Since I was on the topic of gratitude on Friday, I thought I’d take a minor detour over to the topic of happiness (the two being, of course, closely related).
I’ll get back to the importance of social intelligence this week — promise.
But as it turns out there was a conference on happiness, entitled Happiness & Its Causes, in San Francisco just a week ago. The conference brought to together dozens of psychologists, neuroscientists, writers and historians to discuss current research into emotions, mental health, and the conference’s buzzword: happiness.
As you might imagine, a lot of the research on happiness is finding that money, possessions, and professional success can’t buy you happiness. Instead, it’s the existence certain emotional states — including forgiveness and, yes, gratitude — that create happiness.
Now, as a native New Englander, I can assure you that having a job, keeping food on the table, and not, say, losing my house to foreclosure does indeed affect my level of happiness. But it’s good in these perilous times to remember that it’s what we have inside that keeps us truly content, not the ways of the world.
Up Next: The many dimensions of happiness.