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Happiness Causes and Actions
What is happiness/wellbeing? • Positive (and not negative) emotions • Satisfaction with life • Flourishing (Eudaimonia)
What causes happiness? • Genes • Personality, mental illness • Actions • Intentional attitudes • Circumstances
Happiness and $$$ • Money makes us happier, but… • Satisfaction vs positive emotions • The more you earn, the more you “need” • Relative vs. absolute income • Income = 1% of our happiness • Materialistic people • Richer but less happy
Happiness and work • Any work is better than none • Good jobs • Secure • Intrinsically motivating (decreased by financial rewards) • Interesting (engaging, flow) • Positively contributes to society • Short/easy commute • Allows for autonomy • Then pay, promotions, & flexible hours • Self-employment • Higher work satisfaction, but same life satisfaction
Happiness and social factors • Social support • Freedom • Trust • People • Institutions • Corruption • Equality?
Happiness and health • Mental health • Mental health problems 10-20 years ago predict current happiness better than anything else • There are solutions that work • Physical health • Good health causes happiness • Happiness causes good health
Happiness and family • Marriage • Happiness marriage & marriage happiness • Good marriages tend to be between equals • Education, looks, happiness • Children • Bad for happiness, good for meaning • 0-3 and 13-18 are worst • Divorce & Bereavement
Happiness and you • Religion • Good in hard times/places • Values • Altruism (up to 4x better than selfishness) • Materialism (need 2x the $$ to be as happy) • Work-life balance • Education • Strengths/savouring/gratitude
What to do about it • Examine and live by your values • Learn and apply your strengths • Exercise • Foster relationships • Meditate • Exercise savouring and gratitude • Volunteer/donate/random acts of kindness • www.growhq.com, www.actionforhappiness.org