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 21 Ways to Become Happier

12 Ways to a Happier World


This site is dedicated to the memory of Dr. Michael W. Fordyce, 12/14/44 - 01/24/11, whose pioneering work created the happiness movement we enjoy today.  Heaven and Earth are happier places because of you.  Thanks, and stay happy forever and ever.

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HAPPINESS BY KNOWING FREE WILL IS AN ILLUSION!

I explained how overcoming belief in free will can boost happiness on episode 7 Happiness and the Determinism vs. Free Will Question, 4-20-03, and 92 A Conversation about Happiness, Free Will and Determinism, 2-28-05

John Searle, the13th ranked post-1900 philosopher, says that our world overcoming the free will illusion "would be a bigger revolution in our thinking than Einstein, or Copernicus, or Newton, or Galileo, or Darwin -- it would alter our whole conception of our relation with the universe." 
 


Find out why at
my new show,
 Exploring the Illusion of Free Will

 

 

 

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What is Happiness?

   Why is Happiness so Important?

World's Happiest Countries

Happiness Facts

Happiness Benefits

The APACHE Method (Positive Adjectives Technique and List)

The Ortega Happiness Method

Other Ways of Becoming Happier

Happiness Increase Experiments

Top Happiness Researchers and Promoters

Dr. M. Fordyce

George Ortega's Happiness Skills Theory (2 drafts)

Happiness Books, Papers and Articles

Start a Happiness Show

Happiness-Increase Research and the Artifacts Dilemma

Happiness Research Still Needed

Proposals for Further Refuting Hedonic Adaptation Predictions

The Hey Bill Gates, Start an International Happiness Corporation Campaign

Happiness Increase International

George's Happy World Songs

Humankind's Age of Happiness

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100 Happiness Self-Statements

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Key Happiness Facts
 

World's Happiest Countries:
 
1. Nigeria
 2. Mexico
 3. Venezuela
 4. El Salvador
 5. Puerto Rico
 (U.S. ranks 16th)

Countries with Highest Levels of Subjective Well-Being:
 
1. Puerto Rico
 2. Mexico
 3. Denmark
 4. Columbia
 5. Ireland

Click here for the complete ranking and more information

Americans consider happiness more important to them than money, moral goodness, and even going to Heaven.

Americans are, on average, only 69 percent happy.

The world population is, on average, less than 65 percent happy.

37 percent of the people on Forbes list of Wealthiest Americans are less happy than the average American.

At any given time, one forth of Americans are mildly depressed

14 percent of the nations on Earth are less than 50 percent happy.

Happiness Increase Experiments published in peer review journal have empirically demonstrated that individuals can be trained to be 25 percent happier through various training programs in from two to ten weeks.

All demographic variables combined, including age, sex, income, race, and education, are responsible for only 15 percent of the difference in happiness levels between individuals.

American Children feel happy 52 percent of the time, neutral 29 percent of the time, and unhappy 19 percent of the time.

Americans' personal income has increased more than 2 1/2 times over the last 50 years, but their happiness level has remained the same.

Americans earning more that $10 million annually are only slightly happier than average Americans.

(Click here for Citations and a Brief Paper on How our World Can Become Much Happier)



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THE ORTEGA HAPPINESS METHOD

I've developed a four part happiness method that is easy to use, and works fast.  The more frequently you practice it, the faster it will work.  

 Value Happiness -- This is the first, very important, part.  The next two parts will require effort.  The more you value happiness, the more you will work at becoming happier.  If you really work at it, you will begin to feel much happier in two weeks, or less.  Aristotle said that happiness is "the best, noblest, and most pleasant thing," "the highest good," and that "we always choose happiness as an end in itself and never for the sake of something else."  Everything we do in life is either for our own happiness or for the happiness of others.  Happiness is what life is all about!

Smile by Nature -- I mean smile as continuously as you can throughout each day.  A closed-mouth "pleasant expression" smile is best.  It is comfortable to maintain for hours at a time, and is easy for those around you to accept and appreciate.  Dozens of experiments have proven that simply smiling makes us feel happier.  James D. Laird, the social scientist who pioneered this research in 1974 found ten years later that the effect works "automatically" for  one half of the population.  He strongly suspects that it is a "learned response," so if you don't immediately feel happier by smiling, be patient.  Soon you will feel the smiling-happiness connection quickly and strongly.

Choose Your Thoughts - This part works for all of us immediately!  Usually our thoughts come to us automatically from who knows where.  If we're lucky, these thoughts are pleasant and bring us happiness.  If we are less lucky, they are less pleasant and bring us less happiness.  Here in the United States we're not very lucky.  Our average happiness level is only 70 percent, and we are happy only about 54 percent of the time.

For this part, all you have to do is replace the "automatic" thoughts you have with thoughts you CHOOSE to have.  During times of the day when your circumstances allow, say to yourself statements like "I feel happy," or "I feel wonderful," or "I feel great."  Say how good you feel in many different ways.  Our minds enjoy variety.  Also tell yourself that you like yourself because the research shows that happiness has a lot to do with our self-esteem.

 Any statement that feels pleasant will work.  Some more examples are "I love my life," "I like my friends," "I like my job," "My children are great."  Try to say more of the "I feel happy" kind of statements than the others because they more simply and quickly create pleasant feelings.

Always stretch a bit beyond what you really believe.  For example, if you believe you are not happy, tell yourself that you ARE happy, and you will soon come to not only believe it, but also feel it.  If you are already happy, tell yourself you are VERY happy! 

Laugh at Will --  Self-willed, or simulated, laughter is useful part of my, and any other, fundamental  happiness increase method because many people seem not to be in touch with deep or strong feelings of happiness.  Although as toddlers we laugh, on average, about 400 times each day, by the time we reach adulthood we are laughing only 7 to 15 times each day.  Simulated laughter, which requires no object or reason such as a joke, seems able to induce a powerful and visceral  pleasure.  As a person gains experience with the stronger feelings of happiness induced by laughter, this deeper happiness will gradually become more accessible during "non-laughter" occasions. 

In 1995 Dr. Madan Kataria, of Bombay, India, popularized the usefulness of laughing "for no reason" and has established over 2,500 laughter clubs throughout the world.   

That's all there is to it!

The more you value happiness, smile (remember...gently) continuously, choose "happy" thoughts, and practice self-willed laughter, the happier you will become.  The more time you spend each day working on your happiness in this way, the faster you will become much happier

How do I know this happiness method works?  I've been researching happiness-increase techniques since 2002, and have used it myself very successfully.                 

Try this simple four part happiness method, and see for yourself how it can make you just as happy as the happiest among us.  After all, aren't they the people we see smiling and laughing a lot, and don't they often seem to be having very pleasant thoughts?

 

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