TIME
6 min read
Happiness

New Ways to Become Happier—and Healthier

It’s official: happiness really can make you healthier. New research suggests that positive vibes are linked to a stronger body and mind as well as a more satisfied life. Here are eight science-backed tips you need to find more joy in your life. 1 Explore life without social media Social media now dictates how people interact with friends, read the news and navigate their day-to-day lives. But that constant exposure may be taking a toll on the human psyche, research suggests. Recent studies have linked more frequent Facebook use to poorer physical and mental health, plus diminished life sati
NPR
5 min read
Happiness

Are Hunter-Gatherers The Happiest Humans To Inhabit Earth?

There's an idea percolating up from the anthropology world that may make you rethink what makes you happy. The idea is not new. It surfaced in the popular consciousness back in the late 1960s and helped to galvanize a growing environmental movement. And now several books are bringing it back into the limelight. The idea is simple: Perhaps the American and European way of living isn't the pinnacle of human existence. Humanity hasn't been marching — in a linear fashion — toward some promised land. Perhaps, Western society isn't some magical state in which technology free us from the shackles of
Mic
3 min read
Psychology

Here’s What Americans Fear Most In 2017 — And Some Ways To Combat Those Anxieties

As you go about your daily routine — pack your lunch, feed the cat, cleanse your apartment of vengeful spirits, iron your pants — what sorts of big, large-scale fears do you find consistently bubbling up in the back of your mind? Have you ever wondered if other people are scared of the same things? Well, now we know: On Wednesday, Chapman University published its fourth annual survey of American fears, in which it polled a random sampling of 1,207 people about the things they’re most scared of in 2017. Listed below are the 10 fears the highest percentage of respondents said caused them to be “
The New York Times
2 min read
Happiness

Giving Proof

TURNS OUT GENEROSITY REALLY CAN MAKE US HAPPIER. The adage says it’s better to give than to receive. But is it really? The scientific evidence that generosity is good for us has been scant, even as the benefits of selfishness are obvious. Recently, however, a neurological study published in Nature Communications found there may be some biological truth to the maxim after all. The study showed that generosity changed the activity in people’s brains in ways that increase feelings of happiness, even if the generous act is small or only imagined. Scientists at the University of Zurich and elsewher
NPR
3 min read
Psychology

Need A Happiness Boost? Spend Your Money To Buy Time, Not More Stuff

Money can't buy happiness, right? Well, some researchers beg to differ. They say it depends on how you spend it. A recent study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggests that when people spend money on time-saving services such as a house cleaner, lawn care or grocery-delivery, it can make them feel a little happier. By comparison, money spent on material purchases – aka things – does not boost positive emotions the way we might expect. Think of it as a way to buy back what has become for many Americans a scarce resource: free time. Yet, in a culture where many
MarketWatch
3 min read
Psychology

The Scientifically Proven Reason You Should Stop Feeling Guilty About Ordering Takeout

How services that buy you time can boost your happiness Tiandra Cox uses the grocery-delivery service Instacart several times a week and routinely orders from Amazon.com’s Prime service. It’s a luxury, she said, but it has helped her in ways she never expected. Cox, 30, a mother of two who works full-time while pursuing a bachelor’s degree, used to suffer from panic attacks, especially in her local grocery stores around Indianapolis. But she hasn’t had one since she stepped up her use of time-saving services. “If I didn’t have those services helping, I don’t think I would have enrolled in scho
Nautilus
6 min read
Happiness

No, You Can’t Feel Sorry for Everyone: The idea of empathy for all ignores the limits of human psychology.

The world seems to be getting more empathetic. Americans donate to charity at record rates. People feel the pain of suffering in geographically distant countries brought to our attention by advances in communications and transportation. Violence, seen on historical timescales, is decreasing. The great modern humanitarian project of expanding the scope of our empathy to include the entire human race seems to be working. Our in-group (those we choose to include in our inner circle and to spend our energies on) is growing, and our out-group (everybody else) shrinking. But there’s a wrinkle in thi
Women's Health
6 min read
Psychology

The Emotional Wake

Think of it as ‘catching’ someone else’s feelings— which our brains are wired to do. At a bar recently, a friend and I ran into a woman I’ve known for years. I respect her; I think she’s talented and smart. And yet, whenever we interact, I depart under an anxiety cloud, thinking, Why do I feel crummy now? Does she not like me? As we talked, she gossiped about someone I didn’t know and seemed to vibrate with negative energy. I got confirmation that it wasn’t just me who felt that way. After we left her, my friend turned to me and said, “Why do I suddenly feel lousy?” Every human interaction imp
Popular Science
4 min read
Psychology

