What Is Happiness, Anyway?
Gretchen Rubin, whose "The Happiness Project" is both a bestselling book and a popular blog, concedes that the title may be something of a misnomer. "Happiness," she says, has a way of turning into a mythical destination that taunts us with our inability to reach it. Better to make "happier" the goal, and to improve your life through a series of manageable, concrete steps. Like...making your bed?
OK, so there's a bit more to it than that, as Rubin acknowledges in her Big Think interview. There's a "transcendent" aspect to true bliss that ultimately can't be ignored. Still, starting out a personal quest for happiness with ambitious, yet vague resolutions is often a recipe for failure. So is taking the tack once recommended by John Stuart Mill: dismissing all doubts as to whether you are, in fact, happy. The American emphasis on chasing personal happiness, Rubin believes, is overall a healthy and natural thing.
So what makes Rubin herself happy? Well, many of the usual things: family, fulfilling career, and so on. But in the end, it's about refusing to be anything less than yourself)—which, in her case, means owning up to a continuing obsession with "Anne of Green Gables."
Both schizophrenics and people with a common personality type share similar brain patterns.
- A new study shows that people with a common personality type share brain activity with patients diagnosed with schizophrenia.
- The study gives insight into how the brain activity associated with mental illnesses relates to brain activity in healthy individuals.
- This finding not only improves our understanding of how the brain works but may one day be applied to treatments.
It's a development that could one day lead to much better treatments for osteoporosis, joint damage, and bone fractures.
- Scientists have isolated skeletal stem cells in adult and fetal bones for the first time.
- These cells could one day help treat damaged bone and cartilage.
- The team was able to grow skeletal stem cells from cells found within liposuctioned fat.
Gut bacteria play an important role in how you feel and think and how well your body fights off disease. New research shows that exercise can give your gut bacteria a boost.
- Two studies from the University of Illinois show that gut bacteria can be changed by exercise alone.
- Our understanding of how gut bacteria impacts our overall health is an emerging field, and this research sheds light on the many different ways exercise affects your body.
- Exercising to improve your gut bacteria will prevent diseases and encourage brain health.
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