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Lecture 15

Lecture 15 - Laughter.docx

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Health Sciences
Health Sciences 1001A/B
Shauna Burke

Laughter The Benefits of Happiness  Suggested that increase happiness could lead to: o Longer life o Health o Resilience- bounce back after negative life event o Increase performance- academically, professionally, personally  Standard of living increase dramatically yet happiness in industrialized countries has shown little increase over time o No link between money and happiness o Constant theme in literature Pursuit of Happiness  Everyone wants to be happy o Buddhists ultimate goal in life is to be happy  Many decision are rooted in the desire to become happy  Often, the decisions we make fail at increasimg happiness  Many decisions backfire  Americans will spend $750 million on self-help books and > 1 billion on motivational speakers o Expensive to attend presentations  Positive psychology (“science of happiness”) offered in many colleges and universities Where are we going wrong?  Haven’t seen many advances despite these efforts  Dr. Daniel Gilbert blames o Culture, genes, and imagination 1) Culture buy bigger, newer, better things  However, “stuff” does not buy happiness o $ Buys happiness for those who loack basic needs o If you make more than $50,000 income: increase in income does not equal happiness 2) Genes hardwire us to reproduce  However, o Children have small negative effect when parents asked about happiness “in the moment” o People with kids are less happy than people with kids o Way people are asked which shows that this research could be flawed o Does not mean that moments of joy and happiness do not exist 3) Imagination when we envision future we see perpetual gloom or happily-ever after  Most kids see happily-ever after  Sometimes reverse, as adults if you don’t get a job or fail an exam, in that moment they see perpetual gloom  However, o Unhappiness and joy do not last as long as we expect o People who win lottery life can be ruined o People with disabilities can still have excellent lives What makes us happy Research shows… 1) Age o Positively associated with happiness, as we get older we get happier o Most happy= men 65 and older o Least happy= Men 18-29  University: stress and pressure  Transition age spectrum  Men feel responsibly to provide for family 2) Marital Status o Married people happier than singles 3) Education o College/ university grads happier than those without degree 4) Religion o Religious individuals happier o Being more spiritual, not just organized religion People with faith in something 5) Health o Healthier people happier Happiness: Nature vs. Nurture  Studies of twins suggest that we all have an innate level of happiness o Born with some level of range of happiness and humour o However, there is some ability to increase range variability  Possible to lift our biological set range of happiness, at least to some extent, if we work at it  “You can’t take a grouch and make him giggle all the time” Happiness Around the World  People express fundamental emotions in a similar way all over the world o Happiness, anger, jealousy, all over the world  Anthropologists say there is a common theme among cultures:  All cultures= happiness depends on close family and other human relationships o Fundamental need to be with other people  Can adjust personality a bit, as long as you work at it, similar to happiness, can adjust happiness a bit and make your more happy World Map of Happiness  Looked at a number of different measures to determine how happy countries are  Recent study by social psychologist Adrian White  “World Map of Happiness”  Used statistical data (2002-2005) and subjective resposes of 80,000 people to map well- being in 178 countries  Developed in part due to increase in political interest in using measures of happiness as a national indicator along with measures of wealth” o Politicians are using happiness to evaluate how countries live Results: Strongest determinants of national happiness 1. Health levels 2. Prosperity 3. Access to basic education  Many methological flaws, Happiness is difficult to measure  Population size  similar countries scored better while largest populations fared worse o Because of strong sense of national identity o Some exceptions including Asian countries Happiness rankings 1) Denmark- strong national identity, access to health care education, beauty 2) Switzerland 3) Austria 10)Canada 23)United States 41) United Kingdom 82) China 90) Japan 125) India 178) Burundi- war-torn, low education, HIV prevalence Happiness: advice from the Experts  Find small things we can do every day that bring us joy o Little things that add up o Rather than spend money on lottery tickets, have half an hour to yourself, go to gym etc. o Too often we put ourselves on back burner  Nurture relationships: family and friends crucial o Good relationship isn’t necessarily one that doesn’t have work  Find meaning in life  religion, spirituality, philosophy of life o Draw meaning when times are difficult  Set goals o Short-term and long-term o Realistic and attainable, but also challenging  To predict how happy something will make you, talk to others who have experienced it o Illusion of uniqueness- we always think that people have never been through what we’re going through; however this is not the case  New car vs. trip to Europe? o Travelling makes good memories Happiness Index: The Smile**  How often we smile along with how genuine our smiles are  Two types of smiles (Dr. martin Seligman): 1) “Duchenne” smile a. Genuine, corners of mouth turn up, skin around eyes wrinkles b. Facial muscles involved difficult to control voluntarily- hard to fake 2) “Pan America
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