage to shake it off so that they could get treated better?

It did not happen to me when I found out that I had dysautonomia, an autoimmune disorder. It was technically not as scary as any form of cancer, but I felt like I was on the brink of death at the time. That was especially true since my doctor was super honest that there were no available cures for autoimmune disorders.

“But the silver lining is that you can reduce the symptoms by living healthy,” he said.

It was rude of me to say it out loud, but I screamed in my head, “Was that a pep talk? It did nothing to me.”

I went on a hermit phase soon after that. I already lived alone and worked from home, so I did not have to have awkward conversations with other people and pretend that I was okay. For at least two weeks, I managed to get by with the bare minimum. I only slept when I could not keep my eyes open anymore; I only ate when it felt like my large intestine had consumed my small intestine and wanted more. However, my parents’ monthly visit to my house slipped from my mind, so we all had the shocks of our lives when I opened the front door for them.

For me, it was because I had not seen anything outside of my house in a while, and the bright light almost blinded me. In my parents’ case, various things almost gave them a heart attack – the darkness shrouding my place, the dust covering the floors, and the smell coming off my body due to not bathing for God knew how long. My mother dragged me to the bathroom, turned the shower on without a word, and pushed me under the water – clothes and all.

“Mom!” I exclaimed as I fumbled for the shower knob frantically. The water was cold, and I was not ready for it. 

Instead of taking pity on me, my mother crossed her arms over her chest. “What happened to you, baby? I had seen you get heartbroken before, but you never did anything this stupid.”

I looked at my mother and saw that her eyes were filled with concern, even though her stance showed toughness. That’s when I broke down and told her everything I felt about my autoimmune disease.

“Aw, baby girl, I’m so sorry to hear that,” Mom said, her features softening. She helped me clean up and get fresh clothes on my body. When we left my bedroom, my father already started cooking lunch while vacuuming my place. I cried again because I suddenly realized that I was too lucky in life to stay depressed.

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When all the emotions subsided, my mother handed a book to me. “I know you love reading, and I’m glad to pick up a book that you seem to need right now. You can check it out later,” she uttered.

My parents stayed until dinner, so I only got to crack my new book open around 10 o’clock. Its title was The How of Happiness by Sonja Lyubomirsky.

What is happiness Sonja Lyubomirsky? 

 According to Sonja Lyubomirsky, you experience happiness when your positivity and sense of contentment are mixed with the thought that you are blessed and live a meaningful life.

What determines happiness according to Sonja? 

 Based on research, half of your happiness depends on your genes. However, the same study reveals that the environment affects it. If your genetics make you susceptible to experiencing pleasure, but you are surrounded by mean people, poverty, or famine, your happiness can take a dip.

What are the 12 strategies of happiness? 

  • Count Your Blessings: Take time to appreciate every single favor or blessing you have received over the week. You may also thank everyone who has helped you achieve them.
  • Cultivate Optimism: Since problems are inevitable, you should try to be as optimistic as possible all the time. Though it may not resolve your issues, it may give you the strength to stay resilient.
  • Avoid Comparing/Overthinking: Overthinkers tend to experience less happiness than those who remain calm and chill. The same goes for people who love to make social comparisons. You can only be happy when you stop doing both.
  • Practice Acts of Kindness: Practicing an act of kindness does not essentially mean that you need to offer to tithe or give money to homeless folks whenever you see them. It can be as effortless as assisting a senior citizen in crossing the street, carrying the groceries for your heavily pregnant neighbor, etc.
  • Nurture Relationships: No man should remain alone because that prevents you from being infected by others’ happiness and affection. Thus, it would help if you started nurturing your relationship with everyone in your life.
  • Try Engaging Activities: Boring activities will never make you happy. If you don’t feel satisfied right now, try looking for some activities that you have always found fascinating.
  • Enjoy Momentary Pleasures: You may have little moments of happiness every day that you may not always pay attention to due to your busy schedule. In case happiness lacks in your life, it is best to enjoy such momentary pleasures to get by.
  • Commit to Goals: It feels depressing to start working on a goal and leave it after some time. You will only be happy when you commit to it and achieve your goals.
  • Develop Coping Mechanisms: Pain, hurt, and grief is parts of life. No matter what you try, you cannot avoid feeling them all the time. But once you develop coping mechanisms even before experiencing those feelings, it may not be impossible for you to be happy.
  • Learn to Forgive: Being unable to forgive entails that your heart and mind are clouded by anger and pain. Such emotions push away your ability to experience happiness; that’s why you should learn how to forgive.
  • Practice Spirituality: Atheists and agnostics may not believe it, but many spiritual and religious people feel happy with the thought of a higher being watching over and protecting them. Though you need not follow any religion, you can explore your spirituality and find happiness in the process.
  • Look After Your Body: Taking care of your physical health can make you happy since you have no ailments to deal with. Hence, try to exercise, laugh, eat healthy stuff, and sleep as much as possible.
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What determines the happiness pie chart? 

 Various theories state that the happiness pie chart is divided into genetics (50%), state of mind (40%), and life circumstances (10%). Meaning, if you only think of genetics, you have a 50% chance of feeling happy all the time. However, if your brain is filled with worrying thoughts and finds yourself in a sticky situation, it may alter your happiness level.

What are the three keys to a happy life? 

  • Healthy eating
  • Exercising
  • Nurturing relationships

What are the seven keys to happiness? 

  • Live However You Want: The primary key to happiness is living a life you have chosen. Other people may dissuade you from doing so and force you to do otherwise, but that will bum you out in the end.
  • Live in the Present: Harboring regrets about what you could have done in the past would never make you happy. You need to let go of those and move forward.
  • Stay Grateful: Ungratefulness leads to unhappiness, considering you cannot appreciate anyone or anything. To be happy, you should stay grateful for what you have.
  • Start Exercising: Exercising regularly allows your pores to open and gives the toxins in your body a way out. Besides, it causes the body to produce endorphins, which are knowns as happy hormones.
  • Practice Generosity: People say that it’s better to be the giver than the taker to ensure that happiness will fill your life. Thus, you can be generous by helping the less-fortunate folks in any way possible.
  • Smile and Laugh a Lot: Laughing and smiling genuinely can do wonders for your mood. Not only will it boost your happiness, but it will also make others happy when they see what you’re doing.
  • Be Surrounded by Positive Thinkers: It matters to surround yourself with positive-thinking individuals, especially when you are sad. They can uplift your spirits and influence you to find something to feel happy about.  

What is the best way to be happy? 

 The best way to be happy is by smiling, even when you have no reason to do so. It may feel challenging to smile if you are angry or blue, but you need to force the corners of your lips to turn upwards. This is when you must embody the fake-it-till-you-make-it saying. Though your smile is fake at first, it may eventually become real once the endorphins get released.

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What is the difference between joy and happiness? 

 Happiness is a positive emotion we experience when we feel satisfaction and contentment after doing something. For instance, you feel happy when you finish an exam, say ‘yes’ to your boyfriend’s marriage proposal, or get the keys to your new house.

Meanwhile, joy is felt when we see something good come out of our selflessness. For instance, you donate an internal organ to your ailing loved ones, let neighbors stay in your house after a hurricane, or send your siblings to school. It is not as common as happiness, considering not everyone is willing to sacrifice for others. 

What percent of happiness is genetic?

Genetics occupies 50% of happiness.

Final Thoughts

I got so engrossed in Sonja Lyubomirsky’s book that I did not put it down until I reached the back cover. The next day, I called my doctor to tell him that I was finally willing to find a way around dysautonomia. I was ready to be happy again.