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How to Find Inspiration in Times of Social Isolation – Psychology Today

With the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, and its potentially terrifying consequences for your life and the lives of others close to you, it may seem impossible to find a path toward happiness , if only for a few moments at a time.

Although the news continues to focus on the grim progression of the virus, there are occasional bright spots in the reporting, such as residents of several Italian cities Coming out on their balconies to sing or Americans cheering healthcare workers from their windows and front porches. You may be on FaceTime or Zoom with friends and family, helping to maintain some type of interaction between now and the day you can be physically back together. Are these enough to keep your spirits up during these difficult times?

Insight into the role of social interaction and happiness comes from a large-scale 2019 study of happiness and social behavior by Ramon Llull University's (Spain) Jordi Quoidbach along with Maxime Taquet of Boston Children's Hospital (2019) and others. Although conducted before the 2020 pandemic, with the widespread adoption of social distancing around the world, its findings contain some suggestions for how your relationships with others can foster positive emotions and reduce negative emotions.

Using data on everyday happiness and social interactions from over 30, 000 participants studied for over a month, the international team begin their investigation by questioning the findings of “dozens of studies employing a wide range of methods [that] point to the general conclusion that being with other people makes us happy ”(p. 1111).

Indeed, the idea that social interaction is necessary in order to remain happy suggests that quarantining, isolation, and social distancing would condemn millions of people around the world to weeks, if not months, of plummeting happiness levels. However, Quoidbach et al. note that the relationship is not so clear-cut. When you're happy, you may be more likely to seek out the company of others, flipping the happiness-interaction equation on its head. Furthermore, as the authors note, “decades of research on coping and attachment have demonstrated that people are particularly likely to seek contact with others in times of distress rather than happiness ”as“ mood-repair strategies ”(p. 112).

These findings can be reconciled, the authors suggest, by the “hedonic flexibility principle,” which states that when you're unhappy, you try to feel better by seeking people out, but when you're happy, you actually are willing to sacrifice social contact to enable you to spend time on your own in order to pursue long-term goals . In other words, when you're in a good mood, you can give up short-term goals (having fun) for the benefit of a long-term goal that will bring self-improvement such as reading, exercising, or excelling at a hobby.

Based on the hedonic flexibility principle, although it might make you happy to be with the people you care about now, if you can sustain a positive mood, you'll be more likely to do what's needed to help yourself and others remain virus-free. Indeed, in a related article, University of Buffalo's Shira Gabriel and colleagues (2020) discuss the role of “ collective effervescence ”in“ creating the sacred from the profane. ” According to this concept, if you see your individual efforts as contributing to a better social outcome, you’ll be able to take inspiration from the small sacrifices you make in your own daily life.

Returning now to the data from the Quoidbach et al. study, the authors tested a sample of 30, 793 adults consisting of mostly French participants (65% female) averaging 27 years of age (with most between 17 and 37). The research team asked the sample members to download a widely advertised app in France called “58 seconds. ” Volunteers who read about the study in the news used the app to record their social interactions throughout the day, when prompted, during which they rated their immediate happiness on a 1 – 65 scale and whether, and with whom, they were interacting socially.

The findings supported the counterintuitive proposition of hedonic flexibility, showing that it was the happier people at time 1 who spent less time with others at time 2. When people were unhappy, they were more likely to want to spend time with others, but not just any others. During those blue periods, the participants chose to be with friends, other family members, children, and siblings. There was little effect on happiness of spending time with acquaintances, parents, and coworkers.

Interestingly, previous happiness levels didn’t predict spending time with a romantic partner, although being with a romantic partner did increase happiness. There was a tendency for happy people to spend time with acquaintances or strangers (such as going out to neighborhood gathering places), but those interactions actually had a negative effect on happiness once the interaction began. You may feel more sociable when you're happy, but the time you spend with people you don't know that well could potentially bring your mood down a few notches.

Conversely, when it comes to social isolation , the authors conclude that “although solitude can increase loneliness and negative affect, it may also offer opportunities for concentration , renewal, autonomy, and spirituality , which might be adaptive ”(p. 1119). However, you might be thinking by now that the problem isn’t what happens when you’re happy. What can you do when you're unhappy to be willing to give up what the authors call the “short-term hedonic costs” (p. 1119)?

