The 5 Habits That Will Make You Happy, According to Science

The 5 Habits That Will Make You Happy, According to Science

The 5 Habits That Will Make You Happy, According to Science

by Eric Barker

Excerpts:

….Alex Korb is a postdoctoral researcher in neuroscience at UCLA and author of The Upward Spiral.

So let’s get to it. Alex has some great suggestions for simple things you can do to feel happier every day…

1) Listen To Music From The Happiest Time In Your Life

Music affects the brain in an interesting way: it can remind you of places you have listened to it before.

Were you happiest in college? Play the music you loved then and it can transport you to that happier place and boost your mood.

Continue reading “The 5 Habits That Will Make You Happy, According to Science”

Become More Resilient by Learning to Take Joy Seriously by Brad Stulberg

Become More Resilient by Learning to Take Joy Seriously by Brad Stulberg

Become More Resilient by Learning to Take Joy Seriously

Excerpts:

Grant — who, among other things, studies how people find motivation and meaning in life — showed up at Goldberg’s funeral, assured Sandberg that even though she is strong, he’d be by her side.

He offered her evidence-based tips on how to become more resilient (for both her own good and for that of her children), then helped her apply them.

The two teamed up to write a book, Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy, which details Sandberg’s experience and the topic of resilience more broadly. Though it was inspired by a deeply personal tragedy, the book is filled with insight that is useful for anyone overcoming loss or failure.

I recently spoke with Grant to discuss the book and some of the key concepts in it.

You write that there are “three Ps” that often diminish resilience: personalization, pervasiveness, and permanence. Can you briefly describe each?

These are common traps that people fall into after a negative event. It’s so easy to get stuck in rumination: It’s all my fault (personalization); this is going to ruin every aspect of my life (pervasiveness); I’m going to feel like this forever (permanence). There is a wide body of evidence that if you can minimize this kind of thinking, you’ll be more resilient.

Is one most challenging to overcome?

Permanence seems to be the hardest, by far. When we are feeling horrible, we tend to project that out indefinitely, and it’s sticky. It’s hard to convince yourself that the awful feelings won’t last forever.

It seems that a large part of avoiding the three Ps — and being resilient more broadly — is related to the stories that we tell ourselves about ourselves and our lives. Yet it’s human nature to focus on negatives over positives. How can people encourage themselves to tell positive, but not delusional, stories?

It’s a tightrope walk to embrace the feelings as they come and still find a way to craft a hopeful narrative. We have to give ourselves permission to feel sadness, but at the same, realize some meaning or happiness is out there, and include that in our story, too….

Continue reading “Become More Resilient by Learning to Take Joy Seriously by Brad Stulberg”

Sad Truth of Pop Singer George Michael’s Lonely Last Years

Sad Truth of Pop Singer’s George Michael’s Lonely Last Years

If you are over the age of 35 or 40, you should already know who George Michael is. If not: he was a very famous pop star who had a string of pop hits in the 1980s, some under the name of the musical duo he was in, “Wham!”

More proof that achieving world wide fame and wealth is not a guarantee of being happy, at peace, or being fulfilled:

Sad Truth of George Michael’s Lonely Last Years by Sarah Rainey, May 2017

Sad truth of George’s lonely last years – by man who knew him best: Hours of daytime TV. Binges on ready meals and Coco Pops. Shuffling around in pyjamas. In a candid interview, the star’s ex-lover reveals the stark reality behind the gilded facade

Four months after singer George Michael was found dead in his bed, the shrine outside his North London home continues to grow.

Ribbons and balloons are strung in the trees in the park opposite the £8 million mansion in Highgate, which George, 53, shared with his hair stylist partner Fadi Fawaz, 43, before his sudden death from a heart condition on Christmas Day.

…But to those who knew him well, there is an uncomfortable contrast between the fans’ depiction of George’s starry existence — and the rather mundane life he was really leading in the years and months before his untimely death.

The truth is that the singer had long since left those days behind, and beneath the glamorous facade was a sad, lonely man who felt he had little left to live for.

Behind the tired-looking blinds on the windows of his red-brick home, George used to spend his days hiding from the world, sitting in flannel pyjamas as he binged on daytime television, takeaways and cheap ready meals.

Continue reading “Sad Truth of Pop Singer George Michael’s Lonely Last Years”

Celebrity, Fame, and Fortune Don’t Always Guarantee Happiness and Fulfillment

Celebrity, Fame, and Fortune Don’t Always Guarantee Happiness and Fulfillment

I sometimes wonder about people who believe that becoming famous, sexy, or wealthy will make their life easier, better, or happier.

I don’t think fame and fortune are all that they are cracked up to be.

Some of the most pitiful, lonely, miserable people in the world are the people who are supposed to have it all, our society tells us: the good-looking, wealthy, and famous.

About every biography and article I read about a celebrity reveals that in spite of all their wealth and fame (or sex appeal, if they are known for that), they are deeply unhappy.

Continue reading “Celebrity, Fame, and Fortune Don’t Always Guarantee Happiness and Fulfillment”

Research: People Tend to Grow Happier As They Age – Do Cranky People Die Sooner Than Pollyannas?

Research: People Tend to Grow Happier As They Age – Do Cranky People Die Sooner Than Pollyannas?

Do Cranky People Really Die Younger Than Pollyannas?

Excerpts

…. But if you look at the scientific data, it turns out that most older people are not actually crankier than younger people–it’s just that they don’t play by the same social rules.

When you’re younger, being nice and presenting yourself positively can gain people’s good favor down the line, says Derek Isaacowitz, a psychology professor at Northeastern University, but that ceases to be a major motivator as you age.

That’s why social scientists like to point out that outward expressions of grumpiness may just be a sign that someone is unconcerned with social niceties–as opposed to being hardened and unhappy.

Continue reading “Research: People Tend to Grow Happier As They Age – Do Cranky People Die Sooner Than Pollyannas?”