Happiness: You can teach yourself this emotion, stunning new study suggests

Happiness: You can teach yourself this emotion, stunning new study suggests

via the Ladders by John Anderer

Could “Happiness 101” be a mandatory class for college freshmen in the future? It sounds impossible at first. After all, happiness isn’t exactly as straightforward as math or biology (to be fair, even those subjects are rarely uncomplicated).

Moreover, happiness isn’t a concrete commodity like money in a bank account or books on a shelf. Happiness is fluid and ever-changing. What makes us happy one day may infuriate us the next.

Of course, that hasn’t stopped countless books, strategies, and self-help “gurus” from promoting themselves as the path to contentment. Most of these approaches have their merits, but none are universally beneficial.

Now, however, an “intensive program on happiness” put together by the University of Trento in Northern Italy is boasting a truly incredible success rate among enrollees.

Researchers report that participants gradually enjoyed steady improvements across various measures of well-being as the course continued, including life satisfaction, self-awareness, emotional control, and perceived well-being. Course enrollees also saw their stress levels, negative thoughts, rumination tendencies, anxiety, and propensity toward anger significantly drop as well.

These changes occurred in most participants simultaneously; as positive emotions increased negative thought patterns declined. This held up both in the short-term and the long-term.

So what separates this crash course on happiness from the rest? Researchers chose to take a comprehensive approach to fostering happiness. They didn’t just focus on the practical or scientific, opting to incorporate both Western and Eastern philosophies regarding happiness. At the heart of the course is the idea that happiness is dependent on a sense of inner balance and understanding.

The more we understand ourselves on an emotional level, and our minds in a more scientific sense, the easier it is to find some happiness…

… keep reading the full & original article HERE