Thus, happiness may lead you to be able to see the value in contributing to the collective good, or “effervescence,” but in order to get to that happy place while in isolation, you'll need to turn to the mood repair strategies at your disposal. If you’re physically sharing a space with your romantic partner, close friends, or family, you’ll have an advantage because they’ll be there for you when the isolation gets to you. If not, however, and you are feeling alone and isolated, you’ll need to get up the energy and resolve to connect through the online route.

Going beyond the obvious online interaction opportunities of virtual face-to-face communication, also consider dusting off your “Words with Friends” app, and getting involved in some healthy and mood-boosting competition. Intersperse your newsfeed with those uplifting stories and stay away from the rant messages on social media. If you’ve been an active gym member, use online apps to start up some workout challenges. See if your gym is willing to offer a subscription to online workout videos. Social, mental, and physical activities can boost your mood so that you're willing to make that collective sacrifice of keeping your physical distance from the rest of the world.

To sum up , isolation from others may feel unnatural to your lifestyle but it need not condemn you to prolonged periods of unhappiness and distress. Seeing the long-term social good in your social distancing can help you find the fulfillment you’ll need to get through today’s challenges.

References

Gabriel, S., Naidu, E., Paravati, E., Morrison, CD, & Gainey, K. (2020). Creating the sacred from the profane: Collective effervescence and everyday activities. The Journal of Positive Psychology, 15 (1), 129 – 154. doi: 10. 1080 / . 2019. 1689412

Quoidbach, J., Taquet, M., Desseilles, M., de Montjoye, Y.-A., & Gross, JJ (2019). Happiness and social behavior. Psychological Science, 30 ( 8), 1111 – 1122. doi: 10. 1177 /

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Nintendo Entertainment Podcast – Episode 174 – Mini-Happiness – The Outerhaven

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Grandin Road® Spreads Happiness Through Front Doors Across America – Yahoo Finance

While most of the country is spending more time at home, this leader in seasonal and home furnishings encourages families to decorate their front doo rs and spread cheer to their neighbors.

WEST CHESTER, Ohio , March 24, 2020 / PRNewswire / – Online retailer Grandin Road ( www. grandinroad.com ), the leading retailer for seasonal home furnishings, is encouraging every household in America to spread happiness and cheer by decorating their front door and sharing it on social media using #makeyourdoorhappy.

Online retailer Grandin Road, the leading retailer for seasonal home furnishings, is encouraging every household in America to spread happiness and cheer by decorating their front door and sharing it on social media using #makeyourdoorhappy.

Online retailer Grandin Road, the leading retailer for seasonal home furnishings, is encouraging every household in America to spread happiness and cheer by decorating their front door and sharing it on social media using #makeyourdoorhappy.

“Grandin Road is known for optimism and positive energy,” said Jackie Ardrey , president of Grandin Road. “We've always believed that the front door is one of the most important parts of the home. Decorations send an outward message to the neighborhood – one of hope, season after season. As our country spends more time at home to flatten the curve of COVID – 19, we encourage everyone to decorate their front doors to spread positive energy. “

Founded in 2003, Grandin Road has long been a destination for seasonal home furnishings and décor that help customers embrace every season and make their home distinctly theirs. As the retailer known for always choosing joy, our ever-inspiring, approachable, and value-driven assortment is unique in the marketplace.

“The front door is so often a symbolic expression of the family within,” said Lauren Sullivan , senior director of marketing at Grandin Road. “Let's use it to spread happiness. We love a reason to look forward – from spring and Easter to patriotic décor, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Our customers are constantly inspiring us with their front doors and we often feature their doors on our social media channels and website. We hope to see households across the country make decorations, hang up a wreath, or use this as an opportunity to do a craft as a family and enjoy the delight it brings to neighbors as they walk by. “

For more information, please contact pr@grandinroad.com .

For inspiration, visit Grandin Road at www.grandinroad.com .

