EM-1 Nursing Personal Statement

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EM-1 Nursing Personal Statement

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Related concepts are eudaimonia , happiness , flourishing , quality of life , contentment , [1] and meaningful life. Central theories are Diener's tripartite model of subjective well-being , Ryff's Six-factor Model of Psychological Well-being , Corey Keyes' work on flourishing , and Seligman 's contributions to positive psychology and his theories on authentic happiness and P. Positive psychology is concerned with eudaimonia , "the good life" or flourishing , living according to what holds the greatest value in life — the factors that contribute the most to a well-lived and fulfilling life.

While not attempting a strict definition of the good life, positive psychologists agree that one must live a happy , engaged, and meaningful life in order to experience "the good life". Martin Seligman referred to "the good life" as "using your signature strengths every day to produce authentic happiness and abundant gratification". Research on positive psychology, well-being, eudaimonia and happiness, and the theories of Diener, Ryff, Keyes and Seligmann cover a broad range of levels and topics, including "the biological, personal, relational, institutional, cultural, and global dimensions of life.

The pursuit [5] of happiness predicts both positive emotions and less depressive symptoms. People [5] who prioritize happiness are more psychologically able, all else held equal. Different ways of measuring well-being reveal different contributing factors. The correlation between two of these, life satisfaction and happiness, in the World Values Survey — is only 0.

Typically, life satisfaction, or evaluative wellbeing is measured with Cantril's self-anchoring ladder, a questionnaire where wellbeing is rated on a scale from 1— The UK Government's Department of Health compiled a factsheet in , in which it is stated that the key limitations to well-being, quality of life and life satisfaction research are that: [7]. Mental health is the strongest [8] individual predictor of life satisfaction. Mental illness is associated [9] with poorer well-being. In fact, mental health is the strongest determinant of quality of life at a later age.

Studies [10] have documented the relationship between anxiety and quality of life. The VOXEU [11] analysis of happiness showed the principal determinants of an adult's life satisfaction to be income, parenting, family break up, mother's mental health and schooling. The factors that explain life satisfaction roughly map negatively to those factors that explain misery. These factors count twice as much as each of whether someone is employed and whether they are a non-criminal, which in turn are 3 times as important as years of education. Overall, the best predictor of an adult's life satisfaction is their emotional health as a child as reported by the mother and child. It trumps factors like the qualifications that someone gets and their behaviour at 16 as reported by the mother.

A child and therefore an adult's emotional health is most affected itself by a mother's mental health, which is just over twice as important as family income. Whether the mother worked thereafter has 0 correlation with well-being, however. In terms of non-family factors, the place where someone goes to secondary school matters a fair bit more than observed family background altogether, which in turn is slightly more important than the place where someone went to primary school. The main determinants of affective well-being, by correlation and effect size are: [6].

Determinants that correlate highly with one another, for instance, alternative ways of measuring corruption, are excluded from this list. Over the last 33 years, a significant decrease in women's happiness leads researchers to believe that men are happier than women. Part of these findings could be due to the way men and women differ in calculating their happiness.

Women calculate the positive self-esteem, closeness in their relationships and religion. Men calculate positive self-esteem, active leisure and mental control. Earlier in life, women are more likely than men to fulfill their goals material goals and family life aspirations , thereby increasing their life satisfaction and overall happiness. However, it is later in life that men fulfill their goals, are more satisfied with their family life and financial situation and, as a result, their overall happiness surpasses that of women.

A study was conducted by Siamak Khodarahimi to determine the roles of gender and age on positive psychology constructs — psychological hardiness, emotional intelligence, self-efficacy and happiness — among Iranian adolescents and young adults who were questioned through various tests. The study found that the males of the sample showed significantly higher rates in psychological hardiness, emotional intelligence, self-efficacy and happiness than females, regardless of age.

Happiness is partly genetically based. Determining whether emotions have a genetic trait or not was studied by David Lykken and Auke Tellegen. Basically, our families are important to our eventual emotional lives as adults because they provide us with genetic material that largely determines our base emotional responsiveness to the world. Therefore, genetic makeup is far more important to the long-term quality of our emotional lives than is learned behavior or the quality of our early childhood environment, at least as found in our current socio-economic paradigm.

