Alex Tarling: Meta-Effects of Happiness Tracking

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Alex describes how asking yourself if you are happy changes your happiness.

Watch his talk here: http://quantifiedself.com/2014/06/alex-tarling-tracking-and-changing-happiness/

Published in: Health & Medicine, Technology
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Alex Tarling: Meta-Effects of Happiness Tracking

  1. 1. how  happy  are  you  right  now?    
  2. 2. how  happy  are  you  right  now?    
  3. 3. how  happy  are  you  right  now?    
  4. 4. how  happy  are  you  right  now?     ...not  just  a  feeling  in  the   moment,  but  also  a   social  and  contextual   expression  about  quality   of  life...  
  5. 5.    
  6. 6.    
  7. 7.    
  8. 8.     Experimental   bias?  
  9. 9. measuring  things  changes  things...   h=p://www.snorgtees.com/wanted-­‐dead-­‐and-­‐alive  
  10. 10. happy  or  unhappy?  
  11. 11. happy  or  unhappy?   I  get  on  the  scales,   and  then  I  get   happy  or  unhappy   -­‐  because  of  my   thoughts  and   beliefs...  
  12. 12.    raCng  my  happiness  several  Cmes  per   day...  
  13. 13.    charCng  my  personal  results...  
  14. 14.    what  am  I  happiest  doing?  
  15. 15.    what  am  I  happiest  doing?  
  16. 16.    what  am  I  happiest  doing?  
  17. 17.        
  18. 18.         ...it  was  quite  hard   work  raCng  my   happiness  3x  per   day!  
  19. 19.         ...but what is happiness anyway?
  20. 20. what  is  happiness?   A.  a  feeling  or  assessment  we  make  about  our  current   feelings   B.  an  assessment  we  make  about  the  ‘tone’  or  ‘quality’  of   our  life  in  general      
  21. 21. what  is  happiness?   A.  a  feeling  or  assessment  we  make  about  our  current   feelings   B.  an  assessment  we  make  about  the  ‘tone’  or  ‘quality’  of   our  life  in  general       For me: my rating was often a cognitive outcome brought about by thinking about: • my ambitions and goals • my responsibilities • my values and my faults of character • wanting to be a good person
  22. 22. what  is  happiness?   A.  a  feeling  or  assessment  we  make  about  our  current   feelings   B.  an  assessment  we  make  about  the  ‘tone’  or  ‘quality’  of   our  life  in  general       For me: my rating was often a cognitive outcome brought about by thinking about: • my ambitions and goals • my responsibilities • my values and my faults of character • wanting to be a good person Underlying   belief:  being   unhappy  helps   me  to  be  a   be=er  person!  
  23. 23. what  is  happiness?  my  experience  is,   basically:  I  made  it  up...     “Most  folks  are  as  happy  as  they  make  up  their   minds  to  be”     Abraham  Lincoln  
  24. 24. so  given  that  its  the  result  of  habitual   thought...  can  I  change  it?   “Happiness  is  not  something  ready  made.  It  comes   from  your  own  acCons”     Dalai  Lama  
  25. 25. “Be  happy  for  this  moment.  This  moment  is   your  life.”     Omar  Khayyam   ...not  an  a=empt  to  banish  unhappiness,   but  an  experiment  in  behaviour  change  
  26. 26. engineering  a  cogniCve  habit:   “How do you feel?” • Relax • Become present • Become mindful • Be grateful • Be loving (of self, mainly!) • Happiness = absence of unhappiness
  27. 27. engineering  a  cogniCve  habit:   “How do you feel?” • Relax • Become present • Become mindful • Be grateful • Be loving (of self, mainly!) • Happiness = absence of unhappiness
  28. 28. engineering  a  cogniCve  habit:  
  29. 29. what  I  learnt:   • I can’t measure my own happiness without affecting it • Happiness is a habitual pattern of assessment • Habits are open to intentional change • Outcome is not to banish unhappiness forever, but to be more resilient, less a victim.
  30. 30. “Be  happy  for  this  moment.  This  moment  is   your  life.”     Omar  Khayyam   @alextarling   alex.tarling@gmail.com  

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