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BellaOnline's Stress Management Editor

How to Prolong Happiness

When it concerns happiness, many studies focus on how to achieve it. However, this is not getting to the heart of the matter as even depressed people experience happiness; instead the focus should be how to maintain feelings of joy. In other words, it is not merely about finding your bliss, but rather about holding on to it. A new study from the University of Wisconsin suggests that depressed patients are unable to sustain activity in brain areas related to positive emotion.
The study challenges previous notions that individuals with depression show less brain activity in areas associated with positive emotion. The new data suggest similar initial levels of activity, but an inability to sustain them over time.

Even if you are not depressed, consider how the intense delight you feel about a new car, a new home, and a new love wears off – don’t you wish you could prolong it? Generally, senior citizens feel happier than younger counterparts because they know what is important at this point in their lives. People who have had a near-death experience are happier for longer periods of time because they feel that they have been given a second chance. “Being able to sustain and even enhance one’s own positive emotional experience is a critical component of health and well-being,” notes the study’s senior author, Richard Davidson. Optimistic people live longer and with a better quality of life.

What can you do to maintain high spirits?
For more information on managing your stress and reclaiming your life read my book, Addicted to Stress: A Woman's 7 Step Program to Reclaim Joy and Spontaneity in Life. To listen to archived radio shows with guest experts visit Turn On Your Inner Light Radio Show

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Content copyright © 2013 by Debbie Mandel. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Debbie Mandel. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Debbie Mandel for details.

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