I’ve been reading Ariel Gore’s new book Bluebird, the Psychology of Women’s Happiness (FSG, 2009). In it she investigates the positive psychology movement—Seligman, et al– and passes along one of its biggest claims: that there are several major actions proven to increase the sensation of happiness in your life. (This is opposed to changing life circumstances in the hopes it will increase happiness, a less effective strategy, surprisingly. Lottery winners, for example, are briefly thrilled and then return to the same level of happiness they had before. ) So the actionable actions for increased happiness sensation are thus:
Be more grateful
Learn to focus on strengths rather than shortcomings
Have positive relationships
I think these merit singular investigation, so in the following notes I’ll take them one at a time.