The Science of Happiness - Personal Development, Health & Wellness , Lifestyle & Psychology | Cal Hyslop MBA, University Instructor | Skillshare

The Science of Happiness - Personal Development, Health & Wellness , Lifestyle & Psychology

Cal Hyslop MBA, University Instructor, Work Harder on Yourself than Your Job!

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6 Lessons (48m)
    • 1. An Introduction to Happiness

      3:24
    • 2. Common Misconceptions About Happiness

      8:30
    • 3. What Causes the Sense of Happiness

      6:52
    • 4. Which Thoughts Have Greatest Influence

      12:47
    • 5. Which Actions Have Greatest Influence

      12:22
    • 6. Mystery Questions Answered and Our Conclusion

      4:05
11 students are watching this class

About This Class

Learn the facts and misconceptions about what makes a person truly happy. Find out what your "Happiness Baseline" is and how to raise your level. Develop the skills to lead a happier life.

This lesson is based partially on the 75-year long Harvard Grant Study and one of Yale University's most popular classes which happen to be on the science of happiness. You will learn about the ten areas of thought and action that not only greatly influence a person's perceived level of happiness but also which you have control over changing. Forty percent of your happiness depends on learning and implementing this skillset. Start sooner than later.

This class is one section of a 12-part course. To see the entire course, visit https://skl.sh/2U2VFQs.

For a list of more helpful classes, visit my profile page at https://www.skillshare.com/user/calhyslop

