The Most Powerful Source of Happiness
Topic: The Most Powerful Source of Happiness
Jonathan Haidt: The most powerful driver of happiness, as everybody knows and everybody writes about, is relationships. The story is complicated regarding marriage, because a good marriage is the best thing you can have. A bad marriage is the worst thing you can have, but in general, being embedded in relationships.
This gets to what I think is possibly one of the biggest ideas of the next 10 years, is the idea that we humans, we’re shaped in part, I think, by a process of group level selection. That is, we are, to some extent, like bees in a hive that only really find meaning when we are acting as part of the hive.
We kind of busted out of the hive, beginning in the 17th and 18th centuries. We now live as individuals. There’s a lot to be said for that, but there’s a lot that comes back to bite us, a lot that we don’t understand, and a lot that makes it hard for us to find happiness.
Recorded on May 9, 2008.
The Enlightenment's focus on the individual has left us feeling all alone.
If your New Year's resolution was to get in shape, signing up for the marathon is a bad way to go about it.
- Marathons gained popularity over the last decade. In 2018, 456,700 Americans completed a marathon, an 11 percent increase in participation from 2008.
- Training for and racing 26.2 miles has been shown to have adverse effects on the heart, such as plaque buildup in the arteries and inflammation.
- Running too much can lead to chronically increased cortisol levels, resulting in weight gain, fatigue, and lower immune function.
When you struggle with anxiety or depression, sex may be the last thing on your mind. But understanding the physiological and mental benefits of a healthy sex life can help it become a tool for well-being.
- The physiological responses our bodies have to sex can minimize the symptoms of anxiety and depression.
- Deficiencies in nitric oxide are associated with irritability, depression, anxiety, insomnia, and less energy. Having sex increases your body's nitric oxide levels.
- Sex also increases epinephrine, oxytocin, dopamine and serotonin, all of which are linked to mood, behavior, and well-being.
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