Achieving Happiness in Singapore by Dr Christopher Cheok & Angelina Esther David

The Science of Happiness

Scientific research has revealed what can make us happy and that it can be learnt. Many of the research is scientific in nature. The THRIVE Community Mental Health Programme aims to improve well-being, mental resilience of people. Happiness comes from within. Happy people have reduced rates risk of stroke, heart disease etc. Seek out happy or inspirational stories. Live in accordance in your values. There should be consistency in your private and public selves.

The following ways of improve happiness: Showing gratitude; Investing in a meaningful career or finding meaning in work; Developing good and lasting relationships; Contributing to the community; Being financially stable; Having time to pursue hobbies which engages our mind; Maintaining good physical and mental health.

Does money make you happy? A basic level of income is necessary. Beyond that, additional money does not lead to more happiness. For financially stable people, maintaining good relations, being engaged in hobbies are more crucial. Money made at the cost of more stress and responsibility is not necessarily good.

Does owning more, having more and achieving more make you happier? These tend to only provide some term happiness. Giving actually provides a better level of happiness. Train your mind inward to look for happiness.

True happiness is achieved by loving others, accepting love, contributing to your family and community, purposeful work, having good relationships and having enough to be financially secure. – Achieving Happiness in Singapore

Is it better to be married or single? People with stable and nurturing relationships are happier. Time and effort needs to be invested in relationships.

Some people are just born less happy than others. Is that true and what can you do about it? 25% to 50% of a personality is genetically determined. Regardless of this, it is still possible to enhance your happiness through certain exercises.

I am older than I once was and younger than I’ll be and that’s not unusual. No it isn’t strange. After changes upon changes, we are more or less the same. After changes we are more or less the same. – Paul Simon (The Boxer)

Does Happiness Change with Age and Does It Differ Between Men and Women? After 50, people tend to be happier because of maturity. In your 30s and 40s, striving for a career etc may diminish happiness. Beyond 50, people start being more satisfied with their state of life. Women tend to have stronger relationships than men.

What is the human psychology of attention? Humans have a tendency to focus on bad things. Retrain your mind to focus on positive things. Recall 3 good things that happens in a day. It could be simple things like being alive.

How Do We Generate Good Feelings? You can look out for funny stories and inspiring people. Cultivating gratitude is very important. Learn to give back to others and volunteer your time and service.

What is flow? Flow is when you are deeply engaged in a particular activity and which you enjoy. Time flies by when you are experiencing flow.

Can Happiness Be Transmitted From One Person to Another? Humans are social creatures. Hang out positive people.

Smiling even when there is nothing funny can make one happier. By smiling more, other people smile back and everyone is happier. 🙂 – Achieving Happiness in Singapore

Why is it important to understand your values and live authentically? Do not pretend to be someone you’re not. Understand your values. Find a job that will allow you to utilize your skills and matches your personality.

No one on their deathbed wished that they worked more. Therefore, in the time you are at work, it is important to get a good fit and work not just for the salary. When you find time either at work or in your personal life to do something you are passionate in, you will feel happier.’ – Achieving Happiness in Singapore

What must you try to do maximize your chance of happiness? The following factors matter: 1) Happy Marriage; 2) No Mental Illness; 3) Good Relationships; 4) No smoking, no alcohol abuse; 5) Healthy weight; 6) Mature ways of coping

What can I do to change to make myself happier? Follow the toolkit below

Finding and living your values: 1) Reflect on your values; 2) Use and embrace your strengths; 3) Engage in meaningful activities; 4) Live out your values and strengths

Getting rid of difficult emotions. Take ownerships of your thoughts. You have the freedom to choose. Thoughts and emotions are transient. Tell yourself that negative thoughts and emotions are empty in nature. You are the one who chose to be angry.

Changing unhelpful patterns of thoughts. Understand the power of thoughts. Our behavior also affects our thoughts. Learn to change your pattern of thinking. Learn to understand that you are responsible for your thoughts. 1) Track It; 2) Identify your negative thought patterns; 3) Challenge the negative thought; 4) Replace the negative with positive thoughts; 5) Make the choice to stay positive.

Building Loving Relationships. Know the five love languages. 1) Words of Affirmation; 2) Quality Time; 3) Receiving Gifts; 4) Acts of Service; 5) Physical Touch. Aim to perform the following steps: 1) Know the love languages; 2) Discover your love language; 3) Appreciate and learn your partner’s love language; 4) Speak your partner’s love language.



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