Happiness article

In an excellent article on the Practical EQ site, Andy Smith summarises several of the articles about positive psychology written in various issues of The Guardian.

I was pleased to find this in How to be happy.

The antidote is to develop a tolerance for small, imperfect improvements, and to focus on what’s going right. Every evening since September 19 1999, religiously, Ben-Shahar has made a list in a notebook of five things for which he feels grateful (“it could be that fantastic sandwich I had, or it could be my family”), and keeping a gratitude diary is now part of the homework for the Harvard course. It all sounds desperately slushy – a terminal lack of coolness is, regrettably, endemic to happiness studies – but this is a kneejerk response it may be useful to try to suppress, as apparently it works: in 2002, a large-scale University of Miami study found a strong correlation between gratitude and overall levels of happiness.

I described my approach to this in the article Have a nice day. Sadly I can’t claim he got the idea from me, but it’s nice to be on a similar wavelength to a Harvard academic (that doesn’t happen very often!).

Andy Smith has found another article in the Education Guardian Make lemonade out of lemons describing some of the ideas behind his positive psychology course, and a short piece on NPR Radio.

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