After 9-11, many survivors of the Twin Towers disaster developed Post Traumatic Stress Disorder – but not all of them. Why not? Dr. Barbara Fredrickson (U Mich) found: -- People high in happiness before the attack simply bounced back. -- But those whose pre- attack happiness levels were lower didnt do as well. Highly unhappy people developed PTSD much more frequently.
Life Hurts Happiness is the cure Very happy people have the same pain and trauma.* Their happy disposition helps them bounce back very quickly.** *Bonanno, G. (2004) Loss, Trauma and Resilience. American Psychologist 58, 1, **Fredrickson, B. L., Tugade, M. M., Waugh, C. E., & Larkin, G. R. (2003). What good are positive emotions in crisis? A prospective study of resilience and emotion following the terrorist attacks on the United States on September 11th, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 84, 365–376.
Happiness as the Highest End Happiness is the meaning and purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence. Aristotle Whether one believes in religion or not, whether one believes in this religion or that religion, the very purpose of our life is happiness, the very motion of our life is towards happiness. Dalai Lama If we were to ask the question: What is human life's chief concern? one of the answers we should receive would be: It is happiness. How to gain, how to keep, how to recover happiness, is in fact for most men at all times the secret motive of all they do, and of all they are willing to endure. William James
Bottom up happiness –Lucky people –No problems –Easy life Top down happiness –Genetics and the set point –Resilience, not luck –Changeable through decisions
"Men are disturbed, not by things, but by the principles and notions which they form concerning things...When therefore we are hindered, or disturbed, or grieved, let us never attribute it to others, but to ourselves; that is, to our own principles. An uninstructed person will lay the fault of his own bad condition upon others. Someone just starting instruction will lay the fault on himself. Someone who is perfectly instructed will place blame neither on others nor on himself." -- Epictetus, The Enchiridion
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My new book: Look who is talking about it: The perfect book for those struggling with the fears and anxieties of life that often overcome us. Learn how to reconnect to the childlike optimism of the past and create a life you never thought possible. – Stephen R. Covey, author, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and The 8th Habit: From Effectiveness to Greatness. Others: Bill OHanlon, Scott Miller, Yvonne Dolan... Check it out!
Interview for You at your Best Get into groups 3 – 4 people –Ask: Can you tell us a time when you felt you had made a powerful contribution to someones life? When have you been at your best? When have you shown compassion or kindness to another? What did you do? –What made that a positive experience? –What did you learn?
Is Misery Increasing? Materialistically, we are twice as rich as those in the 1960s. BUT: If you had fallen asleep in 1960 and awakened today, what would you find?
1960 – 2000: Doubled divorce rate. Tripled teen suicide rate. Quadrupled rate of reported violent crime. Quintupled prison population. Sextupled (no pun intended) percent of babies born to unmarried parents. Sevenfold increase in cohabitation (a predictor of future divorce). Soaring rate of depressionto ten times the pre-World War II level by one estimate. Myers, David G. (April 24, 2000) Wanting More in an Age of Plenty. Christianity Today Dr. David Myers Hope College
Depression: Incidence / Prevalence Lifetime prevalence: 17% - 25% 8 million new cases of depression / year Antidepressants among most commonly prescribed drugs Depression rapidly increasing worldwide (Cohort born 1925 had 4% lifetime prevalence) Bent & Masters, (registration required)www.medscape.org
Anger: 5,584 Anxiety: 41,416 Depression: 54,040 Psychological Abstracts ( ) Joy: 415 Happiness: 1,710 Life satisfaction: 2,582 Ratio: 21/1 Thanks to Tal Ben Shahar, Harvard U., for these numbers. Since 1998, an explosion of research.
Happiness isnt the Negation of Unhappiness Disease Model Health Model Focus on weaknesses Focus on strengths Overcoming deficiencies Building competencies Avoiding pain Seeking pleasure Running from unhappiness Pursuing happiness Neutral state (0) as ceiling No ceiling Tensionless as ideal Creative tension as ideal -_______________________ 0 ____________________ + neurosis, anger, anxiety,wellbeing, satisfaction, joy depression, psychosisexcitement, happiness
PRINCIPLE Psychotherapy makes miserable people less miserable, but not happy. Positive psychology makes ordinary people much happier.
