• Kirsti Gwynn

What Makes You Happy

If you’re experiencing a sense of discontent with your life but you aren’t sure why, that leaves you pretty stuck.

You know that something’s missing, but you just aren’t sure what.

I recently met a man who felt that way. He told me he had tried lots of different ways of dealing with this - setting goals, working harder, antidepressants - but nothing had worked for him in a lasting way. He was at a loss for what to do.

The truth is, until twenty years ago, psychology-as-usual focused only on dealing with negative experiences. This was simply the more pressing issue. There wasn’t any research being done into what makes it possible to enjoy a happy, contented life.

Thankfully, the rise of the science of happiness and resilience (Positive Psychology) has changed that.

If you’re unsure what makes you happy, familiarising yourself with the three types of happiness is a good place to start.

Positive emotion

The positive emotion aspect of happiness is about waking up energised, feeling excited about life, and enjoying what you’re doing. 

How much laughter, inspiration, love, gratitude, hope, and excitement do you experience on a day-to-day basis? The happiest people experience three times as many positive emotions as negatives. 

This is about learning to tune into the good experiences in your life, reduce negativity, and making time for the things that bring you joy.