Tag happiness

Intelligent People Are More Inclined to Trust Others — PsyBlog


Intelligent People Are More Inclined to Trust Others — Jeremy Dean, PsyBlog.

Intelligent people are more likely to trust others, according to a new analysis of US public opinion poll data. This may be because more intelligent people are better judges of character.

The study, published in the journal PLOS ONE, analysed data from the ‘General Social Survey’, which asks a nationally representative sample of Americans about their attitudes and characteristics (Carl & Billari, 2014).

The researchers focused on the idea of generalised trust: not trust of close friends and family, but of other unknown members of society.

People were asked: “Generally speaking, would you say that most people can be trusted or that you can’t be too careful in dealing with people?”

They found that people who were more trusting were also happier and had higher levels of physical health…

Previous research has found that people who are more trusting are:

More likely to start a business.

More likely to do voluntary work.

Happier with their lives.

Have better physical health.

Please click on the link above to read more.

10 Simple Habits Proven to Make You Happier — PsyBlog

Photo Credit: Cecile Graat

Photo Credit: Cecile Graat


10 Simple Habits Proven to Make You Happier — Dr Jeremy Dean. PsyBlog.

Here are the 10 habits, with the average ratings of survey participants on a scale of 1-10, as to how often they performed each habit:

Giving: do things for others — 7.41

Relating: connect with people — 7.36

Exercising: take care of your body — 5.88

Appreciating: notice the world around — 6.57

Trying out: keep learning new things — 6.26

Direction: have goals to look forward to — 6.08

Resilience: find ways to bounce back — 6.33

Emotion: take a positive approach — 6.74

Acceptance: be comfortable with who you are — 5.56

Meaning: be part of something bigger — 6.38

(You’ll notice that the first letters spell out the words GREAT DREAM.)

Dream great and be happy. To read more, click on the link above.

Meditation is an Effective Treatment for Depression, Anxiety & Pain — PsyBlog


Meditation is an Effective Treatment for Depression, Anxiety and Pain — PsyBlog.

Data from 47 different clinical trials finds meditation is as effective as antidepressants.

A medical journal review has found that just 30 minutes daily meditation can improve the symptoms of depression, anxiety and pain.

The research, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, included studies with a total of 3,515 participants (Goyal et al., 2014)…

Participants in this review had had at least 4 hours of instruction in a form of meditation, such as mindfulness or mantra-based programs…

The control groups contained matched participants who did things that were similar to meditation, but without actually being meditation.

For example, people in the control group in some of the studies performed progressive muscle relaxation. This has some of the physical requirements of meditation–i.e. you’re relaxed–but doesn’t involve the cognitive aspect…

The meditation conditions, though, consistently outperformed the control conditions, suggesting meditation is effective.

Click on the link above, to read this helpful blog by Jeremy Dean, the author of “Making Habits, Breaking Habits: How to Make Changes That Stick.”

Celebrate Thanksgiving Every Morning


I had not even heard of Thanksgiving until age 25, when I came to the USA, but it soon became my favorite holiday because of the delicious food, family, and of course the four day weekend.

But when I urge you to celebrate it every morning, I am not asking you to be thankful for food, or the family, but for that unique gift of love, without which none of these would mean much.

Us humans are uniquely endowed with this enormous reservoir of love, most of which goes unappreciated, unused, and untapped robbing the life of all its joy and grandeur.

So, let us take a resolution this Thanksgiving that every morning we shall be thankful for our ability to love; love our spouse, our kids, our parents, our brothers and sisters, our coworkers, our customers, and even our competitors. We shall be kind to ourselves too. We shall every moment express this eternal, unconditional love in creative ways through our kind words and action.

Hence, every morning as soon as you wake up, say this to yourself before opening your eyes, “Thank you Lord for the gift of love.” And then go out and love everything and everyone all-day!

The next obvious question is – Should you love the lazy, the irritating, the ungrateful, the hurtful, and the hateful too? My answer is YES for a simple reason; it improves your health by improving your sleep, your blood pressure, your blood sugar, your brain cells, and your overall well-being. One thing to remember – I am suggesting to be grateful for the love, and not for the stupidity. I am not suggesting that we should be suicidal either. Be smart. Be kind. Be loving.

Happy Thanksgiving to you all.

What Should You Expect from Your Meditation Session? NOTHING!

Photo Credit Tosaporn Boonyarangkul

Photo Credit Tosaporn Boonyarangkul

Meditation in this regard is similar to the wildly successful TV show, Seinfeld, a show about nothing! To expect weightlessness, levitation, rapture, enlightenment or bliss from your meditation practice defies the core idea underlying the practice; Vairagya or complete non-attachment towards worldly desires as highlighted by Acharya Pattanjali 3000 years ago. He took this idea even further by talking about Para Vairagya, non-attachment even for holy and auspicious goals such as spiritual enlightenment or oneness with the Almighty.

When you pleasantly focus on your breathing, or on a mantra, you will hear noises both external and internal. You for sure will have intruding thoughts about worldly affairs, your desires and challenges. And this is where Vairagya comes to the rescue. You practice total and complete non-attachment to them. You observe them and let them go while pleasantly bringing your focus back to your breathing. This is central to the practice of meditation.

Starting your meditation session with expectations violates the core principle underlying the practice of meditation. So, shed off your expectations, sit comfortably, close your eyes, pleasantly focus on your breathing and detach yourself completely from your thoughts, desires, ambitions, and goals.

Keep it simple and just meditate.

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