According to an article from Psychology Today, happiness can be acquired as a collection of frequent small victories.
“Frequent positive experiences are both necessary and sufficient to produce the state we call happiness, whereas random intense experiences are not,” states Ed Diener, Ph.D.
Each major life event in the following list can act as a catalyst to a bounty of other events which can lead to long-term happiness.
Going to College
For many young adults, leaving home and going to college is the first step of many in obtaining independence and carving out their own place in the professional world. Although college can be a source of both positive stress (known as eustress) and negative stress (known as distress), the frequency of positives will tend to outweigh any upset. Building one’s education, forming new friendships and embarking on a career are all elements that lead to happiness.
Falling in Love
Leaving the heart open to love—regardless of whether or not it will be fleeting—makes for many happy memories as well as an opportunity for one to further establish their self-identity and realize their innermost wants and needs. This can also lead to a lifelong partnership, marriage and the final event on this list that will contribute to happiness.
Starting a Family
Many have stated that having a baby “changes everything” and that the experience is one that will lead to a plethora of new, happy experiences that are inimitable. Concerns over medical complications can cause some to balk at the idea of starting a family. High-risk obstetrician and Medical Director at Midwest Maternal-Fetal Medicine Dr. Gilbert Webb shares success stories and testimonials from couples who overcame obstacles during their journey to start a family in his blog.
A popular “bucket list” item, traveling abroad is an experience that will contribute to happiness by providing one with experiences they would not have otherwise. Writer and journalist Natalie Thomas offers eight reasons to travel abroad in Relevant Magazine. Whether you are simply traveling for vacation or decide to embark on the experience of living in a different country, Thomas writes that “You will learn invaluable lessons, grow into a more responsible and mature person and, undeniably, create some priceless memories.”
Happiness is unique to each individual. By pursuing new experiences that will be fulfilling in many different ways can contribute to a happy life where positives outweigh negatives.