What is The Science Behind Happiness?
There’s a great line in the film, American Beauty, where Lester Burnham (played by Kevin Spacey) is talking about his daughter Jane (Thora Birch). He says, “Janey is a typical teenager – angry, insecure, confused. I wish I could tell her that will all pass. She wasn’t always like this. She used to be Happy. We all used to be Happy.”
American Beauty is filled with Depression and how it impacts the lives of its characters. In a way, most of us can probably relate to some character or situation in the movie, maybe not directly, but we know someone who could slide right into the storyline.
The statistics surrounding depression are higher than expected, with approximately 18 million Americans afflicted by a depressive disorder. But there’s hope, as depression can be treated through medication, psychotherapy, or both.
The good news is we’re finding ways to be Happier. For centuries, the field of psychology only focused on depression and how to measure it. But a new field of science called “Positive Psychology” aims to change all of that and turns the tables on depression by looking at ways to measure Happiness.
We’re all about the science of things, and while we may think we know the facts about any topic, something isn’t really true until it can be proven by science and evidence. Many things take a long to prove and once proven, stay true until somebody comes along to disprove the stated fact.
So we Love it when we find things like the infographic below entitled, The Science of Happiness, that not only shows us scientifically what affects our Happiness (neurotransmitters like Serotonin and Dopamine among other things) but also how we can control the things that make us Happy, such as exercise, food, and sleep.
To see this infographic in a larger version, visit Daily Infographic.
Pretty cool, huh? There’s so much to learn about Happiness and some days it almost feels like a Happiness movement is underway around the world. The most popular class at Harvard was the first Positive Psychology class and they’re sprouting up in other schools now too.
If you have a Netflix account and you’re a Happiness fan, check out the documentaries “I Am” by Tom Shadyac, and “Happy.” If you’ve already seen them you know what we’re talking about. If you haven’t, add them to your list. They’re full of new ways to look at Happiness and there’s plenty of science to back up everything. Enjoy!
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