Here is a collection of the top 10 articles on Happiness of 2014. While almost all of these are rooted in the science of Psychology, one comes from the Philosophy. This is a nearly homogeneous collection of reads that will enrich you, humor you, and get you to re-think your ideas on happiness.
Top 10 Happiness Posts
A CNN article exploring happiness within the domain of science, strictly for beginners. This is a Q&A format article by Elizabeth Landau, that answers the questions as ‘Why Be Happy?’, ‘Where Happiness Comes From?’, and ‘What Can We Do To Make Ourselves More Positive?’ It explores the relationship with happiness of mindfulness, money, environment.
This ‘The Guardian’ article by Mark Williamson explores the psychological aspects of happiness in fair detail, as much as a single article would allow, while keeping the tone easy-to-read. He mentions quite a few researches and researchers, and also takes the chance to talk about a few generally held misconceptions about happiness.
In this, ABC news anchor Dan Harris talks about his book 10% Happier, in which he describes how he suffered a on-air breakdown in 2004, disappeared from public life, and took back the reins of his life through practice of Mindfulness meditation. In one interview, Dan makes it clear that ‘10%’ is just a number, and he just conjured it up. In his book, Harris speaks the voice of a skeptic who finds something that works while stumbling upon many ideas.
Leo Widrich’s article on exercise and its effects on our brains and happiness is one the most-read ones on leadership on FastCompany. He talks about how and why exercise can make us happier. He goes into the details, as ‘get some focused 20 minutes in to get the full happiness boost every day’. It’s great read. By the way, Leo Widrich is the co-founder of Buffer. If you find it difficult to create an exercise habit, here’s the only guide you’ll ever need to do that.
This James Hamblin article has received 91,000 shares till date. It opens explosively with ‘47% of the time, the average mind is wandering… It wanders 10% of the time, even, during sex.’ It takes up the works of scientists Daniel Gilbert, Thomas Gilovich, Matthew Killingsworth, and Amit Kumar, and spins an enticing article about why experiential purchases can make us happier than material purchases.
In this short article, Bourree Lam talks about a startup called ‘TINYpulse‘, that collates and mines data about employee unhappiness, without gathering names, by sending out a weekly one-question survey to assess how workers feel about their work conditions, bosses, and anything else at their workplace. In a report gleaned from 200,000 anonymous responses, it revealed that only 20% of the employees feel strongly values at work.
An End of Year 2014 study by the WIN/Gallup surveying people in 65 countries has found that Fiji was by far the happiest country in the world: 93% of respondents said that they were either happy or very happy. The Pacific Island nation was followed by Finland, where 80% said they were content. The world’s unhappiest country was found to be Iraq, where approximately 31% said that they were either unhappy/very unhappy.
This is the happiness article to bookmark this year.
Daniel M. Haybron, an associate professor of philosophy at St. Louis University, writes, ‘I do not mean to suggest that life satisfaction studies can’t give us useful information about how people are doing. But I am suggesting that it is misleading to equate satisfaction with happiness, even if it is perfectly ordinary to talk that way at times.’ Haybron distils the wisdom of philosophers from ancient times, that suggests that the wellbeing of us depends upon living in accordance of who we are – not as science tracks our happiness from moment-to-moment.
According to Sonya Britt, a Kansas University researcher, arguments involving money is the top predictor of divorce in couples. The author Tina Chen suggests that each should have a separate bank account, as well as a joint bank account. She wisely suggests that a couple should talk about money, not push the money matters under the rug.
This is list-post article – a list of 10 studies by the psychologists on happiness – that is a breeze to read through. It takes turns to bring up findings from studies done from 2005 to 2013. It opens with a beautiful quote that one may remember for a long time, “People wait all week for Friday, all year for summer, all life for happiness.”
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Author Bio: Written and reviewed by Sandip Roy – medical doctor, psychology writer, happiness researcher. Founder of Happiness India Project, and chief editor of its blog. He writes popular-science articles on positive psychology and related medical topics.
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