This habit can be developed by understanding who we are, what we want from life, and what our projects are. To build it, we must give it direction. The decrease in security indexes causes Mexico to stop being a happy country; although this state of mind is a personal matter, it cannot be detached from the environment, affirmed UNAM experts.
At the distance press conference: "What does the happiness of Mexicans depend on?", they said that years ago Mexico was one of the happiest countries in the world, but it has declined. According to the index of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD, 2019), it ranked 23rd before the pandemic; currently, it is lower.
This is due, said Manuel Alonso González Oscoy, from the Faculty of Psychology to the loss of economic and health security ("I don't know if I'm going to get sick", "I don't know if I'm going to survive") and, above all, to the increase in intra-family and domestic violence during the months of confinement, as well as the rise in organized crime.
From evaluations carried out by INEGI, entities such as Baja California and Baja California Sur are reported to be happier than others in the north of the territory; for example, Sonora, Chihuahua, or Coahuila, where social insecurity is present. "Organized crime greatly diminishes the perception of happiness".
Beatriz Georgina Montemayor Flores, from the Department of Anatomy of the School of Medicine, agreed that to the risk situation must be added the effects of the pandemic: loss of loved ones and, especially, the prevailing state of uncertainty. "We human beings like to believe that we have the certainty of what is going to happen."
Regardless of age, whether we are children, adolescents, or young adults, the academic added, to be happy we need to do what we like responsibly. We need a purpose; love and companionship are also elements to reach that state, as well as "being well with oneself and knowing yourself".
Contact with other human beings makes us feel good: with whom we develop bonds of friendship, with our partners, and so on. For this reason, during the pandemic, their absence generated a feeling of sadness and uneasiness, especially among older adults.
Asking ourselves what happiness is and giving us an answer implies knowing who we are and what makes us happy. That state depends to a great extent on will and habits, on finding the place where we are at ease and where we should fulfill our objectives. "More than a concept that we can define, it is a construction that changes as life goes by".
This habit can be developed by understanding who we are, what we want from life, and what our projects are. The feeling of satisfaction contributes to happiness; however, we have learned to live in the feeling of immediate reward, which is not easy and is not always achieved.
We must have an active and purposeful existence so that the regulation and balance of neurotransmitters, such as serotonin and dopamine, ensures our time of happiness. We must surround ourselves with people who love us and love those who are close to us, participate in projects and achieve small goals; all of this helps us to create the habit of happiness.
With each person there is a construction and a desire for this state of mind; from Philosophy, Psychology, Neurosciences, or Anthropology we seek to identify common elements.
Throughout history, four types or anthropological stages of happiness have been seen: for the purpose, when we were hunters; competitive, when we began to gather in tribal societies; cooperative, with mutual help to survive and altruistic behaviors; and sensual, when satisfying biological imperatives, such as eating, sleeping or sexuality. "They are not exclusive of each other, but they have become hierarchical."
It is a sudden trance of pleasure felt when something improves, for example, small everyday details such as finding a bill lying in the street. "The permanent state of it is illusory; it keeps transforming and often changes towards well-being."
It is also built on a comparison with others. For example, the OECD uses indicators such as housing, income, employment, education, environment, health, safety, and work-life balance, so that happiness is no longer such a subjective and personal aspect.
To be happy, the experts recommended being close to positive people who love us; exercising to produce endorphins; knowing what we want in life, and establishing a plan to achieve it.