Carl Jung was a renowned psychology expert who founded many theories about personality, identity, and analytical psychology.
His work has been studied the world over, and today, many of this theories and suggestions for improving one’s life still hold true.
In our hustle and bustle world, it can be hard to find time to smell the proverbial roses and it seems that the more access we have to things, the less unsure we are of what can make us happier.
The search for happiness is very real and many affluent psychologists have been busy trying to find their answers to some of life’s most difficult questions.
What makes us happy is not the same for everyone. Pop culture likes to remind us that money and owning stuff is the quickest way to achieve the happiness we seek, but a growing body of literature is claiming its place amongst the theories to remind us that we need only look inward.
And Jung was one of the first to make this claim.
Here are five factors which can improve your own happiness, according to Carl Jung:
1) Take Care Of Your Physical and Mental Health
It should not come as a surprise to anyone that taking care of your body, exercising, eating right, getting the sleep your body needs, and tending to the needs of your mental health can help to make you a happier person overall.
The physical benefits of exercise alone is enough to make someone happier. Our bodies release endorphins when we exercise and these endorphins can provide us with the same level of satisfaction that chocolate can.
So rather than fill up on chocolate that could make you feel bloated and full of guilt, spend time outdoors walking. Your body and brain will thank you for you.
2) Working to Improve Your Relationships
Humans crave love and attention and we are able to satisfy those cravings with our relationships: friends, family, marriages, coworkers, neighbors.
Everyone in our lives has the ability to make us feel happy. Of course, we can’t like everyone all the time, and we don’t always get along with everyone all the time, but the general consensus is that someone who is loved and who works to put their relationships first, experiences more happiness overall than people who don’t.
Which makes sense if you think about it, people who spend their lives alone don’t tend to be very happy. Sharing your life with people can make you happier.
What’s more, spending your life in service of others: your wife, children, friends, extended family, can make you feel happier as well. When we remove our needs from the equation and work to make others happy, we experience a great deal of happiness as a byproduct of those actions.
3) See the Beauty All Around
Yesterday I put a pot of soup on the stove to boil and then hours later remembered that I had put soup on the stove. Thankfully, my husband saw that I was busy with housework, so he took the soup off the stove before it burned and made a mess.
This is just one example of how busy our lives are: we don’t even remember that we wanted to eat soup for lunch.
If we want to be happier, we need to slow down and take in the scenery around us. Stop and eat lunch, smell those roses, nap on the patio, picnic under a tree, share some change with a man on the street, visit a friend, appreciate the beauty that is everywhere.
We don’t do this enough as humans. There is always money to make and places to go and projects to deliver. Taking the time to soak up the world around us can help improve our happiness and reduce our stress levels as well.
4) Enjoy Your Work and Life
Everyone’s interest in work varies depending on who you are talking to. There is a great divide between people who live to work and those who work to live.
The happiness of employees seems to go up when they enjoy their work and don’t feel like they need to separate their personal from their professional lives.
When we feel needed and productive, our levels of happiness go up. While many people don’t put any stock in their jobs at all, those that do experience more satisfaction and better standards of living overall because they take pride in their work and products.
5) Something to Believe
While formal religion is not necessary to lead a long and happy life, many people, including Jung, believed that having something bigger than yourself to believe in could lead you down a path of happiness.
The idea that life doesn’t end when we leave this world is of great comfort to millions of people and it can bring solace and acceptance during particularly difficult times in our lives.
If you find yourself struggling to grab hold of happiness, try focusing on one aspect of your life that you can improve upon. Sometimes, the simple of act trying to improve one’s self or one’s situation can bring about a great deal of satisfaction and happiness as well.
Original source here
Harmless’ third national self harm conference will be held on Friday 1st March 2019, Self Harm Awareness Day. This year’s theme is: ‘our young people: intervention & early intervention for improved outcomes’.
£150 per delegate place*
2 delegate places for £200*
The theme of our conference is Our young people: intervention & early intervention for improved outcomes.
Harmless recognises that self harm affects a broad range of individuals, facing many diverse experiences; reducing the number of individuals that self harm requires contributions from across society and includes education, prevention, intervention and postvention work.
