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.


Practice PERMA to Cultivate Well-Being and Happiness

We can create happiness in our lives more easily by practicing certain behaviors. These behaviors are summarized using the acronym PERMA:

Positive emotions – feeling good

Engagement – being completely absorbed in activities

Relationships – being authentically connected to others

Meaning – purposeful existence

Achievement – a sense of accomplishment and success

Get the details in this blog entry from GoStrengths.com.

What is PERMA by Martin Seligman | GoStrengths!

Roger Ebert Quote in a Cartoon On Kindness


This comic is the work of Gavin Aung Than. He creates comics for quotations that are rich and inspiring. Click on the image to visit his site and to see this comic in full size.

Kindness. Roger Ebert (the late film reviewer) may be a surprising place to find guidance on the topic, but he wrote about it in his biography. His words are wise. But I won’t quote them here. Instead, I encourage you to read the quote in the cartoon (just click on it). Gavin Aung Than is the artist. Than regularly converts quotes into comics and posts his work at his web site.

I have included this post in my site because practicing kindness is consistent with the principles of positive psychology. Being kind to each other makes us feel good as well as making others feel cared about. It is a practice we can all use to improve our well-being and that of others.

I hope you enjoy the Roger Ebert cartoon and Than’s site.

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.

Money Can Buy Happiness — If You Spend It Right

“The combination of using time and money to engage with somebody else is the magic formula for happiness.”

This article from Forbes focuses on how to use money so wisely to create happiness. Good suggestions in a short read.

via Money Can Buy Happiness — If You Spend It Right – Forbes.

Where does your happiness come from?

Dan Gilbert: The surprising science of happiness | Video on TED.com.

Dan Gilbert gives a fascinating talk on how our brains synthesize happiness. Here is how our brains assess good and bad outcomes:

1. Impact Bias – we overestimate the impact that good and bad events have on our lives…they are never as good or bad as we expect, nor do they last as long as we expect.

2. We synthesize happiness, but we think happiness is a thing we can find. We are capable of making things better in our heads.

3. Natural happiness is what we get when we get what we wanted. Synthetic happiness is what we make when we don’t get what we wanted. Synthetic happiness is every bit as enduring as natural happiness.

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!

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