Happiness lessons | The press

How to lead a happier life? How do you focus on what really matters? And what exactly is important? The magazine The Atlantic Ocean has just posed the question in the context of a two-day conference – excuse me, a “festival of happiness” – in California, bringing together the most diverse experts, scientists and artists. The press was there, virtually. Here’s what we learned, in seven lessons.

Posted at 8:00am

Silvia Galipeau

Silvia Galipeau
The press

1. The Secret of Happiness

It’s for sociologist and author Arthur C. Brooks, columnist on happiness at Tea Atlantic Ocean, the undisputed star of this unique and captivating “festival”, to which we owe the most daring (and ambitious!) subject, namely: the secret of happiness. By summarizing all the lessons from these two days of conferences, as well as closing the “festival”, the columnist, who is also a professor at the Harvard School of Management (“I am learning happiness at Harvard, no but what a life!” ), this banal but no less fundamental statement:


Arthur C. Brooks, happiness columnist at Tea Atlantic Ocean and professor at Harvard School of Management

The first lesson: life is short, focus on what matters: love!

Arthur C. Brooks, happiness columnist at The Atlantic Ocean

Love? That’s all ? All the research says it all, even if we often forget it: what makes you happy is the links, ladies and gentlemen. Well-supported people live longer and healthier lives. Questioned by Arthur C. Brooks, the United States Surgeon General (Chief Medical Officer), Vivek Murthy, also pointed out: The biggest public health problem in the United States these days, this n It’s not the pandemic, not even violence or guns, but loneliness. “And since 2020, Arthur C. Brooks added, there has been an increase in loneliness like never before. […] We have democratized our poor hygiene of happiness! Solution: love (even – supreme subversion and interesting suggestion in these times of polarization – your enemies!). Surround yourself with real friends and finally dare to ‘risk’ falling in love. “That’s what I tell my Harvard students,” he insists. You need to stop thinking about business and start a relationship! †

2, The happiness of helping others

“When you enter into relationships, you increase your happiness curve, much more than when you invest in hardware [stuff] ”, also hammered Dacher Keltner and Emiliana Simon-Thomas, two researchers from the Greater Good Science Center, a wellness research center affiliated with the University of California at Berkeley. Conversely, social isolation and lack of connection are significantly detrimental to our well-being and have negatively impacts our health, even more than obesity and the use of alcohol or drugs. And it’s been proven. But who says left, says worry, our two researchers report. In addition, an emotion, compassion and this desire to help others also help elevate our lives Did you know? This compassion would also be something innate, demonstrate their work, based in particular on oxytocin (hormone of bonding and love, which in a way encourages us to care for others). : “Kindness is really something important! It is not only good for your life expectancy, but also for your families, your partners, your children, your friends, our experts argue d. No, helping others costs us nothing, on the contrary, it gives us a lot! †

3. Happy and old

The curve of happiness, as we know, has a dip sometime in the 1950s (associated with “family complications”, especially the arrival of children in blessed adolescence!). But how do you ensure that this curve restarts for good? Without going down anywhere after 60, 70 years? In short: how do you grow old happily? Sociologist and happiness expert Arthur C. Brooks, inspired by his book From strength to strength, launched last February, believes that we should no longer bet on our so-called fluid intelligence (because it is biological, it decreases over time), but rather on our “crystallized” intelligence, in short, our wisdom. After intelligence Musk, place the intelligence of the Dalai Lama, what. And he knows what he’s talking about because he met him in person. “It’s no longer about solving problems, the professor summarizes, but about asking the question: is this problem worth solving? And what do you do with such intelligence? If you follow it, you will no doubt have understood it: we cultivate it, we share it, we teach it! In short, we give it to the next. “This class may be less sexy, less glorious, but it will make you happier! †

4. Music and happiness

Happiness is other people (!), so, but not only. It’s also the music. Indeed, in a more unusual talk, a physician (Charles J. Limb, chief of the division of otology and cranial surgery at the University of California, San Francisco) and a music therapist (Christina Myers, of the Hospital for Penn State Health Children) recalled that when we say that music is the universal language, it is partly because it excels at conveying emotions. Sometimes in a contradictory way: we like certain sad melodies, while certain cheerful rhythms make us vibrate. Some music motivates us, others make us more nostalgic. Still others give us “overflowing joy.” Why ? Is it the rhythm, the melody, the phrasing, the lyrics? It is still necessary to know, if we want to not only deepen our relationship with music, but as a bonus to use this musical connection wisely. Here’s a great life lesson: “Be aware of your connection to music and use it to cultivate your happiness. Listening to it is good, singing is better. And composing is probably better…

5. The Importance of Therapy

We say it more and more. But the taboo remains. Wrongly. And for our greatest misfortune. Let’s repeat it again: when it comes to mental health, “people suffer for months, years unnecessarily! also lamented Lori Gottlieb, psychotherapist, author and columnist known to the readers of” Tea Atlantic Ocean (with his post from the heart and above all from the soul: best therapist), in a conference that is believed to have raised many questions (intimate and universal, she’s used to it, and it shows). There’s no need to stretch the suffering, though: “If you’re hesitant to consult, it’s probably because your internal therapist tells you to go to therapy! ‘ she launched. It’s said.

6. The happiness of knowing each other


Author Gretchen Rubin

This is the basics. Certainly, our happiness lies in these intimate and deep bonds intertwined with others. But to do this, you still need to know yourself. Self. “Knowing yourself is the best way to connect with others,” Gretchen Rubin said.The Happiness Project), who quit a career as a clerk to follow her heart (writing), much to her delight, of course. Who am I ? Someone in the evening or in the morning? Career or not? Independent or rather cozy? “We are all different and we all see the world differently. However, we tend to feel hurt when people don’t see us and don’t like us…” But how do you really know yourself? To get to the bottom of things (question values ​​and personalities), Gretchen Rubin asks you four questions here: what do you lie about (no, I don’t drink, yes, I exercise?), who do you envy (a colleague, a friend?), where are you most grateful for (your job, your children?) and what did you enjoy doing when you were 10 years old? meditate.

7. Other Exercises to Continue

To go further, and in the most concrete case, several exercises were proposed during the conference to cultivate this happiness by sociologist and columnist Arthur C. Brooks: how to deal with negative emotions, how to distinguish between intrinsic and extrinsic aspirations how to make your job a mission. Good news, these exercises, and more, are all from his aptly named podcast, How to build a happy life (how to build a happy life, in English only). So it’s up to you!

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