Fake Happiness; the punchline

So are you interested in being happier just because you say so? Tired of waiting for the real thing? Found out Santa isn’t real? Tired of the post-milestone blahs? Self induced delight is easier than you might think.

Yes it’s true. People who practice various methods of inducing “fake” happiness get higher scores on tests and puzzles, are more creative problem solvers, get better reviews on job interviews, heal faster, enjoy better health, make more friends, have sweeter breath and are impervious to small arms fire. Ok I made the last one up, but the others are true!

Science has found two useful “reverse causality” effects that empower you to choose happiness directly instead of trying to arrange reality so that it causes you to react with joy or waiting for random events to make you feel good.

1. Your mind can barely distinguish  between events that are “real” and events that you imagine. So imagining a happy occasion or feeling has all the same effects as experiencing one. Game on !

2. Your brain is not just in your head, it is throughout your body. Communication and response goes both ways. That means faking a smile, a laugh, positive posture and body language, etc., will cause all the same physical and mental effects of experiencing a joyful event. Good mood and thoughts will follow acting happy.

So if you are sincere in wanting to have a happier life – implement some practices and routines to start the ball in motion. If you won’t, at least acknowledge that you really prefer whining and feeling bad and just enjoy it 😛

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