Monthly Archives: December 2012

Happiness

Happiness Is Partly Inherited
By LiveScience Staff

The key to happiness may lie in your genes.

Psychologists at the University of Edinburgh and the Queensland Institute for Medical Research in Australia have found that happiness is partly determined by personality traits that are largely hereditary, along with your situation in life.

The researchers used a personality test called the Five-Factor Model on more than 990 twin pairs. Matching that with happiness data taken from the pairs, they found that people who do not excessively worry, and who are sociable and conscientious tend to be happier.

The research, detailed in the March issue of the journal Psychological Science, identified evidence for common genes that result in the personality traits that predispose people to happiness, the researchers said.

"Although happiness is subject to a wide range of external influences we have found that there is a heritable component of happiness which can be entirely explained by genetic architecture of personality," said study team leader Alexander Weiss of the University of Edinburgh.

While these genes won't guarantee happiness, the personality mix they result in could act as a trigger when bad things happen, allowing people to have an "affective reserve" of happiness that can be called upon in stressful times.

And while the genetic influence is strong, about 50 percent of the differences in people's happiness in life can still be chalked up to a variety of external factors, such as relationships, health and careers. Research done by Ed Diener of the University of Illinois finds that the happiest people have strong friendships, for example.

5 Things That Will Make You Happier
By Clara Moskowitz, LiveScience Senior Writer
posted: 22 February 2010 07:54 am ET

SAN DIEGO – The pursuit of happiness is sometimes easier said than done.
Some scientists have argued that happiness is largely determined by genetics, health and other factors mostly outside of our control. But recent research suggests people actually can take charge of their own happiness and boost it through certain practices.
"The billion-dollar question is, is it possible to become happier?" said psychologist Sonja Lyubomirsky of the University of California, Riverside. "Despite the finding that happiness is partially genetically determined, and despite the finding that life situations have a smaller influence on our happiness than we think they do, we argue that still a large portion of happiness is in our power to change."
Psychologist Sonja Lyubomirsky spoke here Saturday at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She and colleagues last year reviewed 51 studies that tested attempts to increase happiness through different types of positive thinking, and found that these practices can significantly enhance well-being. The results were published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology.
Here are five things that research has shown can improve happiness:
1. Be grateful – Some study participants were asked to write letters of gratitude to people who had helped them in some way. The study found that these people reported a lasting increase in happiness – over weeks and even months – after implementing the habit. What's even more surprising: Sending the letter is not necessary. Even when people wrote letters but never delivered them to the addressee, they still reported feeling better afterwards.
2. Be optimistic – Another practice that seems to help is optimistic thinking. Study participants were asked to visualize an ideal future – for example, living with a loving and supportive partner, or finding a job that was fulfilling – and describe the image in a journal entry. After doing this for a few weeks, these people too reported increased feelings of well-being.
3. Count your blessings – People who practice writing down three good things that have happened to them every week show significant boosts in happiness, studies have found. It seems the act of focusing on the positive helps people remember reasons to be glad.
4. Use your strengths – Another study asked people to identify their greatest strengths, and then to try to use these strengths in new ways. For example, someone who says they have a good sense of humor could try telling jokes to lighten up business meetings or cheer up sad friends. This habit, too, seems to heighten happiness.
5. Commit acts of kindness – It turns out helping others also helps ourselves. People who donate time or money to charity, or who altruistically assist people in need, report improvements in their own happiness.

Articles

Happiness Is Partly Inherited
By LiveScience Staff

The key to happiness may lie in your genes.

Psychologists at the University of Edinburgh and the Queensland Institute for Medical Research in Australia have found that happiness is partly determined by personality traits that are largely hereditary, along with your situation in life.

The researchers used a personality test called the Five-Factor Model on more than 990 twin pairs. Matching that with happiness data taken from the pairs, they found that people who do not excessively worry, and who are sociable and conscientious tend to be happier.

The research, detailed in the March issue of the journal Psychological Science, identified evidence for common genes that result in the personality traits that predispose people to happiness, the researchers said.

"Although happiness is subject to a wide range of external influences we have found that there is a heritable component of happiness which can be entirely explained by genetic architecture of personality," said study team leader Alexander Weiss of the University of Edinburgh.

While these genes won't guarantee happiness, the personality mix they result in could act as a trigger when bad things happen, allowing people to have an "affective reserve" of happiness that can be called upon in stressful times.

And while the genetic influence is strong, about 50 percent of the differences in people's happiness in life can still be chalked up to a variety of external factors, such as relationships, health and careers. Research done by Ed Diener of the University of Illinois finds that the happiest people have strong friendships, for example.

