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August 16 2022 12:48 AM ˚
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Pursue your happiness using the SPIRE model

Happiness
Happiness is a complex emotion consisting of different aspects; some aspects are easier to fulfill than others — but not fulfilling all aspects can leave one feeling a void. (Photo: Freepik)
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Pursuing happiness is a drive nearly everyone holds, and that pursuit drives many actions. Hardship is simply a fact of life, and sometimes people follow a path thinking that it will make them happy, only to be met with disappointment and undesired results. اضافة اعلان

When it comes to subjective well-being and happiness, taking the time to think instead of committing to action may be more beneficial. Happiness is a complex emotion consisting of different aspects; some aspects are easier to fulfill than others — but not fulfilling all aspects can leave one feeling a void.

Learning these aspects and how to fulfill them can help improve the journey towards happiness.

The happiness paradox
First, finding happiness is complex due to a paradox within its pursuit.

If people pursue happiness as their main goal, they might actually become less happy. This is because the focus will be on the pursuit itself and doing things to get the feeling of happiness. Thus, people’s actions will likely be more selfish and not grow the principles that actually make them happy.
When it comes to subjective well-being and happiness, taking the time to think instead of committing to action may be more beneficial.
But when the focus is shifted to other things — like relationships — happiness will naturally follow.

By strengthening and growing the elements of happiness, one can pursue happiness indirectly, which will make one more likely to succeed. 

Well-being and happiness

The science of positive psychology and happiness has been an area of great interest for many psychologists. One such individual is Harvard lecturer and author Dr Tal Ben-Shahar. Dr Ben-Shahar’s work has revolved around the concept of happiness and how we can feasibly achieve it. As a result, he developed a model known as SPIRE.

This model recognizes happiness as much more than emotion but instead as a system. It is a system that considers the entire individual and encompasses five distinct well-being traits.

By growing these aspects of well-being into happiness, people can develop what is known as wholebeing. Wholebeing, in essence, is the system put in placed that gets us to consider these five principles in every life choice we make.

So, what is SPIRE?
SPIRE is an acronym for the five aspects of well-being that must be cultivated to experience wholebeing, although some aspects may be subjectively more important to an individual.

Taking the time to promote each aspect is important in finding happiness.

S: Spiritual well-being
 This can mean many things, but in the context of the SPIRE model, there are two fundamental principles. The first is a sense of purpose. Finding a sense of purpose is difficult, and nearly all people struggle with it at some point in their life, especially when younger.

As we get older and grow, so too does our sense of purpose. Despite this, our purpose is not always evident. We must reflect on our lives and consider what we want our purpose to be. Some find purpose in religion, work, relationships, and service to others. No matter what that sense of purpose is, it should be subjectively meaningful and fulfilling.

The second fundamental principle is mindfulness. Mindfulness is simply being attentive to our present moment awareness. There are many ways to achieve this, and some can find this through prayer or meditation.

P: Physical well-being
The connection between the mind and body is paramount in SPIRE. Regardless of the amount of interpersonal reflection, it is undeniable that the mind and body are connected. Things that negatively affect our minds can also negatively affect our bodies and vice versa. For example, mental stress can cause our bodies to feel fatigued, resulting in chemical imbalances and increasing the risk of certain diseases.
Understanding and strengthening the connection between our bodies and mind can improve physical well-being.
Similarly, not taking care of our bodies can impact our mood and increase the risk of mental disorders such as anxiety and depression.

Understanding and strengthening the connection between our bodies and mind can improve physical well-being. One of the best ways to enhance physical well-being is incorporating a concept known as the four-part wonder drug. This regimen consists of recovery, exercise, nutrition, and touch, which ultimately helps strengthen the connection between the mind and body. The regimen can include sleep, physical activity, a balanced diet, and physically embracing others, respectively.

I: Intellectual well-being
Intellectual well-being is an important principle in SPIRE but also in life. It depends on the concept of curiosity and exploration to discover your true passions.

By having a healthy dose of curiosity and exploration, people can find things that interest them. These interests have the potential to turn into a source of purpose and can, in fact, help improve spiritual well-being as well.



The wonderful part of intellectual well-being is that it does not necessarily have to have a purpose. Curiosity for curiosity’s sake can be fun and interesting. It can ultimately help develop passions and hobbies, which can serve as a way to unwind and relieve stress, thus improving the mind and body connection.

R: Relational well-being
Relational well-being can be divided into meaningful relationships with others and a healthy relationship with oneself.

Humans rely on one another constantly to thrive and improve. Although cooperation may no longer be a requirement for hunting, we still live in a society with one another that requires cooperation.

When living with others, people may not feel physically alone but can still feel alone if they lack deep relationships with others. Deep relationships can take many forms as familial, friendships, or intimate relationships.

Despite the differences between these types of relationships, important qualities are highlighted for individuals, including having a person to confide in, support, and love.
One does not have to be happy all the time to consider themself truly happy.
Growing a personal relationship with oneself is arguably more important than building relationships with others. If one cannot share attributes such as love, kindness, and generosity with themselves, they cannot truly share these with others. Furthermore, to maximize one’s true potential and allow themselves to develop the other aspects of well-being, one needs to establish and build this relationship with themselves.

E: Emotional well-being
Emotional well-being helps encapsulate the aforementioned four principles. With emotional well-being, people should accept all emotions and embrace how they feel about themselves and their lives.

This can be best described as gratitude. One does not have to be happy all the time to consider themself truly happy.

By accepting all emotions, one can also accept all the things that happen in life and be even more grateful for the good that comes along the way. By being more grateful, interpersonal relationships can be improved, finding a sense of purpose can be achieved, and exploring what life offers is at the forefront.

By learning, cultivating, and practicing all five SPIRE elements, one can begin to find happiness.


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