Transcripts

1. An Introduction to Happiness: hello and welcome to our 10th corps lesson, and this is a special one. In my opinion, it's over the topic of happiness. Everyone wants to be happy, right? That sort of our end goal. This particular lesson is going to help you build an emotionally rich and balance life. Least that's the plan. And I hope you find this lesson as valuable and as interesting as I have. So starting from the beginning, with our quote of the day, it goes like this from Henry David Thoreau. There is no value in life except what you choose to place upon it and no happiness in any place except what you bring to it yourself. So that's something to think about as we go throughout this lesson, starting with number one, we'll talk about, of course, as usual, the introduction in mystery question. And it's just going to be a short mystery question for us today compared to others. Perhaps then we'll go on to the misconceptions that a lot of people have about what is happiness and what does it take to be happy. From there? We'll talk about what determines happiness in the science behind that we'll go into the thoughts that are required for happiness and then to the actions they're required for happiness and finally will wrap things up with the mystery question answered. So get out some scratch paper. Doesn't really matter, just as long as you can take a few notes. Okay, I'll push pause for you for one second so you can get that handy. Okay? My question to you. What is happiness? You know, not everyone has the same answer. Just like success. Success has a different meaning to different people. So does happiness to you. How would you define happiness? So take a moment. Right down. One sentence, two sentences, three sentences. How would you describe and or define happiness for you? Push bars and go ahead and do that. Okay. Now that you have something written on paper about happiness, what do you think makes people happy? Can you make a list? Things that we need to do things that we need to have things that we need to think. Make a list of what you think are these things that make people happy. Okay. Once again, push, pause and generate a short list. All right. Having ask those two questions Here is the mystery question of this core lesson on happiness according to scientific conclusions. Scientific studies according to science, what do you think was discovered to be the number one? The most important thing you need in order to be happy, John, Something down on paper, Given a guess. Go for it now. You might be right. You might be wrong. And as we go throughout this lesson, will you change your mind on the answer to this question? So keep that in mind. What does science have to say? That's the most important thing that you need to have in order to be happy. Okay, so let's wrap up this fairly sure introduction of mystery question to happiness and then get ready for the next section. Happiness, misconceptions. 2. Common Misconceptions About Happiness: What about the misconceptions about happiness? The things that people typically think are true, that make us happy. However they really don't. Especially according to science. Well, that's what we want to focus on this section of the course. The misconceptions about happiness now. Earlier, I asked you, what is happiness to you? And would you list some of the things you think contribute to happiness? Well, what about making a lot of money? Was that on your list? There's a lot of money lead to happiness. How about getting the job you always wanted? Well, that sustain your happiness? How about getting a nice car? The house you always wanted? Expensive, beautiful jewelry, gifts in general or things do things bring you happiness? How about accomplishing goals now? Our first lesson was on goals, right? And shouldn't that make us happy? And how about never feeling pain or discomfort? Nobody likes that, right? So no pain, then, Yes, Happiness. Well, let's take a look at all of these in a little bit of detail. Of course, money is a necessity to live, right? But how much do we need? Well, we need enough to get us the basics like food, a decent home, transportation and education, right? But so many people want to be rich. Let's really rather comment. But why do they want to be rich? How about you? Do people want to be rich because they believe it will lead to happiness? Is that true? Well, studies show that a salary of around $75,000 a year is where happiness sort of levels out it plateaus. Now this number 75,000 Concetta from location to location Because of the cost of living, let's say, in Atlanta, Georgia, that number is a little bit lower. At $42,000 New York City's about $105,000. Now there's a definite difference in the cost of living between these two places, so we need the basics to survive and the basics to be happy. But do we really need Mawr in this number? Science says No. Science says our level of happiness. Sort of, As I said plateaus after these numbers, Did you ever think that you'd be happy once you finished high school or after you were accepted to university? Do you think you'll be happy once you get your first job or you got your first job or the job you really wanted. How long do you think that happiness will last? Long term, short term? And is that happiness? I'd like to introduce you to an interesting concept called hedonic adaptation. Strange word, right? Well, let's take a look at its definition. He Danek adaptation is the observed a tendency of humans to quickly return to a relatively stable level of happiness despite major positive or negative events or life changes. According to this theory, As a person makes more money, expectations