Individual differences in both overall Eudaimonia, identified loosely with self-control , and in the facets of eudaimonia are inheritable. Evidence from one study supports 5 independent genetic mechanisms underlying the Ryff facets of this trait, leading to a genetic construct of eudaimonia in terms of general self-control, and four subsidiary biological mechanisms enabling the psychological capabilities of purpose, agency, growth, and positive social relations. It is generally accepted that happiness is at least in part mediated through dopaminergic , adrenergic and serotonergic metabolism.

SSRIs , such as Prozac, are used to adjust the levels of serotonin in the clinically unhappy. Researchers, such as Alexander , have indicated that many peoples usage of narcotics may be the unwitting result of attempts to readjust hormone levels to cope with situations that make them unhappy. A positive relationship has been found between the volume of gray matter in the right precuneus area of the brain and the subject's subjective happiness score.

Neuroscience and brain imaging have shown increasing potential for helping science understand happiness and sadness. Though it may be impossible to achieve any comprehensive objective measure of happiness, some physiological correlates to happiness can be measured. Stefan Klein, in his book The Science of Happiness , links the dynamics of neurobiological systems i. Nobel prize winner Eric Kandel and researcher Cynthia Fu described very accurate diagnoses of depression just by looking at fMRI brain scans.

Richard Davidson has conducted research to determine which parts of the brain are involved in positive emotions. He found that the left prefrontal cortex is more activated when we are happy and is also associated with greater ability to recover from negative emotions as well as enhanced ability to suppress negative emotions. Davidson found that people can train themselves to increase activation in this area of their brains. The evolutionary perspective offers an alternative approach to understanding happiness and quality of life. Key guiding questions are: What features are included in the brain that allow humans to distinguish between positive and negative states of mind? How do these features improve humans' ability to survive and reproduce?

The evolutionary perspective claims that the answers to these questions point towards an understanding of what happiness is about and how to best exploit the capacities of the brain with which humans are endowed. There has been a significant focus in past research on adulthood, in regards to well-being and development and although eudaimonia is not a new field of study, there has been little research done in the areas of adolescence and youth.

Research that has been done on this age group had previously explored more negative aspects than well-being, such as problem and risk behaviours i. Researchers who conducted a study in recognized the absence of adolescents in eudaimonic research and the importance of this developmental stage. Adolescents rapidly face cognitive, social and physical changes, making them prime subjects to study for development and well-being. The eudaimonic identity theory was used in their research to examine the development of identity through self-discovery and self-realization.

Researchers focused their studies on PYD positive youth development and the eudaimonic identity theory in the context of three developmental elements: self-defining activities , personal expressiveness and goal-directed behaviours. They determined that adolescents sample multiple self-defining activities ; these activities aid in identity formation, as individuals choose activities that they believe represents who they are. These self-defining activities also help determine the adolescent's social environments.

For example, an adolescent involved in sports, would likely surround themselves with like-minded active and competitive people. Personal expressiveness , as coined by psychologist A. Finally, goal-directed behaviours , are developed through goal setting, where individuals work towards identity establishment. Adolescents recognize their passions, abilities and talents and aim to fulfill their goals and behave in a way that appeases their true self. The study on adolescents was conducted in Italy, Chile and the United States, which produced slightly varied outcomes. Outcomes were contingent on availability, access and choice of opportunities activities.

Adolescence was the youngest age group that the PEAQ was used on. The PEAQ asked adolescents to self-report on activities they participate in and describe themselves with self-defining activities. Leisure activities were found to have the largest impact on individuals because these activities were the most self-directed of the three domains, as adolescents had the choice of activity, and were more likely to be able to align it with their true selves.

The study found that subjective experiences were more important than the activities themselves and that adolescents reported higher levels of well-being. They reported that when adolescents express themselves through self-defining activities across multiple domains, they have a clearer image of themselves, of what they want to achieve and higher wellness. Goal-setting was found to be a unique predictor; when adolescents work towards goals set by themselves and accomplish them, they are likely to have a clearer emerging identity and higher well-being. Researchers found that more adolescents were happy when they were involved in self-chosen activities because the activities were chosen in line with their true self.

