Ahh, happiness… it is something we all want to have but many find elusive, especially in this fast-paced world with lots of pressures, deadlines, and to-do lists. And for those of us who have experienced some kind of trauma in our past, we may actually have physical or emotional roadblocks to happiness over which me must first triumph.
The good news is that we know more about happiness than ever before. An interesting development happened in the world of Psychology in 1998 that has created a whole field known as positive psychology. This occurred when the President of the American Psychological Association (APA) decided that the organization’s new goal should be to study humans at their healthiest mental states. In other words, Dr. Martin Seligman dared to shift the focus from what is happening when people are unwell to what is happening when they are at their best. This launched a rush of research that has identified some key components of happiness and how humans can become their best selves.
- Positivity by Barbara Fredrickson
- The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor
- The Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown
- The How of Happiness by Sonja Lyubomirsky
- Flourish: A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-being by Martin Seligman
- The How of Happiness blog
- The Positivity Ratio
- Learning to Forgive (because you can’t flow with happiness if you’re carrying around old anger)
- Positive Psychology Center
Things That Make Me Happy
All of these make me laugh single time so I turn to them whenever I need a happiness boost. I encourage you to find your own list of happiness-boosters.
- Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me on NPR
- Surfing or boogie boarding (riding a wave makes me laugh so deeply!)
- Playing games with friends
- Galaxy Quest (I have seen this movie zillions of times and it still makes me laugh!)
- Modern Family