Find A Sense Of Purpose
Research has found that people who feel like they have a purpose have better well-being and feel more fulfilled. A sense of purpose involves seeing your life as having goals, direction, and meaning. It may help improve happiness by promoting healthier behaviors.
Some things you can do to help find a sense of purpose include:
- Explore your interests and passions
- Engage in prosocial and altruistic causes
- Work to address injustices
- Look for new things you might want to learn more about
This sense of purpose is influenced by a variety of factors, but it is also something that you can cultivate. It involves finding a goal that you care deeply about that will lead you to engage in productive, positive actions in order to work toward that goal.
Interesting Facts And Findings
Research in this field is booming, and new findings are coming out all the time. Here are a few of the most interesting facts and findings so far:
Spend Smarter For More Happiness
How we choose to spend our money impacts what we can do and how we live in ways that impact how happy we are. When we choose a less fancy house or car things that don’t bring us much happiness we have more money to spend on adventures or on gifts for friends: things that actually do make us happier.
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Advice From An Evolutionary Psychology Perspective
Posted December 7, 2008
As usual, I feel compelled to begin with a disclaimer that, as a scientist as the scientific fundamentalist I am not in the business of giving advice to people and telling people how to live their lives. Thats the job of counselors and therapists, and, as Jesse Bering explains very clearly in his first post as a PT blogger, these two types of psychologists are entirely different. Just like Jesse, I am a research psychologist, not a clinician. As a scientist, I dont care if people are happy or not. I just want to know why.
Having said that, however, from my perspective as an evolutionary psychologist, I would say that the best thing for people to do to become happier is to get in touch with their animal nature, if not necessarily their inner fish then at the very least their inner ape. Recognize and accept that we are animals. We are all designed by evolution to be certain way, and no amount of denial or fighting will change our evolutionary legacy and its implications.
One of the things that evolution has done is to make men and women very different. In some ways , males of one species are often more similar to males of other species than to females of their own species, and vice versa. In some ways, in many ways, men are more similar to male chimpanzees or gorillas than to women. One of the ways that men and women are different is in what makes them happy.
Who This Course Is For:
- This course is meant for people searching for more in their lives and just want to know what works. If you have any interest in leading a more fulfilled life using the insights of positive psychology, this is the course for you.
- 272,298 Students
- 15 Courses
I’m a professor of social psychology and host of the Opinion Science podcast. My expertise is in the domain of attitudes and persuasion, but I have extensive experience with all corners of the social psychology world. The research in this field is so interesting that I can’t help but want to share it! I look forward to the chance to share the world of social psychology with you.
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Individual Psychology: How You Can Be Happy Today
There are many different ways to try and find happiness. Psychology, for instance, gives you the tools to figure out what is right for you and overcome issues you may have. And indeed, even though his name is relatively unknown, Alfred Adler is the father of many modern therapy methods such as cognitive behavioral therapy. Using his method of individual psychology, you could put yourself on a happier life path relatively quickly.
A Look At The Science Of Happiness
So what is the science of happiness?
This is one of those times when something is exactly what it sounds like its all about the science behinds what happiness is and how to experience it, what happy people do differently, and what we can do to feel happier.
This focus on happiness is new to the field of psychology for many decades basically since the foundation of psychology as a science in the mid- to late-1800s the focus was on the less pleasant in life. The field focused on pathology, on the worst-scenario cases, on what can go wrong in our lives.
Although there was some attention paid to well-being, success, and high functioning, the vast majority of funding and research was dedicated to those who were struggling the most: those with severe mental illness, mental disorders, or those who have survived trauma and tragedy.
While theres certainly nothing wrong with doing what we can to raise up those who are struggling, there was an unfortunate lack of knowledge about what we can do to bring us all up to a higher level of functioning and happiness.
Positive psychology changed all of that. Suddenly, there was space at the table for a focus on the positive in life, for what thoughts, actions, andbehaviors make us more productive at work, happier in our relationships, and more fulfilled at the end of the day .
