Scientifically Proven Ways To Be Happier

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    Oct 19, 2011 10:49 PM GMT
    Cuz I remember there was a post about it somewhere here...

    http://www.bnet.com/blog/business-research/scientifically-proven-ways-to-be-happier/711?tag=content;drawer-container

    Agh the link aint bloody working.. here is the text:



    How can you be happier? Jennifer L. Aaker, a marketing professor at Stanford University’s School of Business, Melanie Rudd, a Stanford MBA student, and Wharton marketing professor Cassie Mogilner, are here to help. Noting that inquiries into money and happiness have found surprisingly few correlations between the two, the trio instead set out to look at the way people spend their time and how that affects happiness. The researchers examined 60 academic studies, then tried to draw links between those findings to draw more general conclusions.

    The results? Here are five guidelines they say anyone can use to increase their happiness.

    1. Spend time with the “right people.” Sounds simple. But who exactly are the right people? Unfortunately, they’re generally not your office mates, who are the ones people tend to spend the most time with. The people that make you happiest will generally be friends, family, and romantic partners. That’s why one the most powerful influencers of general happiness is whether or not someone has a “best friend” at work and whether or not they like their boss.

    Avoid small talk. A related predictor of happiness is how much substantive discussion a person engages in, compared to small talk. Generally, small talk makes people unhappy, and often, work relationships involve a disproportionate amount of small talk. If you want to increase your happiness, it’s far better to find one or two colleagues with whom you can have a real discussion than to engage in small talk around the water cooler.
    2. Spend time on “socially connecting” activities, such as volunteering and spending time with friends.

    Work doesn’t count. Unless your job is particularly fulfilling and your colleagues are your best buds, work is not ’socially connecting’ and is generally one of the more unhappy parts of the day. Commuting is also gets high marks for making people unhappy.
    Volunteering has been proven to be a good way to increase happiness.
    Memory is important, because it helps us take an event that happened in the past and extend its ‘worth’ into the future. One way to help choose experiences that will increase happiness is to consider how you might remember them in the future. What are your happiest memories? How might you create more similar memories?
    3. Day dream, or, as the researchers say, enjoy the experience without spending the time. As counterintuitive as it may seem, research has shown that the part of the brain responsible for feeling pleasure can be activated just by thinking about something pleasurable. And we often enjoy the anticipation of something pleasurable more than the actual experience that we think is going to be so great. The most common example is vacation planning, which some find more pleasurable than the vacation itself.

    4. Expand your time. No, this does not mean you have to find a warp in the space-time continuum (although it might help). Focusing on the “here and now” slows down the perceived passage of time, allowing people to feel less rushed and hurried. How can we do that?

    Breathe slowly. Just for a few minutes. As the authors write: “In one study, subjects who were instructed to take long and slow breaths (vs. short and quick ones) for 5 minutes not only felt there was more time available to get things done, but also perceived their day to be longer.”
    Volunteering makes it seem like you have more time. In general, spending time on someone else makes people feel like they have more spare time and that their future is more expansive.
    Pay people to do the chores you hate. Activities that we choose to do generally make us happier than those that are obligatory. So if you can afford it, hire someone else to do some of the ‘obligatory’ tasks, such as cleaning the house. Then use the time you’ve ‘bought’ not to catch up on work, but to do something you genuinely enjoy.
    5. Be aware that aging changes the way people experience happiness. Youths tend to equate happiness with excitement, but as people get older, happiness is associated with feeling peaceful. Young people get more happiness from spending time with interesting new acquaintances, while older people get more enjoyment from spending time with close friends and family.

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    Oct 19, 2011 10:49 PM GMT
    Prozak
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    Oct 19, 2011 10:52 PM GMT
    e
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    Oct 19, 2011 11:04 PM GMT
    $
  • disasterpiece

    Posts: 2991

    Oct 19, 2011 11:07 PM GMT
    8==(=Y_)
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    Oct 19, 2011 11:09 PM GMT
    Keeping hydrated.
    Getting enough sleep.
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    Oct 19, 2011 11:19 PM GMT
    Ariodante said$


    money can't buy happiness but it's sure a damn good down payment! icon_cool.gif
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    Oct 19, 2011 11:34 PM GMT
    Sorry guys, my post didnt work... I fixed it...
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    Oct 19, 2011 11:34 PM GMT
    Disasterpiece said8==(=Y_)


    Whats that Mate?
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    Oct 20, 2011 1:15 AM GMT
    GreenHopper said
    Disasterpiece said8==(=Y_)


    Whats that Mate?