About Grandin Road ®: A resource since 2003 for joyful living, Grandin Road offers a broad assortment of products ranging from home furniture and accessories to seasonal celebration decor, all offered with a commitment to quality, service, value, and customer satisfaction. Grandin Road is part of Qurate Retail GroupSM, a select group of leading retail brands that also includes QVC®, HSN®, Zulily®, Ballard Designs®, Frontgate®, Garnet Hill®, and RyllaceTM.

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SOURCE Grandin Road

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Israel Ranks 14th in World Happiness Report, Tel Aviv 8th Happiest City – The Jewish Voice

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Happiness the best medicine – The Star Online

MOST of us are mentally and physically preoccupied with Covid – 19. We worry about how long this crisis will last and how it will impact our work (ie finance), studies (ie our future), daily life, for example food and necessities (ie our security), our country / world (ie our humanity ), and obviously our health (ie our safety).

Covid – 19 has exposed our vulnerability as humans. Medically, socially, politically (and some may say religiously), we were not prepared for this large-scale global

disaster. If ever we thought of such a scale of an attack, we would have expected it to come from terrorists, nuclear war or aliens from another planet, not from a tiny bug that cannot be seen with the naked eye.

If you are already confined at home or hospital, the risk for psychological distress increases. The longer the confinement, smaller the space and lower the contact with positive resources, the higher the risk for stress, distress and depression.

But we are far from helpless. Ironic as it may sound, one key reason for the United Nations' International Day of Happiness, celebrated on March 20 every year, is the suffering of humanity and our planet.

Happiness is not about laughing, although laughing can be one of its signs. Happiness is not about being on cloud nine, although it can sometimes manifest itself in good feelings. Happiness is the power we give a situation even when we feel bad about it. We do have a choice. So, if we had to choose one defining word to describe happiness, it would be “choice”.

While the virus can disrupt our body's functioning as well as our social functioning, it cannot take away the choices we make in how we face up to it. Yes, we can lie down and give up, and wait for the virus to attack, or we can choose to pre-empt the attack in a way that builds our resilience.

Studies have shown that when our thinking is channeled positively, for example towards happiness, it is easier for us to stay resilient even in adversity.

Happiness does not need to come naturally for people. It can be learned, and it can be applied in our behavior. Human happiness has three key characteristics, and these map onto our thinking, feeling and doing.

1. Happiness is a conscious thought.

2. Happiness is an emotional experience.

3. Happiness is a behavioral action.

For us to function effectively and successfully in a crisis, we need to be aware of how we are thinking, how we are feeling and what we are doing. This is especially important when people need our help and support.

If you are sitting at home anxious for whatever reasons you have, you can choose to combat this anxiety and the virus with a dose of happiness. Once you choose to be happy, no matter the situation, you have given yourself power and permission to take the necessary steps to achieve this happiness.

If you have children at home, your choice of happiness may determine that you choose to create memorable moments with them even if their energy can drive you up the wall.

If you are out of work, your choice of happiness may determine that you choose to take free courses online to upgrade your skills and help make you feel better about yourself.

If you are sick or depressed, your choice of happiness may determine that you choose to create a support group through reaching out via online resources .

These choices created by our thinking help us plan our actions, which help us to maintain positive feelings about ourselves and our loved ones even in the midst of challenges.

These ideas may not sound as big as the UN's “10 steps to Global Happiness”, but they are equally important ant. They are important because you are important. You and your happiness matter!

Each individual’s happiness contributes to the community happiness, which contributes to a nation’s happiness, which contributes to global happiness. Happiness is not just a shared human experience but also a fundamental human right.

A lockdown cannot stop you from thinking out of the box on ways you can choose to be happy. Best yet, your choices and actions can be shared with others, and this can empower others to take the steps towards happiness.

Belated Happy International Day of Happiness.