The midlife crisis may mark the first reliable drop in happiness during an average human's life. Evidence suggests most people generally become happier with age, with the exception of the years 40 — 50, which is the typical age at which a crisis might occur. Researchers specify that people in both their 20s and 70s are happier than during midlife, although the extent of happiness changes at different rates.

For example, feelings of stress and anger tend to decline after age 20, worrying drops after age 50, and enjoyment very slowly declines in adulthood but finally starts to rise after age The use of growth mixture modelling frameworks has allowed researchers to identify homogenous groups of individuals who are more similar to each other than the population based on their level and change in well-being and has shown that most report stable well-being in their late life and in the decade prior to death. The studies have also controlled for income, job status and parenting as opposed to childlessness to try to isolate the effects of age.

Researchers found support for the notion of age changes inside the individual that affect happiness. This could be for any number of reasons. Psychological factors could include greater awareness of one's self and preferences; an ability to control desires and have more realistic expectations — unrealistic expectations tend to foster unhappiness; moving closer to death may motivate people to pursue personal goals; improved social skills, like forgiveness, may take years to develop — the practice of forgiveness seems linked to higher levels of happiness; or happier people may live longer and are slightly overrepresented in the elderly population.

Age-related chemical changes might also play a role. Other studies have found older individuals reported more health problems, but fewer problems overall. Young adults reported more anger, anxiety, depression, financial problems, troubled relationships and career stress. Researchers also suggest depression in the elderly is often due largely to passivity and inaction — they recommend people continue to undertake activities that bring happiness, even in old age. The activity restriction model of depressed affect suggests that stressors that disrupt traditional activities of daily life can lead to a decrease in mental health. The elderly population is vulnerable to activity restriction because of the disabling factors related to age.

Increases in scheduled activity, as well as social support, can decrease the chances of activity restriction. Therefore, it is important to study flourishing to learn about what is possible if issues such as depression are tackled and how the ramifications of focusing on the positive make life better not just for one person, but also for others around them. Flourishing has significant positive aspects magnified when compared to languishing adults and when languishing adults are compared to depressed adults, as explained by Keyes. For example, languishing adults have the same amount of chronic disease as those that are depressed whereas flourishing adults are in exceptionally better physical health.

Languishing adults miss as many days at work as depressed adults and, in fact, visit doctors and therapists more than depressed adults. A strengths-based approach to personal positive change aims to have clinical psychology place an equal weight on both positive and negative functioning when attempting to understand and treat distress. Because positive characteristics interact with negative life events to predict disorder the exclusive study of negative life events could produce misleading results. Thus, psychologists are looking to use positive psychology to treat patients.

Amy Krentzman, among the others, discussed positive intervention as a way to treat patients. She defined positive intervention as a therapy or activity primarily aimed at increasing positive feelings, positive behaviors, or positive cognitions, as opposed to focusing on negative thoughts or dysfunctional behaviors. A way of using positive intervention as a clinical treatment is to use positive activity interventions. Positive activity interventions, or PAIs, are brief self-administered exercises that promote positive feelings, thoughts, and behaviors.

They have worked hard and succeeded at accomplishing all of their life goals. Think of this as the realization of all of their life dreams. These positive interventions have been shown to decrease depression, [57] [58] and interventions focusing on strengths and positive emotions can, in fact, be as effective in treating disorder as other more commonly used approaches such as cognitive behavioral therapy. PPIs studied included producing gratitude letters, performing optimistic thinking, replaying positive life experiences, and socializing with people. Also, in a newer meta-analysis 39 studies, 6, participants, , the standardized mean difference was 0. Three to six months after the intervention, the effects for subjective well-being and psychological well-being were still significant, so effects seem fairly sustainable.

However, in high-quality studies, the positive effect was weaker, though positive, so authors considered further high-quality studies necessary to strengthen the evidence. They claimed that the above-mentioned meta-analysis did not put enough weight on the quality of studies. PPIs found positive included blessings, kindness practices, taking personal goals, and showing gratitude. The interventions called "Gratitude Journaling" and "Three Good Things" seem to operate via gratitude. Journaling sans gratitude is effective in decreasing negative emotions in general, which suggests that the act of journaling, rather than gratitude alone, is involved in the treatment effect.

