Fake Your Way to Happiness

March 20, 2009 by  
Filed under Feeling Positive

 

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Can you steer your life toward happiness by simply counting your blessings? Maybe. One recent researcher found that people who pause each day to reflect on the positive aspects of their lives (for example: their health, friends, family, education, freedom) are more likely to get happy and experience heightened well-being.

Or if you’re feeling a little down – maybe you can fake your way and get happy too! You may have more control over your mood than you think. According to other new research, people who choose to act more outgoing, happy or assertive actually improve their outlook on life.

In three complementary studies, William Fleeson and colleagues tracked the moods of more than 100 students. In the first study, 46 students kept diaries for approximately two weeks. They reported feeling happy and more positive when they acted outgoing. When acting shy and reserved, their feelings were just the opposite.

The second study looked at long-term effects of acting like an extrovert. Once again, the 10-week study revealed that the 57 students in this portion of the study were more likely to be happy when they acted more extroverted.

In the final study, 47 students were told to act either like an extrovert or introvert during a discussion group. Participants who were energetic and assertive had more fun, were happy, and enjoyed the group — while the passive and shy ones were unhappy in the situation.

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