    The 8 is a pair of balls, the Y is a butt crack ;)
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    Oct 20, 2011 1:22 AM GMT
    How is having regular sex not on here?
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    Oct 20, 2011 1:27 AM GMT
    Trollileo said
    MuchMoreThanMuscle saidI am big supporter of avoiding small talk. It's superficial and unfulfilling and a waste of my time.
    So how's your evening?

    That rain is really coming down, isn't it?
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    Oct 20, 2011 1:56 AM GMT
    MuchMoreThanMuscle saidI am big supporter of avoiding small talk. It's superficial and unfulfilling and a waste of my time.


    tl;dr
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    Oct 20, 2011 2:09 AM GMT
    Scientifically I am happier after NOT reading that.
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    Oct 20, 2011 2:11 AM GMT
    Ariodante said
    GreenHopper said
    Disasterpiece said8==(=Y_)


    Whats that Mate?


    The 8 is a pair of balls, the Y is a butt crack ;)


    Yep that would make my day!!

    A little on the foggy side near the ocean today...
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    Oct 20, 2011 2:13 AM GMT
    Ignoring half the threads on this site makes me happy.
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    Oct 20, 2011 2:15 AM GMT
    Im only happy when they scream.
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    Oct 20, 2011 2:20 AM GMT
    If your links don't work, use a URL shortener: http://bit.ly/f2ulqG
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    Oct 20, 2011 2:21 AM GMT
    dekiruman saidIm only happy when they scream.


    OMG TMI
  • dancedancekj

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    Oct 20, 2011 2:27 AM GMT
    I do make small talk at work, but only so I can lead into deeper, more meaningful conversations. My job is super fulfilling too, so that is in my advantage. I work with my best friend one day out of the week as well, so that makes both of us happy.

    Lastly, I disagree with the statement about paying other people to do things you don't like to do. Just learn to do it and deal with it, then spend the money you saved on something else you like to do or would like to have. I don't particularly like scrubbing toilets, weeding the garden, cleaning countertops, or doing dishes, but I'm definitely not paying someone to do that shit for me, and I get a very large sense of self-satisfaction when those tasks are completed.
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    Oct 20, 2011 2:36 AM GMT
    Disasterpiece said8==(=Y_)



    blah blah blah, this
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    Oct 20, 2011 5:15 AM GMT
    Not only do I think it's a crappy study to begin with (seriously, pay someone else to do your uncomfortable tasks? like who, Mexicans?) in that it sounds like the premise was assumed in the proposition, but I also take issue with happiness itself. Why does happiness exist, and why should it be a goal? Aren't I better than that? Aren't my goals more universal...or at least planet-wide?

    Happiness as a goal of life seems like a fairly recent invention too.

    There's whole sects of Protestantism that argue the opposite, suggesting humility and work ethic. Happiness won't happen on earth, they argue. Happiness is for the gods.

    I'm all for pain avoidance. Discomfort avoidance. But when I'm happy, it's only for a glimmer of time. A brief dopamine jolt. Then I'm off to the next task. This reminds me of something else...I don't know, like addiction?
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    Oct 20, 2011 5:31 AM GMT
    I'm actually right now re-reading a book that I first read when it came out, in 1990. It's called FLOW: The Psychology of Optimal Experience by Mihály Csíkszentmihályi. If you've ever lost track of time because you've been enjoyed something so much, then you've experienced flow. And there you have your happiness.

    The source can be any number of things. And the explanation I am giving here is admittedly simplistic. But look into it. Csíkszentmihályi has done numerous web interviews on this topic since the book came out in 1990, so it's easy to find in a websearch.
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    Oct 20, 2011 5:51 AM GMT
    ^ i know about Flow.. I actually practice it too... it is related to Zen... minus the philosophy... "just being"
  • beaujangle

    Posts: 1701

    Oct 20, 2011 12:59 PM GMT
    Laughing, meditation & massage make me happy