No matter how strained your mental health and happiness are, you can fall prey to negative thoughts. Everyone, no matter how optimistic and positive they are, will find themselves in a situation where they have to figure out how to be happy again.
The trick to being happy is to realize that you won’t always be happy.
This doesn’t mean you can’t do small things that make a big difference in your ability to endure difficult times without sinking into a sea of helpless depression.
I’ve had to learn to take control of my own happiness, even though I face many challenges in my own life that cripple many people with depression and despair.
I was born poor, so spending money to make myself happy was out of the question. I didn’t have many opportunities, so it wasn’t easy to surround myself with positive people in the hopes that some of their happiness would rub off on me.
I knew that if I wanted lasting happiness in my life – not just a little buzz from getting drunk with people or endorphins from working out – I would have to make fundamental changes to my mindset, to my lifestyle. and the way I approached life.
Through the most difficult situations in my life, I learned to control my own level of happiness, no matter what was happening around me.
A positive outlook helps you see positive things.
The best thing about studying physics is that it gave me a framework to understand everything in the world. It gave me a new way of seeing the world, grasping the subtle nuances of life, and making the most of my short time on this planet.
Connecting the outside world to my state of mind has improved my mental health, well-being, and life satisfaction.
Physics helped me understand happiness.
Not because studying the subject makes me happy (it does, but there are times that shatter your self-esteem and make you feel like an idiot), but because it provides interesting analogies about the “secret ” happiness.
If you want to have a happy life, it is important that you learn to do what makes you happy.
Thinking in terms of the calculus that governs physics gave me a valuable path and perspective to being happy.
Here are some of my favorite physics and calculus analogies that will increase your life satisfaction and help you understand what to do when you’re having a bad day.
Physics and calculus lessons on how to live a happier life
1. Understand that happiness is a rhythm of change.
An interesting fact about life: we are more likely to suffer from lack than from loss.
This is called “loss aversion.” Research shows that negative emotions are felt more intensely than positive emotions. We react more negatively to the loss of $10 than positively to the discovery of $10.
This is why it is easier to be happy in chronic poverty and loneliness than if you were once doing well and then lost everything.
On the other hand, few things can make you as happy as a new lover or an increase in your income. Your happiness depends not so much on your situation in life as on changing your position. The change in your life position is responsible for your mood, while the acceleration of this change determines how hard it hits you.
That’s F=M*A applied to your emotions.
Slow change, positive or negative, does not generate much force. The sudden death of a romantic partner or winning a huge lottery jackpot will quickly and dramatically alter your state of mind.
How to use it to make your life happy again: Happiness in life consists of constantly changing one’s position for the better. Improving yourself and overcoming past challenges is the surest way to increase happiness. No matter your level, there is always another comfort zone to get out of, another area to develop in or a new group to contact. Doing this will make you happy.
2. Life integrates past experience into the present moment.
Individual moments don’t matter much. If I look at any moment in your life, I can’t say anything about you or the journey you’ve been on. You could have an off day in a life full of happiness or a happy day in a life full of sadness.
Only by seeing the person as a whole, over time, can I get a sense of the happiness in a person’s life and the depth of their experience.
If you have a singular experience – whether in or out of context – you will not be able to accurately assess the level of happiness in your life. A local minimum in your experience is considered absolute and permanent depression. Instead of considering the entire journey and the fact that your position will change, you become obsessed with just one position.
This fixation makes movement impossible. Without movement there can be no growth. Without growth there can be no happiness
How to use it to make your life happy again: I basically described gratitude. Gratitude is nothing more than the ability to look at the pain in your life and realize that it could be worse. Even if it truly is the worst position of your life, getting stuck in it not only prevents you from appreciating the past but also from planning your escape in the future. If you want to be happy again, practice gratitude.
3. Break big problems into smaller pieces.
This point seems to contradict the previous one, but I assure you that is not the case. Rather, it is a different perspective. Furthermore, it wouldn’t be a true calculus analogy if you couldn’t undo it and get a useful result that’s essential to understanding the whole thing.
Everything can be broken down into smaller and smaller moments. In fact, no matter how big a problem is, it can be broken down into infinitely smaller parts.
These small parts, in many cases, are much easier to treat than the problem as a whole.
How to use it to make your life happy again: Happiness is found in problem solving, which means your life should be focused on solving problems. To solve problems effectively, break your problems down into the simplest pieces possible. Every time you make progress and solve one of the smallest problems, you will feel an increase in happiness.
4. Connect with other human beings.
Special and general relativity lead us to some interesting conclusions about the universe.
The two most relevant to this discussion are:
- Nothing exists by itself. There is no such thing as a thing in itself because objects are always defined in terms of their relationship to something else.
- Two different people can objectively observe an event in a completely different way and, due to their speed or position, both are right.
Both of these ideas are powerful ideas that have the ability to increase your happiness on this planet.
How to use it to make your life happy again, part 1:
First of all, remember that other people are the most important thing. Your social connections can have a huge impact on the quality of your life. Spend time with your close friends and loved ones. You are happiest when you are surrounded by other humans. Also, know that you can never truly be alone.
In our darkest hours, it’s easy to believe that no one understands our plight. It’s wrong. Someone’s had it worse. Someone understands. Someone has done it and can teach you to do the same.
Be it education or love, you are never lacking in the universe. You are never alone.
How to use it to make your life happy again, part 2:
The biggest waste of time is arguing with people to change how they feel about something. It is entirely reasonable for intelligent people to look at the same facts and react to them differently.
Every moment you spend denying this is a moment of unnecessary pain you inflict on yourself when you argue about irrelevant points. You have less time on this planet than you think. Don’t waste your time arguing.
5. Forgiving and letting go of grudges will make you happier.
Physics says that only two things are truly impossible:
- 100% efficiency (perpetual movement)
- Reversal of causality (reversal of the course of time)
The first statement means that everything will eventually run out of power and need to be recharged or assisted. The second means you cannot travel backward in time. What is done is done and cannot be undone.
People want it because they sincerely believe it will undo what has already happened in the past. The universe doesn’t work that way.
All you have is time and forgiveness. Properly executed, the latter will speed up the passage of the first.
If you distance yourself from things that make you feel sad, depressed, and other negative emotions, you will eventually be able to overcome anything. On the other hand, all positive emotions and good feelings must be nurtured to remain strong and radiant.
How to use this to make your life happy again: Commit to forgiving your enemies, moving forward, and maintaining current relationships with your friends. Deep relationships or forgiveness don’t have to happen instantly. Engaging in an attempt is more important than the accomplishment.
Getting them will take time, but all that matters is letting go of the past and starting to live for the future.
The rest is up to you.
Ed Latimore is an American retired professional boxer, influencer and best-selling author. His work focuses on personal development and a practical approach to Stoic philosophy.