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Finding Happiness Exam 3 What is Happiness Can mean many things to many different people Generally happiness comes from Attaining pleasure reward Minimizing avoiding pain Feeling that life has meaning Satisfaction with life What influences a person s happiness Genetics and set points for mood general baseline level Life circumstances positive or negative Our behavior Notice only one of these is truly under our control Genetics life circumstances account for about 60 of variation Behavior accounts for about 40 The most effective thing we can do is engage in the behaviors that most often lead to happiness Activities to Increase Life Satisfaction Target behaviors to increase happiness or life satisfaction Reduce negative emotions Increase positive emotions Acknowledge the positives in your life count your blessings Finding Happiness1 Improve your lifestyle Spend time socializing Prosocial behavior being kind to others Striving for important personal goals Activities to Increase Life Satisfaction Reduce negative emotions Work on identifying rumination negative thought patterns and practicing thought substitution or other useful techniques Make use of relaxation techniques Increase positive emotions Build positive experiences into life Make list of positive things about self important people in life Review all things accomplished at end of day even seemingly small things Acknowledge the positives in your life Even minor everyday occurrences Try to vary it up and come up with new things on list every other day Improve your lifestyle Increase exercise Decrease substance use Improve diet Quality of sleep Spend time socializing Reduce stress increase relaxation activities Close relationships commonly listed as one of the main sources of happiness for people Interacting with others is a common important source of positive reinforcement and pleasant experiences in our environment Finding Happiness2 Lack of socializing isolation tied to depression vicious cycle Prosocial behavior being kind to others Volunteering complimenting others donating blood etc Expressing sincere gratitude Forgiveness What is forgiveness Letting go of resentment forgoing revenge and not holding on to negative emotions angry rumination What does forgiveness not mean It does not mean you condone their behavior that their behavior was justified or that the person did not wrong you in some way Also does not mean you must allow the person to remain in your life Ultimately forgiveness is for your benefit not theirs Continuing to hold on to anger resentment harms us more than them Allows you to move on with your life without resentment weighing you down Easier if you are able to come to some understanding as to why person might have acted as they did Anything that takes the form of putting productive energy toward something of personal value Activities to Increase Life Satisfaction Striving for important personal goals Meaning making is important Commonly involve career related education Can include volunteering artistic pursuits etc Areas in which we give meaning to life Giving Life Meaning Finding Happiness3 Four broad dimensions of behavior in which we can strive that produce a meaningful life don t need all 4 Life Work Dimension Feeling committed to our work and feel that it gives our life meaning Spiritual Dimension Spiritual connectedness to the world around us may involve conventional religion general connectedness joining a community of like minded others Relationship Dimension Intimacy and or close relationships with others Social Dimension Benefiting society in some way leaving something good behind in the world Relationship between Money and Happiness Do people who are wealthy tend to be happier than people who are lower socio ecomonic status SES Struggles and stress caused by low SES What does research say then Able to afford basic necessities without worrying about finances able to afford some additional leisure activities Social relationships connectedness overall better predictor of happiness life satisfaction Finding Happiness4

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TAMU PSYC 305 - Finding Happiness

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