Happiness Essential Reads

The Surprising Benefits of Documenting Ordinary Experiences

By Juliana Breines Ph.D. on February 26, 2015 in In Love and War
Typically it’s the big milestones that we document most diligently—the weddings, births, graduations, professional achievements. These are the events we expect we’ll most want to revisit down the road. But research suggests that revisiting ordinary, everyday experiences can bring us a lot more pleasure than we realize.

Can Law Improve People's Lives?

Can law make people's lives better? The answer is yes, and treating mental illness more effectively is one place to start.

Is Sadomasochism a Uniquely Human Form of Sexuality?

By Hal Herzog Ph.D. on February 25, 2015 in Animals and Us
From an evolutionary point of view, the enjoyment of pain would seem to be maladaptive. Is there an animal analog of finding sexual satisfaction in being whipped, poked with needles, or having hot wax dripped on your skin?

One Way to Use Someone Else to Strengthen Your Good Habits

By Gretchen Rubin on February 25, 2015 in The Happiness Project
Because accountability is so important, I’m always looking for new, ingenious ways that people have created accountability.

What Do Scientists Know About Finding a Purpose in Life?

By Todd B Kashdan Ph.D. on February 24, 2015 in Curious?
Providing information on the science of a purpose in life. heavy, beautiful, and of paramount importance

The Seasons of Life: or How to Survive Life's Winter Moments

By Daryl R. Van Tongeren Ph.D., on February 24, 2015 in Meaning Making
What can surviving February teach us about enjoy all of life's seasons?

How to Talk to Yourself

By Toni Bernhard J.D. on February 23, 2015 in Turning Straw Into Gold
When the going gets rough, I often speak to myself silently or softly in a soothing and compassionate voice. If I feel let down by a friend, I might repeat silently, “I feel hurt by her behavior but I mustn’t blame myself.” When I don’t deny that I feel bad, and even acknowledge it in a self-compassionate way, I’m better able to cope with disappointment and sorrow.

8 Negative Attitudes of Chronically Unhappy People

All of us experience negative thoughts from time to time. How we manage our negative attitudes can make the difference between confidence versus fear, hope versus despair, mastery versus victimhood, and victory versus defeat. Here are eight negative attitudes of chronically unhappy people...

Object Permanence In Adult Life

Eye contact, a pat on the back, a smile of appreciation, and a shared laugh-out-loud of sheer pleasure are the best and most direct signals of communication, after all.

Mindfulness for Chronic Pain

By Michael Hogan Ph.D on February 20, 2015 in In One Lifespan
There is a strong emerging body of evidence for the effectiveness of mindfulness- and acceptance-based approaches for a range of difficulties, including chronic pain. We tried to take mindfulness for chonic pain online. We called our programme Mindfulness in Action (MIA). The results of our MIA trial were interesting.

Are We Having Fun Yet?

By Jaime Kurtz Ph.D. on February 19, 2015 in Happy Trails
Too many happiness check-ins can sabotage your good time

10 Barriers to Intimacy and How You Can Break Them Down

By Peg Streep on February 18, 2015 in Tech Support
How close and connected you feel to your partner changes over time and can, alas, both ebb and flow. What you can do to increase intimacy in your relationship, based on science.

Moving Toward Compassion in the Psychological Sciences

By Steven C. Hayes Ph.D. on February 17, 2015 in Get Out of Your Mind
We practice a kind of hypocrisy in the behavioral health area that’s not only embarrassing but counterproductive.

Flow and Happiness

By Joachim I Krueger Ph.D. on February 16, 2015 in One Among Many
What is the relationship between the state of ‘flow’ and happiness? I suggest here that flow is beneficial but limited in scope because it is bound up with work and expertise.

Pride and Prejudice and Compassion

By Sherry Hamby Ph.D. on February 16, 2015 in The Web of Violence
How does gender affect the relationship between compassion and mental health? Revisit a classic love story in this blog as we look at how compassion could drive you crazy.

