posted on Oct, 22 2003 @ 01:19 AM
Among the best research on controllable variables which impact happiness was that done by a psychologist named Csikszentmihalyi (yes, that's really
his name, Google him), author of "Flow" and "Finding Flow". He used an approach called "time sampling research" and found that happiness was
related to an individual's immersion in "flow states". These are states in which a person loses track of time because they are so captivated by
their activity. Activities usually associated with flow states included conversation, sex, leisure activities such as fine arts and sports (because
the intensity of the action also increases serotonin levels), meaningful and interesting work, and sometimes even things like driving, reading, and
movies. Not only was the flow state intrinsically enjoyable, but it had a lasting impact on brain function that increased their overall happiness the
rest of the time.
In more conventional research (say, a one-time standardized pencil-and-paper test), the most powerful predictor of overall happiness is relationships,
particularly marital relationship or its equivalent.
Oh, and to follow that up, since you can only have sex or sport activities for so long in a day or a week, the "flow" research found that happiness
was associated with finding flow in one's work and other avocation.
Csikszentmihalyi found that flow was most likely when goals were clear, distractions were few, work was closely matched to one's skills, and... ah, a
couple things that I forget.
Also my 2Cents The amount of money you have won't MAKE you happy, but it will take away a lot of the obstacles that prevent you from being happy.
Money makes you more of what you already are
[Edited on 22-10-2003 by FreedomFighterChris]