Is The Happiness Equation The app to test your ‘appiness?

A new study published by Dr Rob Rutledge of University College London throws some light on what makes us happy – that age old question.*  He and his team developed a complicated mathematical equation which claims to predict our moment-by-moment happiness and then tested it on thousands of people through a smartphone app which tracked how happy they were.

Great ExpectationsHappiness

Dr Rutledge says that one of the most important things affecting our happiness is our expectations. So what makes us happy is as much about what we expect to happen, what we plan for and how we feel about it as what actually  happens.  Well, they say half the fun is in the planning, but perhaps it’s more that this!

Try it for yourself

It stands to reason that if we’re creating expectations which have an effect on our happiness, we’re using our imagination.  And that’s just what we do in creative visualisation or hypnosis, creating new pathways in our minds to lead us to the outcome we want.  You can try it yourself.  Just take a moment now to imagine something you’ve got planned that you’re looking forward to.  Really get a sense of how it will feel when it happens – what you’ll see, and hear, perhaps who you’ll be with and what you’ll be wearing.

Bet you’re feeling happier already – and you’ve done that all with the power of your own mind.  That future event hasn’t even happened yet, and you’re already feeling like you’ve won the lottery!

The sky’s the limit

So what could you do if you really wanted?  We know that the more you focus on things, the more they come into your life – and that goes for the bad as well as the good.  So if we focus on what we want to come into our lives, we’re not just more likely to get it – because of those new brain pathways – but it can make us happier while we’re expecting it.  Really, what’s not to like?!

If it works for them………………..

This clever trick hasn’t been lost on great sports people, many  of whom work with sports psychologists to harness the power of their own mind to help improve their performance.  When you’re competing at the highest levels, it’s just not enough to use your muscles – you need your mental powers too.  For example, Dr Bob Rosella, who works with golfers talks about the most important 6 inches in golf beingthe 6 inches in between your ears!

See what you could do.  And remember:

“There is no medicine like hope, no incentive so great and no tonic so powerful as expectation of something tomorrow”  Orison Swett Marden, American Writer 1850 – 1924.

*Rutledge et al, 2014

 August 2014

Blog written by Rebecca Welch

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