The road to happiness is paved with … pen and paper?

I love Richard Wiseman’s book :59 seconds Think a little Change a lot. This book is great in providing bite-size chunks of self-help advice AND he gives me permission to be a control freak! He says that even the smallest loss of perceived control can have dramatic effects on people’s confidence, happiness and lifespan. Those who do not feel in control of their lives are less successful, and less psychologically and physically healthy, than those who do feel in control. I knew there was reason for my madness! Following the post on Punset’s The Happiness Trip, here’s some ideas from Wiseman’s book.

Happiness is …

– more money… NOT!
When people can afford the necessities in life, an increase in income does not result in a significantly happier life.

– acting and thinking differently.
Wiseman says the same as Punset: Research shows that about 50 per cent of your overall sense of happiness is genetically determined, and so cannot be altered. But he paints a slightly brighter picture: Another 10 per cent is due to general circumstances like educational level, income and whether you’re single, or not. The remaining 40 per cent is derived from your day-to-day behaviour and how you think about yourself and others.

– writing.
Writing about how thankful you are (like in a gratitude journal – Oprah was right!), about how much your loved ones mean to you (“affectionate writing”) and about your perfect future have been scientifically proven to work as an instant fix for everyday happiness … and all they require is a pen, a piece of paper and a few moments of your time.

– doing new things/old things differently.
Humans derive a great deal of enjoyment from any new kind of positive experience. But if we keep on doing that new thing, we get used to it and it does not provide us with the same level of enjoyment. Intentional changes (like starting a new hobby, joining an organization, meeting new people) help the brain by feeding it ever-changing positive experiences so that you can stay happier for longer.

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