I initially encountered the term science of happiness on YouTube, where the producers perform social experiments that affect the participants’ emotions and moods. My friends and I tried replicating one of the experiments at our gatherings. The activity was to call someone dear to our hearts and say thank you. And yes, it was effective! We immediately felt happiness and joy when we expressed gratitude toward those people.
Expressing gratitude is just one of the many ways to improve one’s mood. In today’s world, happiness is measured by what money can buy―new gadgets, cars, travel, etc. While there’s nothing wrong with this, it is not the ultimate measure of happiness.
In one of our Integrated Human Development course sessions, our guest speaker was Dr. Robin Velasco. He talked about what makes us happy. While he was discussing his topic and clicking on his presentation, my mind was also focused somewhere else, and I started asking myself if what I am doing at work and in school makes me happy.
Though I know and believe that happiness is a choice, there are instances where we cannot control our emotions, which is a fascinating fact about our human body. Our unique biochemical composition makes our body reacts or responds beyond our physical body’s control.
In addition, Dr. Velasco also shared other activities that would make us happier. Yes, happiness is a choice; we can always choose to be happy, but if we can be happier, we must pursue that. One way to become happier is to be kind and compassionate towards others. I know that this is true. When we help others, we have this “magical sa pakiramdam” moment where our body feels lighter, our heart is full, and our brain is active.
Another one is expressing gratitude. Like the experiment we replicated, expressing gratitude is a good way to feel happier. Expressing gratitude is appreciating other people and their acts – whether tangible or intangible. It allows us to acknowledge the goodness in other people and the events we experience. Daily, I always express gratitude to God through prayers. This is how I start and end my day. Gratitude is, indeed, the best attitude.
One of my greatest takeaways from the session is that happiness comes from within. As human beings and as adults, we need to practice mindfulness by letting ourselves be fully present and aware of our actions and surroundings. It is practicing thinking first before reacting and responding to an outside stimulus. Mindfulness is being calm. It is the process of going inside your core, reflecting on your values as a human being, and making decisions and actions based on these values. I find this human experience very fascinating and admirable. Despite many challenges in life, humans are still given enough resources to find happiness.
However, not all have the privilege and the capacity to find happiness. I say this because each human experience varies. So as human beings equipped with the resources to be mindful, calm and happy, how can we help other people be in a better place in their lives? Our behaviors toward happiness create a ripple of positive change in the community where we belong. I hope we can share how we overcome challenges and obstacles so others can learn from us. I hope that we can help ourselves, so we can help others to stand up after stumbling.
Let’s create a better world for everyone. A better world where challenges still exist, but we are all equipped to find calm and peace in the middle of the storm.
The author is an MBA student at the Ramon V. del Rosario College of Business, DLSU. He can be reached at [email protected].
The views expressed above are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official position of DLSU, its faculty and its administrators.