Positive psychology seeks to inform clinical psychology of the potential to expand its approach, and of the merit of the possibilities. Given a fair opportunity, positive psychology might well change priorities to better address the breadth and depth of the human experience in clinical settings. Following a traumatic event, for instance rape, incest, cancer, attack, or combat, "it is normal to experience debilitating symptoms of depression and anxiety. Martin Seligman , a founder of positive psychology, emphasizes that "arriving at a higher level of psychological functioning than before" is a key point in PTG. Seligman recognizes "the fact that trauma often sets the stage for growth" and given the right tools, individuals can make the most of that opportunity. When reflecting on a traumatic growth, Seligman suggests using the following five elements to facilitate PTG: understand the response to trauma, reduce anxiety, utilize constructive disclosure, create a trauma narrative, and articulate life principles and stances that are more robust to challenge.

The phenomenon of PTG is applicable to many disciplines. The construct is important not only for just soldiers, emergency responders, and survivors of traumatic events, but on average, for everyday citizens facing typical adversity. One way to expose citizens to stories of PTG is through constructive journalism. Constructive journalism, as defined by PhD student Karen McIntyre at University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, is "an emerging style of journalism in which positive psychology techniques are applied to news work with the aim of engaging readers by creating more productive news stories, all while maintaining core journalistic functions". PERMA not only plays a role in our own personal lives but also can be used for public major news stories. With this model, journalists can instead focus on the positives of a story and ask questions about how conflicts or even tragedies have brought people together, how someone has experienced post-traumatic growth, and more.

News stories then shift the perspective from a victimizing one to an uplifting one. Positive psychology is slowly but steadily making its way through news reporting via constructive journalism. PERMA helps journalists ask the right questions to continue that progress by bringing the focus of a potentially negative story to the positives and solutions. Fredrickson and Losada postulated in that the ratio of positive to negative affect , known as the critical positivity ratio , can distinguish individuals that flourish from those that do not.

Languishing was characterized by a ratio of positive to negative affect of 2. Optimal functioning or flourishing was argued to occur at a ratio of 4. The point at which flourishing changes to languishing is called the Losada line and is placed at the positivity ratio of 2. Those with higher ratios were claimed to have broader behavioral repertoires, greater flexibility and resilience to adversity , more social resources , and more optimal functioning in many areas of their life. Fredrickson and Losada claimed that at this limit, flourishing begins to disintegrate and productivity and creativity decrease. They suggested as positivity increased, so to "appropriate negativity" needs to increase. This was described as time-limited, practicable feedback connected to specific circumstances, i.

This positivity ratio theory was widely accepted until , when Nick Brown, a graduate student in applied positive psychology, co-authored a paper with Alan Sokal and Harris Friedman, showing that the mathematical basis of the paper was invalid. Most psychologists focus on a person's most basic emotions. There are thought to be between seven and fifteen basic emotions. The emotions can be combined in many ways to create more subtle variations of emotional experience. This suggests that any attempt to wholly eliminate negative emotions from our life would have the unintended consequence of losing the variety and subtlety of our most profound emotional experiences. Efforts to increase positive emotions will not automatically result in decreased negative emotions , nor will decreased negative emotions necessarily result in increased positive emotions.

While a study found that wellbeing was higher for people who experienced both positive and negative emotions, [75] [76] evidence suggests negative emotions can be damaging. In an article titled "The undoing effect of positive emotions", Barbara Fredrickson et al. When people experience stress , they show increased heart rate , higher blood sugar , immune suppression , and other adaptations optimized for immediate action.

If unregulated, the prolonged physiological activation can lead to illness, coronary heart disease , and heightened mortality. Both lab and survey research substantiate that positive emotions help people under stress to return to a preferable, healthier physiological baseline. The broaden-and-build theory of positive emotions suggests positive emotions e. Over time, this broadened behavioral repertoire builds skills and resources. For example, curiosity about a landscape becomes valuable navigational knowledge; pleasant interactions with a stranger become a supportive friendship; aimless physical play becomes exercise and physical excellence.

