When your mood is gloomy, and your thinking preoccupied, life as a whole seems depressing. When you let your mood brighten your thinking broadens, becoming more playful and creative (Fredrickson, 2003).

Happy Helpers

When we feel happy, we’re more ready to help other people. In study after study, a mood-boosting experience makes people more generous, for example more apt to retrieve someone’s dropped package, volunteer their time, and do other good deeds. Psychologists call this the feel-good do-good phenomenon (Salovey, 1990). Happiness doesn’t just feel good, it actually does good.

Doing good also promotes feeling good. This is a phenomenon espoused by some happiness coaches and instructors. They assign people to perform a daily “random act of kindness,” and to the record the results.

Focus on Negative

Throughout its history psychology has focused far more on negative emotions, despite the significance of happiness. For example, there have been over 20 times as many psychology articles written about anxiety and more than 25 times as many written about depression than about happiness. For every 17 articles about these topics there is only one written about the positive emotions of joy.

There are, of course, good reasons to focus on negative emotions. They can make our lives miserable, and drive us to seek help. But researchers are becoming increasingly interested in subjective well-being, assessed either as feelings of happiness or as a sense of satisfaction with life.

Happiness is a part of a pleasant, engaged and meaningful life.

This report is not a diagnosis. We hope this information can guide you toward improving your life.

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