and desires rise in tandem, which results in no permanent gain in happiness. Still interested? Well, do things like a big house, new car, beautiful jewelry and expensive gifts make people happy? A lot of people work really hard for these things. They dream about them all the time. Why, how much happiness do they bring? According to the hedonic adaptation concept, people may be temporarily happy, but that fades rather quickly. We tend to get tired and used to these things. However, something interesting happens when, instead of receiving, we give to others. A 2000 and eight study shows that happiness spikes when people spent money on others instead of themselves. Furthermore, in 2013 a follow up study found the same results in 136 different countries. So that tells you this is not a cultural thing. This is a human thing. Furthermore, a 2017 study show there is a neural link between generosity in happiness. That means there's a brain connection suggesting that the more generous someone is, the more happy that person in return becomes. We may get a shot of the neural transmitter dopamine when we finish items on our list or our to do list when we scroll through Facebook. When we beat a gain, for example, the same thing happens when we accomplish goals. Our brain gets this chemical release, and it feels good. However, it's pretty temporary. Don't get me wrong. This is a good thing. Unless we get addicted to these dopamine shots. For example, Facebook video games, gambling, those could be addictive. But having goals and accomplishing goals is great. It's the path to success, right? But the good feelings wear off and simply finishing goals does not lead to happiness. Surprised? So what does lead to happiness? Here's a clue. Have you ever heard the saying it's the journey, not the destination? Well, according to Linda Wallace, certified psychology coach, committed gold pursuit is one of the keys to a happy life. But most of the happiness we get from striving for goals comes while we're making progress toward them, not after we achieve them. That's pretty interesting. And that's why it's so important that we choose goals that are in sync with what we love and value, and that we make a conscious effort to enjoy them along the way. And no one wants to feel discomfort or being pain. Of course, no one likes to suffer, so it seems to be logical that the less suffering we experience, the happier we become right. However, if there is no pain, would we be able to grow? Would we be able to appreciate the good without the bad? Research shows that pain helps us because it helps us recognise pleasure. Relief from pain boosts pleasure. It helps us form social bonds, and it helps us focus and take things more seriously. So struggles, discomfort, pain. It's all necessary. It's part of life. And if we can recognize that and understand that it helps us on our journey to happiness. Well, all the better. So were you surprised with some of these misconceptions about happiness? Well, we looked quickly at money. Money is good. You gotta have some of it. But you don't have to have a lot At least not to be happy to. You gotta work right. But your dream job might make you happy temporarily. But that level of happiness many diminish over time. Three things like a house car, jewelry, etcetera, gifts. Things don't really bring us happiness. Although if they do that happiness is rather brief. I feel accomplishing your goals now. We need goals to be successful. But just the act of accomplishing them does not really bring happiness. It's the pursuit. The progress that we make that really brings us that happiness. And five, we need that pain, that discomfort to row to progress and that growth and progress leads to happiness. So I hope you found that is interesting is I did when I first heard these misconceptions on happiness. Let's get ready for the next section. We're going to find out what things actually determine happiness scientifically. See you soon 3. What Causes the Sense of Happiness: then where does happiness come from? What actually determines happiness? Is everyone familiar with the present Dalai Lama? Well, the Dalai Lama had something interesting to say about the purpose of our lives and quote unquote. As you can see, the purpose of our lives is to be happy. Do you agree with this statement? It could be debated. But ask yourself Why do you want what you want? If you ask yourself why, enough times the final answer might be to be happy. If you want to be rich. Well, why do you want to be rich? It makes me happy. Why do you want this new car? It'll make me happy. Why do you want these other things? Why do you want success to be happy? Well, it seems that usually it comes down to that one answer. So the question is what actually makes people happy and up the, uh, the answer is simple. You choose to be happy. Okay, this is obviously oversimplifying things, but it's kind of true. Happiness doesn't depend on your outside circumstances as much as you might think. It's not to external. The best way to find happiness is to look inside yourself, but that requires you to do to specific things, thoughts and actions. But hold on will come to that soon. Now I've got a quick disclaimer for you, my students. This lesson is intended to help you identify what typically leads to a happier lives and how to take steps to become happier individuals. However, it is not intended as a solution for those with serious mental conditions, such as chronic depression, whereas appropriate treatment from a medical professional is advised. Now, having said that, let's go to a man named Edward F. Diener, American psychologist, professor and author, before looking