3 Things You Can Do to Improve Happiness and Well-being

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Here’s what Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, a leading expert on well-being and author of Flow: the Psychology of Optimal Experience says you can do to improve happiness and well-being:

  • Be attuned to what gives you genuine satisfaction. Although many people assume that popular activities like watching TV are enjoyable, their own reports generally indicate that they feel more engaged, energetic, satisfied and happy when doing other things.
  • Study yourself. To better understand their own happiness, Csikszentmihalyi says, people should systematically record their activities and feelings every few hours for a week or two. In recording your observations, try to focus on how you actually feel, rather than what you think you ought to be feeling or what you expect to feel. Afterwards, note the high points, particularly, and the low ones. Then try to adjust how you spend time according to your findings.
  • Take control. Repairing unhappy conditions requires active effort. People often assume external conditions will change for the better or let chance determine their response. That’s a mistake. “Get control,” Csikszentmihalyi says. When things aren’t right, “you have to put in the same effort you would if your business were in trouble. Just as markets move, life changes too.”

The above is an excerpt from a Time magazine article. Click on link for the original article, Getting Serious About Happiness, by Jeremy Caplan.

 

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Research on Happiness and Bad Decisions…. from Dan Gilbert

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Research shows that when we (humans) make decisions, we tend to focus on what we’re getting and forget about what we are forgoing.

I was just going to share this interesting article–Buried by bad decisions–by Dan Gilbert with you. But then I happened upon Dan Gilbert’s TED Talks:

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You can access them all at Dan Gilbert’s Ted page.

Enjoy the article. Its really interesting. Enjoy the talks, I am yet to complete all three. But I’ve watched the first one some time ago.

What is happiness?

Noon at Sigiriya

Noon at Sigiriya

 
What is happiness?
Watching the squirrels
dart back and forth
nibbling on bread crumbs.
Magpies and the seven sisters
hopping around in search of rice.
Baby birds atremble
begging for food.
The hanging vines
dancing in the wind.
Tinkling of the wind chime.

Its hearing the baby-talk
of the neighbour’s toddler.
The whir of the fan.
Sun rays glinting through the
Palm-shaped leaves
outside my window pane.

Happiness is hearing your voice
when its 2am in the morning
where you are.
Happiness is knowing
you care enough to call.

Happiness is sun in my eyes
when I look up at the sky.
Its the white clouds and the blue
floating up on high.

Happiness is knowing
things are under control.
It is knowing the dark days
are over.
That my life is full of light
because of you.

And reading year-old poems
I sent you last Christmas.

Happiness is hearing the phone ring
And only welcome voices at the other end.
No hassle, no business.
No official calls.

Yes life is good.
And I am happy.
I even updated my blog.

Written: 25 December 2006