More lessons from the Happiness & its Causes Conference

More lessons from the Happiness & its Causes Conference

One of the more interesting (and humorous) presenters at the conference was an American Professor of Psychology, Dr. David Matsumoto. Dr. Matsumoto is an expert in”micro-emotions” and believes, in short, that certain forms of happiness and unhappiness are beyond control.

But by this he’s simply refering to those minute, immediate reactions that occur almost instantaneously – the flash of anger when someone cuts in front of you in traffc; the spark of happiness or joy when you see someone you love smile etc.

For him, happiness (and for that matter unhappiness) at this level is not something over which we have much, if any control.

But, and this is an important point, we do have control over how we respond to these micro-emotions and the more enduring forms of happiness (and unhappiness) come from helpful and/or unhelpful reactions to these fast and immediate responses.

So according to Dr. Matsumoto’s model the way to achieve lasting and eduring happiness is to (1) become better at recognising micro-emotions and (2) learn how to respond helpfully and constructively when you notice them.

Here’s to your happiness and thanks to Dr. Matsumoto for an enlightening and entertaining happiness presentation!