In an interview in the March 2008 newsletter to the Grant Study subjects, Vaillant was asked, "What have you learned from the Grant Study men?" Good sibling relationships seem especially powerful: 93 percent of the men who were thriving at age 65 had been close to a brother or sister when younger. Happy people accomplish more. According to PsyBlog, smiling can improve our attention and help us perform better on cognitive tasks: Smiling makes us feel good which also increases our attentional flexibility and our ability to think holistically. They work. The important thing here is, happiness, always returns back to baseline. 7. This Is How to Get Your Life Off Autopilot, 7 Self-Care Lessons You Might Have Forgotten. But they could remember only 31% of the words with a positive or neutral connotation, like "sunshine" or "basket.". Sleep More: You'll Be Less Sensitive to Negative Emotions. Now, it’s not that we particularly enjoy all of these activities for their own sake, even though we might (and for some, we certainly should), but that we want to create certain feelings: Passion, excitement, purpose, love, excitement, relief, or any other emotion that makes us, well, happy. Along with Dacher Keltner, PhD, she co-teaches GG101x: The Science of Happiness, a free eight-week massive open online course on the edX.org platform that offers science-based practices for a meaningful, happy life. At least according to the aforementioned Ed Diener, who was the first person to study happiness scientifically. 10 Easy Activities Science Has Proven Will Make You Happier Today. It helps promote a view of ourselves as responsible and giving people, which in turn makes us feel happy. H = S (Setpoint) + C (Circumstances) + V (Voluntary Activities). This question takes us to the heart of Buddhist economics—to our true self. Happy people tend to make others happier as well, and vice versa – those who do good, feel good! In NutureShock, Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman explain how sleep affects positivity: Negative stimuli get processed by the amygdala; positive or neutral memories gets processed by the hippocampus. A UK study from the University of Sussex also found that being outdoors made people happier: Being outdoors, near the sea, on a warm, sunny weekend afternoon is the perfect spot for most. Try it. (2010), the results showed that participants who smiled performed better on attentional tasks which required seeing the whole forest rather than just the trees. Practice Smiling: Reduce Pain, Improve Mood, Think Better. But what about spending our time on other people? Staying in touch with friends and family is one of the top five regrets of the dying. The results of this study are surprising: Although all three groups experienced similar improvements in their happiness levels early on, the follow-up assessments proved to be radically different: The groups were then tested six months later to assess their relapse rate. ;). This year is … The study, published in the January issue of Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging, concluded that after completing the course, parts of the participants' brains associated with compassion and self-awareness grew, and parts associated with stress shrank. Social time is highly valuable when it comes to improving our happiness, even for introverts. In this video Dr. Jennifer Aaker gives us a brief glimpse at what makes us happy, and what doesn’t make us as happy as we might think. A portion of our happiness is determined by our genetics (but there’s still plenty of room for attitude adjustments and happiness-boosting exercises!). Various aspects of body image, however, improved after exercise compared to before. Results suggest that a conscious focus on blessings may have emotional and interpersonal benefits. No, I’m not saying “place” as in popping to your local bar or restaurant and gorging yourself on your favorite drinks or food. One example: While I'm definitely into finding ways to improve personal productivity (whether a one-day burst, or a lifetime, or things you should not do every day), probably the best way to be more productive is to just be happier. We tend to try to compensate for this by having a bigger house or a better job, but these compensations just don't work: Two Swiss economists who studied the effect of commuting on happiness found that such factors could not make up for the misery created by a long commute. The fact that we tend to commute twice a day at least five days a week makes it unsurprising that the effect would build up over time and make us less and less happy. Most species that have existed on planet Earth are extinct, including a number of early human species. Other studies have discovered that as people age, they seek out situations that will lift their moods--for instance, pruning social circles of friends or acquaintances who might bring them down. The connection between productivity and temperature is another topic we've talked about more here. There's a huge difference in a fake smile and a genuine smile.). Several studies have found that time spent with friends and family makes a big difference to how happy we feel. sleep helps our body recover from the day and repair itself, productivity and temperature is another topic we've talked about more here, optimal time we should dedicate to helping others, sharing three good things that happen each day.