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If you do not adapt, if you do not learn, you will wither, you will die.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

From The World Book of Happiness

Post number 100. I decided to make this a positive and happy one. The World Book of Happiness was my inspiration for this post.

Findings and food for thought from about one hundred experts in Positive Psychology, that’s the World Book of Happiness. More than just positive talk, these researchers from Germany, South-Africa, China, the U.S., France, Austria, Iceland, Australia, and many more countries share insights based on world-wide scientific research.  Knowledge about the role of family, money, genetics, free will, health, stress, future perspectives and about happiness for individuals, groups, and countries is shared in this wonderfully compiled work by Leo Bormans.
I’m just passing the stick, passing a tiny piece of happiness wisdom here.

Dr. Jose de Jesus Garcia Vega, university of Monterey, Mexico

Ignorance is the biggest obstacle on the path to happiness. There are many small and big ideas and methods to live a happier live, and many of them work well. Knowing is the first step, consistently applying them is the second step. It’s amazing how many people work hard, their whole lives, trying to be successful, totally forgetting to live happily. Later in life they spend a lot of money on trying to fix their health, their relationships, their family.
Do you recognize yourself or loved ones?

Professor Sonja Lyubomirsky, experimental social psychologist, University of California

Studies with identical and fraternal twins show that every person is born with an innate ‘set value of happiness’. That is the baseline or potential for happiness to which you always return, even after heavy setbacks or fantastic triumphs. You could compare this with the set value for weight. Some people effortlessly stay at the same weight while others have to work real hard at it, because their set value for weight is much higher. Does this mean we’re doomed as far as level of happiness is concerned? It’s not, says Lyubomirsky. Her controlled intervention research shows that people’s happiness can be increased and sustained through permanent changes and actions. Some of the deal makers are:
-          Creating a feeling of connection with your goals.
-          Avoiding excessive worrying about little things.
-          Investing in relationships.
-          Learning to forgive.
-          Enjoying small things.
-          Appreciating what you have.

Nothing much new, but how well do you score on these, how much time do you invest in these areas?

Professor Michael Hagerty, computer sciences and psychology, University of California

You can increase your happiness by consistently
-          Learning the art of forgiving to prevent being eaten by bitterness.
-          Healthy optimism that helps you persevere.
-          Setting goals that make you proud.
-          Daily meditations to get to know yourself better.

My experience taught me that for most people the hard part is in the ‘consistently’.

Dr. Vahid Sari-Saraf, Tabriz University of Iran, physiologist

Dr. Vahid Sari-Saraf researches the immune system of happy people and discovered the secret power of sports. Research with Iranian students has shown that athletes have a more extraverted personality and are happier than non athletes. Within the group of non athletes there is also a strong correlation between extraversion and happiness. Playing the right kind of sports for you on a regular basis can be a pleasant and social activity and stimulate happiness.
Another good remedy: laughing. An old saying in Iran says:  A laugh heals all pains.

How is your level of physical activity? How about laughing? Remember, a baby smiles around 400 times a day, and many adults don’t even make it to 20.

Hamba Kahle!
(Zulu for Good Luck)

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