The science of happiness has opened our eyes to a plethora of new findings about the sunny side of life.
Recent studies have shown us that:
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The Traffic Light Survey
In his articleA Strategy For Measuring Employee Happiness , David Tomas mentioned the Traffic Light Survey method as an effective strategy for measuring workplace happiness in employees .
The test is conducted by asking three simple questions to the employees, answers to which provide insight and immediately redirects the focus onto oneself. The items of this survey are, as mentioned by David, are:
The Traffic Light Survey is easy to administer and motivates the employees to express themselves, state their opinions and strive for true happiness in the workplace.
Hedonism Versus Emotional State
A second set of issues concerns the differences between the twoaffect-based views, hedonism and emotional state. The appeal ofhedonism is fairly obvious: the pleasantness of our experience isplainly a matter of great significance many have claimed it to be theonly thing that matters. What, by contrast, motivates theemotional state account, which bears obvious similarities to hedonismyet excludes many pleasures from happiness? The question of motivationappears to be the chief worry facing the emotional state theory:whats to be gained by focusing on emotional state rather thanpleasure?
One argument for taking such a view is intuitive: some find itimplausible to think that psychologically superficial pleasuresinvariably make a difference in how happy one isthe typicalpleasure of eating a cracker, say, or even the intense pleasure of anorgasm that nonetheless fails to move one, as can happen withmeaningless sexual activity. The intuitive distinction seems akin todistinctions made by some ancient philosophers consider, forinstance, the following passage from EpictetussDiscourses:
I have a headache. Well, do not say Alas!I have an earache. Do not say Alas! And Iam not saying that it is not permissible to groan, only do notgroan in the centre of your being. .
The Stoics did not expect us never to feel unpleasant sensations,which would plainly be impossible rather, the idea was not to letsuch things get to us, to impact our emotionalconditions.
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What Is Positive Psychology
Positive Psychology is a growing, research-based field of study. Beyond just offering strategies for recovering from mental illness, its goal is to help people thrive. Positive Psychology is about achieving an optimal level of functioning by building upon a persons strengths in both personal and professional life. It also focuses upon increasing our experience of positive states such as happiness, joy, contentment, life satisfaction, creativity, gratitude, optimism, wisdom, courage, love, awe, etc.
Happiness At Work Means A Healthy Life
If we allow the work stress and disappointments to enter into our personal space, there is no way that we can get rid of them.
Successful professionals who can optimize their work are less likely to suffer from hypertension, cardiac arrests, substance abuse, and other stress-related disorders .
When we are happy from inside, we get that power to fight diseases and the will to recover and get back on track.
Remaining physically or mentally sick can bring unprecedented hurdles even at work. We lose the energy to give it our best shot, become less focused on work and more focused on the woes, and consequently, kill our productive soul.
Not just that, happiness at work also makes us less prone to work-related stress and burdens.
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Cultivate Optimism And Reduce Overthinking To Find Hope & Clarity
Everyone suffers in some way and has disappointments in life. Its a part of our existence to battle through tough times and emerge victoriously. Cultivating optimism is akin to being hopeful and striving to do whatever it takes to reduce your suffering so you can expect a better tomorrow. Its a fight for a better future. The enemy of realistic optimism is overthinking. Overthinking can make you pessimistic by pushing you into a slippery slope of losing hope, which unnecessarily puts the focus on the negative aspects of life. It often prevents one from gaining insight into the problem and obscures positive outcomes.
If you want to stay happy and become a fully satisfied person, you shouldnt ignore or deny negative emotions. Dealing with negative emotions and events can help build resilience. Dealing with negativity in a healthy way is the key to sustain a happy life. Negative experiences can lead to constant preoccupation with negative thoughts. Such thinking lowers life satisfaction. However, regulating emotions constructively and forgiveness can improve life satisfaction. Just feeling happy and content once in a while wont make you a happy person. The goal is to frequently experience happiness, satisfaction, and contentment which means you have to accept and deal with negative emotions.
