Money, Happiness, and Psychotherapy

For more writings on this blogOn today’s No Stupid Questions podcast, there was mention of a study on the value of psychotherapy where the study authors (not the podcasters), stated psychotherapy had no value, and arrogantly added, therefore, all the studies that showed psychotherapy had value were now in question. I’ll address that arrogance later, but in the meanwhile, I’ll address the problem with that study’s bias that the podcasters, economist Stephen Dubner and psychologist, Angela Duckworth, didn’t fully reconcile, to my surprise.

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Definition: Fresh Start Effect, Temptation Bundling

Some practical advice on how to get yourself some motivation for any time, not just at the start of a new year or new decade! See the Happiness Lab Podcast in Twitter link below.

 

Fresh Start Effect

Extra motivation we get when we deem something to be a fresh start for ourselves.

 

Temptation Bundling

A motivation technique to bundle something you are tempted by with something productive you are less keen on (eg. audiobook listening while exercising).

 

Definition: Psychological Immune System

Psychological Immune System

A concept parallel to the physical immune system, to describe one’s ability to resist or accept change, both good and bad, the way the physical immune system can reject things intended to be good for the body like organ transplants.

 

The linked article doesn’t offer the same definition, and doesn’t talk about the resistance to good changes, either. I learned about the concept in a more easily understandable way via the episode of the new The Happiness Lab podcast linked below.

What Science Says about Becoming Happier, a Presentation

I recently completed two courses on the science of happiness. The first was the Science of Well-being course from Yale, on Coursera, offered by Professor Laurie Santos. The second was the Science of Happiness offered by the UC Berkeley on their edX platform. From those two courses that were fairly complementary, I have put together a presentation not just on the science of happiness, but what it says to help you become happier, that summarizes the content of the courses, for which there was plenty! Links on the side of each slide lets you access much more information than the practical aspects I touch upon for this to be useful. While the courses are about the science of happiness, their content is geared towards making the learner happier, and that is lens through which I am presenting it. The science on its own isn’t terribly great if you don’t or can’t use it for something good, right?

Below is the presentation in 3 formats, pending how you want to view them.

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My Bed Time Alarm (Final Assignment for Science of Well-Being Course

The final assignment for the Science of Well-being course required students to try and develop a week long rewirement assignment into a habit over 4 weeks, then write about it. This need not be a daily habit, as that might take about 3 months from other research, but something done at least periodically each week. The quest for habit development is so that it becomes second nature. Consciously pursuing happiness all the time will drive you crazy, or at least neurotic, as other research has shown that was not mentioned in this course. I confirmed my thoughts on this from content in the free, 10-week course on the Science of Happiness offered by the UC Berkeley on their edX platform that is much more in-depth than this one, but may not as good as this Science of Well-being course for those just wanting a practical overview of the subject matter.

Below is the assignment I submitted. The Bed Time Alarm idea was described briefly in a previous post that talked about the handful of other rewirements I have actually embraced into my life as habits. I had been doing some of them already, or didn’t find them hard to embrace. However, there is a lot more details here, including rationale and measurements, which all good goals should contain to determine progress and/or success.

With this assignment, I have finally completed the course… and happier for it! Yay!

I would HIGHLY RECOMMEND this course to anybody who cares about their happiness and wants to become happier. A slightly more detailed review is here, plus you can view my posts about the course to see what else was done and how it impacted me, along with other thoughts.

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