Economist Richard Layard stated in one of his works that ‘Happiness comes from outside and within’ (Layard, 2005, cited in Spoors et al., 2011). Happiness is not an easy emotion to describe. Spoors et al. (2011) suggests that happiness is a positive feeling that covers a variety of emotions from joy to contentment with ourselves and others. Whereas scientist like Dr Richard Davidson has recorded happiness being related to an electrical activity in front and left side of the brain during the EEG (Davidson,2005,cited in Spoors et al.2011 p.35). The most important factor to keep us happy is to think positive and have great relationships with others. That would result us in smiling more, laughing lauder, becoming more successful and productive, caring about others, being helpful, healthier and having better relationships with others. Who doesn’t want to feel like this and be happy?
Martin Seligman is a pioneer in the field of a positive psychology. During one of his works he has demonstrated that if we could reflect every day on good things, on our strengths or anything that is positive in our lives that will have an impact on our happiness (Seligman,2005,cited in Spoors et. al.,2011). The way we think affects our inner emotions and outside experiences. Spoors et.al.(2011, p.43) states that ‘psychologists distinguished that thinking cannot be separated from our emotion, motivation, imagination, intuition, memory, perception and experience’. It is worth being an optimist as evidently humans who think positively live longer and are happier. That was showed by Toshiko Maruta and his colleagues (2002) in their study with 839 patients with the result of 77% of optimistic people prolonged existence (Maruta,2002, cited in Spoors et al., 2011).We make choices whether to be happy and positive or not to be. I believe everything starts with a thought in our brain and it is better to have an internal locus of control and think good, as Shakespeare wrote that ‘There is nothing good or bad, but thinking makes it so’ ( Shakespeare, Hamlet cited in Spoors et al.,2011, p.69).
Everything we have experienced in our life had influenced our thoughts and every gained enactive thought in our brain will influence our next experience. In such way we have created the schemas about that experience in our head. One way or the other there are always factors which will have effect on our thoughts. They will come from pre assumptions and from past experience. On the top of that our feelings and surroundings will have a bit of impact as well. For example a first visit to the dentist, which can be daunting but it should not be. Actually nowadays a visit to a dentist can be a very good and beneficial experience. It is the tooth ache that is unpleasant experience. The mental framework or schema is influenced by our sensation, imagination and how we percept the experience. (E.g. Distorted recall 56p.) ( I need to write few sentences).
Relationship with others is the other important factor that influences our happiness. Layard believes that our family or close relationships are the most important factors that affects happiness ( Layard,2005, cited in Spoors et al., 2011). I think just being a part of a group makes us feel happy. Roles we play are the factors which influence our happiness. For instance if you are a football team supporter that wins the game that will enhance your happiness and you will be proud and happy to be the team’s supporter. Recognition and belonging boost our happiness so if you are wearing a recognized winning team’s t-shirt you will feel happy that you belong to a group. Happiness comes as well with gratitude or whilst we help others. ( I need to put together few sentences)…….If other person feels good just because we have done something nice or we gratitude them that enhance our mood and then we feel elated ……. Exp (Spoors 105p.).
Other factors that affect our happiness is our work and environment we live in. Regardless what our profession is, it all has a significant influence on our happiness. Spoors et. al. (2011, p.136) states that ‘Work can provide us with not only an income but also some kind of meaning to life- an outlet to creativity’. We usually choose what we would like to do in our lives, however not all of us have a chance of selection where would we like to live. Location is like a guideline which leads us to another factor that influences our happiness. Social psychologist has dissimilar opinion about in which part of the world people are the happiest. People from western world are seen to be happier by many psychologist. However, Forster believes the happiest nation in the world is in Vanuatu Island ( Forster, 2006, cited
in Spoors et al., 2011). I strongly agree with Dr Forster’s finding and I believe the mass media and latest technology have a negative effect on the rest of the world. Accordingly Layard stated that there are lots of negative post-effects after the introduction of TV in Himalayas. ( Layard, 2005, cited in Spoors et al., 2011)
All factors considered show that people can make a step to increase their happiness. The occurrences we have had throughout our life times affect the emotional state we are in, even though we can still train ourselves and change our locus of control. Meditation practice is very important to keep us happy. As well good health, personal freedom and values have a massive influence on our general happiness. Word count:
:Spoors, P., Dyer, E.W., Finlay, L. and Marsh, G.(2011) Starting with Psychology,Milton Keynes, The Open University.
2. My strength is that I am eager to learn. I found information in the course book really fascinating. Therefore I found it easier to remember and apply knowledge when needed. I am not very disciplined as a student, so sometimes I find my self under pressure.
3. I have realized that leaving things to the last minute is a really bad idea. Therefore when I will start my next module I will try to be ahead with my studying and writing assignment. These tree essays have been my first attempts where I used in-text reference. I believe repetition and practice will improve this skill.