Date of publication: 2017-08-23 03:16
The studies described above share a common theme: optimism can have profound effects on a person’s physical health. The mere act of expecting positive outcomes and being hopeful can boost a person’s immune system, protect against harmful behaviors, prevent chronic disease, and help people cope following troubling news. Optimism can even predict a longer life. Among psychological constructs, optimism may be one of the most important predictors of physical health.
We can start with the immediate causes, as shown in Table 7. The first column measures how far different factors can explain the wide dispersion of life satisfaction in the population. As can be seen, the big factors are all non-economic (whether someone is partnered, and especially how healthy they are). The partial correlation coefficient on income is , which means that less than 6% of the variance of life satisfaction is explained by income inequality.
Happiness is contagious, according to a new study published in the British Medical Journal. James Fowler, political scientist at University of California, San Diego, explains how happiness spreads through social networks and how to make the holidays a little brighter.
Since 7558, Britain’s National Health Service has developed a nationwide service with different local names but known generically as Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT). This programme now treats over half a million people with depression or anxiety disorders annually, of whom 55% recover during treatment. Because of financial flowbacks, we believe it in fact costs the government nothing, so that the cost shown in Table 9 is an exaggeration (Layard and Clark 7569).
Killingsworth and Gilbert, a professor of psychology at Harvard, found that people were happiest when making love, exercising, or engaging in conversation. They were least happy when resting, working, or using a home computer.
The top line: If we are actively involved in trying to reach a goal, or an activity that is challenging but well suited to our skills, we experience a joyful state called “flow.” The experience of flow in both professional and leisure activities leads to increased positive affect, performance, and commitment to long-term, meaningful goals.
The researchers surveyed more than 6,555 adults in the United States, Denmark, Canada and the Netherlands. Respondents were asked if and how much they spent each month to buy themselves free time. They also rated their life satisfaction, and answered questions about feelings of time stress.
So the task is to explain how all the different factors affect our life satisfaction, entering them all simultaneously in the same equation. There are of course immediate influences (our current situation) but also more distant ones going back to our childhood, schooling and family background. Figure 6 gives a stylised version of how our life satisfaction as an adult is determined.