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Do all these little happiness-improving tricks really work?

January 18, 2012 , ,

By Eric Barker, Barking Up The Wrong Tree | Jan. 18, 2012

Eric Barker is a writer for Wired magazine.

I’ve posted about these happiness-increasing tricks like showing gratitude, counting your blessings and spending money the right way.  How powerful are they?

Promising results have been seen not just with average people but also with those who have been diagnosed with clinical depression:

“Positive activity interventions (PAIs) teach individuals ways to increase their positive thinking, positive affect, and positive behaviors. The majority of such interventions, which have obtained medium-size effect sizes, have been conducted with nondepressed individuals, but two randomized controlled studies in patients with mild clinical depression have reported promising initial findings. In this article, the authors review the relevant literature on the effectiveness of various types of PAIs, draw on social psychology, affective neuroscience and psychophamacology research to propose neural models for how PAIs might relieve depression, and discuss the steps needed to translate the potential promise of PAIs as clinical treatments for individuals with major and minor depressive disorders.

Source: “Delivering Happiness: Translating Positive Psychology Intervention Research for Treating Major and Minor Depressive Disorders” from THE JOURNAL OF ALTERNATIVE AND COMPLEMENTARY MEDICINE Volume 17, Number 8, 2011, pp. 1–9

No, I’m not suggesting anyone dump their meds but these techniques could be a wonderful complement.



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