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Adversity Is Your Opportunity

What actually makes us happy and unhappy? Dr. Sonja Lyubomirsky, the author of The Myths of Happiness tells us that our happiness may not be driven from our beliefs that we need successful relationships, family, jobs and wealth to be happy. Conversely, she shares that perhaps health problems, and a lack of wealth may not drive our unhappiness. In fact, adversity can become our opportunity for positive change if we approach it effectively.

Consider the following facts from Dr. Lyubomirsky, which are drawn from various fields of Psychology:

  • We should replay our happy times. Studies suggest that we will be happier if we can savor (not dissect) our positiveexperiences.
  • We should analyse (rather than relive) our negative past experiences. Studies suggest that we will be happier if we strive to understand (but not replay) unhappy times. 

  • It’s the frequency—not intensity—of positive emotions that is good for our health. 

  • Daily hassles impact our well-being more than major life events. Because, unlike annoyances, calamities motivate us to cope and positively re-evaluate our situation—to elicit strong emotional support from others—we often paradoxically suffer pain and distress longer from the little things than from the big things.
  • Invest in relationships – expressing gratitude, acts of kindness, trying to empathetic, staying positive and supportive. This will contribute to your happiness and health more than anything else.

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