Happiness Plan (Essay Sample)
This task was to show how people always seek to have a happier society around them. as a result, various iconic writers alogn with pholosophers have come up with diferent theories explaining how to achieve such a society. generally, to have a happier and healthier society, individuals needs to practice consistent habits whichm, eventually, yield a unit happiness.source..
For many generations, mankind has always dreamed of a happier and healthier society. The idea of personal and societal happiness has been around for many years and philosophers and writers have theorized on different approaches to creating such an idyllic society. The following paper seconds these theorists in proposing that it is possible to achieve both personal and societal happiness. It even goes forward to detail a plan to achieve this. The following is that personal and societal happiness plan.
Contemporary times are unearthing a movement that gives precedence to our inner world. As such, people are becoming more open about their emotional worlds and sharing their feelings with peers (Wilson and Gilbert, 2005, 132). This stems from a widespread, albeit novel, belief that understanding the internal states of others is a crucial ingredient to creating happy individuals and by extension, happier communities. The paper chooses to refer to this societal phenomenon as the gentler culture. The gentler culture comes as a response to an older status quo where people were more concerned with the external world of individuals than the internal. Nevertheless, the dominant culture in our contemporary times is still externally focused. In the culture, aspects of human lives such as education, economic status, and larger influence are cherished and even encouraged. The paper chooses to refer to this societal phenomenon as the grind culture.
It is important to understand the grind culture because it gives a reliable lens through which one can glean into the nature of the current society. The contemporary society is the best that it has ever been in comparison to previous times throughout history. In today’s world, people are more successful in controlling their environments and have mastered the art of seeking comfort and convenience. Case in point, there is no era in history where we as a species have been more powerful against the forces of nature, diseases, predators, and uncertainty of the future. As such, we have won against the anxiety that our ancestors lived with by account of not being able to handle nature’s cruelty (Oishi and Diener, 2014, 425). The grind culture has been perfected by focusing on the success of the individual. In this happiness model, people are pitted against each other to compete for success in the forms of better grades, better jobs, better monthly incomes, better romantic partners, and even better kids. It is true that with the grind culture, humanity is richer than it ever was. However, it is crucial to pose the question of whether humans are happier even with these riches. The answer is that we are more stressed and disillusioned than ever before. Even though we have a plethora of entertainment media at our disposal, we are no longer amused. Even though we have the most efficient communication technology to date, we still feel disconnected and aloof. As such, even with the success of the grind culture in achieving mastery over nature, we are still not happy as individuals and as a society.
The grind culture has failed us in the sense that it encourages excessive competition. This is so because personal success is measured by how many other people will not be successful. As such, for one to be deemed successful, hordes of others must be declared unsuccessful. This win-lose scenario is indubitably the harbinger of the increased levels of disillusionment that are sweeping our communities. However, this is not to say that competition is necessarily evil. Unhealthy competition is the enemy of societal happiness. Competition can be credited for the increased drive-in individuals to succeed. Competition is also important for progress, especially when embraced by organizations (McAdams, 2008, 25). The paper pushes for embracing the gentler culture because it uses cooperation rather than competition to make individuals more successful. In the gentler culture, individuals realize that their success is also the success of other individuals and can therefore cooperate towards a common greater good. This cooperation makes success contagious from one individual to the other, ultimately causing a chain reaction of happiness and satisfaction in society. As such, it has a win-win premise. Therefore, the gentler culture will help achieve both personal and societal happiness.
From the lessons of the gentler culture and the grind culture, one can create a feasible happiness model. As such, the model will be based on reducing the misery introduced by the grind culture and increasing the happiness derived from the gentler culture. Our happiness model is feasible in that it is congruent with human nature. This is because it taps into two strong, albeit contrasting, human instincts. The first instinct is selfishness (Keyes, 2011). Selfishness is the main driving force behind the grind culture because, in it, everyone seeks to look out for their own. This instinct is an indispensable gift of nature as it is crucial for self-preservation and survival. As such, it is a great tool when individuals want to maintain a happy internal core. The second instinct is altruism, which is neighborly and seeks to look out for the welfare of others. Because of this reason, it is indisposable in the search for a common greater good. It is of utmost primacy in the pursuit of a happy society.
Morality is another key pillar that supports the proposed happiness model. For example, for an idyllic society, individuals must act from an internal compass that directs them towards good actions. Altruism has been a morality present in almost all the religions and cultural beliefs of civilizations throughout human history. However, it is no longer enough for people to do good just because they expect a reward or are afraid of punishment. This is why the law and religion cannot be the best vessels for nudging society into a happier future. Moreover, there has been a steady decline in religious belief over the years as the institution has lost its convincing power with the advent of science (Dunn, Gilbert, and Wilson, 2011, 124). Naturally, the void left by losing faith in religion has left many people disillusioned and filled with egotism. For example, it is a common motif in contemporary youth to promulgate the idea of only looking out for themselves. This is evidenced by the social media sphere where narcissism is rewarded and ills such as body dysmorphia propagated. With the decline in religious belief, the paper suggests a secular morality for the happiness plan that is directed by the needs of others rather than divine will.
The proposed happiness plan has its foundations in the individual and then proceeds outwards to others. It is prudent to start the plan from the individual because societies are made up of different people banded together. If everyone pledged to live their best life, then the ultimate result would be a society experiencing high levels of happiness and fulfillment. From a personal perspective, I believe that there are certain habits that, when repeated consistently would yield a happy healthier being. First among them is smiling. It is proven that happier people tend to smile and that smiling relieves stress by reducing the levels of cortisol in the brain and turn increasing dopamine and serotonin (Schwartz, 2004, 74). Exercising is also a great happiness booster as it relieves anxiety, reduces stress, diminishes depression, and increases self-esteem. Exercise need not be grueling and can take the form of taking daily evening walks around one’s neighborhood.
Getting enough sleep is also a personal happiness booster because sleep improves health and reduces cortisol levels in the brain. Around eight hours of sleep, every night could energize one to increase their happiness. A good diet can also increase personal bliss. Carbohydrates such as whole grains, for example, increase serotonin levels. Lean meat on the other hand helps the brain release norepinephrine and dopamine, both of which give one a lot of concentration and energy (Myers and Diener, 1996, 75). Deep breathing has also been found to instantly relieve individuals from their stress and other negative emotions. Another trick that could make individuals happier is having the company of other individuals they like. Pets could also have the same effect as friends since interaction has been found to increase dopamine release in people’s brains.
While the above tips can help people have positive days, other suggestions could be performed at sparser intervals. For example, by planning one's week, stress and anxiety could be defeated as one could always know what is required of them at every given time. One could also choose to switch off their electronic media and live in real life for one hour every week. This is because constantly being on one's phone or computer could be draining them. Unplugging may therefore help them to breathe and pay attention to their environments. Another weekly thing could be to take a nature walk. If one does not have a park to walk in, one can alternatively look for areas with green leafage as nature would reset one's brain to what they care about. Meditation can also be done every week. Meditation helps to make the mind blank and it rids off recurring subconscious thoughts that could be leaving one drained throughout the week (Layard, 2011).
Moving from personal happiness and to societal happiness, the next phase inside society revolves around schools. A study uncovered that, while following up on students' welfare, schools have a great impact on the happiness levels of their students (Haidt, 2009, 67). For example, some schools reported having happier students than others. Isolating the policies tha...
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