Why Be Happy?

Why Be Happy?

 ·       Happy individuals live longer. 

·       Happy individuals have better marriages. 

·       Happy individuals, business teams, and marriages are more likely to thrive than their less positive counterparts.

·       Teachers who have a shared sense of their effectiveness (“collective efficacy”) have students with higher achievement even when controlling for student socio-economic status.

·       Positive psychology approaches can inoculate both elementary and college-age students against depression.

·       Athletes with optimistic explanatory styles in sports as diverse as swimming, baseball, and basketball outperform their less positive peers when responding to adverse situations.

·       Happiness beats drugs.  Depressed individuals participating in on-line happiness exercises experienced decreases in depression of greater scope and duration than would have been expected after the administration of anti-depressant pharmaceuticals.

·       The character strengths of hope, zest, curiosity, love, and gratitude are significantly related to life satisfaction. People who have learned to use signature strengths like these in new ways are lastingly happier. These can now be reliably measured.

·       A meta-analysis of over 200 studies reporting on almost 300 samples totaling 275,000 individuals shows that it is likely that happiness causes success, rather than vice versa.

 Bottom line: Well-being works! 

Here’s something you already know: Nearly everyone has far more strengths than weaknesses. The trick is learning to use your powers for good! Just try harder, right?No. The truth is this:  It’s not all about effort.  

It’s not how hard you work; it’s how you work hard. 

The current legal approach to special education mandates a deficit model that focuses on what is wrong with a person. While diagnosing problems can help get the services that make a difference, it is far more likely that there will be no “finding of special needs” despite a student’s (and parents’) struggles. If nothing is “wrong” you can get more of the same after school with more teacher attention and review. This works for some students, but not for many others.  Ready for something different? 

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