Simply Happy

Reflections from Dr. Ben

Article by Benito Carrera

Photography by Brandon Weber III

Originally published in Austin Lifestyle

The one thing we all aspire to be is happy. For hundreds of years, many have searched for the secret to happiness. Today, I would like to share with you some of the ideas people have looked into regarding the formula. 

First, how is it that some people are happy and some others, despite “having it all,” are not? Some counselors suggest taking more time for social activities, doing things you enjoy, spending more time with family, and caring more about experiences and less about material things.

If this were the only answer to happiness, then the formula would be known by more.

Some science has been thrown into finding an answer using modern technologies and statistics asking thousands of people about their mood related to activities in real time via text messages. What they have found is interesting: the results suggest that humans appear to be less happy when the mind wanders. 

When this happens, our mind “thinks” more about regrets, anxiety and failure. 

When we are fully engaged in what we are doing, we are happier than when our minds are thinking about thoughts such as this at the moment.

In other words, is this what “being or living in the moment” or “being present” means?

Some others have suggested that being present helps, but it does not work if it is not practiced and repeated. It takes work and repetition so that you can be aware when your mind wanders off and intentionally bring it back to what you are doing in that moment.

They say opportunity only knocks one time. Think again. Every moment is a chance to take it or leave it. Seeing every moment as valuable helps us live a fulfilled life, which means more opportunity related to elevated emotions that we can experience in our lifetime.

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