This exciting new event will bring together private, public, voluntary and community sector organisations, individuals with lived experience of self harm and practitioners & academics in the field of self harm in an ethos of joint working and shared experience.
Our conference is themed around five strategic areas:
- Collaborative partnership,
- Service user representation,
- Effective practice,
- Driving change &
- Overcoming stigma and discrimination.
Delegates can expect to take away from the conference a range of knowledge, inspiration and practical applications for the implementation in real life personal and professional situations. Learning from some of the leaders in the field, delegates will have access to interactive sessions that can drive change in the field of self harm.
Dr Nav Kapur
Dr Alys Cole-King
Prof. Siobhan O’Neill
Dr Sarah Cassidy
I cannot remember another time in the recent past when the prevention of youth suicide and self-harm has led the news cycle to such a degree – as it has done in the past few weeks in the UK. This is fantastic and long overdue. As someone who has been working in the suicide prevention field for 20+ years and who has lost important people in my life to suicide, I never thought I’d see the day when suicide prevention would be talked about so openly (and appropriately, for the most part) in the mainstream media.
I have also been incredibly moved by the personal stories of loss that so many heartbroken loved ones have shared. Indeed, if it wasn’t for these vital contributions and the advocacy of those bereaved by suicide, I doubt that suicide prevention would be the leading political priority that it has become. The governments across the UK (and the many advocates who campaign tirelessly) should be commended for prioritising suicide prevention which culminated in a global first – the appointment of a first-ever Minister for Suicide Prevention announced in England last year on World Suicide Prevention Day.
However, as I illustrated in a recent tweet, my concern is that we may miss this golden opportunity to really move our suicide prevention efforts forward by blaming social media companies. By focusing too much attention on social media, we run the risk of ignoring the social, clinical, cultural and psychological causes of youth suicide. It is too easy, and inaccurate, to level the blame for youth self-harm/suicide at the apps of social media organisations. My fear is that ‘the social media and suicide’ headlines are hiding the fact that most people who die by suicide are trapped by disadvantage and/or emotional pain, have often experienced early life trauma and/or did not receive the timely and tailored mental health treatment that they so badly needed. That should be our focus – how do we keep our young people safe – offline as well as online – especially the most vulnerable?
Tackling social inequality and adequately funding mental health services will save countless more lives than regulating social media companies. It shouldn’t be an either-or, though; it should be both. In all of the recent media coverage, rarely has the complexity of suicide risk been conveyed (see Panel 1 below from Hawton, Saunders & O’Connor, 2012). Tackling social media use is only one part of the puzzle. The fact that mental health services have been cut, that the most disadvantaged are not protected and that there are unacceptably long waiting lists is at the heart of suicide prevention.
Of course, we should ensure that graphic images of self-harm and suicide are removed from social media platforms like Instagram. And I welcome the UK government’s efforts to ensure that Instagram (and other platforms) removes all such content – and NSPCC’s call to help keep young people safe online. These efforts are important because we know there is an association between suicide/self-harm and suicidal behaviour. Indeed, a few years ago, we asked adolescents about the factors that influenced their self-harm and about 1 in 5 mentioned social media/internet as a factor. This number has likely grown since. So I am not questioning the relationship itself. But the relationship between social media use and suicide/self-harm is weak and complicated; it is not the key driver for suicide; and for many young people, social media acts as a safety net in times of crisis when mental health services are not available. We need to be careful not to demonise all aspects of social media and inadvertently remove this vital source of support for our young people. Another challenge is that the evidence for what works – in terms of treatments for suicidal young people – is severely lacking. As a matter of urgency, we need to fund more suicide prevention research.
I sincerely hope that politicians who were so vocal in their calls to regulate social media platforms will be similarly vocal in calling for more research into treatments to prevent suicide. We need a step-change in funding for youth suicide prevention. Let’s harness this moment to highlight the complexity of suicide risk; to promote hope and recovery and crucially to maintain the pressure on government to ensure that their strong words around suicide prevention are translated into funding for suicide prevention research and much needed services.
If you are affected by suicide or you are worried about someone, Samaritans is available 24/7 on 116 123 or via email email@example.com. More crisis information is available here.
Professor Rory O’Connor
Director, Suicidal Behaviour Research Laboratory