Saturday, February 27, 2010

Happiness

So, this will be a bit of a deviation from my normal light-hearted posts, but I think it is worth it.

I was reading on MSNBC.com this morning and came across a couple of articles about on the subject of happiness.

The first was "5 Things That Will Make You Happier". None of them were a surprise to me, but I found it interesting that it came out of a study of 51 studies. I really liked this quote: "recent research suggests people actually can take charge of their own happiness and boost it through certain practices."

People do need to TAKE CHARGE of happiness in their lives. Life is not just about things that happen to us, it is about how we react to those things. It is interesting that they state "life situations have a smaller influence on our happiness than we think they do".

In summary, the 5 things are:

1. Be Grateful
2. Be Optimistic
3. Count Your Blessings
4. Use Your Strengths
5. Commit Acts of Kindness

Like I said, no shockers - in fact, it is funny that this study reinforces what the Bible and scriptures have been saying, well, FOREVER.

The next article I found interesting because it was about what States people were happiest in. Honestly, I did not expect Utah to be very high because so many people (in Utah) talk about how people here are unhappy because of the pressures placed on them by the prominent religion (I made that argument many times as a teenager). However, I have since changed my thinking and feel that it is not as bad as I once thought it was. I think a lot of those pressures are more perceived than actual.

Interesting side note, while putting this together, I was talking with CLR and posed the question "where do you think Utah ranked in a study analyzing what states had the happiest people?" He said he didn't think that Utah would be very high (citing a high rate of people treated for depression).

Without further ado, Utah is number two. I guess people who think otherwise are giving into the stigma (Like CLR and me).

Top 5:
Hawaii: 70.2
Utah: 68.3
Montana: 68.3
Minnesota: 67.8
Iowa: 67.6

The final feature was "7 Thoughts that are Bad for You". I don't think they are as much thoughts, per se, as they are states-of-mind or attitudes, but relevant in any case.

7. Cynicism
6. Lack of Meaning
5. Fretting
4. Lack of Self-Control
3. Anxiety
2. Gloom and Doom
1. Stress

Like I said, interesting.

The main take-away I got was the reinforced belief that a person can have a large effect on their own happiness.

2 comments:

  1. Utah has many great things to offer. sometimes. for some people. especially if you like "the great outdoors."

    ReplyDelete