Have you been happy today?
Happiness can be calculated, says the American psychologist Prof. Todd Kashdan and brings the six most important factors and their dosage into a simple equation.
The formula for happiness =
Moment M x 16
+ Curiosity C x 1
+ Passion P x 2
+ Kindness K x 5
+ Friendship F x 2
+ Movement M x 33
What do the abbreviations actually mean? Below I will explain exactly what the acronyms have to do with luck and how to use them.
M: Enjoy the moment
“Mindfulness” is a term that has been overused in recent years. There are mindfulness teas, books and courses. Indeed, mindfulness is essential to happiness. The individual concepts vary, but the goal is the same: enjoying the moment, even under difficult conditions, teaches us to keep an eye on the beautiful sides of life. That’s why Prof. Kashdan also advises: live here and now, live in the moment. Hear the sounds, smell the scents, feel the sun, enjoy the little things you take for granted in everyday life. Try to remind yourself of this every hour and be aware of your surroundings. Being mindful of the world around us means that we have more time to pay attention to ourselves, to listen to ourselves. Exploring our thoughts, needs and goals. With these insights we find new clarity and can better focus on what is really important to us.
Enjoying the moment mindfully and looking at our environment with open eyes every hour gives new clarity to what is really important to us.
C: Be curious
Anyone who explores something new once a day discovers unknown things that perhaps deserve more interest. And every new experience, every uncertainty, every tricky task enriches our everyday life. The desire for something new is considered the most important psychological strength when it comes to a fulfilling life. Because whether we are happy, creative, flexible, successful and healthy or not depends largely on how curious we are. When we face exciting experiences, we encourage flexibility in the brain by adding new neurons, neuroscientists say. We can form new brain cells throughout our lives. And that is a basic requirement for new thoughts and to feel happy. It is therefore worth going through the world with open eyes and wanting to see what is not immediately visible.
Trying out or discovering something new once a day challenges the brain and creates capacity for happiness.
P: Live passionately
Perhaps the most obvious component of the happiness formula: do what you love and love what you do. Often we routinely go through the day, work through to-do lists and feel little joy in the process. That’s why Prof. Kashdan advises: We should do something with passion twice a day, e.g. one task at work and one in our free time. Whether it’s a workout with music, cooking your favorite meal or planting a beautiful flower – the main thing is that we consider the activity important and have fun doing it. These happy experiences are something like the framework for a happy, fulfilling life.
Having fun is one of the most important factors in happiness. The recommended dose: twice a day.
K: Act with kindness
In the face of the challenges of our time, we tend to be mainly concerned with ourselves and lose sight of the people around us. Another key to happiness is selflessness. Let’s compliment a friend or family member, do a good deed, and learn to listen properly. According Prof. Kashdan’s formula is a rule of thumb: try to meet others with sincere warmth five times a day. Soon we will find that doing good to others is good for us too.
Selflessly doing something good for others makes us happier ourselves.
F: Maintain friendships
Scientists around the world have found that the happiest people are also those with the strongest relationships with their spouse, friends and family. And good relationships need to be nurtured. From this insight, Kashdan deduces: Spend at least twice a day targeted time with a person to whom you have an emotional connection, show them that you appreciate and love them. A study by Harvard University was also able to demonstrate another positive side effect: It makes you happy to observe other happy people around you. In other words, happiness is contagious! The reason for this is an emotional chain reaction: since we tend to show happiness by smiling and laughing, people around us notice and pick up on it. The amazing result: Even the friends of a friend’s friends have a demonstrable impact on our own well-being. The individual feeling of happiness can therefore spread through social relationship networks.
Strong relationships make us stronger, and the happiness of our friends has even been shown to rub off on us.
M: Move your body
When Stefan Klein, the author of the bestseller “Die Glücksformel” was asked what he then changed in his own life after knowing all the studies on happiness, he answered: “I move more!” Because that is the last important piece of the puzzle for a happy life: take care of your body. You don’t have to go to the gym every day or have the ideal size. Prof. Kashdan’s formula states: Eating something healthy three times a day and exercising for 30 minutes is enough for a healthy, beautiful, happy life.
Three healthy meals and 30 minutes of exercise a day not only make you healthy, but also happy.