Come on, get happy -- scientists tell you how | 10/26/10

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Among the many wise things said by President Abraham Lincoln is this take on happiness: A person will be just about as happy as he makes up his mind to be.

That sentiment is somewhat controversial among psychologists and other scientists. Some experts believe that long-term happiness is essentially unchangeable, thanks to one's genes and personality. (One study has pegged DNA as the source of 44% to 52% of one's happiness.) Many economists and other experts believe, like Lincoln, that people can take steps to become more -- or less -- happy.

A study published online Monday by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences provides evidence that the latter group is right.

Read on to find out the characteristics of happiness, and those which make for an unhappy life.

Read the whole story here.


1 Comment | Leave a comment


Just watch your kids. Happiness is playing. We home school and perhaps 30 to 60 min/day is all the school work that we ask of our kids - still they want more time to play!
Mind you playing recently started including the unicycle I bought them. I became addicted around a month ago - there is nothing like a unicycle to get you out practicing (and crashing at times) and talking to people. I've met neighbours I never knew!
Of course it seems that when I get a toy for my kids it gets used by many others. Happiness for me is going out to the "Sunday Night Store" (garbage pickup is Monday morning) and building up bikes / trikes and whatnot for neighbours and friends. I may be helping lots of other kids learn to unicycle.
We've tried street potlucks (if we do all the work they happen - but only the same 3 or 4 houses show up) and even at the Community Garden we run the year end potluck doesn't garner much attendance. Too many people are too busy. Mind you I finally did manage to help 2 of my neighbours by upgrading their windows to low-E/argon for a tiny fraction of the cost of replacing the window.
We live in communities - get out and help your neighbours and they'll help you. Friends pick up produce from farms that they go by for others and we pick up sacks of seeds/flakes/flour when we go to the local organic mill.
On our street we'll have one neighbour take care of the kids while the other one(s) get away and a few times a year (weekly with another friend) have a potluck supper.

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