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The Science of Happiness

Aaron McHugh

When I worked in advertising. I learned that cover titles are created to sells the most magazines. It’s not the compelling new content that drives the title. It’s the consumer psyche that drives the content. When the same titles are reused every year from one magazine to another, I pay attention.

Here are a few titles you probably recognize,

  • Was Jesus the Christ?
  • The Science of Happiness
  • 5 Best Places to Live

The truth is I’m interested in all three catchy headlines. But why? Maybe it’s because I’m hoping that researchers will confirm the decisions that I’ve already made-confirmation bias. “Confirmation bias suggests that we don’t perceive circumstances objectively. We pick out those bits of data that make us feel good because they confirm our prejudices. Thus, we may become prisoners of our assumptions. ” Psychology Today

When I’m not feeling happy, I sometimes look for a reason that might help me quickly explain why I feel grumpy. My wife sent me this article; New neuroscience reveals 4 rituals that will make you happy. The article punch lines are:

  • Meditate
  • Exercise gratitude
  • Hug someone for a long time
  • Verbalize your emotions
  • Be decisive
  • Everything is interconnected

Wheeehhh. I was afraid the neuroscientists might discover that I should:

  • Argue with my neighbor
  • Be a jerk at work
  • Don’t apologize for your wrongs
  • Push yourself as hard as possible
  • More money will actually make you eternally blissful

As far as the best places to live, I think where we live already is the best place to live. There are adventures out our front door to be explored, exotic characters to meet and bends in the road that leads to new possibilities. Stay where you are.

Finally, last week I heard a great quote, “if the iPhone has a designer-I bet we do too.”

Keep going-
Aaron