How to Become the Most Attractive Job Candidate

By Erica Dhawan on February 16, 2015 in Accelerated Connectedness
We often think that because we have a great academic record or went to the right schools, we’ll be great at any job and will impress any potential boss. But, in today’s world, standing out takes much more than just relying on a good resume. The key is knowing your strengths and figuring out how they will fit into different work environments.

10 Ways to Tell How Realistic You are about Love

We all hold beliefs about love and the importance it have for our happiness. This 10-item scale will tell you how realistic or unrealistic you are about what to expect from your closest romantic partners, how responsible you are for other people's happiness, and whether you're driven by the need for approval.

Will Love Make You Happy?

By Paul Dolan Ph.D. on February 13, 2015 in Happiness by Design
Sometimes love is described as if it is happiness in and of itself. Love is not happiness, although it can contribute to your happiness - and your happiness can contribute to your success in love too. This Valentine’s Day, learn a bit more about what love is and think about whether it’s worth having or not.

Are Your Boundaries Making You Miserable?

By Leon F Seltzer Ph.D. on February 12, 2015 in Evolution of the Self
Sure, you need boundaries. And undeniably, you have the right to assert them—whether to safeguard your privacy, self-respect, or basic sense of decency. So it’s crucial to develop the ability and self-confidence to say no, or to tell others to stop doing what they’re doing. But what also needs to be emphasized is that some of your boundaries may be holding you hostage. . .

Perfectionism Is Self-Deception

Perfectionism is a nasty perception problem

Psychological Strength Research That Everybody Needs to Know

By Todd B Kashdan Ph.D. on February 11, 2015 in Curious?
New research puts two psychological treatments of depression to the test. Should we choose a treatment that capitalizes on people's strengths or one that compensates for their deficits and weaknesses? Both make sense. The beauty of science is that we can compare these approaches. Find out the results.

The 3 Best Gifts You Can Give Your Partner

By Karl Pillemer Ph.D. on February 10, 2015 in Lessons for Loving
We often focus on big-ticket gifts in our romantic relationships. But surveys of long-married couples show the importance of "thinking small"—focusing on small, positive actions routinely in a relationship. It's those continual, loving gestures that lead to a long and satisfying relationship.

Seeking Perfection? There's a Better Way.

I want the best for myself and my children. Why settle for less? We live in a society of plenty, so we often simply go for it and ask for exactly what we want. An almost inaudible, but powerful voice inside of us might tell us to reach for the best and only for the best. Is this always a good choice though? Is getting the best making us happy? When is it detrimental?

Forget Co-Parenting with a Narcissist, and Do This Instead

By Linda Esposito LCSW on February 06, 2015 in From Anxiety to Zen
While co-parenting with a narcissist is nearly impossible, these strategies can help you and your child(ren) thrive when drama and emotional intensity threaten to derail your mental health.

What Straight Couples Can Learn from Gay Couples

By Rick Miller LICSW on February 05, 2015 in Unwrapped
Ten things that gay couples know that every couple should learn. Gay couples often have had to fight for their relationship against great odds: the upside is they know how to do it and why it is worth it.

Happiness Is Not Only an Individual Matter

By Paul Dolan Ph.D. on February 04, 2015 in Happiness by Design
Happiness research draws our attention to how the structure of society impacts upon our wellbeing just as much as it does to individual behaviours and characteristics. Being happier, therefore, involves both structure and agency.

To Love Yourself Love Your Character

The right sort of self-love is a balance of concern for self and others.

How to Make Great Moments Last

By Jaime Kurtz Ph.D. on February 03, 2015 in Happy Trails
A counterintuitive strategy for savoring.

The Number One Complaint That Men Have In Marriage

Here's what men can't tolerate from women--even if they truly appreciated it at the early stage of the relationship.

The Upside of Envy

Envy is the universal emotion no one seems to have. We're all too ashamed of it to discuss it with others and sometimes even to admit it to ourselves. Blogger Josh Gressel takes the plunge and describes an incident of his own envy as a way to practice what he wants to teach: that we need to get more comfortable with our envy so that we can learn from it.