Everyone has their own definition of being happy. However, an adult always finds a child happier than he is. And it is true that they are actually happier. Growing up is a natural process and it happens so fast that we can’t even realize how much time has passed. However, everyone as a child liked to grow up; everyone liked the changes they have undergone, impatiently wanted to leap from pencil to pen and be an adult to do all the things independently.
Willingly or unwillingly, we all grow up or what else choice do we have? When we look back and analyze, we become sad to conclude that we were happier when we were kids. Maybe it is because; in the process of growing up we have lost something very important. That’s right! We have lost, “that lively, enthusiastic, and young at heart inner child.” Sometimes I wonder why adults aren’t making choices that bring more fun and ease into their lives. They act as though struggling and stressing are necessary if you want to be seen as a successful person. And now most of them want to go back to being a child. To go back in time when life and math were simpler when they have got no worries, no tensions.
Now the question is we all know that we can’t be kids again, does it mean that we can’t be that much happy again? The answer is ‘no.’ We can still be eternally happy if we chose wisely.
Why the Kids are always Happy
Live in the Moment
Living in the moment means letting go of the worries of the past and the future. It means living your life consciously, aware that each moment you breathe is a gift. They are happy because they focus on the happiness they have now and try to find it in the smallest of the things.
Close to Nature
They enjoy being outside in nature, looking at clouds, even playing in the rain. Exposure to nature not only helps them feel better emotionally, but it also contributes to physical wellbeing, reducing blood pressure, heart rate, muscle tension, and the production of stress hormones. And most of the time our emotional reactions are the by-product of our physical health.
They Let Their Emotions Flow
Children let their emotions flow with full passion and then release them. They can be angry one minute and laughing the next. They vent out their emotions and the freedom of expressions makes them free from holding grudges. This way they feel free.
Children use their imaginations, opening their world to the impossible. Again I didn’t find a little kid at that age feeling bad because of believing that the things he dreams of will never happen. Compare this to your way of thinking and to your false beliefs about the future and you will know why you are now feeling bad or even depressed.
They do Everything Passionately
Did you try to talk to a small kid while he is playing? In most cases, he might not even notice you because he is deeply involved in what he is doing. Again compare this to yourself, how many boring tasks do you believe that this is how life should be? If you want to be really happy then you must do the things that you have passion for.
They are not Afraid of Judgments
A child is a very good learner and keeps on asking questions and learning new things and that too, without any hesitation. However, as an adult, we feel that asking too much, may not be appreciated by others, and we might become a laughing stock by all.
Ultimate Goal of not letting the Inner Child Die; Happiness
The ultimate goal of life is to attain satisfaction which leads to a happy life. We work hard our whole life to gain all the things that bring us happiness. It’s true that we associate happiness with material things. But we also cannot deny the fact that age has an association with age. Psychology termed this fact as “Happiness Curve.”
Happiness Curve – And how it Works
The happiness curve is of the U-Shape. However, this U-Shaped curve is not universal. And it is more prevalent in high-income countries. People usually begin life happily. Around the age of 18, their happiness begins to decrease, reaching a low point in their 40s. But after age 50, happiness begins to rise again. By the time they’re in their 60s, it’s likely that they’ll never have been happier. This U-shaped happiness curve has emerged constantly in large studies of Western societies.
Happiness Theories in Psychology
Maslow Hierarchy of Needs| Pyramid of Happiness
How can we become happy? Just like many other philosophers, Abraham Maslow also tried to answer the question through his “pyramid of happiness.” Maslow’s pyramid has been divided into five levels of needs, from the bottom of the hierarchy upwards:
Pyramid of Happiness
- Love and belonging
Once the growth needs have been more or less satisfied, one could be thought to reach the top of the pyramid of happiness – the highest level, known as ‘self-actualization’.
Positive Psychology Theory
Positive psychology considers that instead of trying to fix things when they get broken, we should spend more time improving our mental wellbeing in a more positive and proactive way. Martin Seligman spent years developing a theory of well-being called the PERMA model. The model comprises five elements that create the foundation of a flourishing life:
- Positive Emotions
Three Levels of Positive Psychology
The science of positive psychology operates on three different levels:
- The subjective level
- The individual level
- The group level
The Freedom of Choice Theory:
According to this theory, the extent to which a society allows free choice has a major impact on people’s happiness. After meeting their basic needs, their degree of happiness depends on how much free choice people have in how they live their lives. Our genes drive us to satisfy five basic needs:
- Love and belonging
Science has found that the ability to make choices without external influence and interference is also an important factor to live a happy life. Intrinsic motivation and the willingness to grow, basically being self-motivated can determine how happy you are.
How to be Happy
Sometimes, life gets hard and sometimes it’s fine. Nowadays it happens to most of the people that everything is going well but we are still not happy. Ultimately it’s not about having ‘everything’ that makes people happy. Having the art to manage the levels of happiness is important. And calling it an ‘art’ is rational because after all the progress in science they are still not able to comprehend the biology of happiness.
One of the founders of positive psychology, Dr. Martin Seligman, tried to answer this question, can happiness be taught?
His conclusion was that, while happiness itself cannot be taught, we can master the skills that make us happier through practice.
School curriculums have not designed in a way that teaches students how to live a happy life. While the university you go to, has an impact on your salary, it makes no difference to your levels of happiness later in life, as measured by things such as overall life satisfaction, marital happiness, physical wellness, not being depressed, or not being a drug addict.
Happiness can be attained through practice and taking small steps daily; regularly indulging small pleasures, getting absorbed in challenging activities, setting and meeting goals, maintaining close social ties, and finding purpose beyond oneself.
Can Money Bring you Happiness?
Money is important to happiness, but only to a certain point.
Research from the journal Nature Human Behavior shows that the sweet spot for yearly income is between $60,000 and $95,000 a year, not a million-dollar salary. Earnings above the $95,000 breaking point do not equate to increased well-being; a person earning $150,000 a year will not be necessarily as happy as a person earning a lot less.
15 Signs that you are Still Child at Heart
A happy person does not count fancy materialistic goods or luxury vacations. This person is fine with the simple pleasures of life such as; petting a dog, sitting under a tree, enjoying a cup of tea. Here are the signs that you are as happy as a child:
- You are not spiteful and insulting
- Does not hold grudges
- You are open to learn and explore new things
- You like to go with the flow
- Smiles and laughs readily
- You love people and keep it real
- Does not play games with people
- Is always grateful and even the smallest of the things can make you happy
- Always kind to the people around and you don’t acknowledge it
- Shares a healthy relationship with people
- You like to share positivity and happiness with others
- You are not envious of anyone, instead, you like to see other people happy
- Does not register petty annoyances
- You appreciate and promote healthy network
- Does not angst over past and future