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The Science of Happiness
March 10, 2021
The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.
-Nelson Mandela
Caroline Mimbs Nyce, in her article "The Science of Happiness," explains that: "Arthur C. Brooks is a writer and professor who teaches a class on happiness at Harvard. In his weekly Atlantic column, "How to Build a Life," he explores the science of joy and contentment—and offers...five scientifically supported suggestions for improving your well-being...

1. Fight fear with love.
More isolation plus more hostility equals less love; less love equals more fear. To reduce fear, we need to bring more love into our lives...

2. Try measuring your happiness to improve it.
Understanding the measurement of happiness can itself make you better at improving your own well-being...

3. Get up and move.
The stillness of pandemic life and our resulting inactivity can help explain some of the dramatic happiness declines during the pandemic.

4. Making other people happy makes you happy, too.
Spending money on others and volunteering have both been shown to raise one’s own happiness levels.

5. Consider giving something up.
The most compelling happiness benefit of voluntary sacrifice is that it fosters self-mastery, or—the term that social scientists prefer—‘self-efficacy,’ which refers to confidence in one’s ability to control one’s own behavior."

In the book, Leading Early Childhood Organizations, one of the contributors also writes about the importance of Arthur Brooks' first principle:

"Fear and love are always at odds with each other," writes Nancy Rosenow. "Almost every day I find myself confronted with the choice to take a deep breath and move through fear into a more loving space, or ride the wave of fear into negativity and doubt...

With practice, I have been able to keep fear from controlling me so much. I’ve learned that fear is quite the liar; it often tries to convince me that I can't take the time for human connection or loving interactions because there's an 'emergency' that’s more important...

Over the years, I've started dealing with fear’s lies in a gentler way. I treat them like I would a young child...with reassurance and firmness. Often I'll say out loud to myself, 'I choose to be loving right now. Love is more powerful than fear.'"

Source: "The Science of Happiness," by Caroline Mimbs Nyce, The Atlantic DailyMarch 5, 2021

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