A few months ago I was listening to a podcast that was recommended to me by a (very smart) friend (thanks Danielle) about social media and how it affects our lives. The episode was part of The Ezra Klein Show and is called, “Is Modern Society Making us Depressed?”. The podcast was interesting and had a focus on what parts of modern culture, specifically with our constant digital connections, are making people more depressed than people in previous generations. The part that stood out to me most was when the discussion turned to what actually makes people happy and why types of treatments are successful at treating depression.
Now, it is common knowledge in this day and age that depression is a chemical imbalance in the brain and it can be treated and/or controlled with various options including therapy and medication. But the part that I found enlightening was that studies have shown that building a sense of community and helping another person, in addition to traditional treatment, was shown to have much more successful results than just therapy and/or medication alone. The example that was discussed in the podcast was about a group of people with extreme cases of anxiety and depression. These people were put together and told to to make a garden, and by the time the plants started growing, the people involved with the curration of the garden had seen tremendous improvements in their view of quality of life.
This thought really intrigued me. These people started working together on a project that had an end result. They now had something to look forward to, people to socialize with, and a goal that they wanted to reach. Their lives gained more purpose. Something as simple as wanting to see the tomato plant that they had planted with a new friend dramatically increased the quality of their life.
This was a very long and round about way of saying that happiness is such a crazy and complicated emotion, and the podcast got me thinking about what makes me happy and what kinds of actions make me the happiest. Here is a list of 10 things that make me feel incredibly happy!
- Helping out a friend
- Getting someone flowers (gosh I love flowers! How can anyone dislike flowers?!)
- Sharing snacks
- Making a useful recommendation
- Sharing something funny (like animal YouTube videos)
- Sharing Memes
- Making a genuine compliment (that is about something other than looks)
- Giving a good hug
- Being silly with people who are also silly
- Reaching out to someone I haven’t heard from in a while
Now that I finally got to the point of this post, I hope it helped you think about what makes you the absolute happiest, and now you can go act on it!
Go have the HAPPIEST DAY EVER!