Mutluluk: imkansız düş - Happiness: pie in the sky

09/29/2010 10:20:39

While happiness cansparknovelideas, a new paper argues that themood-creativityconnectionmayruntwo ways: The very act of makingassociationcouldperk you up.

Ruminationcan make moods more negative, Moshe Bar, a psychologist at Harvard,points out. And thinking quickly aboutseveraldifferent topicsin sequenceenhancesmood. This effect may have evolved as arewardmechanism forgatheringinformation. "In life, the morepredictionswe make, the stronger thelikelihoodwe'll be successful,' Bar says. Becauseuncertaintytends tobringonanxiety,generatingforecastswill reduce uncertainty and therefore can becalming.

What are theneuralmechanics of such a reward? "Manypathwaysin the brainreleasea large amount of endorphins whenactivated,' Bar says. "If you keep activating new and differentregions, you'll maximize your mood reward'—and avoidexhaustingthesupplyin one area.

According to this line of thinking, the reason alcohol makes us feel good may be that itlowersinhibitionand affords abroaderthinkingpattern. Need a quickpick-me-upwithout getting drunk at work? See below for three options.

Mutluluk: imkansız düş

Happiness at the Speed of Thought

  • Do Something out of Character: Inhibition and rumination are closely linked.Misbehavea little, buy a new outfit, talk to a stranger. Escape yourcomfortzone.
  • Practice Speed-Reading: Reading faster can improve mood, perhaps because of therapid-firevolleyof written associations. Even negative text can cheer you up.
  • Look Ahead: Depressed people aredeficientin planning andforesight. Try imagining future outcomes rather than exploring things in the present or past.

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