Psychology & Psychiatry

Tuning out: How brains benefit from meditation

Experienced meditators seem to be able switch off areas of the brain associated with daydreaming as well as psychiatric disorders such as autism and schizophrenia, according to a new brain imaging study by Yale researchers.

Psychology & Psychiatry

What makes Americans and Europeans happy?

(PhysOrg.com) -- According to a new research study, Europeans are happier when they have a day off and work less, while their American counterparts would rather be working those extra hours. Published in the Journal of Happiness ...

Psychology & Psychiatry

Humans aren't designed to be happy

A huge happiness and positive thinking industry, estimated to be worth US$11 billion a year, has helped to create the fantasy that happiness is a realistic goal. Chasing the happiness dream is a very American concept, exported ...

Psychology & Psychiatry

Equation predicted happiness of over 18,000 people worldwide

The happiness of over 18,000 people worldwide has been predicted by a mathematical equation developed by researchers at UCL, with results showing that moment-to-moment happiness reflects not just how well things are going, ...

Psychology & Psychiatry

A simple strategy to improve your mood in 12 minutes

We all have a remedy – a glass of wine or a piece of chocolate – for lifting our spirits when we're in a bad mood. Rather than focusing on ways to make ourselves feel better, a team of Iowa State University researchers ...

Psychology & Psychiatry

Restoring happiness in people with depression

Practicing positive activities may serve as an effective, low-cost treatment for people suffering from depression, according to researchers at the University of California, Riverside and Duke University Medical Center.

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Happiness

Happiness is a state of mind or feeling characterized by contentment, satisfaction, pleasure, or joy. A variety of philosophical, religious, psychological and biological approaches have striven to define happiness and identify its sources.

Philosophers and religious thinkers often define happiness in terms of living a good life, or flourishing, rather than simply as an emotion. Happiness in this older sense was used to translate the Greek Eudaimonia, and is still used in virtue ethics. In everyday speech today, however, terms such as well-being or quality of life are usually used to signify the classical meaning, and happiness usually refers[citation needed] to the felt experience or experiences that philosophers historically called pleasure.

While direct measurement of happiness presents challenges, tools such as The Oxford Happiness Questionnaire have been developed by researchers. Positive psychology researchers use theoretical models that include describing happiness as consisting of positive emotions and positive activities, or that describe three kinds of happiness: pleasure, engagement, and meaning.

Research has identified a number of attributes that correlate with happiness:[citation needed] relationships and social interaction, parenthood, marital status, religious involvement, age, income (but mainly up to the point where survival needs are met), and proximity to other happy people.

Happiness economics suggests that measures of public happiness should be used to supplement more traditional economic measures when evaluating the success of public policy.

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