Friday, October 17, 2014

What makes us happy?

First post after a long, work-induced delay -- I'd rather be blogging!

photo: Stockbyte
On that note, this article from Time online magazine on what actually tends to make people happy caught my eye, in part because who doesn't want to be happy, right?

But also in part because of how it links with the important behaviors and strategies that both people and animals employ to improve their biological fitness. I will highlight some more amazing critters soon!

So what keeps people happy? It may not be what you think. Let's ask the researchers!

Compiling results from a variety of scientific studies, writer Eric Barker has summarized ways to be happier.

Be grateful; in fact, be actively grateful

Do what you're good at & what you like

Satisfy basic needs, but also Strive to do your best  (happiness vs meaningfulness)

Hang out with people you like

Go for frequency, over intensity, of positive activities and Savor the good times

Money is good; many things are better: valuing money per se is inversely related to well-being

Giving makes you happier than receiving (except with ice cream?)

Be crazy optimistic, as you'll often find opportunity, and self-delusion apparently lowers stress levels

Have good genes - yes, some people are born this way
How do these relate to biological fitness? Do they help people survive? Reproduce? Have another look, as some are more obvious than others...

While supported by scientific research, these recommendations reminded me of a little song my grandmother used to sing...

Or, if research and humor don't help you feel happier...

photo: zulily
photo: me, in Indonesia
photo: kidsrock

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