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Research Finds Proven Strategies to Up Happiness, Life Satisfaction

Research Finds Proven Strategies to Up Happiness, Life SatisfactionResearchers have created four affective profiles that may help individuals improve the quality of their lives.

The profiles came from a research study of the self-reports of 1,400 US residents regarding positive and negative emotions.

Investigators believe the affective profiles can be used to discern differences in happiness, depression, life satisfaction and happiness-increasing strategies.

A central finding is that the promotion of positive emotions can positively influence a depressive-to-happy state — defined as increasing levels of happiness and decreasing levels of depression — as well as increase life satisfaction.

The study, published in the open access peer-reviewed scientific journal PeerJ, targets some of the important aspects of mental health that represent positive measures of well-being.

Happiness, for example, can be usefully understood as the opposite of depression, say the authors. Life satisfaction, another positive measure of well-being, refers instead to a comparison process in which individuals assess the quality of their lives on the basis of their own self-imposed standards.

Researchers posit that as people adopt strategies to increase their overall well-being, it is important to know which ones are capable of having a positive influence.

“We examined 8 ‘happiness-increasing’ strategies which were first identified by Tkach & Lyubomirsky in 2006”, said Danilo Garcia from the University of Gothenburg and the researcher leading the investigation.

“These were Social Affiliation (for example, “Support and encourage friends”), Partying and Clubbing (for example, “Drink alcohol”), Mental Control (for example, “Try not to think about being unhappy”), and Instrumental Goal Pursuit (for example, “Study”).

Additional strategies include: Passive Leisure (for example, “Surf the internet”), Active Leisure (for example, “Exercise”), Religion (for example, “Seek support from faith”) and Direct Attempts (for example, “Act happy and smile”).”

The researchers found that individuals with different affective profiles did indeed differ in the positive measures of well-being and all 8 strategies being studied.

For example, individuals classified as self-fulfilling — high positive emotions and low negative emotions — were the ones who showed lower levels of depression, tended to be happier, and were more satisfied with their lives.

Researchers found that specific happiness-increasing strategies were related to self-directed actions aimed at personal development or personally chosen goals. For example, autonomy, responsibility, self-acceptance, intern locus of control, and self-control.

Communal, or social affiliations, and spiritual values were positively related to a ‘self-fulfilling’ profile.

“This was the most surprising finding, because it supports suggestions about how self-awareness based on the self, our relation to others, and our place on earth might lead to greater happiness and mental harmony within the individual” said Garcia.

Source: Peerj

Research Finds Proven Strategies to Up Happiness, Life Satisfaction

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2015). Research Finds Proven Strategies to Up Happiness, Life Satisfaction. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 15, 2018, from https://psychcentral.com/news/2013/09/11/research-finds-proven-strategies-to-up-happiness-life-satisfaction/59412.html

 

Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 6 Oct 2015
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 6 Oct 2015
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.