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Happiness RP Rajarethinam MMC 1979-85 and happily forever

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Presentation on theme: "Happiness RP Rajarethinam MMC 1979-85 and happily forever"— Presentation transcript:

1 Happiness RP Rajarethinam MMC 1979-85 and happily forever rpmmc@yahoo.com

2 Aspects of happiness Psychology Psychology Philosophy Philosophy Evolution Evolution Neuroscience Neuroscience Pathology Pathology Practical aspects Practical aspects Mentalizing Mentalizing

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4 What we want… Edward Frascino New Yorker (with out permission)

5 So, What is it? Hedonia (pleasure or positive affect) Hedonia (pleasure or positive affect) – Not hedonism but more of a mood or trait Eudaimonia (A life well lived) Eudaimonia (A life well lived) – Accomplishing or getting what you want Engagement (Just do it) Engagement (Just do it) – Just enjoying life or being interested in doing what you are doing. Kringelbach, M.L. & Berridge, K.C. (2010).

6 First World Happiness Report First World Happiness Report Happier countries tend to be richer Happier countries tend to be richer – social support, absence of corruption & personal freedom. Over time, as living standards rise, happiness increased Over time, as living standards rise, happiness increased – Interestingly this effect was not seen in US! Unemployment is as bad as bereavement or breakup. Unemployment is as bad as bereavement or breakup. At work, job security and good relationships do more for job satisfaction than high pay and convenient hours. At work, job security and good relationships do more for job satisfaction than high pay and convenient hours. Behaving well makes people happier. Behaving well makes people happier. Mental health is the single biggest factor. Mental health is the single biggest factor. Stable family life and enduring marriage. Stable family life and enduring marriage. In advanced countries, women are happier than men In advanced countries, women are happier than men Happiness is lowest in middle age Happiness is lowest in middle age – grumpy middle aged men, living in USA who are a bit kuku J. Hellwell, Rlayard, J. Sachs, WHO

7 The evolution conundrum Survival of self and the species Survival of self and the species – So the rewarding experience of food and sex, comfort, safety and less pain Consciousness of death as the end Consciousness of death as the end – So, life is short – give it a shot – A gift that helps us anticipate and maximize pleasure Happiness comes with depression and anxiety – why? Happiness comes with depression and anxiety – why? RM. Nesse and KC. Berridge Science 97

8 Philosophy (struggle of the conscious and pleasure) Hinduism Hinduism – Reach Motcha by Bakthi – Karma or control of behavior – God is sometimes used as a concept Buddhism Buddhism – Freedom from suffering – Nirvana Stoicism and Judeo-Christian ideas Stoicism and Judeo-Christian ideas – of being a sage – austere indifference to joy, grief, pleasure, or pain

9 High Spirituality Barbara Smaller – New Yorker (with out permission) When I was making money, I made the most money, and now that I am spiritual Im the most spiritual

10 Are these same or different Spirituality Spirituality Pleasure Pleasure Bliss Bliss Drugs for pleasure or addiction Drugs for pleasure or addiction – With or without guilt Sex and food Sex and food – With or without guilt Does altruism justify violence? Does altruism justify violence? –...

11 The pleasure network Shared by basic and higher order pleasures Shared by basic and higher order pleasures – Basic (food, sex) and higher order (Money, art, music, altruism or transcendence) Deep brain structures Deep brain structures – Nucleus Accumbens, ventral pallidum, Cortical Cortical – Orbitofrontal, cingulate, M.Prefrontal, insular

12 The H spot of pleasure Hedonic Hotspots (no, not that one!) Hedonic Hotspots (no, not that one!) – Brain is highly interconnected and so you do not need to hit the spot! – Coding vs. causing Pleasure electrodes Pleasure electrodes – Nucleus acumbens (rats prefer over food and cocaine) – Wanting vs. liking (drug addiction)

13 Cortical Pleasure Incentive salience Incentive salience – The importance of the stimuli (say, drug) Midlateral - Orbitofrontal cortex Midlateral - Orbitofrontal cortex – Sex, drugs, food, chocolate and music! Medial unpleasant? Anterior more abstract? Or is it all emotion Medial unpleasant? Anterior more abstract? Or is it all emotion Right Mania and Left depression? Right Mania and Left depression? Cortex causes or discriminates? Cortex causes or discriminates?

