UNC researcher: Not all happiness is equally healthy | Health & Science | NewsObserver.com

This is an interesting result.

A study published this week by researchers at UNC-Chapel Hill and UCLA showed that a “hedonic” or self-gratifying type of happiness – the result of a massage or a tasty meal – made cells in the immune system act like they were under stress, a condition that over time could lead to diseases such as cancer or heart attacks. But happiness stemming from finding purpose in life or helping others – such as volunteering at a soup kitchen – caused the opposite response.

The article goes on to note that at the level of genomic body functioning we somehow distinguish between types of happiness. Giving to others is better for us!

via UNC researcher: Not all happiness is equally healthy | Health & Science | NewsObserver.com.

Achieving Happiness – Principles You Can Use

Achieving Happiness: Cultivating courage, compassion and connection – CapitalGazette.com: Achieving Happiness.

Here is a review of a book by Brene Brown called “Daring Greatly.” The article summarizes practices you can use to become happier. Recommendations include changing your thinking from:

  • dwelling other people’s judgments to being authentic.
  • perfectionistic ruminating to self-compassion.
  • wanting to numb their pain to pursuing solutions.
  • fearing not having enough to appreciating what they have.
  • needing certainty to cultivating faith in the future.
  • comparing themselves to others to being creative.
  • working long hours is a status symbol to playing is important.
  • worrying incessantly to creating calm.
  • feeling dissatisfied at work to engaging in meaningful activities.
  • needing to be in control to laughing and letting go.

How gratitude transforms your life – CBC Radio

Here is a 50-minute CBC radio show called Ontario Today hosted by Kathleen Petty that is worth listening to.

Rick Hansen (author of Buddha’s Brain) and Doug Vermeeren (motivational speaker and film maker of The Gratitude Experiment ) discuss gratitude. But what is more, is that the callers on the show all have positive experiences with gratitude in their lives.

The show emphasizes the value of gratitude as a daily practice, but it is not a “happy fest” conversation. The discussion focuses on the issues the callers raise and the experts relate their experience and research to each caller.


Martin Seligman: The new era of positive psychology – YouTube

Martin Seligman: The new era of positive psychology – YouTube.

In this TED video, Martin Seligman introduces us to positive psychology. This is a great video that overviews science and practical action that will help you.

How to be happier and more successful

Shawn Achor is a researcher and teacher in Positive Psychology. His presentation In this 13-minute  TEDxBloomington video focuses on how you can improve your happiness.

Here is a summary of what he offers from a related post at Forbes.com.

  1. Bring gratitude to mind – Write down three NEW things that you are grateful for each day
  2. Journal – About a positive experience you’ve had recently for 2 minutes once a day
  3. Exercise –  Engage in 15 minutes of mindful cardio activity
  4. Meditate – Watch your breath go in and out for 2 minutes a day and
  5. Engage in a random, conscious act of kindness –  Write a 2-minute positive email thanking a friend or colleague, or compliment someone you admire on social media

Can this really work? Give it a try to see for yourself!

Becoming Happier – Practical Things You Can Do Now

The Pursuit of Happiness

There have been thousands of books and articles written on happiness. Across these works, some consistent ideas have emerged for being happy. This article from Psychology Today covers many practical steps you can take, including:

  1. Practice Mindfulness – bring yourself into the present moment and enjoy what you are experiencing right now instead of living in your mind in the past or the future
  2. Set Goals – We are happier when we are making progress toward things that make us happy
  3. Keep Choice Options Small – too many choices for a given situation drives stress, reducing the set of options to a critical few can help
  4. Write Gratitude Notes – Write notes or letters to yourself or others expressing gratitude for what you experience each day
  5. Live Your Values – Take steps to become your ideal vision of yourself

The full article can be found here.


Do These Things and You Will Be Happier

Here are the things that are proven to make you happier

Mental Health has been primarily focused on fixing people’s problems – reducing their agonies. Now, psychology is opening a new direction called, appropriately, “Positive Psychology.”

This article does a great job of summarizing what we have learned so far about living a happy life. Here is a short list of what the article covers:

  1. Show Gratitude – it makes you happier, improves relationships, and can make life better for you and those around you.
  2. Use Your Strengths – Identify your signature strengths and use them in your work
  3. Spend Time with People You Like – sharing time makes people happier
  4. Money Only Buys Baseline Happiness – There are better places to put your energy than earning money if you want happiness
  5. Give to Others – giving makes us happier than receiving
  6. Savor the Moments – paying attention to each moment allows us to experience what is really important instead of being distracted
  7. Strive to Do More – setting goals helps focus effort on growing and learning

Click here to check out the full article.


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