The study of “happiness” (happiology?) is one of my main areas of interest. I’ve read multiple specialized books on the matter by people who’ve dedicated their lives to its study, such as:
- The How of Happiness: A Scientific Approach to Getting the Life You Want
- The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom
- Stumbling on Happiness
… As well as many others where happiness is an important element.
I recently watched a nice and concise presentation titled “The Science of Happiness” by David Asprey from the Bulletproof Biohacking Conference 2015. Here are the key points summarized for your convenience, with an action in bold.
- Exercise will boost your happiness. Make sure you’re exercising regularly in any way, or suffer!
- There are two broad types of happiness, hedonia and eudaimonia. Hedonia gives you short term pleasure and enjoyment, eudaimonia comes from meaning and purpose and gives you long-term happiness. Both feed each other, but be sure to balance your hedonia with the significance from eudaimonia.
- Build meaningful relationships to strengthen and spread joy. ‘Nuff said.
- Be grateful for the good in your life. Create a habit of gratitude, here’s a Google search to get you started.
- Recognize your anger, fear and anxiety as valid feelings. This one was quite surprising for me, it seems expressing your negative emotions can increase your happiness. Don’t be shy about them.
- If someone hurts you, practice forgiveness instead of holding onto bitterness.
- Money won’t make you happy… But if you’re happy you’ll probably make more money.
- Practice neurofeedback to increase happiness. More on this one in subsequent posts!
Each item in the presentation referenced the research that supported the claim, but in this case you’ll have to take my word for it 🙂
In conclusion, here’s a video.