5 Things That Will Make You Happier
By Clara Moskowitz, LiveScience Senior Writer

SAN DIEGO – The pursuit of happiness is sometimes easier said than done.
Some scientists have argued that happiness is largely determined by genetics, health and other factors mostly outside of our control. But recent research suggests people actually can take charge of their own happiness and boost it through certain practices.
"The billion-dollar question is, is it possible to become happier?" said psychologist Sonja Lyubomirsky of the University of California, Riverside. "Despite the finding that happiness is partially genetically determined, and despite the finding that life situations have a smaller influence on our happiness than we think they do, we argue that still a large portion of happiness is in our power to change."
Psychologist Sonja Lyubomirsky spoke here Saturday at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She and colleagues last year reviewed 51 studies that tested attempts to increase happiness through different types of positive thinking, and found that these practices can significantly enhance well-being. The results were published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology.
Here are five things that research has shown can improve happiness:
1. Be grateful – Some study participants were asked to write letters of gratitude to people who had helped them in some way. The study found that these people reported a lasting increase in happiness – over weeks and even months – after implementing the habit. What's even more surprising: Sending the letter is not necessary. Even when people wrote letters but never delivered them to the addressee, they still reported feeling better afterwards.
2. Be optimistic – Another practice that seems to help is optimistic thinking. Study participants were asked to visualize an ideal future – for example, living with a loving and supportive partner, or finding a job that was fulfilling – and describe the image in a journal entry. After doing this for a few weeks, these people too reported increased feelings of well-being.
3. Count your blessings – People who practice writing down three good things that have happened to them every week show significant boosts in happiness, studies have found. It seems the act of focusing on the positive helps people remember reasons to be glad.
4. Use your strengths – Another study asked people to identify their greatest strengths, and then to try to use these strengths in new ways. For example, someone who says they have a good sense of humor could try telling jokes to lighten up business meetings or cheer up sad friends. This habit, too, seems to heighten happiness.
5. Commit acts of kindness – It turns out helping others also helps ourselves. People who donate time or money to charity, or who altruistically assist people in need, report improvements in their own happiness.

Happiness

Happiness Is Partly Inherited
By LiveScience Staff

The key to happiness may lie in your genes.

Psychologists at the University of Edinburgh and the Queensland Institute for Medical Research in Australia have found that happiness is partly determined by personality traits that are largely hereditary, along with your situation in life.

The researchers used a personality test called the Five-Factor Model on more than 990 twin pairs. Matching that with happiness data taken from the pairs, they found that people who do not excessively worry, and who are sociable and conscientious tend to be happier.

The research, detailed in the March issue of the journal Psychological Science, identified evidence for common genes that result in the personality traits that predispose people to happiness, the researchers said.

"Although happiness is subject to a wide range of external influences we have found that there is a heritable component of happiness which can be entirely explained by genetic architecture of personality," said study team leader Alexander Weiss of the University of Edinburgh.

While these genes won't guarantee happiness, the personality mix they result in could act as a trigger when bad things happen, allowing people to have an "affective reserve" of happiness that can be called upon in stressful times.

And while the genetic influence is strong, about 50 percent of the differences in people's happiness in life can still be chalked up to a variety of external factors, such as relationships, health and careers. Research done by Ed Diener of the University of Illinois finds that the happiest people have strong friendships, for example.

5 Things That Will Make You Happier
By Clara Moskowitz, LiveScience Senior Writer
posted: 22 February 2010 07:54 am ET

SAN DIEGO – The pursuit of happiness is sometimes easier said than done.
Some scientists have argued that happiness is largely determined by genetics, health and other factors mostly outside of our control. But recent research suggests people actually can take charge of their own happiness and boost it through certain practices.
"The billion-dollar question is, is it possible to become happier?" said psychologist Sonja Lyubomirsky of the University of California, Riverside. "Despite the finding that happiness is partially genetically determined, and despite the finding that life situations have a smaller influence on our happiness than we think they do, we argue that still a large portion of happiness is in our power to change."
Psychologist Sonja Lyubomirsky spoke here Saturday at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She and colleagues last year reviewed 51 studies that tested attempts to increase happiness through different types of positive thinking, and found that these practices can significantly enhance well-being. The results were published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology.
Here are five things that research has shown can improve happiness:
1. Be grateful – Some study participants were asked to write letters of gratitude to people who had helped them in some way. The study found that these people reported a lasting increase in happiness – over weeks and even months – after implementing the habit. What's even more surprising: Sending the letter is not necessary. Even when people wrote letters but never delivered them to the addressee, they still reported feeling better afterwards.
2. Be optimistic – Another practice that seems to help is optimistic thinking. Study participants were asked to visualize an ideal future – for example, living with a loving and supportive partner, or finding a job that was fulfilling – and describe the image in a journal entry. After doing this for a few weeks, these people too reported increased feelings of well-being.
3. Count your blessings – People who practice writing down three good things that have happened to them every week show significant boosts in happiness, studies have found. It seems the act of focusing on the positive helps people remember reasons to be glad.
4. Use your strengths – Another study asked people to identify their greatest strengths, and then to try to use these strengths in new ways. For example, someone who says they have a good sense of humor could try telling jokes to lighten up business meetings or cheer up sad friends. This habit, too, seems to heighten happiness.
5. Commit acts of kindness – It turns out helping others also helps ourselves. People who donate time or money to charity, or who altruistically assist people in need, report improvements in their own happiness.

Restoring Yourself To Wholeness

Restoring Yourself to Wholeness

By Chris Cade
Spiritual Development

One of my favorite two-word phrases in the English language is: All One. I believe that when we understand this phrase with every fiber of our being, it unlocks our highest potential and reason for being here.

