Tuesday, December 19, 2006


I ran across an article in the paper recently entitled "Don't Worry, Be Happier: Research Seeks New Ways." It seems a motivational speaker and executive coach, Caroline Adams Miller, was taken by surprise when she was asked to try a new mental exercise in a master's degree program.

Every night she was to think of three good things that happened that day and anazlye why they occurred. This was supposed to increase her overall happiness. She thought it was too simple to be effective. "I went to Harvard," she says. "I'm used to things being complicated."

Now she's sold on the technique. She said the think-of-three good-things exercise made her notice more good things in her day and she's actually happier.

"Results may vary," says the article, but the exercise is one of several that have shown preliminary promise in recent research into how people can make themselves happier--not just for a day or two, but long term.

For decades, the article says, a widely accepted view has been that people are stuck with a basic setting on their happiness thermostat. But recent long-term studies have revealed that the happiness thermostat is more maileable than the popular theory maintained. "Set point is not destiny," says psychologist Ed Diener of the University of Illinois.


The article states other ways to increase your happiness quotient, such as,
1) doing random acts of kindness
2) discovering your five most prominent personal strengths and applying one or more of these strengths in a new way. Examples of personal strengths include: the ability to find humor or summon enthusiasm; appreciation of beauty; curiosity; love of learning.
3) savoring the pleasant things in life, even simple things like a warm shower or a good breakfast.
4) writing down what you want to be remembered for so you can bring your daily activities in line with what's really important.

"Happiness is the process not the place," says Diener of the University of Illinois.

That last statement applies to many areas of our lives, and especially marriage. Think about it.


At 3:37 PM, Blogger Gina Holmes said...

Great post, Kristy. I had to smile when I came to your site and found a big yellow happy face. Alongside your happy face. Fit perfectly. I just read this article, or a similar one. I find it to be true. When I'm feeling in the dumps, remembering to write or pray my gratitude has worked wonders for me.

I'm grateful for you today (and lots of days): your sweet, kind and encouraging spirit. Thanks for the reminder on this btw. I needed it.

At 7:48 PM, Blogger Kristy Dykes said...

Oh, Gina, thanks so much for YOUR encouragement! Man, you lifted me!


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