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Three Emerging Insights About Happiness

https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/three_emerging_insights_about_happiness

greatergood.berkeley.edu

Three Emerging Insights About Happiness
Last month, researchers from over 60 countries gathered at the International Positive Psychology Association's 6th World Congress in Melbourne, Australia, to share cutting-edge insights on the science of well-being. Their findings added depth and complexity to our understanding of the major keys to a flourishing life.

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Productive solitude

Productive solitude

Solitude doesn't have to be a negative experience.

Productive solitude happens when we deliberately seek alone time. And this time should not be used for overthinking negative experiences, but for positive reflection and contemplation or for doing something we enjoy.

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Feeling active

Feeling active

In determining our pathway to wellbeing, it doesn’t just matter how physically active we are but how active (how energetic, vigorous, and vital) we feel.

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Future-mindedness

Future-mindedness

Even though our predictions aren’t always accurate, the simple act of contemplating the future might be a key to well-being.

It usually is a 2-steps process: first, we dream big and imagine fantasy outcomes; then, we “get real” and come up with pragmatic plans.

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3 kinds of happy lives

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Habits Of Supremely Happy People

  • They surround themselves with other happy people.
  • They cultivate resilience.
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  • They devote some of their time to giving.
  • They get immersed in activities that bring joy.
  • They nix the small talk for deeper conversations. 
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  • They look on the bright side.
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Psychological flexibility

Being open to emotional experiences and being able to tolerate discomfort can allow us to move towards a more meaningful existence.

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True happiness

It isn’t about being happy all the time.

Striving for a happy life is one thing, but striving to be happy all the time is unrealistic.

The 2 philosophical paths to happiness

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  • Eudaimonic approach: it takes the long view and argues that we should live authentically and for the greater good. We should pursue meaning and potential through kindness, justice, honesty, and courage.

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Subjective well-being

This is the primary way Positive Psychology researchers have defined and measured people's happiness and well-being.

It's defined as your evaluations of your own life and your mo...

Subjective Well-Being components

It consists of 3 parts: positive affect, negative affect, and life satisfaction.

Positive affect and negative affect are basically your emotions and moods, and life satisfaction refers to the evaluation of your life as a whole (how satisfied you are with your life, what you would change etc).

Measuring Subjective Well-Being

Tracking your own subjective well-being can be very powerful if you keep alongside a journal of your life's events. 

Keep it up for some time and you will see trends emerge. You'll also be able to adjust your activities in order to maximize positive affect and life satisfaction and minimize negative affect.