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Science of Happiness Presentation

This presentation looks at the latest research on positive psychology based on "The Science of Happiness" course offered by University of California, Berkeley.

It provides helpful tips on how to create a happier and more meaningful life. Some of the main topics are "social connections", "compassion", "forgiveness" and "mindfulness".

This presentation is a part of my motivational speech to inspire people to live a meaningful and fulfilling lives aligned with their core values.

I am available to present at events, companies, and organisations.

For more information please visit:

www.consciousbeginnings.com.au

or contact me at jon@consciousbeginnings.com.au

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Science of Happiness Presentation

  1. 1. S
  2. 2. Who am I?
  3. 3. Happiness: a Natural State? Happiness does not mean: - Having all our personal needs met - Feeling pleasure all the time - Always feeling satisfied with life - Never feeling negative emotions, pain, sadness, anger etc.
  4. 4. Definition of Happiness Aristotle: “A life lived in virtue” Darrin McMahon: “Happiness is never simply a function of good feeling but rather of living good lives, lives that will almost certainly include a good deal of pain” Sonja Lyubomirsky: “The experience of joy, contentment or positive well- being, combined with a sense that one’s life is good, meaningful and worthwhile”
  5. 5. What determines our Happiness? According to research by Sonja Lyubomirsky, professor of psychology at UC Riverside: S 50% of our happiness comes from our genes S 10% life circumstances S 40% intentional activity
  6. 6. Hedonic Adaptation Hedonic adaptation: our ability to adapt to changes in our life circumstances Humans beings are remarkable at getting used to changes in their lives. New things boost our happiness for a short while but then we go back to our baseline (set point)!
  7. 7. Affective Forecasting Affective forecasting: predicting how much a life event is likely to impact you People think that really good events are going to make them happy and keep them happy for a very long time and that really bad events are going to crush them for the unforeseeable future
  8. 8. Impact Bias S We often underestimate our ability to recover from difficult experiences - "psychological immune system”. S Impact bias is a major cause of mistakes in affective forecasting. It can lead us to avoid certain decisions or activities out of an inflated fear that they will harm our happiness or to covet certain outcomes (such as winning the lottery) that don't actually boost our happiness as much as we think they will.
  9. 9. Useful Tips S Don’t postpone your happiness! I will be happy when x, y, z happens! S Don’t underestimate your resilience and put things off with the fear of failure! S Spend your money on experiences rather than material things!
  10. 10. Money and Happiness?
  11. 11. Money and Happiness S Research by Ed Diener: Money indeed increases the level of happiness when it helps to lift people out of poverty! S Earning up to $75,000 (in the U.S.) makes people happier but when that level is reached our happiness seems to be unaffected with more income!
  12. 12. Benefits of Happiness S Make more money and are more productive at work S Are smarter and more creative S Are healthier and live longer S Have stable and fulfilling marriages S Have more friends S Are more generous S Cope better with stress and trauma S More resilient and have stronger immune system According to research by Sonja Lyubomirsky, Happy People:
  13. 13. What makes us happy? S Proven Facts: Good sleep patterns, regular exercise and achievements! S Social connections S Romantic relationships S Family & friends S Compassion & kindness S Forgiveness S Mindfulness
  14. 14. Social Connections S Brene Brown: connection gives us meaning and purpose in life. S Research by Ed Diener and Martin Seligman – social relationships form a necessary but not sufficient condition for high happiness S Experiment: when people are actively excluded from a game, same regions of their brain light up when they're undergoing physically painful experiences
  15. 15. Benefits of Touch S Recent studies show many physical and emotional benefits of touch S Touch activates the feelings of reward and compassion S Appropriate touch by teachers resulted higher class participation among students
  16. 16. Touch Deprived? Psychologist Sydney Jourard observed friends having conversations in cafes & how many times they touched each other 1 hour: S 180 times in Costa Rica S 110 times in France S 2 times in the USA S 0 times in England
  17. 17. Kindness & Compassion
  18. 18. Kindness & Compassion S Definition: “to suffer together”. The feeling that arises when you witness another’s suffering and you want to help relieve that suffering.
  19. 19. Kindness & Compassion
  20. 20. The Kindness-Happiness Loop S Less loneliness, better health overall S Volunteerism enhances well-being and life expectancy S Promotes cooperation and social connection S Evokes gratitude & is contagious S Research: giving has a bigger happiness benefit than spending on the self Benefits of Kindness & Giving
  21. 21. Kindness is sexy! Survey of 10,000 people from 37 different countries: Kindness or good character was the most important attribute in forming a partnership with somebody for life!
  22. 22. Cultivate Compassion
  23. 23. Forgiveness S The hurts and conflicts we suffer in life take a considerable toll on our psychological and physical well- being S Holding onto grudges and dwelling on them undermines our happiness. S Forgiveness associated with lower stress levels, better moods, higher happiness and happier relationships
  24. 24. Forgiveness
  25. 25. Mindfulness
  26. 26. Mindfulness
  27. 27. Mind wandering Study of 15,000 people (Matt Killingsworth): S 47% of the time we are thinking something else than what we are currently doing S people are substantially less happy when their minds are wandering than when they’re not S strong relationship between mind-wandering now and being unhappy a short time later
  28. 28. Mindfulness and the Brain
  29. 29. Tips S Do acts of random kindness S Volunteer and help others S Keep a Gratitude journal S Forgive quickly S Practice Mindfulness S Self compassion
  30. 30. A Native American Story
  31. 31. More Information Please visit www.consciousbeginnings.com.au www.jontravels.blogspot.com http://www.meetup.com/West-End-Mindfulness-Circle https://www.edx.org/course/science-happiness-uc- berkeleyx-gg101x

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