December 17, 2008 at 4:12 am #29794
note; no great surprises here, but a very good succinct list. Smilingmade the list, and Inner Smiling (if they could grasp that) would put it in number 1 spot. And intelligent exercise would range Qigong much higher.
10 THINGS SCIENCE SAYS WILL MAKE YOU HAPPY
By Jen Angel
December 9, 2008
Daily habits can affect our well-being. Here are 10 simple actions that
research has shown makes people feel good.
In the last few years, psychologists and researchers have been digging up
hard data on a question previously left to philosophers: What makes us
happy? Researchers like the father-son team Ed Diener and Robert
Biswas-Diener, Stanford psychologist Sonja Lyubomirsky, and ethicist Stephen
Post have studied people all over the world to find out how things like
money, attitude, culture, memory, health, altruism, and our day-to-day
habits affect our well-being. The emerging field of positive psychology is
bursting with new findings that suggest your actions can have a significant
effect on your happiness and satisfaction with life. Here are 10
scientifically proven strategies for getting happy.
1. Savor Everyday Moments
Pause now and then to smell a rose or watch children at play. Study
participants who took time to savor ordinary events that they normally
hurried through, or to think back on pleasant moments from their day,
showed significant increases in happiness and reductions in depression,
says psychologist Sonja Lyubomirsky.
2. Avoid Comparisons
While keeping up with the Joneses is part of American culture, comparing
ourselves with others can be damaging to happiness and self-esteem. Instead
of comparing ourselves to others, focusing on our own personal achievement
leads to greater satisfaction, according to Lyubomirsky.
3. Put Money Low on the List
People who put money high on their priority list are more at risk for
depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem, according to researchers Tim
Kasser and Richard Ryan. Their findings hold true across nations and
cultures. The more we seek satisfactions in material goods, the less we
find them there, Ryan says. The satisfaction has a short half-life — its
very fleeting. Money-seekers also score lower on tests of vitality and
4. Have Meaningful Goals
People who strive for something significant, whether its learning a new
craft or raising moral children, are far happier than those who dont have
strong dreams or aspirations, say Ed Diener and Robert Biswas-Diener. As
humans, we actually require a sense of meaning to thrive. Harvards
resident happiness professor, Tal Ben-Shahar, agrees, Happiness lies at the
intersection between pleasure and meaning. Whether at work or at home, the
goal is to engage in activities that are both personally significant and
5. Take Initiative at Work
How happy you are at work depends in part on how much initiative you take.
Researcher Amy Wrzesniewski says that when we express creativity, help
others, suggest improvements, or do additional tasks on the job, we make our
work more rewarding and feel more in control.
6. Make Friends, Treasure Family
Happier people tend to have good families, friends, and supportive
relationships, say Diener and Biswas-Diener. But its not enough to be the
life of the party if youre surrounded by shallow acquaintances. We dont
just need relationships, we need close ones that involve understanding and
7. Smile Even When You Dont Feel Like It
It sounds simple, but it works. Happy people see possibilities,
opportunities, and success. When they think of the future, they are
optimistic, and when they review the past, they tend to savor the high
points, say Diener and Biswas-Diener. Even if you werent born looking at
the glass as half-full, with practice, a positive outlook can become a
8. Say Thank You Like You Mean It
People who keep gratitude journals on a weekly basis are healthier, more
optimistic, and more likely to make progress toward achieving personal
goals, according to author Robert Emmons. Research by Martin Seligman,
founder of positive psychology, revealed that people who write gratitude
letters to someone who made a difference in their lives score higher on
happiness, and lower on depression — and the effect lasts for weeks.
9. Get Out and Exercise
A Duke University study shows that exercise may be just as effective as
drugs in treating depression, without all the side effects and expense.
Other research shows that in addition to health benefits, regular exercise
offers a sense of accomplishment and opportunity for social interaction,
releases feel-good endorphins, and boosts self-esteem.
10. Give It Away, Give It Away Now!
Make altruism and giving part of your life, and be purposeful about it.
Researcher Stephen Post says helping a neighbor, volunteering, or donating
goods and services results in a helpers high, and you get more health
benefits than you would from exercise or quitting smoking. Listening to a
friend, passing on your skills, celebrating others successes, and
forgiveness also contribute to happiness, he says. Researcher Elizabeth Dunn
found that those who spend money on others reported much greater happiness
than those who spend it on themselves.
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.