DR BRENDAN J. GOMEZ

Applied Developmental and Counseling Psychologist

Kuala Lumpur

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Five Principles For Achieving Personal Success, Happiness, Courage And Leadership – Forbes

I get interviewed a lot. Questions usually focus on leadership in the digital age, governance, corporate culture, personal success or happiness. People specifically ask about one of these areas based on their individual situation or the interest of the audience for whom they are recording. But the other day someone posed a question I’ve never been asked before:

How can one achieve phenomenal success and happiness, develop courage, and be a great leader at the same time?

Wow! The question was both deep and broad. How do I answer it succinctly while providing practical guidance at the same time, I wondered? I reflected for a couple of minutes, then said that the four goals of success, happiness, courage and great leadership can indeed be achieved at the same time. But to do so, one must first shed conventional wisdom about what those words mean, then believe in and live by five highly interrelated and interdependent principles. Here they are:

1. Chase life-worth, not net-worth

Most people think success and happiness are about possessing wealth and power. Yet, we’ve all seen examples of extremely wealthy and / or powerful people who still feel unfulfilled. We’ve also seen people who have very little, but they feel genuinely successful and happy. The secret lies in maximizing one’s life-worth by consistently practicing a set of personal values ​​you believe to be right and noble, and in relentlessly pursuing a worthy purpose based on those values.

There’s nothing wrong with the desire for material success, but truly happy people know that success should be measured by what they give to the world, not in terms of what they receive from it. They are not selfless saints. They know that only when one experiences the joy of giving does one fully understand what it means to receive. So, they never stop trying to make their life worth living – a life of giving something meaningful to the world. For some, the result is great wealth, prestige and power. Bill Gates wanted to change the world with software – the resultant wealth was a very welcome by-product. For others, it is the immense satisfaction and pleasure they feel from simply giving – think nurses, teachers, rehabilitation workers and soldiers. They don’t feel the need to amass huge amounts of wealth and power because their purposeful work itself makes them feel deeply happy and successful.

Courage too is a function of deep conviction in a values-based purpose. Gandhi was unafraid because he was deeply convinced that the purpose of attaining freedom based on the values ​​of non-violence and humility was worth dying for. Mandela was not afraid of 27 years of harsh imprisonment for the same reason.

2. Use the power of love rather than the power of position.

People who seek to prioritize life-worth over net-worth are deeply in love with their values ​​and purpose. This makes them live their values ​​at all times; and gives them the strength to pursue their worthy purpose against all odds. In doing so, they earn the respect, admiration and trust of others. This soft power is far stronger than formal position power or ascribed authority. I once worked for a boss who never stopped trying to create a better future through his thought leading research and writing. An incredibly dedicated hard worker himself, he often said: “There is so much pain in the world… if we can make a small contribution to ease some of it, what can be better than that? And isn’t is great that we get paid to do this? ” He never told any of us what to do. Yet, we were so in awe of his love and dedication to the profession that we wanted to do as much as we could to contribute as well. He never used his formal authority to assign us tasks, but everyone on his team regularly went above and beyond.

3. Create happiness by replacing hate, regret and envy in your mind, with gratitude.

Try this thought experiment. For the next five minutes, think about all that is unfair in your life. List everything (and everyone) you hate, regret or are envious of. Exercise your emotional integrity to the fullest by being totally honest with yourself. Take a break from reading further to complete your list.

How do you feel after making the hate list? Frustrated, angry, sad?

Now spend the next 5 minutes listing everything in your life you are grateful for. Count all your blessings. How do you feel now?

The point is simple. If you fill your heart with gratitude, a feeling of deep happiness overshadows any feelings of hate, regret or envy. Hate, regret or envy cannot co-exist with gratitude, so happiness is a choice – a choice YOU have all the power to make.

4. Build enough inner strength and self-belief to be able to forgive unconditionally .

People who live to maximize life-worth rather than net-worth feel so happy and successful giving to the world what they believe to be worthwhile, that they learn to love and respect themselves. In doing so they become independent and are less impacted by the behavior of others. Such people don’t get hurt easily. Even if someone does manage to hurt them, they find the inner strength to forgive. They rise above the desires of revenge and punishment because their need to make a meaningful contribution to the world is far greater than the desire to get even. So, they forgive easily. And by forgiving, most of all, they create their own happiness and peace of mind.

