The How of Happiness

1241 Words5 Pages
In the book, The How of Happiness, author and researcher Sonja Lyubomirsky sets her book apart from other self-awareness books by being the first to utilize empirical studies. She uses data gained through scientific method to provide support for her hypothesis. This hypothesis consists mainly of the idea that we have the ability to overcome genetic predisposition and circumstantial barriers to happiness by how we think and what we do. She emphasizes that being happier benefits ourselves, our family and our community. “The How of Happiness is science, and the happiness-increasing strategies that [she] and other social psychologists have developed are its key supporting players” (3). Utilizing a pie chart, she illustrates the crux of her research; 10% of our happiness is increased or decreased by our circumstances. 50% of our happiness is increased or decreased by genetic predisposition, 40% is within our ability to control. We have “opportunities to increase or decrease our happiness levels through what we do and how we think” (22). She provides 12 specific happiness enhancing activities. She implores us to commit time, resources and energy to this “intentional activity”. Promoting these changes in our lives to accommodate being happier, which will benefit everyone in the end. Through a series of assessment tools, she reveals the types of activities that we can commit to doing on a daily basis which will improve our level of happiness. She reinforces the numerous benefits of being happier. Happier people are more sociable and energetic, more charitable and cooperative, and better liked by others. Being happy boosts their immune systems, improves productivity, and can lead to a longer life. It allows them to be more creative and... ... middle of paper ... ...have a gift. Whether given to me by my parents or cultivated over years of needing to have it, I have it. Some others do not have it. These strategies can be effective in augmenting what may be a lower than average baseline happiness level and therefore improving their quality of life. At the end of the experiment I will complete the last two steps in the scientific process. I will analyze the data gained and will formulate a conclusion. I don’t think much research has been done of the effects of Positive Psychology on those people with a higher than average level of happiness, since the catalyst for this research came from the desire to augment pathological treatment for depression. It will be interesting to see the impact, if any, on my current level of happiness. Works Cited Lyubomirsky, Sonja. The How of Happiness. New York. Penguin Books. 2007. Print.

More about The How of Happiness

Open Document