Documenting the Coming Singularity

Sunday, July 12, 2009

The science of happiness

Editor's Note: People generally know what happiness feels like, although it's devilishly difficult to describe. And we generally want to feel happy most, if not all, the time. Hence the proliferation of things that purport to be happy-making, some benign, some beneficial, some destructive and addictive. We have no instruction booklet to show us how to attain happiness-maximum, although various groups and organizations claim to have one. Here's an interesting article on the beneficial aspects of "seeding" our lives with positive emotions."

ScienceDaily - July 12, 2009

Positive Emotions Increase Life Satisfaction By Building Resilience

People who seed their life with frequent moments of positive emotions increase their resilience against challenges, according to a new study by a University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill psychologist and colleagues.

“This study shows that if happiness is something you want out of life, then focusing daily on the small moments and cultivating positive emotions is the way to go,” said Barbara Fredrickson, Ph.D., Kenan Distinguished Professor of Psychology in UNC’s College of Arts and Sciences and the principal investigator of the Positive Emotions and Psychophysiology Laboratory. “Those small moments let positive emotions blossom, and that helps us become more open. That openness then helps us build resources that can help us rebound better from adversity and stress, ward off depression and continue to grow.”

“The levels of positive emotions that produced good benefits weren’t extreme. Participants with average and stable levels of positive emotions still showed growth in resilience even when their days included negative emotions.”

In the month long study, 86 participants were asked to submit daily “emotion reports,” rather than answering general questions like, “Over the last few months, how much joy did you feel?”

Read entire story>>

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