at the science of what actually makes people happy. Let's take a look at what is called your happiness baseline. We all have a happiness baseline. This is our general long term happiness. Now there will always be good days. And then there will be bad days, things that happened to us that make us happy, things that happen to us that take away that happiness and make a sad and so our daily happiness constantly fluctuates around this baseline. The important thing here is happiness always returns to a baseline. It always returns to your baseline in Fact research by Ed Diener, as we just saw, has found that even after such drastic life changes such as winning the lottery or becoming paralyzed, happiness will eventually return to its baseline. This could be seen in history of those who actually won the lottery. They became really happy, but they sort of got used to in return to whatever baseline they had. The same thing has happened with specifically people who were paralyzed and, of course, become incredibly depressed. But as you work things out, it takes a little bit more time to return to that baseline. And this baseline isn't all of us. Yet we all have different baselines. And if you're interested in your particular baseline, you can go to Penn State's University website type in authentic happiness. Dot s a s dark u p e n n dot edu Then go to questionnaires and over here on the right, we have authentic happiness inventory. If you go there, sign up, you'll get a better idea about where you specifically are and what your baseline might be. But that's up to you. If you want to take the time going back to our lesson, we still want to answer the question. What determines happiness? Well, let's take a look at Dr Sonya Young. Warm your ski. Think I'm pronouncing that wrong, but I tried. She's an American professor in the Department of psychology at the University of California , Riverside and author of the bestseller The How of Happiness. The Scientific Approach In Getting the Life You Want. A Book of strategies backed by scientific research that could be used to increase happiness , she showed that 50% of our happiness is actually from genetics. Yes, that's a gamble we all go through. Some people just win the lotto here and others don't. And unfortunately, we can't do much about the DNA side. But you do have control over the other 50% to a good extent the next. Here in yellow 10% is our external circumstances, including money, status, jobs, cars, houses and things. But don't get misled. You don't need much of these for happiness, and the science shows that a lot of money doesn't lead to happiness. Studies compared people to the Forbes list of the wealthiest Americans with the general population and found that they were only slightly happier than the average with 37% being less happy than the average American. That's pretty interesting research, huh? So what is this? Leave us with the other 40% thoughts and actions, and it's this section we have most control over scientifically. This is where happiness is most influenced and where you should concentrate. If you're looking to be happier, this is where you can focus to change your happiness. Baseline. That 40% is where we are going to focus in this lesson and give you the option to increase that baseline. But the work is up to you. Let's recap what determines happiness. Number one. We took a look and at what's called your happiness baseline. It stays a level usually, and we fluctuate up and down, but we usually return to that baseline. Then we took a look at what determines happiness. Now we have genetics, about 50%. Then things are external, the things in life, which is about 10%. But what we have most control over the remaining 40% thoughts and actions, and finally, now we know that it's up to us. We have control about raising that baseline if we so choose. OK, so let's get ready to take a look at the thoughts involved to help you raise that baseline 4. Which Thoughts Have Greatest Influence: Okay, well, lets just jump into it. Let's look at the science of finding happiness specifically through your thoughts. But first, could you have guessed? We need to get out our worksheet dedicated to this particular lesson. And that worksheet is titled Your Happiness Checklist. Go ahead and push, pause and then once you have that ready, will begin. Okay, Now that you have your checklist, there are five areas regarding thoughts that can raise our happiness. Baseline. Those include number one, Gratitude to forgiveness. Three. Loving yourself. Four goals, something we've already done to a degree and five. Meditation. Could you have gas any of these five? Well, let's go ahead and get into the details. Starting off with gratitude. What is Gratitude? Gratitude is a thankful appreciation for what an individual has or receives. So what are you grateful for? When we express gratitude, we think about the good things we have in life. We recognize where these things come from and the people who have provided them. We see that these things have come from outside ourselves. In one study, people were asked write a few sentences each week, focusing on particular topics. One group wrote about things that they were grateful for that had occurred during the week . A second group wrote about daily irritations or things that have displeased them, and the third group wrote about the events that had affected them, but no emphasis on them being positive or negative. Can you guess what might have happened after 10 weeks? Well, those people in the first group who expressed gratitude were more optimistic and felt better about their lives. In addition, there were fewer visits to the hospital. That's