Sonja Lyubomirsky Department of Psychology, University of California, Riverside Laura King Department of Psychological Sciences, University of MissouriColumbia and Ed Diener Department of Psychology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign The Benefits of Frequent Positive Affect: Does Happiness Lead to Success? Psychological Bulletin November 2005 Vol. 131, No. 6,
Happiness -> Success Happy people are successful Happiness precedes success Happy people are better workers –Get more promotions, earn more. Happiness precedes marital success Happy people have much better health Like others; better liked by others More generous, better citizens
How happy are you?
Compare Your Score National survey: How happy are you, overall? Source: Myers, David The Pursuit of Happiness. New York: William Morrow and Company.
ED DIENERS SUBJECTIVE WELL BEING SCALE: On the next slide are five statements that you may agree or disagree with. Using the scale below indicate your agreement with each item by placing the appropriate number on the line preceding that item. Please be open and honest in your responding. * 7 - Strongly agree * 6 - Agree * 5 - Slightly agree * 4 - Neither agree nor disagree * 3 - Slightly disagree * 2 - Disagree * 1 - Strongly disagree Diener, E. (1984). Subjective well-being. Psychological Bulletin, 95, Pavot and Diener, 1993, Psychological Assessment. Dr. Ed Diener
____ In most ways my life is close to my ideal. ____ The conditions of my life are excellent. ____ I am satisfied with my life. ____ So far I have gotten the important things I want in life. ____ If I could live my life over, I would change almost nothing Extremely satisfied Satisfied (most common response range) Slightly satisfied - 20 Neutral Slightly dissatisfied Dissatisfied Extremely dissatisfied
__I lead a purposeful and meaningful life. __My social relationships are supportive and rewarding. __I am engaged and interested in my daily activities __I actively contribute to the happiness and well-being of others __I am competent and capable in the activities that are important to me __I am a good person and live a good life __I am optimistic about my future __People respect me SCORING: Norms are provisional: 48+ is highly flourishing, below that suggests a need for improvement.
Life Orientation Test - Revised Dispositional Optimism –Optimism protects against depression. –Predicts enduring happiness –Changeable: Future diary.
Rieff: Pervasive Well Being Six areas: –Autonomy –Environmental Mastery –Personal Growth –Positive Relationships –Purpose in Life –Self-acceptance
Coaching Quality of Life Take turns being the client. Is improving life quality worth while? What small changes are you willing to make? Client ideas, not the counselors
Michael B. Frisch (Baylor U): Quality of Life Therapy Concept: Assess QOL in 16 areas, including Health, Self esteem, Spiritual goals & values, Money/standard of living, etc (Quality of Life Inventory: order from Interventions: Change one of these: C: Circumstances; A: Attitudes; S: Standards; I: Importance or values; O: Other areas. Brainstorm ways to improve the most important of the 16 areas
Frisch Outcomes: Equal to or better than standard CBT for anxiety, depression, relationship issues. –Almost no relapses (1 / 16), strong outcome* Book has a CD, 45 patient education handouts. Barnes & Noble: $60.00 *Grant, G. M., Salcado, V., Hynan, L. Frisch, M.B., & Puster, K. (1995) Effectiveness of quality of life therapy for depression. Psychological Reports, 76,
Social Comparisons Sonja Lyubomirsky investigated very happy and not happy people: –Whom did they compare themselves with? Unhappy people compared themselves with more successful people. Very happy people didnt compare themselves at all. They were puzzled by the concept. –Happy people are glad for others when they succeed, not envious, concerned for others when things go badly. Lyubomirsky, S (2008) The How of Happiness. New York: Penguin.
