We tend to think of happiness as the ultimate goal in life. But biologically, happiness is only a reward your body gives you. When you do things that contribute to your evolutionary success, you are rewarded with a cocktail of happy hormones. Things like:
- Hunting and gathering food
- Connecting with other people
- Tackling a challenging task
- Creating things
- Exploring new lands and activities
Not all these behaviors are exactly the same now as they were in nature, but their core remains. Not many of us actually hunt anymore, but things like driving, sports and video games all use basic hunting skills. Gathering is not a common pastime anymore, but shopping is.
If you want to be happy, seek out these activities. Find work that challenges you. Talk to your colleagues and friends in person rather than by email. DIY when little things need fixing. When someone needs your help, offer it. And don’t be afraid to try new things.