Looking for Happiness in All the Wrong Places

"Psychologists have conducted a number of research studies trying to analyze what makes people happy, and the results are startling. Most of the time, it turns out that we're looking in the wrong places.

Money, for instance, is only important until you have enough to meet your basic needs. After that, it has little effect on long-term, deep down happiness...

What elements are thought to bring happiness, and how can you integrate more of them into your life?

Cultivate Intimate Friendships...

Says [Dr. Dean] Ornish...'Spending time with the people we care about isn't what we do after the important stuff is done. It is the important stuff.'

To build more intimacy into your life, Ornish suggests that you:

* Help others.
* Communicate how you feel. Say "I feel angry..." rather than "I am angry with you..."
* Listen to others and show you've heard them.
* Get a dog...
* Find spirituality...

Go With the Flow

People are often happiest when in a state called 'flow'...the state that occurs when your body and mind are totally absorbed in a task that challenges you without overwhelming you...

Get Married...

But a ring on the finger isn't enough in and of itself. It's the quality of the relationship that counts...there are four important similarities among relationships in which the people are satisfied:

* The ability to talk openly.
* Respect. "Don't try to bend the other person to see things through your eyes," says Cole.
* A sense of humor.
* The ability to work as a team, utilizing each other's strengths and pulling in the same direction...

Increase your happiness wherever you work:

* Don't just sit back and wait for opportunities to happen, be proactive in finding out what is available.
* Build up a good morale and camaraderie among the people you work with.
* Make sure you have a good "fit" between what motivates you and what you do each day..."

Read more in this interesting article from Beliefnet.com