Happiness Curve / U-Curve

For some reason, I believe I’ve posted the idea that happiness and perception of well-being follows a predictable curve that hits its low-point in one’s late 40’s for people in developed countries. However, looking for it right now, I was not able to find it. So, here’s a link to an overview article, a book length treatment, and a research article with the following abstract that brought the idea into popular currency:

“We present evidence that psychological well-being is U-shaped through life. A difficulty with research on this issue is that thereare likely to be omitted cohort effects (earlier generations may have been born in, say, particularly good or bad times). First, usingdata on 500,000 randomly sampled Americans and West Europeans, the paper designs a test that can control for cohort effects.Holding other factors constant, we show that a typical individual’s happiness reaches its minimumeon both sides of the Atlanticand for both males and femalesein middle age. Second, evidence is provided for the existence of a similar U-shape through thelife-course in East European, Latin American and Asian nations. Third, a U-shape in age is found in separate well-being regressionequations in 72 developed and developing nations. Fourth, using measures that are closer to psychiatric scores, we document a com-parable well-being curve across the life cycle in 2 other data sets (1) in GHQ-N6 mental health levels among a sample of 16,000Europeans, and (2) in reported depression-and-anxiety levels among 1 million UK citizens. Fifth, we discuss some apparent exceptions, particularly in developing nations, to the U-shape. Sixth, we note that American male birth-cohorts seem to have becomeprogressively less content with their lives. Our results are based on regression equations in which other influences, such as demo-graphic variables and income, are held constant.

-David G. Blanchflowera and Andrew J. Oswald, “Is well-being U-shaped over the life cycle?Social Science & Medicine. March 7, 2008.

Noba

“Noba is a free online platform that provides high-quality, flexibly structured textbooks and educational materials. These textbooks and materials are licensed under the Creative Commons CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 International License. Users may reuse, redistribute, and remix the content to suit their needs.

The goals of Noba are three-fold:

* To reduce financial burden on students by providing access to free educational content

* To provide instructors with a platform to customize educational content to better suit their curriculum

* To present free, high-quality material written by a collection of experts and authorities in the field of psychology

Noba

Authentic Happiness

“The purpose of this website is to provide free resources where people can learn about Positive Psychology through readings, videos, research, opportunities, conferences, questionnaires with feedback and more. There is no charge for the use of this site. If you would like to take the questionnaires, you first need to register.

Positive Psychology is the scientific study of the strengths and virtues that enable individuals and communities to thrive. This field is founded on the belief that people want to lead meaningful and fulfilling lives, to cultivate what is best within themselves, and to enhance their experiences of work, love and play.”

https://www.authentichappiness.sas.upenn.edu/

A Narcissist’s Prayer

“That didn’t happen.

And if it did, it wasn’t that bad.

And if it was, that’s not a big deal.

And if it is, that’s not my fault.

And if it was, I didn’t mean it.

And if I did…

You deserved it.”

-Anonymous

There’s a support group on Reddit called /r/raisedbynarcissists that provides some basic resources for helping people understand the behaviors of their parents and other people in their lives who may have Cluster B personality disorders. They have guides to traits and tactics, and the idea of FLEAs, that living or growing up with someone with these behaviors often means you will pick up these traits and strategies yourself, even if you do not have a personality disorder.

Perhaps the most useful resources is their Best of post that links on red flags, boundaries, forgiveness and so forth. If you’ve encountered this kind of person in your life, it’s probably worth a look.

An Overview of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)

“Acceptance asks us to recognise this paradox, to understand that it is part of being human to experience pain, that life requires it, and to exert endless effort towards always preventing pain is more than a full-time job that will never be accomplished. If, however, we can be open to experiencing pain and fear, to recognise their connection to things that are meaningful and purposeful, to give up the never-ending battle of avoidance, then we create room for our life to happen, even if things are difficult. So, acceptance is not just ‘sucking it up’, it is remaining open to our most difficult and painful emotional experiences so that we can move through them, all the while staying as engaged in our lives in meaningful ways as much as possible…

…Not getting dragged down by the past or weighed down by the future requires being grounded in the present. Our minds are constantly tugging at us, pulling us towards the anxieties of the future or the regrets of the past. When we focus intensely on the present moment – on what’s happening in our bodies, our minds and all around us – we increase our ability to be psychologically flexible. This is often referred to as mindfulness, which is really nothing more than just paying exquisite attention to the present moment.”

—Joseph Trento, “How to Live a Values-Driven Life in the Face of Dark Emotions.” Aeon. April 1, 2019.