Happiness And The Ingredients Needed To Create It

Happiness and the ingredients needed to create it

Happiness in our relationships bring into play a lot of different aspects of our life. One of these aspects is the culture in which we were born and grew up. Studies show that some eastern countries tend to have lower levels of wellbeing compared to western countries. Our culture influences the way we seek happiness and regulate our emotions. An example of this is that some westerners may desire excitement and cheerfulness to create happiness in their lives. In eastern cultures they may prefer a calmer, peaceful and more serene emotion to display their happiness.

Many different factors are involved to promote one’s happiness. Studies have found that self-esteem is more important to feelings of satisfaction with life in the west than it is in eastern cultures. It is difficult to examine this as what is important to one culture may not be as important to another. Looking at both cultural similarities and differences however creates better communication and peace and harmony.

The role of culture for wellbeing and happiness

It is important for studies to be conducted on cultural differences. These differences can be used positively to determine what is good for our wellbeing. Some people might say that everybody defines happiness in their own way. So they will argue you can’t have one definition of happiness. It all depends on how it’s measured and how we define wellbeing.

If happiness is defined in terms of excitement and being cheerful, rowdy and joyful, then Westerners are going to report higher levels. Easterners, tend not to measure happiness in this way. Not being sensitive to some of these differences, can give an uneven understanding of the well-being of Eastern cultures. Westerners may think they are just not happy when the issue is that their wellbeing is being assessed incorrectly. Westerners tend to put more emphasis on high-arousal, positive, loud emotions and not enough emphasis on the peace and quietude of lower aroused emotions. These lower aroused emotions however be more in line with the cultures beliefs, ideology, social and cultural practices.

Happiness in the east and west

When we try to make someone happy, we try things sometimes that make us happy. This may not always work as everyone is different. We need to find out what it is that will make that person happy and approach them with that. The reason one’s culture has a big impact on happiness is due to cultural beliefs, attitudes and practices. Mix this with social interaction and individual ideas and it’s a recipe for creating wellbeing and happiness.

A lot of eastern cultures tend to be more collective in terms of social situations. They focus more on the people around them. This impacts behaviour depending on with whom you interact. You will not act the same with your parents as you will with your friends, or your teachers and work colleagues. In cultures that are more collective there is less emphasis on your individuality and more on the group. The role you play in the group often adds or subtracts from your happiness.

In western culture there is more emphasis on self-belief and positive individual action. There is more emphasis on outgoing happiness type emotions that create an atmosphere and even influences the people around you. In eastern cultures there is more attention to one’s social situation. More emphasis on accommodating our fellow beings and not to risk offending anyone.

What do we take into account regarding happiness and wellbeing?

When focusing on happiness there is often a need to take into account parental expectations and how much that influences you. The culture of your parents gives us a grounding and influences specific beliefs about how we relate to others from an early age. This influences how we respond to experiences as we grow up. Studies show that students from Eastern cultures have parents with more specific expectations for them. Many of these students felt like they weren’t fulfilling these expectations, resulting in lower levels of wellbeing and happiness.

What it boils down to is when our wellbeing is dependent on what others think, do, say and believe there is more pressure to fulfill these expectations. This tends to lead to lower levels of wellbeing and happiness. When these students do succeed, they find themselves having mixed emotions. On one hand they feel happy. However, they also feel a fear of troubling other people because they believe that they are responsible in some way for others feelings. This is due to their difficulty in pleasing their parents.

Can we ever be too happy?

Some people also have a belief regarding happiness that good things follow bad things, and bad things follow good things. Some believe that if they are too happy something bad will then happen. The problem with this is it results in people sabotaging themselves and not wanting to experience high levels of happiness or welling for fear of something bad coming. These beliefs can make you indecisive in daily life because you can see the good and the bad in each decision. This makes it more difficult to be happy with your decisions. You’ll always be wondering if it’s the right decision. Being indecisive can cause you to be less happy in your life.

So happiness and wellbeing differs from one culture to another. It is the communication and meeting of these cultures that enables us to make others happy. The key is to get to know what makes another person in your life happy and contribute to that. Remember that what makes you happy can sometimes be the same thing as them, but not always. Getting to know people and what their beliefs and values are is important for this reason. We are all individuals. It is therefore important to remember that in your own life and do what makes you also feel happy. For tips on how to create a happy healthy lifestyle check out my other blogs. Here’s one for starters – https://www.wellbeing.com.au/body/health/healthy-lifestyle-tips-wellbeing.html

Jenetta Haim

Jenetta Haim

Jenetta Haim runs Stressfree Management at 36 Gipps Road, Greystanes, and specialises in assisting your health and lifestyle in all areas by developing programs on either a corporate or personal level to suit your needs. Jenetta has just published a book called Stress-Free Health Management, A Natural Solution for Your Health available from your favourite bookstore or online. For more information and to get in touch, visit her website at Stressfree Management.

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