Are your chocolate indulgences tarnished by fears of cholesterol, cavities, pimples and fat? Well fret no more, chocoholic chums – a recent SparkPeople article has set about busting these and other chocolate-coated myths. Now before you install chocolate at the base of your personal food pyramid, take note: the quantities you can savor before the… Continue reading Happiness Life Strategy: Enjoy (a little) chocolate, guilt free!
A new study, reported last month in the media and about to appear in the journal Brain, Behavior, and Immunity, looked at the way our bodies produce antibodies in response to infection. (Flu vaccines were used as a proxy for pathogens because the body’s response is similar for the purposes of the study.) Not everybody… Continue reading Happiness Life Strategy: Self-reflection each day keeps the flu bugs away
Lesson: A happiness model Although positive psychology and well-being research have flourished, there’s no agreed-upon theory of happiness. But a model has been suggested, quite recently in fact, and it’s based on 3 factors (1). 1. Circumstances and demographics – like health, finances and marital status 2. Personality and genes – the ‘innate’ aspects of… Continue reading How to be happy – 14. Concentrate on intentional factors
In the New York magazine article Happiness: A User’s Manual, Ben Mathis-Lilley takes a bunch of happiness research findings and translates them into 20 useful tips for New Yorkers. The result is fun, and a cute reminder of those findings about happiness – some of which may be familiar to Happiness Strategies readers via 101… Continue reading Happiness, New York style
In last Monday’s Yorkshire Post Maggie Stratton asked the question: In a society obsessed by material gain, should schools be teaching our children the true meaning of happiness? Her answer draws on the advice of two education experts who believe it’s time to get very serious about happiness at school. Alas, say Smith and Jones,… Continue reading Happiness and childhood: do we need happier classrooms?
Lesson: We can learn from happy extraverts and happy introverts We saw in Strategy 12 that introverted people tend to be less happy than their extraverted counterparts. But before you anti-social butterflies throw up your wings in despair and head for the nearest net, let me share some nuggets of evidence that the extraversion-happiness link… Continue reading How to be happy – 13. Act like you’re an extravert – even if you aren’t
Last week I mentioned a study pointing to the psychological benefits of creative pursuits. Now, for the readers among us, there’s more good news. This month The Guardian reported the use of experimental reading groups as a form of therapy. ‘Bibliotherapy’ is being tried across a range of problems – including anxiety and depressive disorders,… Continue reading The joy of text: Choosing prose over Prozac for happiness therapy
Looking for a way to boost your happiness while reducing anxiety and depression? New research from the UK’s Manchester Metropolitan University suggests artistic pursuits are a good choice. Their three year Treasury-funded project found participants ‘felt happier, empowered and more confident’ following creative endeavors such as: painting dance music story-telling So what are you waiting… Continue reading A creative approach to happiness
Lesson: Not all personalities are created equally happy In Strategy 11 we saw there’s evidence that genes link to happiness via personality – which has a moderate-to-strong genetic component, emerges early, and stays stable-ish through life. Psychologists believe personality can, to some extent, be reflected by 5 traits: agreeableness, openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, and neuroticism. These… Continue reading How to be happy – 12. Make peace with your personality
Albert Schweitzer – humanitarian, prolific author and Nobel Peace Prize winner – said: Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful. If you find that hard to believe, you might like to take a(nother) look at 101 Happiness Strategies:… Continue reading On Happiness – Let success follow happiness