This stuff makes sense, and it’s backed by scientific research.
Six habits that help people cultivate happiness in their lives:
- Pay attention.
- Keep friends close.
- Drop grudges.
- Get moving.
- Practice kindness.
- (No surprise!) Give thanks.
Thanks to First Unitarian Church of Rochester for sharing that link from the Greater Good Science Center at the University of California, Berkeley, http://greatergood.berkeley.edu. The center sponsors groundbreaking scientific research into social and emotional well-being and helps people apply this research to their personal and professional lives.
I haven’t yet read The How of Happiness by Sonja Lyubomirsky, a “positivity psychologist” and professor of psychology at University of California.
But based on Jacob Sokol’s great blog post about it — http://www.marcandangel.com/2011/08/30/12-things-happy-people-do-differently — I can tell I’d like it. The psychologist lays out 12 ways to increase happiness in your daily life. They ring true for me, including:
- Appreciating what you have makes your life happier.
- See the endless opportunities around you, even in bad times.
- Be kind to others, and you’ll feel good.
- When life takes a bad turn, you have choices about how you react.
- Cultivate opportunities to be so immersed in what you’re doing that time stands still. The psychologist calls these “flow experiences.”
- Be physically healthy. Exercise is equivalent to Zoloft (the prescription antidepressant) in making people happier.