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Learned Optimism: Martin Seligman on Happiness, Depression, and the Meaningful Life

Learned Optimism: Martin Seligman on Happiness, Depression, and the Meaningful Life
by Maria Popova What 25 years of research reveal about the cognitive skills of happiness and finding life’s greater purpose. “The illiterate of the 21st century,” Alvin Toffler famously said, “will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.” Our outlook on the world and our daily choices of disposition and behavior are in many ways learned patterns to which Toffler’s insight applies with all the greater urgency — the capacity to “learn, unlearn, and relearn” emotional behaviors and psychological patterns is, indeed, a form of existential literacy. Last week, Oliver Burkeman’s provocatively titled new book, The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can’t Stand Positive Thinking, prompted me to revisit an old favorite by Dr. Seligman begins by identifying the three types of happiness of which our favorite psychology grab-bag term is composed: The optimists and the pessimists: I have been studying them for the past twenty-five years. Share on Tumblr

http://www.brainpickings.org/2012/06/28/learned-optimism-martin-seligman/

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Learned Optimism Learned Optimism By Martin E.P. Seligman, Ph.D. Optimism – reacting to setbacks from a presumption of personal power BACK TO THE FUTURE : Irina Werning I love old photos. I admit being a nosey photographer. As soon as I step into someone else’s house, I start sniffing for them. Most of us are fascinated by their retro look but to me, it’s imagining how people would feel and look like if they were to reenact them today… Two years ago, I decided to actually do this. So, with my camera, I started inviting people to go back to their future.. You too can be happy. Really. A Q&A with Shawn Achor Photo courtesy TEDxBloomington. “We think we have to be successful, then we’ll be happier. But the real problem is our brains work in the opposite order,” said Shawn Achor in his charming, immensely popular TED Talk from TEDxBloomington, “The happy secret to better work.”

Kierkegaard on Our Greatest Source of Unhappiness by Maria Popova Hope, memory, and how our chronic compulsion to flee from our own lives robs us of living. “How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives,” Annie Dillard memorably wrote in reflecting on why presence matters more than productivity. “On how one orients himself to the moment depends the failure or fruitfulness of it,” Henry Miller asserted in his beautiful meditation on the art of living. And yet we spend our lives fleeing from the present moment, constantly occupying ourselves with overplanning the future or recoiling with anxiety over its impermanence, thus invariably robbing ourselves of the vibrancy of aliveness. Kierkegaard, who was only thirty at the time, begins with an observation all the timelier today, amidst our culture of busy-as-a-badge-of-honor:

September The Buddha was sitting under a tree talking to his disciples when a man came and spit on his face. He wiped it off, and he asked the man, “What next? What do you want to say next?” The man was a little puzzled because he himself never expected that when you spit on somebody’s face, he will ask, “What next?” Positive Psychology Resources, Happiness, Tips and Techniques 3 Blessings Exercise Our brain tends to ignore what goes well and it focuses by default on what might go wrong. Martin Seligman and others have devised and used a simple technique to address this, called the three blessings exercise. So the three blessings exercise demands that you focus your attention, as you end your day, on three things that went well and why they went well. These three don?

Our research - Suicide prevention - Research Suicide is the most common cause of death in Australians aged 15-44 years. Australian young people are more likely to take their own life than die from motor vehicle accidents or skin cancer. Every year 400,000 Australians experience suicidal thoughts, 65,000 make suicide attempts, 35,000 are admitted to hospital for suicide-related injuries and 2,500 die. In Australia, the financial costs have been estimated at $17.5b, or 1% of GDP. Suicide is recognised as a public health crisis both in Australia and around the world. theconversation Australian government policy and happiness research are pointing in very different directions. A prime goal of government policy is economic growth. Many Australians go along with this, assuming that more money will make them happier. However, policy and common belief need to confront an increasing body of research that suggests a different approach to improving well-being. In the past couple of decades, research on happiness has boomed.

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