Source |Inc .com | BY:Jef Hden, Contributing Editor Inc
We all want to be happier and feel a greater sense of fulfillment. That’s why I often write about what happy people do more often, about some of the habits of remarkably happy people, about things to stop doing so you can be happier at work, about simple daily habits of exceptionally happy people.
And recently I wrote about the difficult choices people make that make them happier, especially over the long haul.
We love happiness at Buffer. We’ve renamed customer support customer happiness. Happiness is baked into our culture and values and the DNA of every person who works on the team. If there’s a smile to be had or a positive outlook to take, we’ll do our best to find it.
So I wondered: Are there unexpected ways to be happy?
I pulled together research about the many unexpected and counterintuitive ways to find happiness:
1. Learn something new, even if it’s stressful: Mastering a new skill means more stress now but more happiness later.
If you are willing to push through a bit of added stress in the short term, you can experience huge gains in happiness for the long term.
So learn a new skill. Though you’ll take on a bit more stress, research shows you’ll be happier on an hourly, daily, and long-term basis.
The gains from this investment in time and energy were documented in a 2009 study published in the Journal of Happiness Studies. Participants who spent time on activities that increased their competency, met their need for autonomy, or helped them connect with others reported decreased happiness in the moment yet increased happiness on an hourly and daily basis.
The key, according to the study, is to choose the right new skill to master, challenge to undertake, or opportunity to get out of your comfort zone. The greatest increases in happiness come from learning a skill you choose, rather than one you think you should or feel forced to learn.