دوره The Science of Well-Being ، فصل 5 : Stuff that Really Makes Us Happy

درباره‌ی این فصل:

What can we do to improve our happiness?

این دوره شامل 11 فصل زیر است:

Through the process of meditation, we can curb our mind wandering. It also decreases our stress, and it can even boost our grey matter. It will make you a little bit more zen and maybe a lot happier.

You also don't often want to be in this cell which, it turns out, even though it's kind of relaxing, it's slightly more positive than boredom and apathy, it doesn't really feel that engaging, when you have super high skill but your challenge isn't that good. And the idea is that we want to do is seek out careers, activities, et cetera, that plop us in that state, that can kind of maxing out our skills at the right challenge level. The best moments really occur when a person's body and mind is stretched to its limits in a voluntary effort to accomplish something difficult and worthwhile."

Now we're going to do a different and maybe even closer to home for you guys, thing that we talked about before, which is what you should want in the context of your learning goals here in terms of whether you should be shooting for good grades. This is the idea that your intelligence and all your skills and all that stuff, it can be trained, you might start with some basic abilities, but those get improved over time through hard work. Interestingly we now have some neuroscience evidence of the kinds of things that are going wrong in the context of the moment when you're getting bad feedback in these two different mindsets.

But it turns out lots of empirical evidence is suggesting that simple acts of kindness bring us happiness. But if I tell you in one week, just pick a day like on Friday, just do five acts of kindness, all of a sudden that's going to bump you up relative to your old subjective well-being in a pretty substantial way. And this is the premise of a recent book called Happy Money, which is by the two psychologists, Liz Dunn and Mike Norton, who've done some really, really cool work on this stuff.

Using your money to even engage in small generous acts like treating your friend to coffee or helping out somebody who's having a rough day by getting them some flowers might actually do something for your own mood. And indeed I think that intuition particularly comes into play when we are just short of gliding through our days and making split second decisions, you're feeling a little bit in a bad mood or want to cheer yourself up. And so I guess, through my work, I've learned to be on the lookout for those kinds of opportunities, where I can not just sort of click donate on a website which is also great, but really have the chance to see the impact that my actions are having.

I don't think with Marina Keegan, but some of you probably know her famous essay on the Opposite of Loneliness which I think kind of nicely shows the power of this social connection. He notes that, look, close ties with people - having a social connection is good for all kinds of health related stuff. This is some work by Margaret Clark who's the head of Trumbull college here and a professor in the Psychology department, and she just asked if the act of being around somebody can change your very subjective experience of good and bad events in the world.

Just to kind of quickly introduce Dr. Epley, he is the John Templeton Keller professor of behavioral science, and Neblar faculty fellow at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. He's been in the Wall Street Journal, on CNN Wired, and NPR, and most exciting for you guys, is that he's also the author of Mind Wise- How We Understand What Others Think, Believe, Feel and Want, which is a fantastic book that talks about all his awesome stuff. There are other places you know psychologists and sociologists used to talk about human capital in neighborhoods about the importance of building structures like playgrounds and things that would bring people together those are the other ways that you could do it is by taking that kind of macro level approach.

And so Here's what they find when they looked at two categories of people could spend their time in the cafe, whether they were socializing or whether they were working. If I get you to think about making lots of money, you end up spending all your time at the cafe working. Basically, making these social connections, maybe even having some kindness in there, like all this other stuff that we think promotes happiness.

Because half the time at the moment some task ends you start thinking about the past, you're ruminating about all kinds of things. But all other aspects of mind-wandering, neutral mind-wandering, what's going to be a dinner tonight, or unpleasant mind-wandering, why did I do so badly on that quiz this week, all of that kind of stuff is making you less happy. What you find is that in the nutrition case, there's no change from pre to post test, but you get a relatively huge boost in the concept of when you're doing a mindfulness-based practice.

So, if you're looking at the connection between fitness and cognitive performance in older adults across a bunch of tasks, what you find is generally the same pattern. What you find is that across a bunch of different cognitive tasks from executive function to spatial reasoning to even response speed, those who are exercising more are actually doing better. So, the kind of secret they are trying to figure out when you're trying to learn orgo, and you don't get it or these neat insights that you want to have that are really relevant for that cool paper, all of those things will not come unless you get the required amount of sleep.

And so I think that even for folks who are more on the introverted side, the act of finding these social connections will be better than you think because the power of these sort of social connections that we see in terms of health benefits and that sort of thing, those things can cross all these other personality variables. And in fact, that's one of the things we're going to see is that one of the main problems of miswanting is the fact that it's causing us to put time into things that don't actually matter where like how many times in the last month have you prioritized doing something that's related to one of those goals that I keep saying is bad either like something you think is really useful for your job or for your grades or is all that stuff that we had up there versus just enjoying this thing, that Marina Keegan was talking about like this web of people and this fun stuff that those of you who are graduating this year aren't going to have in the same way, sorry, Nick, are going to have the same way after this? It would also light up if you ate something really delicious or you saw attractive pictures of people that you wanted to hook up with or if I give you a bit of cocaine.

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