By: Karen Foster,
For years philosophers have sought the secret to a fulfilling existence, but now one man claims to have discovered it – and come up with a formula. Research into what makes people feel happy has led renowned professor, Dr Todd Kashdan, to produce an equation called the Feel Good Formula. In it, he identifies six factors which, when put together in the right combination, make a happy soul.
Psychological well-being has been linked to many important life outcomes, including career success, relationship satisfaction, and health.
The feel good factors are: Live in the moment (M), be curious (C), do something you love (L), think of others (T), nurture relationships (N), and take care of you body (B).
Mounting evidence suggest that happiness might be at least as powerful a predictor, if not a more powerful predictor than some of the other lifestyle factors such as diet and physical activity.
Dr Kashdan reviewed the results of nationwide research carried out into how people truly feel, inside and out.
Dr Kashdan, author of ‘Curious? Discover the Missing Ingredient to a Fulfilling Life’ drew upon his years of experience to analyse the research.
Whilst it may not appear obvious how a combination of letters and numbers will make you feel good, Dr Kashdan believes this formula is the perfect prescription for a happy soul.
Andrew Steptoe, the British Heart Foundation Professor of Psychology at University College London, has found that happier people also have greater protection against things like heart disease and stroke.
“We know that stress which has bad effects on biology, leads to those bad changes as far as health is concerned,” said Mr Steptoe.
“What we think is happening is that happiness has the opposite effect and has a protective effect on these same biological pathways”.
Psychologists have long argued that people have a “set point” for happiness. Regardless of what life brings, the set-point theory goes, happiness levels tend to be stable. A big life event could create a boost of joy or a crush of sorrow, but within a few years, people return to a predetermined level of life satisfaction, according to the theory.
He said: ‘There is no single secret to feeling good, but when these six ingredients are carefully attended to, in the right doses, you will be on target for a happy life.
‘Each of the ingredients requires a bit of work.
‘Just know that your hard work will lead to the greatest rewards possible.’
Steven Taylor, Marketing Director at Transform Cosmetic Surgery said: ‘We are delighted to have such a well respected figure as Dr Kashdan involved on the Feel Good Campaign and couldn’t be more pleased that the partnership led to the creation of an actual formula to Feel Good.
M Live in the moment – appreciate the sounds, smells and sights that you take for granted everyday. Remind yourself every waking hour to do this.
C Be curious – explore the unfamiliar, mysterious, complex, and uncertain aspects of our world once a day.
L Do something you love – if there is anything that provides the framework for a well-lived life it is the presence of activities that are important to us and excite us. Do this once at work and once at play.
T Think of others first – offer compliments, do a good deed and listen. This is not intuitive because many believe you need to love yourself before you can love others. Science has found this to be false. Do this five times a day and you’ll soon see it feels good to make someone feel good.
N Nurture relationships – dedicate time to a partner, friend or family member twice a day. Scientists have discovered that when you observe the happiest people on the planet, every single one has a close, significant relationship with another person.
B Take care of your body – no, you do not need three percent body fat, nor do you need to be able to pound through three sets of 15 unassisted handstand push-ups. Taking care of your body is about healthy eating at least three times a day and committing 30 minutes per day to exercise.
Karen Foster is a holistic nutritionist, avid blogger, with five kids and an active lifestyle that keeps her in pursuit of the healthiest path towards a life of balance.