a pretty big impact on your mental and your physical, isn't it? Furthermore, studies that were conducted on giving gratitude, having appreciation for things have these effects couples felt more positively toward each other. There are also more comfortable expressing their concerns in their relationships. And what about it? Work when managers simply said thank you to staff productivity and results increase up to 50%. That's pretty huge. So let's go ahead and look at your worksheet. Now. What I like you to do with your worksheet is go to the first section under thoughts, and here we have number one gratitude. I'd like you to take a moment list five things that you are grateful for once you've listed these five things that you're grateful for, read this statement here. I usually feel grateful for these things I've listed above. How much do you agree? Strongly, disagree, Disagree, neutral, agree or strongly agree. Go ahead and check that box. Once you've finished. Now go ahead again. Push, pause and fill out this section, please. So the next part on thoughts regarding happiness is forgiveness. What is forgiveness? Well, you probably already know, but let's go through the definition. Forgiveness is a conscious, deliberate decision to release feelings of resentment or vengeance toward a person or group who has harmed you, regardless of whether they actually deserve your forgiveness or not. The point too forgiving here is to do so whether or not you think they deserve it or not. It's a decision to rid yourself of a grudge and the negativity, the negative feelings that go along with it. It's more about you instead of the other person. Forgiveness is not condoning. It's not excusing, it's not forgetting, and it's not necessarily even reconcile ing with the other person. Forgiveness is not week, but strong. However, it isn't usually easy. Studies show that for example, emotionally abused women college students hurt by emotionally distant parents, that elderly hurt by family members, incest survivors and people recovering in a drug rehabilitation facility. Those who put a conscious effort into forgiving those who hurt them experienced emotional health improvement. And they experience the elimination of psychological depression, which is pretty significant with these types of persons. Is there someone you can think of that's hurt you that has upset you in some way where maybe it's time for you to give forgiveness. Well, let's go back to your worksheet in this next section. Number two under forgiveness. The question for you is, Is there anyone you are holding a grudge against? Is there someone you have not yet forgiven? If so, right, that person's name or people's names under letter A. Then regarding this sentence here, I usually forgive people quickly who have upset me in some way. How much do you agree? Check one of those boxes, please. Now we'll push pause so you have the time to do it. Great. Third on our list is self acceptance. Now. Self love is basically what that means. This is the feeling of satisfaction with one self, despite deficiencies and regardless of past behaviors and choices. How much do you feel that you like yourself? How much do you feel that you love yourself? You are the Onley. You around, right? Dr. Mark Williamson, director of Action for Happiness, said, Quote unquote. Our society puts a huge pressure on us to be successful and to constantly compare ourselves with others. This causes a great deal of unhappiness and anxiety. These feelings remind us that if we can learn to be more accepting of ourselves as we really are, were likely to be much happier. Our day to day habits have a much bigger impact on our happiness than we might imagine. So what are the steps toe loving ourselves? Well here. Three positive actions that people can take to increase their levels of acceptance. Number one B is kind to yourself, as you are to others. See your mistakes is opportunities to learn. Remember the mistakes that we talked about earlier in our accepting failures? Lesson notice things you do well, no matter how small they are, to ask a trusted friend or colleague to tell you what your strengths are or what they value about you take the chance, go ahead and ask. And three. Spend some quiet time by yourself. Tune in to how you're feeling inside and try to be a peace with who you are. Thes Air three steps that the University of Hurt for child recommends. Okay, let's go back to your worksheet. Our next section Number three is self acceptance loving yourself. Just go ahead and click how much you agree or disagree with this statement. I like the person I am and enjoy being me. Go ahead and do that real quickly. Now we don't need toe push. Pause, Dewey. Okay, fourth on our list is none other than goals and congratulations. You already have specific and organized goals that are written down, right, so you are in the top 5%. That's fantastic. But how do goals increase happiness? Is it accomplishing goals? Maybe not unnecessarily, actually. Goals or a source of interest, engagement and or pleasure. They give us a sense of meaning and purpose and bringing a sense of accomplishment when we achieved what we set out to do or milestones along the way. This also builds up our confidence and believe in what we can do in the future, so it's not necessarily having goals or accomplishing goals. It's the pursuit of those goals. Which brings us the most happiness. Back to your worksheet for a second, please. Now under number four with goals do we did just a few moments ago. Check how much you agree or disagree with this statement. I am actively working on accomplishing my list of goals. All right, let's go back. Finally, we