The Pursuit of Happiness: Who is Happy--and why

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W. Morrow, 1992 - Self-Help - 331 pages
Who is happy--and why? With this seemingly simple question, social psychologist David G. Myers launches on a revealing exploration of happiness, a mission that goes beyond defining this elusive emotion to reveal just what we can do to achieve it. Along the way he discovers that happy people have a lot going for them: They are energetic, decisive, creative, social, trusting, loving, and responsive. They tolerate frustration well and are willing to help others. Even their immune systems function better than those of unhappy people. Myers, who reviewed thousands of recent studies conducted worldwide in the course of researching The Pursuit of Happiness, asks (and answers) the important questions about the nature and value of happiness. Is happiness rare? Not as rare as you might think, although the percentage of happy people varies widely from one country to the next. Can money buy happiness? On the contrary, accumulation of wealth and self-focused individualism rarely produce well-being. Happiness depends more on our attitude toward the things we have than on having things. Does age affect happiness? Not necessarily; teens and elderly people report the same levels of happiness as people in the "prime" of their lives. But happy children do make happy adults. Are men happier than women? No; although women are more likely to be depressed than men, they are just as likely to be happy. When it comes to well-being, the sexes are equal. In short, Myers has found that objective life circumstances have little effect on well-being, and that recent discoveries continue to explode some of the popular myths about happiness and its more frequently studied counterpart, the avoidance of misery. He alsoidentifies the four key inner traits that do bring about happiness and tells us how to trigger these traits and measure our own levels of satisfaction. With wit, kindness, and wisdom, Myers shows how we can promote our own happiness: What makes a happy marriage, the value of active spirituality, the importance of attitude, rest, fun, love, faith, hope, friendships, meaningful work, and all the other ingredients that can help us modify our lives to "experience the grace needed to live with integrity, inner peace, and joy".

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THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS: What Makes a Person Happy--and Why

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Myers, a research-oriented social psychologist whose views, he acknowledges, are colored by his Christian values, offers an ``interim report on a fledgling science''— the study of happiness. Noting ... Read full review

Contents

Acknowledgments
13
Wealth and Wellbeing
31
A Satisfied Mind
47
Copyright

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About the author (1992)

David G. Myers is John Dirk Werkman Professor of Psychology at Hope College.

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