LOVING-KINDNESS MEDITATION New meditators in nine weeks / one hour per day: -- More left-prefrontal activity (goal directed and positive emotions) -- Better immune response -- More warmth and kindness toward others. Davidson, R. (2000) Affective style, psychopathology, and resilience. American Psychologist, 55, Davidson, R. et al., (2003) Alterations in brain and immune function produced by mindfulness meditation. Psychosomatic Medicine, 65,
Martin Seligman A self-described former grouch, world recognized expert on depression, Seligman shifted from studying what was wrong to studying positive psychology: What makes life worth living?
Authentic Happiness Pleasure: The pleasant life. –Small contribution to happiness. Meaning: A life of significance –Social connection, service to others. –Very Large contribution to happiness. Engagement: a life of involvement. –Expanding ones gifts, doing interesting work. –Large contribution. Seligman, M. (2003) Authentic Happiness. New York: Nicholas Brealey
What we are born with; What we can develop.
What Can We Change? Genetics ~ 50% Circumstances ~ 10% Under own control ~ 40% Lyubomirsky, S. (2008) The How of Happiness. New York: Penguin. Positive Psychology has identified at least 14 interventions that raise happiness persistently.
Recent Seligman Research: DEPRESSION: Several PP interventions are equal to or better than: –Treatment (therapy) as usual (TAU) –Combined medication and TAU TOP TOOLS: Gratitude visit; Gratitude diary, Using personal strengths. Seligman, M.E.P., Steen, T.A., Park, N., Peterson, C. (2005) Positive Psychology Progress: Empirical validation of interventions. American Psychologist 60, Seligman, M.E.P., Rashid, T., & Parks, A.C. (2006) Positive Psychotherapy. American Psychologist, 61,
Note: Acacia Parks tells me the PPT group has retained much – 55% sx 4 yr
Gratitude A validated intervention for resiliency.
Learning to be Grateful You say grace before meals. All right. But I say grace before the concert and the opera, and grace before the play and pantomime, and grace before I open a book, and grace before sketching, painting, swimming, fencing, boxing, walking, playing, dancing, and grace before I dip the pen in the ink. Gratitude produced the most purely joyful moments that have been known to man. G. K. Chesterton
If the only prayer you said in life was Thank you, that would suffice. Meister Eckhardt Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others. Cicero
Who has been kind or helpful? Jot down two or three people who have been kind to you. –People you ought to thank... How do you feel when you review those memories?
Gratitude Visit Pick one person who has been helpful. Write a letter of appreciation – one or two pages. Laminate it or frame it. Take it to that person, read the letter, and leave it.
Gratitude Experiment Jot down three things, in the past hours, that you feel good about and would like to see continue. Jot down one or two things you did that you feel were good, right, ethical, or noble, some things you approve of. How do you feel?
Gratitude for Challenges Jot down something that upset you. Now try to brainstorm: How might this be a blessing in disguise? How could I turn it to my advantage? What could be good about this? Rate your feelings now: Did your feelings move toward peace?
Ancient Wisdom: Bad to Good Rabbi Nachum said: Gam Zu l Tovah – Even this can be good. –Students called him Rabbi Nacham Ish Gam Zu Epictetus - Greek Stoic Philisopher: –No matter what happens, it is within my power to turn it to my advantage.
The Gratitude Diary Every few days, write 3 – 5 things that you liked. –What happened to me? How did it happen? –What did I do right? Then write one thing that you didnt like –Ask yourself: And how is it also good, a blessing in disguise? –Find two or three ways it helps you.
Building on Strengths Key to Engagement and Meaning
Values in Action Created by Chris Peterson & Marty Seligman to diagnose strengths. Cross cultural Six major areas Twenty-four specific areas Several studies show emphasizing strengths increases happiness.
Use a Key Strength to Address your Largest Challenge Example: Your Strength is Kindness. Your Challenge: A research paper.
Use a Key Strength to Address your Largest Challenge Example: Your Strength is Kindness. Your Challenge: A research paper.