have a meditation. Meditation is a practice where individual uses a technique such as mindfulness or focusing their mind on a particular object, thought or activity to train attention and awareness and achieve a mentally clear and emotionally calm and stable state. Who? It's a lot to say, all right. Scientists at Kyoto University scanned the brains of volunteers participating in a study where they were asked to rate their happiness. Those who had higher levels of happiness had a larger area of the brain called the pre que nia's. Also, previous studies have shown that regular meditation can boost gray matter, which could explain why those who meditate report greater happiness. Studies also show that those with a larger proc unionists not only experienced happiness more intensely. They also felt sadness less intensely. And have you heard of the chemical cornice? Ole cortisol? Is the hormone in your body responsible for stress? Too much of it can lead to sleep trouble, anxiety and mood swings. Other studies revealed that after just four days of a mindful meditation, people's cortisol levels decrease significantly. Now. What an amazing stress reliever. So would you like to take a few steps toward mindfulness meditation here of steps that you can take? Number one. Get comfortable. Find a quiet place where you won't be disturbed. Ideally, this would be a room in your house where you could be alone and in peace. To get in position, you might try sitting cross legged on a low cushion on the floor or upright in a chair. Some people prefer to meditate, lying down. It's up to you. Three. Get relaxed. Close your eyes. Set a timer for five minutes if you're just starting out and begin by taking a few deep cleansing breaths, breathing deeply but naturally through your nose and out through either your nose or your mouth. Whichever feels more comfortable to you. Let the breaths flow all the way down into your abdomen. Four. Focus on your breath. Become aware of the sound of your breath as you inhale and exhale as you inhale. You breathe in all the peaceful and joyful things around you. As you exhale, you read your mind and body of all the stress and toxins that have been bothering you. Number five. Bring your thoughts back to center. Your mind will wander when you notice your thoughts wandering off. It's totally normal. Simply acknowledge it and bring your focus back to the center. Back to your breathing. And finally, number six make a commitment like exercise. Meditation takes practice, and the more we practice, the better we get and the stronger that mindfulness muscle becomes. Even just 5 to 10 minutes per day has been shown to make an enormous difference. Toe well being. Just after eight weeks of meditation practice. Let's go back to our worksheet one more time under meditation. Check how much you agree or disagree with this statement. I regularly take time to quietly relax and clear my mind. Fantastic. So these are the five steps toward thoughts required for a happier you raising that happiness. Baseline road quickly to go over those we talked about gratitude, forgiveness loving yourself. Goals were more specifically progressing through goals and meditation. Try to incorporate all five of these into your life for a happier you and get ready for the next section. Not thoughts, but what are the actions you should take? 5. Which Actions Have Greatest Influence: Now that you know the thoughts that are required for a state of happiness and raising your happiness Baseline, what about thes? Second component? Your actions. Well, let's look at the five actions that are needed to up that happiness based on. But before we do so let's not forget that you're going to need your worksheet. The second half of your worksheet titled Your Happiness checklist. Go ahead and get that out, please, if you don't already have it, Okay. So what are the five actions that you're going to need in order to boost your happiness? Number one exercise that might have been an obvious one to you. Next sleep Gotta have it. Three friends we all want. Friends have friends. Four laughter. Remember, Laughter is the best medicine and number five giving and helping together. So let's start with number one exercise. Of course, exercise is important. You've heard the phrase sound mind sound body, right? Well, we need to take care of our body if we're going to take care of our mind and in turn, take care of our happiness. Did you know that on exercise days, people's mood significantly improved after exercising mood stayed about the same on days that they didn't exercise, with the exception of people's sense of calm, which deteriorated a little bit after time. This means that on days that you exercise, you really boost that happiness. And I've experienced the same thing on multiple occasions. It certainly works for me. Of course, it's gonna work for you, too. In addition, exercise increases the production of dopamine. Remember, we recently went over that term dopamine. It's the chemical that plays a role in happiness. It's a neuro transmitter in the brain that's necessary for feelings of pleasure and happiness. Also, exercise lower stress in the short term and the long term fantastic. Furthermore, it boosts confidence as you start to look better and feel stronger. Who can argue with that looking better, feeling stronger? Of course, confidence is going to go up, and it helps relieve anxiety. If you have anxiety in your life, what's a great stress reliever? Yeah, exercise. And finally, it helps fight insomnia. If you don't sleep well, then exercise more. If you do so, you'll probably find yourself sleeping better. And where should you exercise the gym? Great. Go