You Actually Can Buy Happiness—by Buying Time

Don’t forget to get milk from the store after picking up the kids from soccer practice. Also, we’re cleaning out the garage today. Gerd Altmann I hate cleaning the bathroom. I also always feel pressed for time. So whenever I delay cleaning duty, it just means I end up feeling more stressed than ever before. But there may be a solution. According to a study published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, I can buy some happiness and peace of mind...if I’m willing to pay someone else to scrub down the toilet and tub. “People are feeling busier today than in past decades,
Mic
9 min read
Happiness

7 Unconscious Mistakes That Make You Waste Money on Food

It happens to the best of us: You go to the grocery store and get so excited by all that gleaming summer fruit that you buy a bunch, then let half of it go bad in the fridge. Or you order the lobster special at a restaurant and end up eating enough for two. Or you buy a “fancy” ingredient like truffle oil for one recipe and then never use the bottle again. Food waste — and the financial waste that goes along with it — is a huge problem in the United States. Americans lose out on $29 billion worth of food annually just because they don’t know what sell-by dates mean, as Mic has reported. We als
Mic
4 min read
Psychology

This Is the Best, Most Underrated Way to Make Your Money Feel Worth More, According to Science

Spending money outsourcing chores you could easily do yourself can feel like a lazy indulgence, but a new study from researchers at University of British Columbia and Harvard Business School suggests that couch potatoes might be on to something — at least compared to other spenders. Specifically, dropping money on time-saving activities — like having someone clean your house, deliver you food or groceries, mow your lawn or run other errands — seems more likely to increase your happiness than buying material purchases like clothes, booze, games, books or even personal care items. Few people see
Mic
5 min read
Self-Improvement

5 Smart Brain Hacks to Help You Feel — and Project — More Positivity at Work

Do you really love your job? Are you truly engaged in your work? If you are able to answer “yes” to both questions, you’re in the minority. Less than 30% of millennials responding to a 2016 Gallup survey indicated they felt engaged at work and 16% even said they were actively disengaged. Now, to improve your feelings about work, it might require some changes — like a promotion or pay bump — or even a big job switch, especially early in your career. But the truth for at least some is that sometimes the problem is not the job but your own attitudes, and being more satisfied must start with you.
STAT
3 min read
Psychology

51 Percent of Opioid Prescriptions Go to People With Depression and Other Mood Disorders

More than half of all opioid prescriptions in the United States are written for people with anxiety, depression, and other mood disorders, according to a new study that questions how pain is treated in this vulnerable population. People with mood disorders are at increased risk of abusing opioids, and yet they received many more prescriptions than the general population, according to an analysis of data from 2011 and 2013. “We’re handing this stuff out like candy,” said Dr. Brian Sites, of Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, the senior author of the study. Opioid prescribing in the U.S. quadru
Nautilus
4 min read
Psychology

What Pushes a Person to Suicide?

One May day five years ago, an ambulance arrived for me. My eyes were twitching, hands shaking, thoughts racing and confused. At that point, I hadn’t slept for three days. I’d taken drugs, fell asleep at the wheel, bumped into a car at a red light. I was closer to suicidal than ever, but I wasn’t sad. Instead, I was agitated, frantic, paranoid. What put me at risk was not sorrow, per se, but loss of control: the careless apathy that might swerve a bike into traffic. My therapist convinced me I needed help. A phone call later, the ambulance took me to the mental hospital, where I stayed for a w
NPR
3 min read
Politics

What We Learned About The Mood Of Trump's Tweets

On the week marking President Trump's 100 days in office, his mood on Twitter was much less positive than it had been in the previous few weeks. A sentiment analysis shows these last few months have been a roller coast of emotion. Trump's most negative week by far was his second week in office — just after he signed his controversial ban on travelers to the U.S. from seven Muslim-majority countries, and protests broke out nationwide. His most positive weeks included the confirmation and swearing-in of Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch. How the analysis works A program called VADER determines
The Atlantic
8 min read
Society