Savoring Building Appreciation for Life
I wondered how it was possible to walk for an hour through the woods and see nothing of note. I who cannot see find hundreds of things: the delicate symmetry of a leaf, the smooth skin of a silver birch, the rough, shaggy bark of a pine. I who am blind can give one hint to those who see: use your eyes as if tomorrow you will have been stricken blind. Hear the music of voices, the songs of a bird, the mighty strains of an orchestra as if you would be stricken deaf tomorrow. Touch each object as if tomorrow your tactile sense would fail. Smell the perfume of flowers, taste with relish each morsel, as if tomorrow you could never taste or smell again. Make the most of every sense. Glory in all the facets and pleasures and beauty which the world reveals to you. Helen Keller
Homework Focus on the sensory impressions in a moment-to-moment fashion. –Food –Activity (walking, running, sports) –Conversations –Friends –Recall & nostalgia
Random Kindness Once day per week, do five acts of kindness. Write about it in your diary. Result: Sustained increase in Well Being Lyubomirsky, S., Sheldon, K. M., & Schkade, D. (2005). Pursuing happiness: The architecture of sustainable change. Review of General Psychology, 9,
Activity Physical activity is approximately equal in effect to antidepressants and anxiety medications. Ten minutes a day is sufficient to produce the effect; thirty minutes may be optimal. Salmon, P. (2001) Effects of Physical Exercise on Anxiety, Depression, and Sensitivity to Stress: A Unifying Theory. Clinical Psychology Review 21, Hansen CJ, Stevens LC, Coast JR (2001) Exercise Duration and Mood State: How Much is Enough to Feel Better? Health Psychology 20,
Connection with Others
No Happy Hermits Very happy persons have much wider range of friends. Spend more time with others. Connection skills: –How can I help others? –Enjoy others as they already are. –Create time with friends.
Duchenne Smiles & Marriage Duchenne Smiles: 1960 Mills College Yearbook: –Women with Duchenne smiles were more likely to have married, stayed married, and rated their lives as happy thirty years later, Harker, L & Keltner, D. (2001). Expressions of Positive Emotion in Women's College Yearbook Pictures and Their Relationship to Personality and Life Outcomes Across Adulthood. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol. 80, No. 1,
Which is the genuine (Duchenne) smile and which is the social (Pan American) smile?
Smile Assignment Practice smiling more on random days. –Magic coin flip technique –Recall happy times, and then smile. How does smiling more affect you? –Track experiences in your gratitude diary.
Sleep Insomnia affects up to 30% of population A risk factor for depression A side effect of depression Continues after depression is resolved Behavioral treatments are equal or better than medication
Behavioral Sleep Tools Go to bed only when sleepy. –Quiet down in the evenings, avoid TV, lower the lights an hour before bed. Luxuriate in your bed. Meditate briefly before bed. –This is a natural melatonin producer. If not asleep in 20 minutes, get out of bed. Return to bed only when sleepy. Get up the same time every day. Dont take naps, but do meditate once a day.
Nutrition Breakfast like a king, supper like pauper Mediterranean diet: –Rich in vegetables, fish, complex carbs, legumes and nuts; low in red meat. –Rainbow diet –Addictions: tobacco, excess alcohol or caffeine, etc. all reduce happiness. Omega-3 oils* reduce depression. *Stoll, AL, et al. (1999) Omega-3 fats and bipolar disorder: A review. Prostaglandins, Leukotrienes and Essential Fatty Acids 60, 5-6, May-June 1999, Pages Prostaglandins, Leukotrienes and Essential Fatty Acids 60, 5-6
Mediterranean Diet & Depression A total of 10,094 initially healthy Spanish participants. After a median follow-up of 4.4 years, 480 new cases of depression were identified. Inverse dose-response relationships were found for fish, fruit and nuts, monounsaturated- to saturated- fatty-acids ratio, and legumes. Q.E.D.: DIET affects mood Sánchez-Villega, A et al. (2009). Association of the Mediterranean Dietary Pattern With the Incidence of Depression. Archives of General Psychiatry, 6, 10.
