First of all, let me tell you that I do not know the true secret to happiness. In fact, I doubt there is a single actual secret to being happy. I did learn today, however, that there is some science toward becoming a happier person. I learned this while listening to this TED Radio Hour podcast, which is definitely worth spending 45 minutes listening to.
I have had much more free time over the past winter than I expected. It seems that in months gone by, when I've had a lot of time to myself, I end up feeling morose and lonely. This winter, however, I've felt really happy - with exceptions when L has an episode, or when I'm feeling particularly overwhelmed. I have been wondering lately what made the difference...did my attitude change, or was it due to my aging hormones, or WHAT?
One of the segments of the TED Talk I linked to above, by Matt Killingsworth, may have the answer to that question. He has collected data that shows that mind wandering is not an escape from something that makes you unhappy, but actually a cause of unhappiness. Therefore, like my therapist several years ago advised me, people are actually happier when they live IN THE MOMENT. Wow!
This has always been really difficult for me to do. My mind wanders a LOT...especially when I am alone. My personal answer to the question, "what is making you feel happier?", is (in short) technology! For the past several months since I have discovered that I can easily download and listen to podcasts on my phone when I am working around the house, I am being entertained and educated, instead of destructively mind-wandering.
Podcasts, my friends, are the secrets to happiness...so it seems.
9 months ago