The (Feminist) Case for Women's Happiness

Earlier this month, the New York Times ran an article on its website titled “How to Be Mindful While Cleaning the Bathroom.” The piece, part of the paper’s Meditation for Real Life series, offers advice on transforming that most thankless of chores into a spiritually rewarding activity, from the beginning (“once you’ve selected your cleaning tool, take a moment to notice it with your various senses”) and throughout the process (“maintain your focus on each circular, left-to-right or up-and-down motion”). The point of the exercise is not so much a clean bathroom—“you’re not chasing a result”—as
Nautilus
4 min read
Happiness

The Loophole in the Hedonic Treadmill

When Fyodor Dostoyevsky wrote, in The House of the Dead, that “Man is a creature that can get accustomed to anything,” he was talking about the cruelties and deprivations of life in Siberian prison camp. But the human tendency to adapt or “get accustomed” to situations is more profound than even Dostoyevsky may have realized. Imagine a person who, after years of drinking bland, watery beer from a mass-market brewery, finally tastes a really good craft beer. At first she notices the intensity of the flavor. A few more sips and she comes to appreciate the beer’s complexity and the exquisite bala
NPR
4 min read
Happiness

How Can Nicaragua Be So Happy When It Has A Stack Of Sad Statistics?

On a scorching afternoon in March, Agner Balladares Cardoza drives along Managua's chaotic main road, the Masaya Highway, jammed each day by the city's stressed-out commuters. Balladares, 36, is the father of a 6-month-old girl. He has no formal job and makes his living selling whatever he can get his hands on — pants, used car batteries, baseball caps — and by working as a driver on occasion. When he has nothing to sell and no one to drive, Balladares stays at home and takes care of his little girl. This afternoon he's weaving quickly through traffic for a woman who hired him to transport gro
Apple Magazine
3 min read
Happiness

Who’s Happy, Who’s Not: Norway

If you want to pursue happiness, grab a winter coat. A new report shows Norway is the happiest country on Earth, Americans are getting sadder, and it takes more than just money to be happy. What makes Norway and other northern European countries top the happiness list has a lot to do with a sense of community and broad social welfare support, according to experts and cheerful Norwegians, including one whose job it is to make people laugh. “The answer to why Norwegians are happy - it’s a bit boring - it’s well functioning institutions,” explained Norwegian comedian Harald Eia. “The schools, hea
TechLife News
3 min read
Happiness

Who’s Happy, Who’s Not: Norway

If you want to pursue happiness, grab a winter coat. A new report shows Norway is the happiest country on Earth, Americans are getting sadder, and it takes more than just money to be happy. What makes Norway and other northern European countries top the happiness list has a lot to do with a sense of community and broad social welfare support, according to experts and cheerful Norwegians, including one whose job it is to make people laugh. “The answer to why Norwegians are happy - it’s a bit boring - it’s well functioning institutions,” explained Norwegian comedian Harald Eia. “The schools, hea
NPR
3 min read
Happiness

Global Ranking Of Happiness Has Happy News For Norway And Nicaragua

Norway can be frigid. And the winters bring lots of darkness. But it's the happiest nation in world, according to the 2017 World Happiness Report. Denmark comes in at #2, followed by Iceland and Switzerland. Finland takes 5th place. And, it turns out, these countries have more in common than a tolerance for cold. Well-being is shaped by a range of factors. "All of the top countries rank highly on all the main factors found to support happiness: caring, freedom, generosity, honesty, health, income and good governance," according to the report. The second tier of the top ten includes the Netherl
Associated Press
3 min read
Happiness

Who's Happy, Who's Not: Norway Tops List, US Falls

WASHINGTON (AP) — If you want to go to your happy place, you need more than cash. A winter coat helps — and a sense of community. A new report shows Norway is the happiest country on Earth, Americans are getting sadder, and it takes more than just money to be happy. Norway vaulted to the top slot in the World Happiness Report despite the plummeting price of oil, a key part of its economy. Income in the United States has gone up over the past decade, but happiness is declining. The United States was 14th in the latest ranking, down from No. 13 last year, and over the years Americans steadily ha
Newsweek
2 min read
Happiness

Mental Illness Top Cause of Misery: Study

What makes people miserable? Traditionally, economists have pointed to unemployment and poverty as the biggest drivers of despair. But new research suggests such analysis is flawed. “We keep on finding in every country that the mental health problems are the biggest causes of misery,” says Richard Layard of the London School of Economics, who along with colleague Sarah Flèche analyzed happiness and satisfaction surveys from around the world. In a paper published in January in the journal Kyklos, Flèche and Layard found that the correlation between mental illness and misery was strong even wh