to the gym. If you have a gym membership. But if you can get your cardio or you're walking, done where outside. Even better in nature. Over 100 studies have shown that being in nature, living near nature or even viewing nature and paintings and videos can have a positive impact on our brains, bodies, feelings, thought processes and social interactions. After all, nature is natural, right? So get out those worksheets and fill in the next section, and that next section is here under actions. What I'd like you to do is list up to three physical activities you might enjoy, which could be regarded as exercise. What are three activities that you would like to do that would be considered exercise, weight training, jogging, walking outside, around the park, biking, swimming, sports, you name it. Go ahead and list three of those things now and then. Tell me, how much do you agree with this statement? I engage in exercise. It increases my heart rate on a regular basis. Okay, push pause. Finish that section number six and then we'll go back to the next part. So next on our list is none other than sleep. You certainly half toe have sleep good sleep is something everybody wants. It's something that the body in my need, but too many of us don't get enough sleep. How much sleep did you get last night? How much sleep do you think you regularly get? And better yet, how much sleep do you think is actually necessary? You know it varies from age to age, actually, according to the National Sleep Foundation, this is the number of hours that you really need of sleep per day, as were really young. We really need a lot of sleep 14 hours a day for infants, and then it sort of Taylor's off as we grow older once were around 18 then already really need is about seven hours a day. But most people don't get that amount. So again, how much sleep are you getting? Is it at least seven hours of quality sleep a day? If not, you should do something about that. According to Sleepless in America, a study consisting of 68,000 plus people, including Children and adolescents who completed journal entries in questionnaires, found that inadequate sleep was associated with horrible things like family issues, school troubles, physical problems and depression. So sleep plays a big role on your mood and happiness. Let's go back to your worksheet and get the next section done. So here in number seven, under sleep, Simply check the box where you feel you most agree with. I regularly get a minimum of seven hours of sleep per night. How much do you agree with that? Okay, check that and let's go back to our lesson. Next on the list is spending time with friends. You know, it's not necessarily the number of friends. It's more the quality of friends and not only the quality of friends but the quality of time you spend with those friends. Interestingly enough, research from Harvard Medical School and the University of California, San Diego have found that happiness tends to spread within a circle of friends and then, through social networks, toe other circles of friends. So happiness is contagious. This study also concluded that sadness does not spread out in the same way as happiness does so lucky us. So what are some good reasons to spend time with your friends? Well, number one spending quality time keeps you calm. It can reduce that anxiety to it increases your sense of belonging. We need that sense of purpose in the world, right? What's the meaning of life? Well, this gives you part of that answer. They help you battle with health issues as well. Friends keep us healthy. It can improve your mood. Of course, being around people you enjoy helps you enjoy your time and they actually help you live longer. Studies show that spending more time with friends lengthens the amount of time you live. So back to our worksheet again in the next section number eight under friendships. Check the box where you agree most with this statement. I regularly spend time with friends who make me feel good. Okay, check that and let's get back to the next section. Laughter. What do you think about these two pictures? Well, everyone loves to laugh. Laughing can reduce stress, boost our mood, improve our immune system and even relieve pain. Did you laugh it Either of these two pictures? Researchers even believe that the long Siris of Excell ations that a company true laughter caused physical exhaustion of the abdominal muscles and in turn trigger endorphin release. They say that our results highlight that endorphin release induced by social laughter, maybe an important pathway that supports formation, reinforcement and maintenance of social bonds between humans, according to co author Professor Laurie Momentum, a of the Turku P. T Center at the University of Turku in Finland. And if you didn't know what endorphins were, these air these neuro transmitters that air produced to help relieve pain when our bodies are experiencing physical pain. Furthermore, laughter also is contagious. I'm sure you've seen that before. One person last and then it spreads. It's like a drug. Laughter makes us feel better. It makes you more attractive. Did you know that if you look at someone's smiling, those who are laughing and smiling tend to seem more attractive to other people? Also, it relieves stress. Laughter takes away that anxiety, and it creates happiness at that moment. So when you laugh, you are happier. Okay, back to our worksheet. Number nine under laughter. Let's do the same thing is we've just done earlier check which of the boxes you most agree with. The statement here is I regularly laugh so hard it hurts. Okay, we got one more to go and last, but definitely not least giving and