April 26, 2013

Happiness Inc.

I’m convinced that the eternal quest for “happiness” is an American construct, yet I can’t seem to shake my interest in the topic.  If the sudden crop of documentaries and articles on the subject are any indication, neither can anyone else in this country. As a self-professed lover of mainstream self-help books, and the recent victim of a car crash that tested my patience on an all new level, I feel compelled to share the following positive takeaways with those of you who aren’t regularly indulging yourself in all of the rhetoric:
  • You have a natural mood “set point” that determines your general level of satisfaction or happiness on a day-to-day basis
  • There are external factors that can influence your “set point,” including the relationships that you form within your immediate community
  • Committing infrequent acts of kindness towards others can help you to feel happier, but only to the extent that they do not feel forced or obligatory
  • Comparing yourself to others will likely only result in misery
  • Unhappy people typically rationalize things more, and they tend to indulge in unproductive mental exercises more than happy people
  • Breaks are incredibly important in helping people to restore life balance and gain perspective (did I mention that I can't wait to leave for Europe in less than 2 weeks?!)
That said, have a very happy weekend, and I'll look forward to seeing you next week!

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