The Science of Happiness

Mind-Body-Spirit News:

While many think of happiness as elusive or random, you can learn daily methods for optimizing your joy and improving your well-being. A growing body of research in the field of positive psychology supports using specific techniques to increase gladness and life satisfaction. Practices that can enhance your daily pleasure include the following:

  • Single-task. Avoid doing several things at once. Overstimulation dilutes your ability to savor what you’re doing.
  • Celebrate. Take time to appreciate the satisfaction of your accomplishments and share it with others.
  • Slow down. Spend more time on gratifying activities, and limit less satisfying tasks to just the essentials.
  • Underdose. Refrain from going overboard. Too much of a good thing is overstimulating and reduces pleasure.
  • Share the moment. Do activities you enjoy with people you like.
  • Set goals. Give yourself goals—and then work toward them. Happiness is increased when you reach for and achieve objectives.
  • Remember well. Spend time recalling and relishing happy moments.
  • Think ahead. Plan fun future activities and envision your enjoyment.

All of these techniques can be improved with practice. The findings are discussed more fully in Harvard Medical School’s Special Health Report “Positive Psychology” (September 2011), available at

For the latest research, statistics, sample classes, and more, "Like" IDEA on Facebook here.

Shirley Archer, JD, MA

IDEA Author/Presenter
Shirley Archer, JD, MA, was the 2008 IDEA Fitness Instructor of the Year and is IDEA’s mind-bo... more less
February 2012

© 2012 by IDEA Health & Fitness Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction without permission is strictly prohibited.

Get the award-winning IDEA Fitness Journal delivered to your door every month!

Get IDEA Fitness Journal

Article Comments

Add Comment

View all questions