helping it has long been believed an experience that we feel good when we help others and give to others. This may be linked to why we have thrive so well as a species by helping each other. We help this species, the human species, think about our holidays and celebrations we usually give to others. On these days using M. R. I scans, researchers have found that the part of the brain connected to gift giving was linked to the part of the brain long associate ID with the feelings of happiness and that by triggering the giving part, we could also trigger the happiness center. M. R I. Scans revealed that an area of the brain linked to generosity triggered a response in another part related to happiness, so generosity in turn, leads to happiness. The study provides behavioral and neural evidence that supports this link between generosity and happiness. So let's go to the final section of your worksheet. Lastly, here number 10. Giving in helping. When was the last time you gave to someone or help someone without the expectation of something in return? Can you list three examples below? Go ahead and push pause. Think about it and see what you can come up with. Now go ahead and check the box. That works best for you. With agreeing with this statement, I take time to give and help others. How much do you agree with that statement? Okay, so to recap, what are the five actions that lead to greater happiness in our lives? Number one exercise. Go ahead and do it to sleep. Get at least seven hours. Right. Three friends have those quality friends and make sure that you spend time with them. Four laughter. Laughter is the best medicine, right? And five giving in helping. We always want to do something to give back to the community to give back to others so that in essence, it comes back to us as well in the form of happiness. So what I'd like you to do is revisit your worksheet. Take a look at areas where you strongly agreed in areas where you didn't agree as much. Now in those areas, you strongly agreed. Well, you're doing pretty well. But in the other areas, there might be some room for improvement. What do you think that's up to you? So go ahead and reflect on those answers and get ready for the final section of this core lesson. Mystery question answered 6. Mystery Questions Answered and Our Conclusion: great. Hopefully, now you are on your way to a happier you and happier future. But what about that mystery question? Well, let's get right to it. The mystery question. Waas According to scientific conclusions, What do you think was discovered to be the most important thing you need in order to be happy? Now here's your clue. It's one of the 10 things we studied in thoughts and actions. Can you guess which one it is? Well, humans were social animals, and this could be traced back down to our evolutionary timeline. And because we're such social animals, it's in our d n A. That we require human connections not only to survive and thrive, but also to be happy. So the answer to your question is spending time with friends or actually, more specifically, a sense of human connectedness. Having a strong sense of human connectedness really is what will happen. Biggest impact on any human being sense of happiness. Have you ever heard of the Grant study? This is very interesting. It shows the relationship of this connectedness, this warmth of relationship to happiness. The grand study is one of the longest running longitudinal studies of human development. The project, which began in 1938 has followed 268 Harvard graduate men for 75 years, plus measuring an astonishing range of psychological, anthropological and physical traits from personality type toe I Q. To drinking habits to family relationships in an effort to determine what factors contribute most strongly to human flourishing. And they're finding showed the stronger your sense of connectedness to other people. The stronger your network, the stronger your relationships to others. People earned an average of $141,000 per year MAWR and even more interesting than that these people were 300% more likely to achieve extreme professional success. George Valiant, one of the men involved in this study, an American psychiatrist and professor at Harvard Medical School and director of research for the Department of Psychiatry. Bring him in Women's Hospital, said quote unquote, the 75 years in $20 million expended on the grant study points to a straightforward five word conclusion. Happiness is love. Full stop. So what is your ticket to happiness? Well, it's your sense of love, not necessarily for your family, but more so for your friends and community. There is something to think about. And if you'd like to know Maura about this particular study, I highly recommend listeningto one of the directors for the grant study. Talk about the studies, background and results. It is fascinating. You can find it on YouTube or ted dot com. If you search under this title. What makes a good life lessons from the longest study on happiness. So, ladies and gentlemen, there you have it. These are the 10 steps, the 10 path towards happiness. And let's not forget, be the teacher. How can you do that specifically with this lesson? Well, don't forget your happiness checklist. Print out that happiness checklist, print a couple copies, give them to friends, give them to family members and see where did they sit on their own checklist. Where do they strongly agree? And where don't they? Where do they have room for improvement in their own happiness? So once again lays German. I really hope that you found as much value in this lesson as I have, and I'll see for the next core lesson. Number 11 on resourcefulness