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This is one of my pre-VRCaPS posts based on scientific Happiness studies that are still holds relevance today. How many of these have you achieved or lost?

– Basically you need ALL 8 of them at one level or another
– I should really talk about “Activity Towards the Goal” first, but since people like lists, here’s the list first

1. Material Needs ($$$, Home, Clothes, Possessions, etc)
— So the truth is, money can buy 1/8th of Happiness.

2. Social Support (Love/Relationships, Family, Friendships)
— So far one of the largest predictors of long-term happiness is social support.
— Patient asked, “What if all your friends are shallow?”
Answer: Better shallow friends than no friends.

3. Health
— Both Physical health and mental/emotional health
— Studies have shown exercise have proven as effective in treating depression and anxiety as medication.
— Ever have the flu? It’s really hard to be happy when you’re delirious of fever

4. Spirituality
— Defined as “Connection with something other than oneself”
— This could mean: Religion/God, Nature, Community, etc.

5. Pleasurable Activities
— Fun is really one of the best prophylactic and treatment.
— What’s interesting is that “What is really ‘fun’ to you?” is such a difficult question to many.

6. Life Goals
— Whether to complete a series, climb a mountain, or master a skill, life goals give focus and meaning no matter what era of life
— If you accomplish all your life goals, it’s important to find other important goals (after all, your life doesn’t end after your goals)

7. Values
— It is important to recognize what’s one own life values are… and respecting other’s values.
— Example: When finding lost $$$, is it more important to: find the original owner, give it to loved ones, or ones in need, or keep it to further one’s own happiness?

8. Positive Thinking
— This doesn’t mean “blowing sunshine up your butt.” It means finding realistic good sides as well as bad sides.
— Finding weaknesses and faults in self, others, and situations is a primitive skill that even children are able to do.
— Finding strengths and hope is a mature emotional skill that takes practice.

— Some activities provides multiple needs:
— Example: Volunteering provides spirituality, social support, values, etc.

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