Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Why do not we get happier?

intuition tells us that there are ways we can make ourselves happier.
Research tells us about various things that can make us happier.

Why do not people use it in practice?
While thinking theorizing and looking for various ways to enhance happiness, I realized that I am almost wasting my time. If no one is going to use progress in this area (i.e. advice how to get happier) what use there is to any "progress"?

So I am bothering myself in what things can be thought of that will practically benefit people (I start sounding like a saint). But first we need to....

Understand why!

why do not people make themselves happier?
do not they want it?
they cannot?
there is no way to do it?

Following posts will detail various facetes of reality that may explain parts of this puzzle.
Understanding may actually help in advancing things, if there is any value in making people happier.


Anonymous said...

I think the best way to find happiness is starting to know sadness, if we start to find what causes sadness then we can know about happiness........LGB

Yechezkel Zilber said...

Sadness and happiness are not exactly two sides of the same coin. They are sometimes promoted - as I remember - from even different processes, althought they are related.

There is research saying that bad is much stronger than good , implying that sometimes fighting sadness will be more effective in promoting happiness.

On the other side, it is not clear whether it is better on searching for the good experience or avoiding negative ones. This is a very subtle and confusing problem. Where there is research claiming that trying to be happier is self-defeating.
I personaly want to believe that there are realistic ways to improve happiness by managing life in this direction. We will have to be much smarter to know how realistic it is.

C said...

The problem with the question "What causes happiness" is that there are a bunch of different things that you can mean with the word happiness.

When you say that word or indeed many other words people reference it to some experience that they had in their lives.

It's difficult to teach people new ways of thinking through words on a page.
Given 15 minutes in person it's however easy to install someone an NLP happiness anchor that they can trigger themselves when they want to feel a bit happier.