Wednesday, August 05, 2009

The Science of Happiness

My happy place: the Daintree rainforest

My Happy Bus zine has been making its way around the world and I've been getting great feedback from readers. All sorts of people seem hungry to learn more about the simple techniques for increasing the amount of happiness we experience.

A scientific diagram of happiness from the Happy Bus

Yesterday I came across this global survey of happiness, taking place online this week. I recommend it as worth participating in. The survey itself is really very quick and simple (just one page), and then you are invited to watch a very short video describing a scientifically proven technique for improving happiness (the kinds of things I wrote about in Happy Bus). The idea is that you practice the technique for 1 minute a day for a week, and then take the survey again at the end.

From my own experience of pursuing the goal of happiness as my default emotional state, I can say that these techniques really do work. It's not that I'm jumping for joy every minute of the day, although I have noticed many more episodes of shivering glee and exuberant delight. Rather, I am generally satisfied with my ability to create the life I want for myself. I bounce back from hurts and disappointments pretty quickly, face challenges with hope and equanimity, and wholeheartedly enjoy all the pleasurable things I get to do.

You, dear reader, are one of my sources of happiness. Writing this blog, seeing the hits increase from month to month, and receiving your comments all bring me much delight. I hope you click through to the Science of Happiness survey, and practice a happiness technique for a week. I hope doing so makes you feel happier, and that you will continue to pursue genuine happiness, the kind that comes from a choosing a positive outlook, creating warm connections, savouring small pleasures and doing meaningful work.

Mackay Cay, Great Barrier Reef. Even being violently ill couldn't dampen my happiness to be there.

1 comment:

Carol said...

I'm participating in the Science of Happiness survey (thank you) and I completely agree with the techniques. I did sneak a look at some of the other videos. I very much believe in having a positive outlook and being open to happy experiences. Just walking out my door and standing in the garden to look at the tiny things fills me with happiness and gratitude so the big things are a real bonus.