We seem to be working harder and consuming more than ever before, but for all the stuff that comes with 21st century living to make our lives easier, less labor-intensive, and more comfortable, we don’t seem to be much happier. A growing number of people feel anxious and depressed. Can living a simpler life make us happier? The answer is not what you might expect.
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Savoring the Festive Spirit
The holiday season and the New Year can be pretty stressful, but this time of year provides us with some ideal opportunities for savoring – noticing, appreciating, and enhancing the things which are already positive in our lives – and there is nothing easier to do. The rules of savoring are simple to follow, and you don’t need any special skills or equipment. In fact anyone, young or old, rich or poor, can learn how to savor and reap the benefits.
My mother was the victim of an armed robbery. Revisiting this trauma reminds her (in her words) “to hold them in the light.” How is my mother able not just to allay her anger and to practice forgiveness, but actually to desire the elevation of her aggressors?
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When Valuing Happiness Backfires
New research by psychologist Iris Mauss and colleagues suggests that valuing happiness itself could be self-defeating and actually lead to disappointment. They conducted two studies, one a correlational study and another that manipulated how much people valued happiness.
Never in our generation have we needed resilience so much en masse, as we find ourselves in times of austerity, budget cuts, unprecedented job losses, divorce numbers, mental illness escalating and on it goes… Resilience: How to Navigate Life’s Curves, edited by Senia Maymin and Kathryn Britton, is a collection of some of the finest articles on the subject selected from Positive Psychology News Daily.
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A Mindful Approach for Chronic Depression
Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), developed by Segal, Williams, and Teasdale, has been shown to be effective in reducing relapse among people with three or more depressive episodes. Like positive psychology, MBCT helps participants to observe their negative thoughts with curiosity and kindness, to accept themselves and stop wishing things were different, to let go of old habits and choose a different way of being, and to be present and notice small beauties and pleasures in the world.
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How Physical Activity Enhances Productivity
There has been a lot of press about health, fitness, and obesity lately. It seems like everywhere we turn, there are new stats telling us why we need to pay…
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When at Work, Can You Leave Your Heart at Home?
While employers would like to think that people leave their problems at home, the reality is that most people find it challenging to turn off stressors from their personal life when they get to work. Rather than ignore the home-life/work-performance connection, we argue that employers who encourage and support healthy home lives in their employees see a better return on their salary investment.
FROM YESTERDAY: The Psychologically Healthy Workplace Conference held in Washington, DC last weekend gave everyone concrete and reliable evidence to make the topic a priority. The conference showed that creating…
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No Worries, Andy! Immunize Yourself Against Job Anxiety
Don’t worry when people tell you it will be hard to find a job. What the doom-and-gloom folks don’t understand is that they have something as contagious as the H1N1 virus– anxiety. Like the flu, they are probably “carriers” without even realizing it. You can innoculate yourself.
In my workshops, I find that Chinese executives are receptive to positive interventions but something about Chinese culture gets in the way of their pursuit of happiness, and until these…
Planning for 2010: How Daily Mental Time Travel Can Increase Happiness or Decrease Anxiety
“The future is looking a whole lot better.” It was the reference to that classic film “Back to the Future” in the title of this new piece of research on…
Announcement: FIRST Book available in the Positive Psychology News Book Series
Dear Readers, We have been racing the clock to get the first book in the Positive Psychology News Series out in time for the holiday season. It is now available…
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Happiness, Busyness, and Holiday Letters
In the paper, Communicating and Philosophizing about Authenticity and Inauthenticity in a Fast-Paced World, Becky DeGreeff, Ann Burnett and Dennis Cooley at North Dakota State University suggest that living life…
Towards Positive Relationships with Workplace Bullies
Outcomes of Workplace Bullying I was a victim of workplace bullying, along with 70% of the American workforce according to Schat and colleagues. After five years of abuse I’d lost…
The new school year brings renewed hopes and aspirations for both students and teachers. It is an opportune time for teachers to appeal to the strengths of their students to…
The strength of Endurance belongs with the virtue Courage. With Endurance, people respond patiently and with acceptance to things they cannot change.
Cruised any politics related web sites recently? Seen any angry, sarcastic, personal attacks wrapped in "humor"? I suspect that for many participants, there are very real consequences. What to do? I have two suggestions, one from my political experience and one from that great political philosopher, Walt Disney.
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The Dance of Stress and Solace
Chronic stress has been linked to many health disorders, including depression, heart disease, cancers, and Alzheimer’s disease. But the stress response engages a number of adaptive, complementary systems fine-tuned to find a balance between stress and solace. Take pleasure seriously, and sow it generously.
My colleague John Buckley used to think of resilience as a suit of armour. Within the armour you feel invincible, safe in the knowledge that nothing can penetrate your defense system. It may be that resilience isn’t an extraordinary quality at all — that we all have the capacity to bounce back.