Now, at this point in history, variations of that phrase have become common place to the point of being cliché. The phrase even appears on the soap I use. In fact, this is what attracted me to read the label on Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soap in the first place. The cliché quality of the phrase notwithstanding, I believe that our take on that phrase tells us a lot about who we are.

Throughout human history many spiritual traditions have stood as a beacon for the fact that: We Are All One. The Hindu text, the Rig Veda states this well: “The One manifests as the many, the formless putting on forms.” How each tradition characterizes the nature of our Oneness generates its particular perspective from which its practices grow and develop.

With the advent of Quantum Physics, science has joined this exploration in its search for a Unified Field Theory. Gregg Braden enters the conversation as someone who both appreciates scientific research and reveres the wisdom of ancient traditions. It is his blend of research, reverence, and personal experience that makes his work so powerful and compelling.

Gregg Braden is a New York Times bestselling author and a featured presenter at international events that explore the relationship of science, ancient wisdom, spirituality, and the evolution of human consciousness.

In this article, I draw upon material in Braden’s book entitled “The Divine Matrix” (Hay House 2007) to show how understanding ourselves as part of the One Field fundamentally transforms our life experience and awakens our highest potential.

So how does Braden characterize the nature of our Oneness? In the most general sense: On page 57 he says: “The Divine Matrix is everywhere and everything.”

More specifically, he cites Four Discoveries About the Divine Matrix (TDM p. xxi):
1.There is a field of energy that connects all of creation.
2.This field plays the role of a container, a bridge, and a mirror for the beliefs within us.
3.The field is non-local and holographic. In other words, every part of the field is connected to every other and each piece mirrors the whole but on a smaller scale.
4.We communicate with the field through the language of emotion.

Everything is Energy

According to Braden, “The key to mastering this place of pure energy is to know that it exists, to understand how it works, and finally to speak the language that it recognizes.” (TDM p. 4)

So Braden views the One within the language of “energy.” Quantum Physics agrees with ancient traditions in seeing the fundamental “stuff” of creation as energetic vibration. At the subatomic level, everything is energy. The reason that we see ourselves and all things as solid matter instead has to do with the nature of our five senses and our habits of perception.

When we adjust our perception to see everything as energy, it opens us to the possibilities that are characteristic of energy.

First of all, when we experience ourselves as energy, versus being solid-state, particle matter, we understand ourselves in a more fluid, adaptable way. When we view ourselves as dense matter, we are more likely to feel stuck or frozen in our habits or ruts. Energy, on the other hand, can easily change states, it can transform.

Energy is much more akin to how we experience our thoughts and feelings. We can understand how these like substances can affect each other. Hence, when we view our selves as energy, we become more open to understanding how our thoughts, feelings, and beliefs affect our state of being. When all is energy, inside us and outside us, it is a short step to understanding how we can transform our lives by changing our thoughts, feelings, and beliefs about ourselves and about the field around us.

Secondly, when we see ourselves as energy, it is also a short step to experiencing ourselves as part of the One Energetic Field, rather than separate from it.

The Lost Connection

Why is this important? To answer this, Braden relates a story told to him by one of his Native American friends. His friend describes how in the course of human history the dominant culture lost their awareness of their unity with all of creation. We came to view ourselves as separate individuals struggling to survive in a harsh environment.

When this happened, we lost our connection to our inner knowing and power. As his friend said to Braden: “The farther they wandered from their inner power, the more cluttered their outer lives became with the things that they believed would make them happy. . .” Braden’s comment on this story is that “the farther we stray from our natural relationship with the earth, our bodies, one another, and God, the emptier we become. In our emptiness, we strive to fill our inner void with things.” (TDM p.7)

The fundamental error in our perception, that we are independent, isolated, material entities struggling to survive, slants our perception of what is possible. It gives us a false belief that other isolated entities, or things, will provide us with health, happiness, and survival. The truth is: no thing can ever supply us with our missing sense of connection. As a result, we find ourselves consuming things in an endless chase based upon a false assumption.

Restoring Wholeness

Realizing our fundamental Oneness with all of creation is the first step to restoring ourselves to internal wholeness and to finding the peace and happiness that we are seeking. Furthermore, when we understand that we inhabit a “participatory universe” that responds to our needs and desires, our experience of life changes in a fundamental way.

Not only are we part of the whole, but the field itself has certain characteristics that give us tremendous power to shape our reality. As Braden says, the field is non-local and holographic. This means that every thought, feeling, belief, and action reverberates throughout the whole instantaneously and everywhere.

How we “are,” the state of our being, our consciousness, plays a significant role in the possibilities that we perceive and realize in this life. We can use this information to consciously participate in manifesting the lives we are meant to live.

We are each here with purpose. There is a life of greater health, happiness, and meaning available to us. That life can begin with recognizing that we are energy and, together, we are all part of the One Energetic Field.

Practice this insight and see what happens. Look at yourself and those around you as energetic beings, as co-participants in the Divine Matrix. Feel your energetic connection with everyone and everything. Discover the positive difference this awareness can make in your life.