Depression & Diet Link British study: followed 3486 participants five years; assessed depression CES-D Two diet patterns (assigned to tertiles): –Whole foods: High fruits, vegetables, fish –Processed foods: heavily loaded by sweetened desserts, fried food, processed meat, refined grains and high-fat dairy products. Conclusion: Diet strongly predicts depression Akbaraly, TM et al. (2009) Dietary pattern and depressive symptoms in middle age. The British Journal of Psychiatry 195:
Good Diet = Less Prison Fights Double blind study in British prison –Multi-vitamins & healthy oils / Omega 3 –OR, placebo and corn oil Prisoners getting diet supplements: –Fewer fights: 31% fewer in two weeks of starting supplementation. Gesch, C. B. et al. (2002) Influence of supplementary vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids on the antisocial behaviour of young adult prisoners. BRITISH JOURNAL OF PSYCHIATRY, 1 8 1, 2 2, 2 8
Importance of Omega-3 20% of the brains dry weight is polyunsaturated essential fatty acids –DHA (docosahexanoic acid); EPA (eicosapentanoic acid); ALA (alpha linolenic acid DHA & EPA: animal sources; ALA vegetable Therapeutic range: 1 – 3 grams EPA / day –Help the brain grow / recover; reduce inflamation. Effective w/ all depressive dx. –Modern diets out of balance Ideal: 1/1; currently 1 n-3 to 20 n-6 Logan, A.L. (2003) Neurobehavioral aspects of Omega-3 fatty acids: Possible actions and therapeutic value in major depression. Alternative Medicine Review, 8, 4,
Fulfilling Work Identify your strengths (VIA is free!) –www.authentichappiness.org –Top five strengths Find ways to harness your strengths in your daily work. Practice happiness at your current job –practice respect story Seligman, M. (2001) Authentic Happiness.
Reframing Experiment: Write down two reasons why your current work is a great blessing, opportunity, or exciting challenge to you. –Whom do you serve, how do you help, where do you make a difference? Imagine you reviewed these advantages often. How will that help?
Shift Up Process: –Recognize: You are under stress –Focus intently on the region of your own heart. –Now recall a positive experience and relive that experience for a minute. –Ask yourself for insight and wisdom Highest and best way?
Shift Up Homework Recall a serious challenge or problem. –Breathe with focus for 30 seconds. –Recall a very happy time and re-live it. Recall the emotions. –Now ask yourself, What is the best, highest way to deal with that problem? Wait quietly for an answer. Practice this ten times a day.
Forgiveness* REACH (Everett Worthington) –Recall the hurt –Empathize with the perpetrator –Altruistic gift of forgiveness –Certify you forgive –Hold on to the forgiveness Use wisdom and discretion: –Typically you do NOT tell the perpetrator that you have forgiven him/her. *Movie: Diary of a Mad Black Woman, written & directed by Tyler Perry.
To lick your wounds, to smack your lips over grievances long past, to roll over your tongue the prospect of bitter confrontations still to come, to savor to the last toothsome morsel both the pain you are given and the pain you are giving back– in many ways it is a feast fit for a king. The chief drawback is what you are wolfing down is yourself. The skeleton at the feast is you. Fred Luskin, Forgive for Good, p. 77
Research on Forgiveness Luskin, F. (2003) Forgive for Good. New York: Harper Collins. McCullough, M.E., Thoresen, C.E. & Pargament, K.I. (2000). Forgiveness, Theory, Research and Practice. New York: Guilford.
What Increases Happiness? Moderate pleasure. Savoring (antidote to habituation) Social skills - be involved w/ people: –Wide range of acquaintances; Appreciate & enjoy others; Deep connection with spouse. Optimism & Zest: –Expect good to multiply & bad to pass quickly. A sense of mission (VIA assessment) –Do more of what you are good at. Gratitude (the gratitude diary) & service –Reframing bad toward good.
Increasing Resiliency Activity – around 30 minutes a day Sleep skills Meditation and cultivating compassion Diet: More vegetables, less red meat, monounsaturated fats, Omega-3 Connection – broaden and deepen relationships
Ending as we began, with Epictetus: When a raven happens to croak unluckily, don't allow the appearance hurry you away with it, but immediately make the distinction to yourself, and say, "None of these things are foretold to me; but either to my paltry body, or property, or reputation, or children, or wife. But to me all omens are lucky, if I will. For whichever of these things happens, it is in my control to derive advantage from it."