Friday, 29 February 2008

Have you got the Happiness Habit?



In my recent posting on Positive Psychology and Coaching I referred to Sonja Lyubomirsky's new book, "The How of Happiness".

The video clip from 20/20 is a great intro to the science behind the book. The case of the identical twins is fascinating isn't it?

On Tuesday I was fortunate enough to take part in a telephone seminar with Professor Lyubomirsky, in which she outlined the key messages from the book. The things which I found most interesting were:

1) that happiness takes effort - i.e. you need to be prepared to work at it; it may not come naturally

2) according to Lyubomirsky, you need to ensure that you choose the strategies which you're comfortable with. Some may not be your cup of tea. She readily admits to finding the Gratitude exercise difficult. If that's the case try something else.

3) whatever strategies you find work for you need to become habits - things that you do on a regular basis without thinking about it, like cleaning your teeth twice a day. How will you get the happiness habit?

4) some of the strategies which have been empirically validated, like gratitude, savouring and acts of kindness, may sound corny and trivial, but they do work. Plus, you have nothing to lose by trying them for a few weeks.

Let us know how you get on with her 'Person/Activity Fit' diagnostic tool (p73) and the various strategies you choose as a result.



Thanks to Christine Duvivier for the links.

1 comment:

Bruce said...

That video was a great find. At least now I know how to pronounce her surname correctly. I've just got hold of the book and am looking forward to reading it. Her site is also a great resource for the original research that the book is based on. She seems to be one of the positive psychology researchers who has decided to make all that available for free.