Key to happiness is to appreciate the small happy moments in life

Shari Roan reports in the Los Angeles Times on a recent study that found people who appreciate small moments of happiness, joy and laughter throughout the day tend to be happy people who are more likely to be healthier, bounce-back after tough times and be more successful in jobs and relationships.

Researchers at the University of North Carolina reached this conclusion after studies required 86 students to submit daily “emotion reports”. The reports measured students’ emotional status in detail over the course of the day.

“This study shows that if happiness is something you want out of life, then focusing daily on the small moments and cultivating positive emotions is the way to go,” said Barbara Fredrickson, the lead author of the study, in a news release. “Those small moments let positive emotions blossom, and that helps us become more open. That openness then helps us build resources that can help us rebound better from adversity and stress, ward off depression and continue to grow.”

The key to focusing on small moments, Fredrickson said, is to appreciate all the good things you find throughout your day, “…rather than focusing on the bigger questions, such as ‘Will I be happy if I move to California?’ or ‘Will I be happy if I get married?’”

Remember, life moves quickly. Stop and appreciate life’s little pleasures along the way or you’ll miss out.

The study was published in the journal Emotion. It was co-authored by researchers at UC San Francisco, the University of Michigan, University of Pittsburgh and Cornell University.

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