Saturday, May 8, 2010
Softy shmofty: Happiness is hardcore!
Let me just set the record straight with just a few good factoids here about happiness:
1. Happier people LIVE longer and healthier lives
In a study with over 2,800 men age 65 and older, those who tested higher on positive emotion were HALF as likely to DIE and HALF as likely to experience disease (hello?!?).
2. Happier people make more money and set bigger goals
In a study with 272 people, happier people received better evaluations from supervisors and higher pay. In another study, both children and adults who were induced into positive moods (by watching happy movies or looking at positive images) selected higher goals, performed better, and persisted longer than those who were not in a good mood.
3. Happier people have more fulfilling relationships
In a study with 222 college students, those who were considered "very happy" spent the least time alone, the most time socializing, and were rated to be in fulfilling relationships by their friends and self.
4. Happier people have better sex
Yes, it's true! There are studies that support this. But damn, I can't remember where I read it...so I'll get back to you on this one if you're interested.
5. Happier people are happy!
This is the funniest thing of all. That I feel compelled to write a blog that DEFENDS HAPPINESS! Sometimes I tell people I study happiness and they look at me like "what? ha." People...WTF. Experiencing happiness is what makes life worth living. Somehow we forget that. We forget that our mission in life should be to make ourselves happy. Some think that pursuing happiness is selfish. Some think it's impractical. Some think it's soft. But it's not. And best of all, when you're happy - you make the world happier. You make others happier.
Here are two of my fave quotes on that:
"Don't ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive."
-- Howard Thurman, Dean of Theology and the chapels at Howard and Boston universities for more than two decades, and in 1944 helped found the first racially integrated, multicultural church in the United States.
"When you find your piece in the puzzle, you enable 10,000 others to find theirs." T Harv Eker
With much love,
Sources: For more great studies and info, read Martin Seligman's book, Authentic Happiness. He's coming out with an evolved theory on positive psychology - but this book still holds major gems on the science of happiness.