Happiness: Giving, Relating, Exercising

happier_living

The Ten Keys to Happier Living
Vanessa King of Action for Happiness
TEDxStPeterPort
Apr 1, 2016

2:12 Having a sense of control in our lives is an absolutely fundamental ingredient in happiness.
[related: https://franzcalvo.wordpress.com/category/behavior-sense-of-agency ]

mindful awareness

17:20 It’s a menu, it’s not a prescription.
What works for each of us is different. And we need different things at different times.

 

Are your happiness goals too high?

Are your happiness goals too high?
James Baraz | January 17, 2017
http://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/are_your_happiness_goals_too_high/success

Although I’m all for enjoying peak experiences when they arise, measuring that ideal against a moderate level of okayness can easily render this moment as “not good enough.”

Rick Hanson says: “The brain is like Teflon for positive experiences and Velcro for negative ones.”

Sonja Lyubomirsky: Finding the Right Fit

Misconceptions about Happiness
September 2014
Greater Good Science Center

Happiness comes from a lot of different things.
For different people, different practices, different pieces of knowledge
are going to contribute more impactful or less impactful ways. This is an idea that
Sonja Lyubormirsky from UC Riverside calls fit.

from:
The Science of Happiness
Berkeley University of California
https://www.edx.org/course/science-happiness-uc-berkeleyx-gg101x-3

related:

Sonja Lyubomirsky: Finding the Right Fit
Greater Good Science Center
July 2010

The riddle of experience vs. memory

Daniel Kahneman: The riddle of experience vs. memory
TED2010
http://www.ted.com/talks/daniel_kahneman_the_riddle_of_experience_vs_memory
Using examples from vacations to colonoscopies, Nobel laureate and founder of behavioral economics Daniel Kahneman reveals how our “experiencing selves” and our “remembering selves” perceive happiness differently.

complexity

14:20 What controls satisfaction:
– money
– goals
– spending time with people we like

He has a heart of gold

Dan Gilbert: The surprising science of happiness
February 2004 at TED2004
http://www.ted.com/talks/dan_gilbert_asks_why_are_we_happy

8:30 synthetic happiness

14:56
The psychological immune system works best when we are totally stuck, when we are trapped. This is the difference between dating and marriage. You go out on a date with a guy, and he picks his nose; you don’t go out on another date. You’re married to a guy and he picks his nose? He has a heart of gold. Don’t touch the fruitcake!
You find a way to be happy with what’s happened.

20:12
We should have preferences that lead us into one future over another. But when those preferences drive us too hard and too fast because we have overrated the difference between these futures, we are at risk.
When our ambition is bounded, it leads us to work joyfully. When our ambition is unbounded, it leads us to lie, to cheat, to steal, to hurt others, to sacrifice things of real value.
When our fears are bounded, we’re prudent, we’re cautious, we’re thoughtful. When our fears are unbounded and overblown, we’re reckless, and we’re cowardly.

related:

The way we’re working isn’t working: Tony Schwartz at TEDxMidwest  
TEDx Talks
June 26, 2012

How’s Life at Home?

How’s Life at Home? New Evidence on Marriage and the Set Point for Happiness
John F. Helliwell, Shawn Grover
NBER Working Paper No. 20794
December 2014
http://www.nber.org/papers/w20794

Subjective well-being research has often found that marriage is positively correlated with well-being. Some have argued that this correlation may be result of happier people being more likely to marry. Others have presented evidence suggesting that the well-being benefits of marriage are short-lasting. Using data from the British Household Panel Survey, we control individual pre-marital well-being levels and find that the married are still more satisfied, suggesting a causal effect, even after full allowance is made for selection effects. Using new data from the United Kingdom’s Annual Population Survey, we find that the married have a less deep U-shape in life satisfaction across age groups than do the unmarried, indicating that marriage may help ease the causes of the mid-life dip in life satisfaction and that the benefits of marriage are unlikely to be short-lived. We explore friendship as a mechanism which could help explain a causal relationship between marriage and life satisfaction, and find that well-being effects of marriage are about twice as large for those whose spouse is also their best friend.

journalistic version:
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/08/upshot/study-finds-more-reasons-to-get-and-stay-married.html

Equation to predict happiness

Equation to predict happiness
5 August 2014
http://www.ucl.ac.uk/news/news-articles/0814/040814_happiness_equation

The model was then tested on 18,420 participants in the game ‘What makes me happy?’ in a smartphone app developed at UCL called ‘The Great Brain Experiment’ (www.thegreatbrainexperiment.com).
[https://franzcalvo.wordpress.com/2014/08/10/the-great-brain-experiment]
Scientists were surprised to find that the same equation could be used to predict how happy subjects would be while they played the smartphone game, even though subjects could win only points and not money.

how important expectations are in determining happiness. In real-world situations, the rewards associated with life decisions such as starting a new job or getting married are often not realized for a long time, and our results suggest expectations related to these decisions, good and bad, have a big effect on happiness.

It is often said that you will be happier if your expectations are lower.
We find that there is some truth to this: lower expectations make it more likely that an outcome will exceed those expectations and have a positive impact on happiness.
However, expectations also affect happiness even before we learn the outcome of a decision.
If you have plans to meet a friend at your favorite restaurant, those positive expectations may increase your happiness as soon as you make the plan.

original paper:
A computational and neural model of momentary subjective well-being
PNAS August 19, 2014   vol. 111  no. 33  12252-12257
Robb B. Rutledgea,Nikolina Skandalia, Peter Dayanc, and Raymond J. Dolan
http://www.pnas.org/content/111/33/12252.abstract
Significance:
A common question in the social science of well-being asks, “How happy do you feel on a scale of 0 to 10?” Responses are often related to life circumstances, including wealth. By asking people about their feelings as they go about their lives, ongoing happiness and life events have been linked, but the neural mechanisms underlying this relationship are unknown. To investigate it, we presented subjects with a decision-making task involving monetary gains and losses and repeatedly asked them to report their momentary happiness. We built a computational model in which happiness reports were construed as an emotional reactivity to recent rewards and expectations. Using functional MRI, we demonstrated that neural signals during task events account for changes in happiness.

related:
https://franzcalvo.wordpress.com/2014/08/10/crowdsourcing-for-cognitive-science