Why is achieve happiness so difficult - part 1

The happiness hypothesis

As a third agers, I have always believed that we all right after midlife with the spirit and know can be satisfied. But after reading the happiness hypothesis: searching for modern truth in ancient wisdom of Jonathan Haidt, to be happy and meaningful life for all is a little more complicated that I thought.

Dr. Fred Horowitz, my colleague on luck to midlife.com, recommended that I the book to read; It was one of his best reads 2008 although it is relatively unknown (there were only two reviews on Amazon that last time I looked). It was a fascinating based on solid research eye-opening read theories and insight for me also. But there are also useful practical advice for happy to be, which is pay-off for me.

I was so impressed by the Haidt's book, I would like to share that in a series of five articles with you, what I discovered. What is particularly fascinating is its fusion of old and Eastern wisdom and modern Western science. It can in a positive way to affect and impacted my life.

I will touch, such as the split itself, affective style, cognitive therapy, the happiness set point, the odds on such ideas hypothesis, spirituality, the importance of love and of social relations and the meaning of life - to name only to some. Haidt not suggests a quick fix solution to find, happiness (which Dr. Fred the "Chinese food syndrome" is called: you feeling full for an hour, then you are hungry again). You have to work.

Our minds are often in conflict with

At the beginning of the book, Haidt, a respected positive psychologist, describes two key concepts: the split itself and your opinion changes. The first concept provides a backdrop for understanding his arguments in the book. Hadith used the metaphor of a driver on an elephant. In his view, the spirit in parts is divided, the conflicts. On the one hand, it is the good of the elephant brain or emotions and passions (the ID in Freudian sense). On the other hand, it is the driver or head brain, the rational side of (the ego).

In fact, he describes old length think and show of the latest scientific research on four awards: spirit vs. vs. right brain, reason vs. leave feeling, body, brain and controlled vs. think automatic. What does this mean that all? Conscious thought or rational behavior has far less influence on our lives and our ways of doing as we think. These distinctions tell to the part of our weakness of will and our experience of divided against ourselves. This is one in the quest for happiness so much pull.

"The whole universe will change and what you think it is life itself." Marcus Aurelius

The Sage of themselves think, Dale Carnegie said in 1944 written, that the last eight words "your life can turn the quote above." Haidt is more such a claim. He says that self improvement, self development is possible. How? He proposes three specific, if also challenging and controversial, ways, your opinion, but more in later change. First let us explore just three fascinating theories about, such as the spirit works in unconscious way and affected we think and Act:

This is an unconscious, subtle as aversion response to everything we see, although we are aware of not the experience. The psychological studies on "affective priming" Haidt describes are worth reading. Other studies, which he cited, that we do three of the most important decisions in life - what can our life where we live, and who we marry - all (also only slightly) something like a reputation as a seemingly insignificant be affected.

-Negativität bias
The elephant or unconscious looks bad as stronger as well. Haidt refers, for example, to note that in the conjugal interactions, it takes at least five good or constructive actions to compensate for the loss of a critical Act. Another example is afraid of snakes. They feared the elephant is what you "Think." no matter you are still afraid.

-Affective style
Affective style is a person, the average or typical level of happiness - the so-called happiness set point equal. It is characterized by much more than we think. Research shows surprising that luck of one of the most is highly inheritable aspects of the personality. Multiple identical twin studies according to 50-80 percent who are stated all variance among the people in their average cost of happiness by differences in their genes, rather than in their life experiences. Now white I why I had a depression never and quickly recover from negative experiences. According to Haidt, I seemed, won the "cortical Lottery".

What you can do

How can you influence or change your mood style, would you not as lucky as I in the cortical lottery? Haidt suggests three courses of action:

-Meditation to do

Meditation plays an important role in Buddhist thinking and in accordance with Haidt it Tames and calms the elephants. The frequency of the fearful, negative and debilitating ideas help to reduce done every day for several months, you can meditation. Dr. Fred is practiced meditation for more than 20 years and recently "mindfulness." Both had a significant impact on his life. Dr. Fred would probably agree with Haidt's assertion that meditation may improve affective college life.

-Learn you cognitive therapy

People with a tendency to depression often even say "I'm not good," "My world is gloomy," "my future is hopeless." A depressed person mind is filled with these automatic thoughts - the inner voice, the negative tapes play of holds. The psychiatrist Beck described a feedback loop: distorted think cause negative feelings. He and others such as Dr. David M. Burns in feeling good recommend the cycle to break, by he the idea. If you can catch your thoughts they record you name the distortions and find then alternative and more accurate ways of thinking, you will learn the drivers to train the elephants. However it can be according to Haidt not for all effectively.

Are exhausted or you Prozac

Haidt admits that this drug and other SSRIS as a quick fix (grim reminder of the luck pill "Soma" in Brave New world) are controversial. Still don't know how it works, but does it scientists. It can relieve complaints and sometimes personality can change. Haidt argues that it's not over-prescribed; He effectively used the analogy of giving someone contact lenses also see. It is a reasonable shortcut to work for Haidt. Other experts such as Dr. Ben Lemer writing on mercola.com and mark Kingwell, author of better life: in pursuit of happiness by Plato, Prozac, would strongly dispute. It is for you weigh the evidence, experiment, and decide whether it is right for you.

In part 2 of the series, I will the importance of reciprocity in connection with others and the risks of hypocrisy and self-righteousness in prevent us be happy to explore.

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