14 Mental health aspects of happiness Anhedonia Anhedonia – Lack of interest Depression Depression – Extreme sadness for inadequate reason Anxiety Anxiety – Unnecessary or unproductive fear Mania Mania – Excessive and unreasonable happiness

15 Is happy lack of pain? Am I a happy man or just an asymptomatic one?

16 Benefits of happiness Higher income and superior work outcomes Higher income and superior work outcomes – e.g., greater productivity and higher quality of work, Larger social rewards Larger social rewards – e.g., more satisfying and longer marriages, more friends, stronger social support, and richer social interactions More activity, energy and flow, and better physical health More activity, energy and flow, and better physical health – e.g., a bolstered immune system, lowered stress, and less pain – more creative, helpful, charitable, and self-confident, better self-control, and greater self-regulatory and coping abilities longer life. longer life. Sonja Lyubomirsky UC Riverside

17 What can we do? 48% Genetic, 40% situation and only 12% in your hands. 48% Genetic, 40% situation and only 12% in your hands. And it is 80% inherited! And it is 80% inherited! – 48% Genetic: It is the hedonia or the inherent attitude – nature It is the hedonia or the inherent attitude – nature Can not be changed and so blame your parents Can not be changed and so blame your parents – 40% Situation Lottery tickets Lottery tickets 5 year multiple entry visa 5 year multiple entry visa – 12% in your hands David Lykken and Auke Tellegen University of Minnesota Psychological Science Vol.7, No. 3, May 1996

18 Practice Happiness live like there is no tomorrow Set aside time to recall moments of gratitude Set aside time to recall moments of gratitude Engage in self-regulatory and positive thinking Engage in self-regulatory and positive thinking Practice altruism and kindness Practice altruism and kindness Pursue significant, intrinsic life goals Pursue significant, intrinsic life goals Affirm ones most important values, Affirm ones most important values, Savoring positive experiences Savoring positive experiences Sonja Lyubomirsky UC Riverside

19 Practice Happiness Set aside time to recall moments of gratitude Set aside time to recall moments of gratitude – keep journal on counts ones blessings or write gratitude letters Engage in self-regulatory and positive thinking Engage in self-regulatory and positive thinking reflect, write, and talk about happiest and unhappiest life events or goals for the future reflect, write, and talk about happiest and unhappiest life events or goals for the future Practice altruism and kindness Practice altruism and kindness – routinely commit acts of kindness or try to make a loved one happy Pursue significant, intrinsic life goals Pursue significant, intrinsic life goals – listing and taking action on baby steps towards goals Affirm ones most important values, Affirm ones most important values, Savoring positive experiences Savoring positive experiences – using ones five senses to relish daily moments – Live like there is no tomorrow Sonja Lyubomirsky UC Riverside

20 Pop Psychology Dan Gilbert - synthesis Dan Gilbert - synthesis – We are able to find happiness – Adversity or good fortune does not affect the long term happiness Matt Killingsworth-Mind wandering Matt Killingsworth-Mind wandering – Stay on task to be happy – Do not let mind wander Ted talks Ted radio hour NPR

21 The Quintessential Wandering Mind Alex Gregory – New Yorker (with no permission)

22 Pop psychology Carl Honore-Slow down Carl Honore-Slow down – Take your time Graham Hill-Less is better Graham Hill-Less is better – Less material, fewer things to own David Steidnl-Grateful David Steidnl-Grateful – Be grateful to what you have Ted talks Ted radio hour NPR

23 Mentalizing Thinking about thinking or theory of mind Thinking about thinking or theory of mind A temporal lobe function A temporal lobe function – Involves attention, insight and awareness Helps understand or observe source of dissatisfaction Helps understand or observe source of dissatisfaction Helps control and guide contentment Helps control and guide contentment – (93% of US college professors assessed themselves as above average!)

24 Interpersonal arena and personalities Trust Trust Love Love Personalities Personalities – Manipulation, suspicion, reaction and assumption Reward in a social setting Reward in a social setting Let go Let go

25 Some CBT principles to ponder Set and setting Set and setting Optimism Optimism Contentment Contentment – Kida mark vs. Blue label Being good Being good – Honest, well intentioned, trusting despite betrayal Accepting failure (and death) Accepting failure (and death) Smile Smile

26 So? You are one in 6000000000 You are one in 6000000000 You live about 100 years out of eternity You live about 100 years out of eternity You are so small in time and space You are so small in time and space Your value is negligible Your value is negligible Why bother? Why bother? Take it easy and smile Take it easy and smile


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