Happiness 101


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This is the core Powerpoint for a a short course on Positive Psychology and the Psychology of Happiness

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  • Positive Psychology- a rather new field (1998)—it breaks from humanistic psychology that has its beginnings in the 1960’s and 1970’s…more research oriented/less on the pop-psychology/self-help sideWeeach have potential to be happy—in our own way/yet some things about happiness are universal (people are not happy when everyone hates them/if they don’t have basic needs met) Social needs key to happinessWe have some control—50% genetic makeup, 10% life circumstance (40% is influenced by thoughts/actions)—research shows that most of us have a set point/but it can changeImportant factors—the rest of the presentation will look in more detail at thisYes, up to a point-(later in talk)Contagious- YES—surround yourself with genuinely happy people, you will be happierProbably underrated—people who are happy tend to be more creative, generous, helpful, self-confident, better coping abilities…
  • Research says that happiness is correlated with success in various parts of life—work, relationships, happy people live longer, better, etc.Success in a variety of areas leads to happiness
  • Things that provide us both pleasure and meaning are more likely to bring us lifelong happiness.Life Map—
  • COMMUNITY- economic freedom, high employment rate, tolerance, quality of government/legal system, community space, walkabilityWORKPLACE- (Half of our waking hours—better be a place of happiness) avoid long commutes, limited work week, adequate vacation, happy hour, the right boss (TEACHING)SOCIAL LIFE- upgrade your social network, join a club, reconnect with your faith, marry the right personFINANCIAL LIFE- Pay off your debts, invest regularly, avoid credit cards, give, invest in experiencesHOME- fewer screens, own a pet, create space for meditation/flow, get some sunshine, sleepSELF- personal mission statement, get a hobby, develop your people skills, volunteer
  • Happiness 101

    1. 1. Happiness 101<br />A Short Course on Living with Joy and Lasting Fulfillment<br />
    2. 2. What is happiness?<br />Elusive to define—we know it when we see it, feel it<br />Happiness exists even in the midst of pain and suffering<br />It may becaptured by other words more precisely (life satisfaction, positive emotions, contentment)<br />“Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence”<br />Aristotle<br />(4th Century BC)<br />
    3. 3. Aristotle’s thoughts…<br />You can’t obtain happiness by seeking it…<br />You find happiness by practicing the virtuous life—seeking balance and meaning<br />eudaimonea-obtaining full potential<br />Happiness is not the destination of living—but the path to living<br />
    4. 4. Some questions researchers are asking…<br />Do the same things make everyone happy?<br />Do we have control over our happiness?<br />What are the most important factors contributing to happiness?<br />Can money buy happiness?<br />Is it contagious?<br />Is it overrated?<br />
    5. 5. Happiness is…<br />HAPPINESS<br />SUCCESS<br />See: Happier by Tal Ben-Shahar<br />
    6. 6. Happiness is…<br />HAPPINESS<br />PLEASURE MEANING<br />(PRESENT BENEFIT) (FUTURE BENEFIT)<br />
    7. 7. Life Mapping<br />
    8. 8. Wealth and happiness<br />T or F “All rich people are happy”<br />T or F “All poor people are unhappy”<br />Wealth and happiness do not correlate<br />Beyond the level of taking care of basic needs, money will not bring us happiness<br />In US, family income of about $60,000 (2010 study) seems to be a threshold<br />
    9. 9. Goals and intention<br />“Happiness grows less from the passive experience of desirable circumstances than from involvement in valued activities and progress towards one’s goals”<br />David Myers and Ed Diener<br />
    10. 10. Self-concordant goals<br />Goals that are pursued out of deep personal conviction and/or strong interest.<br />Freely chosen (locus of control)<br />Generally are intrinsic in nature (without extrinsic rewards)<br />Come from self and not outside forces (self determination)<br />
    11. 11. FLOW<br />Freely chosen<br />Intrinsically motivated<br />Clear goals and sense of purpose<br />Action and awareness merge<br />Loss of time<br />Peak performance<br />(Csikszentmihalyi – Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience)<br />
    12. 12. FLOW in diagram form<br />Anxiety<br />Difficulty<br />FLOW<br />Boredom<br />Skills<br />
    13. 13. What we have learned from happy people…<br />Recommended reading:<br />THRIVE by Dan Buettner<br />Denmark<br />Singapore<br />Mexico<br />San Luis Obispo<br />
    14. 14. Shaping our happiness in 6 areas:<br />Community<br />Workplace<br />Social Life<br />Financial life<br />Home<br />Self<br />
    15. 15. SUMMARY<br />There are things we can do to improve our happiness<br />Making changes and doing something significant does not come without difficulty<br />Make the most of what is before us<br />Realize that life is made up of daily, ordinary and mundane things—what makes the difference is what we do with them <br />
    16. 16. Michael Rich(828) 339-4497<br />m_rich@southwesterncc.edu<br />