Aristotle said that happiness is the ultimate goal of life. But what is happiness and why is it important?
A study in 2019 showed that 64% of people worldwide reported feeling happy. However, in 2022, a Gallup annual study on the negative and positive experiences that people have daily shows a heightened negative state globally.
In 2022, a report revealed a global rise of negative emotions such as sadness, anger, stress, and worry.
How do we change this? How do we turn these negative emotions into positive ones, and more importantly, how do we achieve the ultimate goal in life, which is happiness?
In this article, we’ll talk about what happiness is, tips for achieving happiness, and how to make a 2024 vision board to bring happiness to your life.
WHY IS HAPPINESS IMPORTANT?
What is happiness? According to the Oxford English Dictionary, happiness is the feeling of pleasure and contentment. The benefits of happiness are well-documented, with studies showing that feeling happy can bring the following outcomes:
- Improved cardiac health
- Strengthened immune system
- Improved chances of success
- More productivity
- Reduced stress levels
In other words, happiness helps improve your health and well-being.
But how do you find happiness? Is it easy to achieve? The answer is yes and no. This is because studies show that happiness is determined by a lot of factors, such as your genes.
Studies have consistently revealed that a huge chunk of happiness is determined by genetics. The other factor is determined by external circumstances.
Does this mean you can’t do anything if you’re hardwired for gloom? The answer is no. You can do something to change your disposition.
According to Laurie Santos, a professor of Psychology at Yale University who also offers a Coursera class called, “The Science of Well-Being,” there’s a common misconception that happiness is built-in and that you can’t change it. Santos believes otherwise and her course has become the most popular at Yale, where she teaches students how to be happier.
Happiness can be learned and more people think so, too. One study revealed that people believe 40% of your happiness comes from within. Although genes and external factors do have an effect on how good you feel, a significant amount of happiness depends on you.
You have the power to find and achieve happiness in your life, you just need to know how.
In the following section, we’re recommending 7 vision board ideas you can make that will help you achieve happiness.
2024 VISION BOARD IDEAS FOR HAPPINESS
We’ve studied different ways of achieving happiness and found 7 simple, easy, and effective ways to boost your mood, lift your spirit, and give you long-lasting feelings of pleasure and contentment.
Here are 7 vision board ideas that can help you experience genuine happiness:
VISION BOARD OF SMILING, HAPPY PEOPLE
Make a vision board of smiling, happy people to remind yourself to smile, even when you don’t feel like it. This is because studies show that smiling, even a fake one, can positively affect your mood.
A study conducted at the University of South Australia and published in the journal, Experimental Psychology, revealed that smiling can have a positive impact on your mood.
The study states that the mere act of smiling can trick your brain into thinking you’re actually happy. Research author Fernando Marmolejo-Ramos revealed that the muscle movements of a smile stimulate the amygdala in the brain.
The amygdala is the part of the brain that regulates emotions. When your facial muscles are triggered through smiling, this sends a message to your amygdala to release neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin.
Dopamine causes feelings of pleasure while serotonin reduces stress levels. Individuals who are depressed have been studied to suffer from low serotonin levels.
So make a vision board of people showing big smiles, to remind yourself to smile, even though you may be having a bad day.
GRATITUDE VISION BOARD
Psychologist Martin Seligman, often dubbed the father of Positive Psychology, conducted a study in 2005, asking respondents to write 3 things they’re grateful for at the end of each day. He also told the subjects to write down why these good things happened.
At the end of the experiment, Seligman concluded that being grateful leads to long-term increases in happiness, and reduces symptoms of depression.
Create a gratitude vision board or journal to boost your feelings of happiness by being thankful for the blessings you already have in your life.
KINDNESS DREAM BOARD
Sonja Lyubomirsky of UC Riverdale conducted a series of studies about random acts of kindness. She discovered that being charitable and helping other people leads to feelings of happiness and reduces feelings of anxiety and depression.
Make a vision board about donating to a charity, helping the homeless, adopting a pet, or simply being a good and kind neighbor.
MINDFULNESS VISION BOARD
Mindfulness has long been studied and proven to promote health, well-being, and overall happiness. But how? Well, a study in 2011 from the International Journal of Well-Being suggests that mindfulness is able to provide a host of benefits because it teaches your brain to focus on the present, instead of the past or future.
By not thinking about the pains and mistakes of the past, and not worrying about the uncertainties of the future, you can focus on what’s more important, and that’s what’s right in front of you.
Create a mindfulness vision board by placing pictures of meditation, yoga, praying, communing with nature, listening to music, and other forms of mindfulness.
SOCIAL LIFE BOARD
Multiple studies have found that the biggest factor affecting happiness is your social connections. A Harvard study of Adult Development also supports this, which shows the benefits of positive social support in a person’s happiness and overall well-being.
The study involved hundreds of participants over the course of more than 80 years and included the happiness levels of their children, as well.
Having a positive social support system is even one of the main factors of mortality, with people who surround themselves with loved ones being found to live longer and more satisfying lives.
Make a social life vision board by putting pictures of happy families, friends, and social connections. This can help remind you to reach out to family members, and friends, and join activities where you can meet like-minded individuals.
Speaking of like-minded individuals, The Vision Cloud offers a vision board magazine subscription where you get access to an exclusive Facebook community of super attractors, beginner manifestors, and happiness advocates just like you.
The Vision Cloud is on a mission to help as many people live happier lives by creating the life of their dreams. When people are achieving their goals, living a life of abundance, and manifesting their dreams, they create a universal collective of positive energy. And this is exactly what The Vision Cloud wants to achieve, with the help of vision boards and the Law of Attraction.
We are able to do this by offering a vision board magazine subscription that includes vision board templates you can download for free by clicking on this link, goal-setting worksheets, daily SMS for inspiration and motivation, and a yearly conference where you get to learn more about vision board-making, goal-setting, and overall wellness.
Click on this link for more information about what The Vision Cloud has to offer, and get started on your journey to happiness with the use of vision boards and so much more.
Speaking of goals, researchers have stated that achieving goals results in the satisfaction of psychological needs, which can lead to happiness and contentment.
Another researcher states that working towards your goals can help you better understand what is meaningful in your life, and you’ll have a tendency to engage in more fulfilling activities that also lead to a more meaningful life.
Create a goal vision board for 2024 and make sure they are challenging and achievable, and that you can track your progress. We’ve written a great article on goal-setting that talks about the SMART technique, and we believe this is the perfect way to set goals that can help you achieve happiness.
AUTHENTIC SELF VISION BOARD
And last on our list is creating an authenticity vision board. Authenticity means being true to yourself. Oftentimes, we strive for goals that are set by society and our families. When we work towards making these people happy, we can sometimes forget our own needs and values. We end up living a life of inauthenticity, and this can lead to depression and anxiety.
Researchers Goldman and Kernis talk about inauthenticity as being too focused on meeting other people's expectations. What we need to do is to be in alignment with our true selves to be able to achieve true happiness.
Make a vision board where you mount pictures of things that make you happy. Maybe spending time in the woods is what you want, or maybe learning to dance the salsa is one of your dreams.
Look within yourself and discover what it is that makes you happy, and make a vision board of all this to help you manifest your true self.
There are many misconceptions when it comes to finding happiness and it’s not just about feeling good and having fun. True happiness is feeling content and fulfilled in life, and experts say you have the power to make it happen.
Try any of these 7 simple ways to be happy and make vision boards to help you manifest happiness in your life. Create a 2024 vision board for happiness and finally begin a life that’s authentic to your vision of what a dream life looks like.