Understanding the Root of Happiness

Merely Me Health Guide
  • Hi everybody


    Lately I have been checking out the videos on a site called TED.  They have wide range of videos including a collection of videos...speakers who talk about the topic of happiness from various perspectives. 


    Dan Gilbert, who is the author of a book called Stumbling Upon Happiness, gives a small talk about some of the research findings to answer the question, Why are we Happy?  He has some interesting theories but I am not quite sure I buy into them all. 


    Gilbert, who is a Harvard psychologist, maintains that our belief that we will not be happy if we don't get what we want, is unfounded.  He talks about how we can manufacture "synthetic happiness" when things do not go as planned.

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    Here is an excerpt from the transcript to this video:


    "From field studies to laboratory studies, we see that winning or losing an election, gaining or losing a romantic partner, getting or not getting a promotion, passing or not passing a college test, on and on, have far less impact, less intensity and much less duration than people expect them to have. In fact, a recent study -- this almost floors me -- a recent study showing how major life traumas affect people suggests that if it happened over three months ago, with only a few exceptions, it has no impact whatsoever on your happiness."


    I am very curious to hear your thoughts on this.  Has anyone read this book?  I got it out of the library but I did not read it all. It is my opinion that it is really hard to pin down happiness as a scientific inquiry.  And too, I wonder if any people with mood disorders were included in the research cited. 


    On a different note...


    Wanted to share some links with you. 


    • I have had the wonderful opportunity of talking to the leader of MyRACentral recently, Lene Andersen.  She is an absolutely lovely individual and has put tremendous passion and work into writing about this topic and giving support to those who have rheumatoid arthritis.  Lene had interviewed me recently about the topic of depression and how it may affect those who have been diagnosed with a chronic illness.  Could you, would you, take the time to pop on over to the RA site and comment on the interview and especially if you have RA or any type of chronic illness.  We are trying to encourage new faces to come and vist the various Health Central sites and I am sure Lene would be happy to see you.

    • Look Out!  The holidays are coming whether we like it or not.  I feel like the stores start up even before Halloween is over.  You notice they are starting earlier and earlier?  Along with the holidays can come the uninvited guests of stress and anxiety.  Pop on over to the Anxiety site for a few ideas about how to lower your stress during the seasonal holidays.  In addition Miss Eileen Bailey gives her tips about how to have a stress free Thanksgiving.

    • Christina Bruni, who writes for our Schizophrenia site, wrote a compelling post urging us to share our voice with our politicians when it comes to mental health services and treatment.  She provides many links to contact your local government officials to give feedback on mental health legislation in the U.S.  You never know when a letter or email might just help to change things.  

    I hope everybody is doing well or hanging in there.  It is already Wednesday.  Time is flying by.  Hope to hear from you all.



Published On: November 17, 2010