Theories Developed By Positive Psychologists
The discipline of positive psychology has developed some unique theories of happiness. For example, Seligman introduced the Authentic Happiness theory. This theory is based around the notion that authentic happiness results from a person living according to their signature strengths which develop as people become aware of their own personal strengths and take ownership of them .
Another theory of happiness is Csikszentmihalyis flow theory. Flow may be defined as the state of engagement, optimal happiness, and peak experience that occurs when an individual is absorbed in a demanding and intrinsically motivating challenge . This state of engagement has been proposed to be a pathway to happiness .
Some psychologists suggest that perhaps, in fact, happiness is relative or, in other words, it is an evaluation of subjective judgments about ones situations, comparing others situations to ones own or even ones earlier situations, goals or aspirations . This argument has, however, been refuted.
Veenhoven explains that comparison may affect the cognitive or life-satisfaction aspects of happiness, but that the affective component results from hedonic experience and is therefore quite separate of any comparisons .
To summarise these related topics the scientific explanation of happiness and the theory and science of happiness there are a number of theories conceptualizing happiness and in keeping with these theories, the term can have slightly different meanings.
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Other Recommended Journal And Scholarly Articles
Follow the links below to some intriguing research in PDF form!
Use Your Imagination To Create The Life You Seek
Did you know that your brain has a difficult time differentiating between things that happen in your imagination and things that happen in real life? So when you imagine something even happiness your brain acts as if it’s real. We can use imagination to help create happiness out of thin air and enjoy our experiences more.
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Its Use As A Psychological Intervention
The main fields of application of the proposal are the clinical, health and educational areas. In the clinic and health area, what is sought is the generation of prevention strategies and treatment of problems derived from negative emotions, mainly depression, stress and anxiety . It is proven that patients with affective and anxiety disorders have lower performance in daily tasks and it is much more difficult to solve problems. The goal is to promote positive emotions to create a barrier against psychological disorders.
Within the educational one, focuses on the extrinsic motivation of students , academic motivation, generation and optimization of strengths. This favors the students’ reactions to situations that they have to face. Furthermore, in those institutions that promote the achievement of goals to obtain rewards, they increase motivation and decrease the conflicting attitudes of children and young people.
At present is beginning to be implemented in the organizational area The objective is to provide tools to generate strategies to improve the work environment and therefore the efficiency in processes and greater productivity on the part of employees.
How To Be Happy: Is There A Secret Key To Finding True Happiness
What does it mean to be truly happy?
There are many philosophical schools of thought regarding the concept of happiness and its cultivation.
For instance, the pursuit of enduring happiness is at the core of many mindfulness practices, which often emphasize gratitude and seeking contentment in the present moment.
Other models of happiness suggest the importance of living in congruence with our values and in ways that satisfy our basic human needs. Some research even shows that whether we are happy or not can, in part, be boiled down to our genetics.
In what follows, well walk you through several conceptualizations of happiness, show you how to measure each, and give you a wide range of strategies for cultivating whichever form of happiness you seek in your own life.
Before you continue, we thought you might like to . These science-based exercises will explore fundamental aspects of positive psychology including strengths, values, and self-compassion, and will give you the tools to enhance the wellbeing of your clients, students, or employees.
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Find Those Silver Linings
Everything we experience can be a bummer if we choose to see it that way. But when you search for the benefits or silver linings in your life, you may be surprised to discover a lot of good. Keep practicing to think positive and decrease the negative to cultivate happiness. Also, this skill has been linked to a better ability to cope with stress and be more resilient.
Happiness Strategy #: Foster Friendship
There are few better antidotes to unhappiness than close friendships with people who care about you, says David G. Myers, author of The Pursuit of Happiness. One Australian study found that people over 70 who had the strongest network of friends lived much longer.
“Sadly, our increasingly individualistic society suffers from impoverished social connections, which some psychologists believe is a cause of today’s epidemic levels of depression,” Myers writes. “The social ties that bind also provide support in difficult times.”
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