How to synthesise happiness
“Happiness” is a single term, but it refers us to a rainbow of a different flavours of emotion: some make us more energetic, some slow us down; some make us feel closer to other people, some make us more generous…
June Gruber, UC, Berkeley
How to synthesize happiness? This is the million-dollar question; we all want to be happy and be happy quickly, effortlessly, and continuously. But what does it mean to be happy? Fast pleasures, fast food, fast sex, fast relationships, and interactions fill our life. We can have it all to some extent, but does it make us happier? We consume things, emotions, events, goods, even relationships… We run fast in order to be first, to acquire, see, and experience more, and we even have no time, or at least we think so, to slow down and properly digest consumed goodness. We turned into sharks; we just swallow emotions, feelings, and thoughts without chewing and distinguishing tastes and aftertastes, and keep rushing faster and faster, compete harder and harder. We ask each other “how are you” and genuinely have no time and desire even to hear the answer. We run our businesses, our careers, our lives like perfectly build machines, and as a result, find ourselves running empty.
We often hear from our peers “I just want to be happy”. And this is a pretty big statement. Immediate gratifications come and go and we don’t even remember them a year later! But why? We learned well how to collect experiences, brands, events, lovers, etc., but it seems we completely unlearned how to savor the moment, nurture relationships, and simply breathe and be. We feel more and more lonely and empty, we are searching for something that would make us content, we want to fall in love with someone amazing and kind, but the first thing we all have to do is to fall in love with our hungry-for-true-happiness souls driven by our inflated egos and social conditioning. And here it is! The million-dollar question arises again. What is true happiness and how to get it?
In order to get or create something, we have to determine it first. So, what is happiness: a comfortable life, a fleeting subtle emotion, a feeling of ecstasy, a state of mind, a sense of achievement, fulfilling relationships, inner peace, and love, or a combination of all of those? There is no a unified answer because we are all unique. Unique to some extent! And this is a good news! We are all humans and we definitely have something in common. I’m talking now about our natural origins and neuro-physiological structure. The happiness equation is various from person to person, however, we all know how it is to be happy. First of all, it feels good. Secondly, multiple research studies show that happiness increases longevity, improves health and relationships, makes us kinder, more empathetic, loving, caring, and beautiful balanced human beings. We all strive for happiness but, it seems, only a few find a way to get it, and even fewer can sustain it. We often think that if we get a higher paycheck, meet our soulmate, have a baby, buy a house, overcome physical misbalances and ailments or even simply start having more fun we will be able to obtain this well-deserved privilege to be happy. But the point is, the more we strive for happiness the lower our chances to get it.
During this course, we are going to zero-in on this paradox and answer the million-dollar question in more detail.
- How to approach happiness
- Science of happiness: studies, definitions, classification
- Main components of happiness
- The happiness equation
- Can we really synthesize happiness?
- Neuroscience, biochemistry, and quantum physics of happiness
- Build your happiness step-by-step
- Practical exercises
- How to develop a skill of happiness and deliberately induce the state, making it a habit
“Happiness is the experience of joy, contentment, or positive well-being, combined with the sense of one’s life is good, meaningful, and worthwhile”
Sonia Ljubomirsky, The How of Happiness, 2007
This course is a unique interactive, hands-on event combining cutting-edge scientific research findings, cognitive-behavioural techniques, and various insights from:
1. cognitive-behavioural neuroscience
2. social psychology
6. evolutionary theory
8. quantum physics
10. positive psychology
wrapped into the ready-to-use form of mind-opening workshop series.
Normally, we run the how to synthesise happiness course as a full-time weekend retreat or 5-day course split into 2-hour bite-size talks filled with practical exercises.