5. Lead yourself, not others

The biggest problem with leadership, or rather the lack of it, lies in two fundamental misunderstandings about it:

I. To be a leader one needs to have followers, and

II. Leadership is what one does to influence others to get things done.

Be it commanding, controlling, inspiring, motivating or coaching subordinates; leadership is believed to be an act of doing something to others. Yet, all the great leaders I’ve observed and studied did the opposite. They did nothing to other people. Most of what they did, they did to themselves. Like my former boss I described in Principle 2, they understood that leadership is about constantly driving oneself to work harder and harder towards creating a better future. By relentlessly living their values ​​and pursuing a values-based purpose, they became powerful examples for others, and gained dedicated the follower-ship of others without having to manage or control them. As Gandhi aptly said, Be the change you want to see in the world.

I have learned these five principles by observing many successful, happy and courageous leaders over 30 years. I am grateful to them because I have tried to live my own life by these gems, and in so doing have discovered my own version of success, happiness courage and leadership. I wish they do the same for you. Here’s a little cheat sheet to help start your reflection. Rate yourself on each of the following five statements on a 1-5 scale where 1 is strongly disagree, 2 is disagree, 3 is neither agree nor disagree, 4 is agree, and 5 is strongly agree. Once you’ve completed your self-scoring, ask yourself what you would like your scores to be, and what you are prepared to do to make that happen.


  1. I prioritize life-worth (living my values ​​and pursuing my purpose) over maximizing my net-worth
  2. To inspire others, I use my love of purpose and values ​​more than my formal position power
  3. I regularly choose to create my own happiness by replacing feelings of hate, regret and envy with gratitude
  • I have enough self-respect and inner strength to forgive unconditionally
  • I am working hard enough to become the change I want to see in the world
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    UAE ranks first regionally in World Happiness Report 2020 – Abu Dhabi World

    UAE ranks first regionally in World Happiness Report 2020

    The UAE is home to many nationalities and according to the World Happiness Report 2020 we're a happy bunch .

    world happiness happy faces

    The United Arab Emirates maintained its first place in the Arab world for the sixth consecutive year , according to the latest edition of the World Happiness Report. The global report was unveiled on 20 th March in conjunction with International Day of Happiness. The UAE maintained its advanced position globally and surpassed many developed countries and economies in the global report issued annually by the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network, SDSN.

    UAE Cities took the lead in the ‘Cities Happiness Index’, which included a special indicator that captures happiness at the city level. The index ranks 186 cities around the world by assessing city inhabitants ’level of happiness and their general evaluation of their lives in the city. Abu Dhabi and Dubai ranked the happiest cities in the Arab region.

    This year’s World Happiness Report also included a study that explores the relationship between the Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs, and wellbeing. A comparative analysis showed a direct relationship between efforts to achieve the SDGs and reported happiness levels. The SDG Index is a global indicator that monitors countries' efforts and readiness to achieve the 17 sustainable development goals, also known as the Global Agenda 2030.

    A healthy natural environment leads to happier communities. A special chapter in this year’s edition of the World Happiness Report shows how natural environments can be a factor in raising happiness and wellbeing for individuals. Polls indicated that preserving and maintaining healthy and natural surroundings, does support and elevate levels of happiness and wellbeing in societies.

    The study indicated a number of key natural factors affecting happiness, such as weather, green spaces and water surfaces such as beaches and canals. The study documented an increase of happiness levels by individuals who live near green spaces or surrounded by natural trees, more than those who live far from any natural greenery. The same was also true for those who live overlooking water surfaces.

    The happiness index in this year's report included 153 countries through which the happiness levels were captured by surveying citizens and residents to assess their general satisfaction with life. The report, which was first launched in 2012, saw Finland ranking first in the 2020 global index for the third year in a row but the UAE is keeping pace.

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    Be happy and spread happiness; International Day of Happiness – The Sentinel Assam

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    For Prince Harry, Meghans happiness is more important than Williams anger – Geo News

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    Hope Can Keep You Healthier, Happier and Alive (Especially in the Coronavirus Era) – The National Interest

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