may have heard it said before that happiness is good for your
health, but did you know that happy doctors may be even crucial! A
study has shown that doctors experiencing positive emotion tend to
make more accurate diagnoses (Isen , 1993).
is not the only interesting fact I have to present to you.
In 1998 Positive Psychology was officially launched as a new
field of study and since then there has been an explosion of
research into the science of wellbeing.
if you agree that happiness is important for a health and wellbeing,
how do we become happier? Are
we genetically disposed to a certain level of happiness? Are we born looking at the glass half empty or the glass half
full? To answer this
question, we again turn to research.
have shown that 50% of our happiness levels may be genetically
determined and 10% are influenced by circumstances. This leaves a balance of 40% of our happiness which can be
influenced by intentional activities, in other words, by our own
efforts, thoughts and behaviour (Lyubomisky, 2007; Sheldon and
what are these intentional activities? Research is confirming that we can increase or decrease our
feelings of wellbeing by our own conscious efforts and activities
Lyubomirsky (2007) tells us that unhappy people can become happier
by ‘learning the habits of happy people’.
Happiness is a state of mind, and while we may not be able to
change our genetic inheritance or our circumstances, we can change
the way we think. Altering
our perspective can change the way we feel and behave.
what are the Happiness Habits we might include as part of our
everyday life? The
following suggestions have been proven to be effective in increasing
levels of happiness and wellbeing in those that practice them:
why not give one or two of the above suggestions a try – what have
you got to lose? And
remember, next time you visit a doctor, look out for that
Murphy is a Reflexologist and Positive Psychology Practitioner.
She lives in The Rower, Co. Kilkenny, Ireland.
She offers one-to-one sessions and workshops in Reflexology
and Positive Psychology. She
can be contacted at 051-423957 or 087-9305591, or by email at Sharon@TrueBlueTherapies.com.
R. J., Kabat-Zinn, J.,
Schumacher, J., Rosenkranz, M., Muller, D., Santorelli, S. F., et al
(2003). Alterations in
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education: Positive psychology and classroom interventions.
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