Happiness Lab

Happiness Lab

  • Social connections are one of the most important for wellbeing. Harvard Study for Adult Development tracked ~700 adults from 1938 until this day. Study found that the best predictor of health, long life and happiness was the quality of social connections. People who are still living from the experiment are in their 90's and large majority of them maintained and cared about their social life.
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  • For long and healthy lives levels of cholesterol don't correlate as much as quality of social life.
  • What mattered was not only number of social connections but the quality. People in the unhappy marriages could have overall scores as if they were lonely.
  • Counterintuitive happiness. People they predict that buying a wellness treatment for themselves rather than for a friend would boost their happiness. However the latter is more impactful. If you want selfishly focus on your own happiness you need to focus on sharing and giving.
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  • Micro-social interactions like talking to a barista or a driver are boosting wellbeing. People tend to think that they have a lesser effect on their wellbeing than they really have. It's a good idea for introvert to push themselves to do it.
  • Goal setting and pleasure experiencing are independent of each other and can often create dissociations. Mindfulness can help distinguish real effects of happiness from the illusory one.
  • Gen-Z mental health crisis
    • from 2019 National College Survey: 40% report to depressed to function most days (doubled since 2009), 50% report that they regularly feel hopeless, 2/3 report that they are overwhelming anxious, 10% seriously consider suicide (to the point they thought how they are gonna do it)
    • National Freshman Survey: Is Financial Achievement important? 2019 – around 100% confirmed, 1960's – 50% confirmed. Is developing meaningful philosophy of life important? 2019 – 40% confirmed 1960's 80-90% confirmed
On Smartphones

In the social setting if the phone is out of pocket and not even used people were smiling less and parents and kids felt like they bonded less.

Framing effect Study

Framing effect impacts how we perceive our experiences. In the first half of 20th century there was a study, where people received a pill simliar to speed, that boosted levels of andrenaline. They were put in two social situations. Some subjects were placed in the room where he experienced verbal agression. Some subjects were placed in the room where everybody were dancing and act nicely. First group of subjects reprted that the effects of the pill were horrible. Second group reported tthat it was pleasant