The pursuit of happiness can be a lifelong quest for certain people. Researchers think they may have discovered a key feature in feeling a greater overall sense of well-being. Those who feel a strong sense of fitting in to social groups are much happier people. This is according to new research by psychologists.
Nottingham Trent University researchers discovered that the more a person identified with a certain group, such as family, in their local community, or through a hobby, the happier they were with their life.
“Our findings suggest that thinking more about one’s group life could have significant benefits for an overall sense of well-being,” said Dr. Juliet Wakefield, a psychologist at Nottingham Trent University.
“We tend to identify with groups that share our values, interests and life priorities, as well as those that support us in times of crisis, and we can see how this would link to happiness. Our work taps into knowledge that is deep within all of us, but which we often forget due to the fast-paced and achievement-focused nature of modern life – that to be your best self, you tend to require the support of others.”
They examined how 4,000 participants felt attached to certain groups. They then determined the influence this had upon their levels of happiness.
She added: “It’s important to note that identifying with a group isn’t the same as membership, though. You can be a member of a group with which you feel no connection at all. It’s that subjective sense of belonging that’s crucial for happiness.”
“Healthcare professionals should encourage people to join groups that they are interested in, or which promote their values and ideals. As well as advising people to maintain association with groups they already belong to. Simple social interventions such as this could in turn help to reduce NHS expenditure and prevent future ill health.”
Another study found that intellectual individuals tend to be more easily absent-minded at work.
If you have difficulty concentrating at work, it’s perhaps due to all those remarkable ideas you have going through your head.
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