Looking back, looking forward and happiness

People who maintain a balanced time perspective are more likely to be happy, new research has suggested. Published in the Journal of Happiness Studies, the report found content individuals are often those who have fond memories, enjoy the present and also have future targets to work towards.

A team at San Francisco State University explained keeping these feelings in moderation and not going overboard on any one in particular has the ability to make adults feel vital, satisfied and grateful.

Ryan Howell, a researcher at the learning institute, observed: "If you are too extreme or rely too much on any one of these perspectives, it becomes detrimental and you can get into very destructive types of behaviours."

Mr Howell explained cognitive flexibility plays a big part in helping people deal with different situations, noting an individual who holds one perspective too dearly - such as the past, present or future - may find themselves limited in certain circumstances.

Paul Buckley, Chartered Psychologist, commented: "Generally research seems to show that having memories of experiences and events tend to be good for happiness, however I would guess that if you get stuck in the past, probably some period that you enjoyed such as teenage years, this stops you moving on and blocks new potential experiences.

"An example that springs to mind is the middle aged man with long hair, 30-40 years ago was probably the era he particularly enjoyed and has failed to move on.

"It would seem logical that these people are less flexible in their thinking and possibly somewhat obsessive. In addition, research also seems to show that people who have some future aim in life are also happier."

hi,
i agree that the quality of felexibility helps us to become happy in our daily life. But it is not the whole story of happiness. 'happiness' is a concept and each one of us carry different meanings of it. some enjoy watching t.v, some enjoy reading books, some enjoy teasing others (in negative meanings), some enjoy social gathering, some enjoy sex, some enjoy family get togathers, some enjoy shopping, some enjoy travelling more than any other thing in their spare time. We change our preferences to enjoying in different circumstances. We sometimes are not aware of the fact that we are happy. When we loose something we already had to keep us happy, then we realize our happiness has gone. Its not our choice rather its our true loop of preferences. for example, a person named 'a' becomes happy if
1. his basic needs are fulfilled like food, shelter, and security. on second stage he will be happy when
2. he watches t.v and enjoys cell phone. After this, he wil be happy if
3. he gets married with the girl he falls in love. then he will be happy if
4. he has a son and a daughter -healthy and beautiful. then he will be happy if
5. he travels and enjoys his holidays in his favourite irelands. then he will be happy if
6. he has a social circle of his own choice. ...etc.
this loop is continuous and we keep on changing our happiness criteria. Happiness is feeling that is not static and not forever. We must try to find our happines in following some of moral values like helping others, caring people in need, donating some charity, doing good for goodness sake, etc otherwise we will be caught in a vicious circle of dissatisfaction and depression.
thanks
Dr Mona

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