There is a subject on happiness in the prestigious educational center. "Joy can also be learned, like golf or skiing"

It seems increasingly clear that the new gold rush is not about becoming a millionaire or finding the fountain of eternal youth. The most coveted treasure of our times is to treasure happiness, an abstract, subjective, and complex defined concept, but it is on everyone's lips. It is even a subject of study at the prestigious Harvard University.

For several years, some of the psychology students at this American university have been a little happier, not only because they studied in one of the best faculties in the world, but because they have actually learned through a subject. His teacher, the Israeli doctor Tal Ben-Shahar, is an expert in Positive Psychology, one of the most widespread and accepted currents in the world and which he defines as "the science of happiness". In fact, he maintains that joy can be learned, in the same way, that one is instructed to ski or play golf: with technique and practice.

Accepting life as it is will free you from fear of failure and perfectionistic expectations Tal Ben-Shahar, Harvard professor

With his best-selling Being Happy and his master classes, the principles drawn from the studies of Tal Ben Shahar have gone around the world under the motto “you don't have to be perfect to lead a richer and happier life”. The secret seems to be in accepting life as it is, which, in his words, "will free you from fear of failure and perfectionist expectations."

Although more than 1,400 students have passed through his Psychology on Leadership class, the following question should still be asked: Do you ever have enough happiness? "It is precisely the expectation of being perfectly happy that makes us less so," he explains.

Here are his top six tips for feeling lucky and content:

1. Forgive your failures. 

What's more: celebrate them! “Just as it is useless to complain about the effect of gravity on Earth, it is impossible to try to live without negative emotions, since they are part of life, and are as natural as joy, happiness, and well-being. By accepting negative emotions, we will be able to open ourselves up to enjoy positivity and joy”, adds the expert. It is about giving us the right to be human and forgiving our weaknesses. Already in 1992, Mauger and his collaborators studied the effects of forgiveness, finding that low levels of forgiveness towards oneself were related to the presence of disorders such as depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem.

2. Don't take the good for granted: be thankful. Big and small things. 

"That mania that we have of thinking that things are given and will always be it is not very realistic."

3. Play sports. 

For it to work, you don't need to grind yourself out in the gym or run 10 miles a day. It is enough to practice a gentle exercise such as walking briskly for 30 minutes a day for the brain to secrete endorphins, those substances that make us feel drugged with happiness, because they are actually natural opiates produced by our own brain, which mitigate pain and they cause pleasure, according to the easy running coach and expert runner Luis Javier González.

4. Simplify, at leisure and work.

 “Let's identify what is truly important, and focus on it”, proposes Tal Ben-Shahar. It is already known that “whoever covers a lot, squeezes little”, and for this reason, it is best to focus on something and not try everything at the same time. And it does not refer only to work, but also to the personal area and leisure time: "Better turn off the phone and disconnect from work those two or three hours that you spend with the family."

5. Learn to meditate. 

This simple habit combats stress. Miriam Subirana, a doctor from the University of Barcelona, ​​writer, and professor of meditation and mindfulness assures that "in the long term, the continued practice of meditation exercises helps to better face the bumps in life, overcome crises with greater inner strength and be more ourselves under any circumstance”. The Harvard professor adds that it is also an ideal time to direct our thoughts toward the positive side, although there is no consensus that optimism will guarantee success, it will bring you a pleasant moment of peace.

6. Practice a new skill: resilience. 

Happiness depends on our mental state, not on the current account. Specifically, "our level of happiness will be determined by what we look at and the attributions of success or failure." This is known as locus of control or 'place where we place responsibility for events', a term discovered and defined by psychologist Julian Rotter in the middle of the 20th century and much research about the character of people: depressive patients attribute failures to themselves, and success, to situations external to their person; while positive people tend to hang their medals, and problems, "almost better for someone else to keep them." However, in this way, we lose the perception of failure as an 'opportunity', which has a lot to do with resilience, a concept that has become very popular with the crisis, and which is originally borrowed from Physics and Engineering, with the description the ability of a material to return to its original shape after being subjected to deforming pressure. "In people, resilience tries to express the ability of an individual to face adverse circumstances, difficult living conditions