Yes, You Can Learn How to Be Happy; Depressed? Positive Psychology May Help You Look on Life's Bright Side

Daily Mail (London), October 4, 2005 | Go to article overview

Yes, You Can Learn How to Be Happy; Depressed? Positive Psychology May Help You Look on Life's Bright Side


Byline: DAN PARKINSON

IF being grumpy is your normal state of mind, you may be tempted to scoff at the claim.

But experts in a new field of psychology say we can overcome natural negativity - by teaching ourselves to be happy.

By following key rules and using mind games, say scientists, everyone can eventually lead a fulfilling and contented life.

The theory is currently being put to the test in Britain in a unique experiment in which volunteers with varying levels of depression are taking part in a series of experiments.

It is hoped the study, the biggest of its kind ever undertaken, will help psychologists to learn more about depression and how it can be combated.

Positive psychology - also known as the science of happiness - was developed by Martin Seligman, of the University of Pennsylvania, and focuses on how people flourish rather than on how they become depressed.

Researchers found that inherited character traits and childhood experiences accounted for just 50 per cent of someone's happiness potential. The rest was controlled by the individual.

They discovered that those who class themselves as 'very happy' are no more sociable, beautiful or successful than the average person.

Where they differed was in having found out what makes them happy and including more of it in their lives. One key to happiness is to cultivate 'flow' activities - hobbies or activities in which we become so immersed that time is forgotten.

Another is to surround ourselves with close friends or loved ones.

Married couples were found to live longer and enjoy good physical health, but single people can achieve the same by cultivating a 'para-family' of friends, ex-lovers and colleagues.

Psychologists say relationships need to be intimate and include a great deal of self-disclosure to result in higher levels of happiness.

Mr Seligman also found it was crucial to undertake meaningful activities, such as community work or political campaigning.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Yes, You Can Learn How to Be Happy; Depressed? Positive Psychology May Help You Look on Life's Bright Side
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.