Can Simple Activities Increase Well-being?
Self-help books can provide a confusing array of activities or things that people can do to increase well-being and happiness.
While some self-help books are based on evidence, the majority are not.
With this in mind researchers aimed to identify the conditions necessary for well-being:
Investigators have recently begun to study the optimal conditions under which positive activities increase happiness and the mechanisms by which these effects work.
The researchers were able to create a model based on evidence that detailed optimal well-being:
The model detailed:
(a) an overview of the activity features and person features that render a positive activity optimally effective
(b) the mechanisms that underlie the positive activity’s successful improvement of well-being.
Furthermore, the extent to which any activity feature influences a positive activity’s success depends on the fit between the person (e.g., his or her personality or culture) and that activity feature (e.g., dosage or social support).
The researchers concluded by explaining how their model could be used on a practical level:
Happiness seekers no longer need rely on unsubstantiated advice from self-help books, magazine sidebars, or infomercials.
Instead, a growing body of evidence based on randomized controlled experiments demonstrates that relatively simple intentional changes in one’s thoughts and behaviors can precipitate meaningful increases in happiness.