YES!•Martin Seligman taught one happinessenhancing strategy to a group of severelydepressed people.•The exercise involved writing down 3 good things that had happened every day
YES!•Within 15 days their depression lifted tomildly or moderately depressed and 94%experienced reliefHow does this compare with antidepressants!
Happiness is a Serious IssueMost of us are not flourishingWHO predicts that by 2020 depressionwill be the 2nd leading cause of morbidityin the world, affecting 30% of all adults
What is Happiness to You ?Experience of joy, contentment, positivewell-being, with a sense that life is good,meaningful and worthwhile.-Sonja Lyubomirsky
What is Happiness to You ?Matthieu Ricard notes it is "a deepsense of flourishing that arises froman exceptionally healthy mind. Thisis not a mere pleasurable feeling, afleeting emotion, or a mood, but anoptimal state of being.Happiness: A Guide to Developing Lifes Most Important Skill, MatthieuRicard
What Does Make us Happy?Research consistently shows us thethings that makes us most happy arethese:•Strong relationships with family andfriends•Having a sense of meaning orpurpose•Contributing to the lives of others•A sense of control in our lives
What Doesn’t Make Us Happy?What is not associated withhappiness?• Age• Gender• Cultural background• Education• Urban or rural place of residence• Wealth
What Doesn’t Make Us Happy?Set point for happinessWithin one year of a very positive orvery negative event, happinessreturns to previous levels
3 Major Myths about Happiness1. Happiness must be “found out there”40% of happiness is in our own hands
3 Major Myths about Happiness2. The myth of more….I would be happy if…. Or when….. advertising feeds on thisHappiness lies in changing ourcircumstances.
3 Major Myths about Happiness3. You either have it or you don’tWe CAN overcome our geneticprogramming !!!
Happiness is determined more byour state of mind than by externalevents
States of Happiness We can be: •Unhappy •Happy for bad reason •Happy for good reason Or•Happy for no reason – this is what we are aiming for
What are some of the I’ll be happywhen … statements you might have orhear?
Happiness Set - point•50% of our happiness is determined byour genes our “happiness set-point”•10% is determined by life circumstances•40% by our intentional activities. Your happiness set-point will remainthe same unless you make a concertedeffort to change it
Happiness Set- pointThat’s the exciting bit, we canchange things
Happiness Set Point•Studies have tracked people whowon the lottery - what many peoplethink of as the ticket to happiness.•Within a year, these winnersreturned to about the same level ofhappiness theyd had before theirwin.
Happiness Set Point•The same was true for people whobecame paraplegic. Within a year or so ofbeing disabled, they also returned to theiroriginal happiness level.
Moving to Happy For No Reason•This state of happiness is universaland refers to a state ofenlightenment or peace within•“It is not that your life is alwaysperfect – it’s just that however itlooks, you’ll still be Happy”
Moving to Happy For No Reason Happy people don’t have special powers they have different habits. -Marci Shimoff, 2008
Moving to Happy For No ReasonOur routines hide the “plasticity ofour brains” like ruts in a road. Thebrain is capable of the changing itscircuits and is always doing so.-Norman Doidge, The Brain ThatChanges Itself 2007
Our Brain’s Ability to ChangeScientists have discovered thathabitual thoughts and behaviorscreate specific neural pathways inour brains, just as water flowingdownhill creates a groovein the earth.
Our Brain’s Ability to ChangeWhen we think or behave a certainway over and over, the neuralpathway is strengthened and thegroove becomes deeper.
Our Brain’s Ability to ChangeUnhappy people tend to have morenegative neural pathways -- their mindsare literally stuck in a rut.Scientists used to think these neuralpathways were set in stone.
Our Brain’s Ability to ChangeNew research shows that when yourepeatedly think, feel, and act in adifferent way, the brain actually rewiresitself. This means you can change yourhappiness set point.Richard Davidson, PhD, of the University of Wisconsin-Madison quoted by M Shimoff, 2008
We always have the potential togrow and change – we can change our brain by transforming our mind.
Stop Over Thinking•Thinking is terribly over rated – you muststop it.•We create chaos in our minds with overthinking•We can’t always fix or change everything– acceptance and allowing is enough, wedon’t need to have all the answers
Stop Over Thinking•Come back to your senses•Feel the body, hear, smell, look•The body is the anchor to the present
Blessings ActivityWrite 3 things down every nightbefore you go to sleep the thingsthat went well – your blessings