Human happiness can be measured scientifically
After several decades of hard work by positive psychology, a section of psychology that focuses, among other things, on the study of well-being, happiness and human flourishing, we can affirm that today we are facing a psychological construct with enough and solvent measurement and observation tools.
Because, contrary to what you might think a few years ago, human happiness can be measured scientifically. Just speaking of scales, among other types of instruments, or psychometrically validated questionnaires, we can find several dozen. Among them, we will see scales that measure our level of happiness called hedonic, that is, our subjective well-being and life satisfaction in general.
But we also find scales that measure our eudaimonia, that is, the most profoundly human happiness that has to do with universal strengths and virtues, with the vital fullness and flourishing of the human being.
Both for our hedonia and for our eudaimonic happiness, we also have a good handful of applications on our mobile. Either to measure ourselves or to exercise and strengthen ourselves in one or the other, or both.
If we start by reviewing those applications that can help us with our hedonic state, our positive emotions, our satisfaction with life and the awareness of that satisfaction, there is a good plethora of them.
Helpful exercises and experiences
If I had to highlight any, I would opt for Happify. First for its interface, its clearly friendly character, its usability, aesthetics and design. But also because of its content, because on the layer of data, scales and questionnaires that supports it, we will find activities, exercises and really useful and enriching experiences that have demonstrated sufficient solvency in improving certain habits and behaviors leading to subjective well-being. more solid and durable.
The experts and scientists behind it, in one way or another, endorse the scientific nature of its proposals. Its creators say, as a founding principle, that technology should be used to improve people’s lives, and your app is a good example of this.
Also for our psychological well-being or eudaimonic happiness (remember, the twin sister of virtue), our mobile has an extraordinary offer. If we take, for example, the model of the twenty-four human strengths and we think that for each of them there are a good handful of applications that help to exercise them, the list would become almost endless.
The gratitude diaries
But if I had to highlight one, I would go for gratitude journals. Cicero said that gratitude is not only a human virtue, but the mother of all others. Its impact on psychological and subjective well-being, both closely related levels of happiness, is amply proven, let’s not forget.
An interesting example of those gratitude diaries for our mobile can be Happyfeed, but there are many equally valid, because the mechanism is very simple. They help us to remember a certain number of things, facts, experiences, experiences, details, etc. that we have lived each day, and to register them.
The advantages are multiple: first because while we thank we feel good, but also, and above all, because we began to focus on the positive, both in the present and in the past; It helps us to be open to acceptance and serenity in the face of what happens to us, all of which opens the doors to other human virtues and strengths.
In the end, with that simple daily habit of giving thanks for something that happened to us that day, a virtuous spiral is set in motion in the purest sense of the word.
I don’t want to stop pointing out the importance of caution and measure in all mobile use, also in this. We must be aware that our behavior with these apps will be data that we leave to third parties. In principle, this is something that can help ourselves, others, science … provided that such data, presumably, is used in accordance with ethics and data protection legislation. But, like any human tool, or almost, goodness will depend on the purpose of its use.
In any case, to conclude, can our smartphone be a good ally for our happiness? Certainly yes; provided it is used thoughtfully or, in the words of Schneider, Halfmann and Vorderer, consciously, self-controlled, meaningful. And also, of course, equipped with the appropriate applications.
Applications that in a rigorous way help us to measure and know our own level of happiness and well-being, subjective and psychological, and also to improve it. Because happiness, like virtue, is something that is also trained, exercised, At least, in part, it is in our hands. And today there is nothing more at hand for anyone than their mobile.
This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read original here.