Health, The Good Life
What makes you happy? According to the founding father of positive psychology, Martin Seligman, a happy life is one that is pleasurable, engaging, and meaningful. He says that people who focus their energies on leading an engaged and meaningful life are more successful at achieving lifelong happiness than those who focus on the transitory feel-goods of pleasure.
Here are several activities that have been found to be most effective:
• Take note of what’s good in your life. Literally. Studies show that people who spend a few minutes every evening writing down what went well each day show a significant increase in well-being.
• Tone up your signature strengths. Signature strengths are the things you’re really good at. Once you know what your strengths are, try using one of them in a new way every day for a week.
• Give gratitude. Write a letter of thanks to someone who has been particularly good to you or has had a profound impact on your life. Once the letter is written, deliver it personally to the recipient. If your gratitude letter has a long distance to travel, call the recipient to make sure it was received and tell the person on the phone how much you appreciate his or her presence in your life.