Positive emotions are contrasted with negative emotions, which prompt narrow survival-oriented behaviors. For example, the negative emotion of anxiety leads to the specific fight-or-flight response for immediate survival. After several years of researching disgust , Jonathan Haidt , and others, studied its opposite; the term "elevation" was coined. Elevation is a pleasant moral emotion , triggered by witnessing virtuous acts of remarkable moral goodness and resulting in a desire to act morally and do "good".

As an emotion it has a biological basis, and is sometimes characterized by a feeling of expansion in the chest or a tingling feeling on the skin. Thomas Nagel has said that " There are elements which, if added to one's experience, make life better; there are other elements which if added to one's experience, make life worse. But what remains when these are set aside is not merely neutral: it is emphatically positive. The term flourishing, in positive psychology, refers to optimal human functioning. It comprises four parts: goodness, generativity, growth, and resilience Fredrickson, Two contrasting ideologies are languishing and psychopathology.

On the mental health continuum, these are considered intermediate mental health disorders, reflecting someone living an unfulfilled and perhaps meaningless life. Those who languish experience more emotional pain, psychosocial deficiency, restrictions in regular activities, and missed workdays. Although Fredrickson claims that her experimental results are still valid, [86] these experimental results have also been questioned due to poor statistical methodology, and Alan Sokal has pointed out that "given [Fredrickson and Losada's] experimental design and method of data analysis, no data whatsoever could possibly give any evidence of any nonlinearity in the relationship between "flourishing" and the positivity ratio — much less evidence for a sharp discontinuity.

Another study surveyed a U. Results showed Some common characteristics of a flourishing adult included: educated, older, married and wealthy. The study findings suggest there is room for adults to improve as less than 20 percent of Americans are living a flourishing life. Keyes, Benefits from living a flourishing life emerge from research on the effects of experiencing a high ratio of positive to negative affect. The studied benefits of positive affect are increased responsiveness, "broadened behavioral repertoires", increased instinct, and increased perception and imagination. Psychologists Peter Hills and Michael Argyle developed the Oxford Happiness Questionnaire [90] as a broad measure of psychological well-being.

The approach was criticized for lacking a theoretical model of happiness and for overlapping too much with related concepts such as self-esteem , sense of purpose, social interest, kindness , sense of humor and aesthetic appreciation. According to Diener, this five-question survey corresponds well with impressions from friends and family, and low incidence of depression. Rather than long-term, big picture appraisals, some methods attempt to identify the amount of positive affect from one activity to the next. Scientists use beepers to remind volunteers to write down the details of their current situation.

Alternatively, volunteers complete detailed diary entries each morning about the day before. Namely, the latter may not be very accurate; people may not know what makes their life pleasant from one moment to the next. For instance, parents' appraisals mention their children as sources of pleasure, while "experience sampling" indicates parents were not enjoying caring for their children, compared to other activities. Psychologist Daniel Kahneman explains this discrepancy by differentiating between happiness according to the "experiencing self" compared to the "remembering self": when asked to reflect on experiences, memory biases like the Peak-End effect e.

A striking finding was in a study of colonoscopy patients. Adding 60 seconds to this invasive procedure, Kahneman found participants reported the colonoscopy as more pleasant. This was attributed to making sure the colonoscopy instrument was not moved during the extra 60 seconds — movement is the source of the most discomfort. Thus, Kahneman was appealing to the remembering self's tendency to focus on the end of the experience. Such findings help explain human error in affective forecasting — people's ability to predict their future emotional states. Humans exhibit a variety of abilities. This includes an ability of emotional Hedonic Adaptation , an idea suggesting that beauty, fame and money do not generally have lasting effects on happiness this effect has also been called the Hedonic treadmill.

In this vein, some research has suggested that only recent events, meaning those that occurred within the last 3 months, affect happiness levels. The tendency to adapt, and therefore return to an earlier level of happiness, is illustrated by studies showing lottery winners are no happier in the years after they've won. Daniel Kahneman explains: "they are not paraplegic full time It has to do with allocation of attention".

Thus, contrary to our impact biases , lotteries and paraplegia do not change experiences to as great a degree as we would believe. However, in a newer study , winning a medium-sized lottery prize had a lasting mental wellbeing effect of 1. Distracting life changes such as the death of a spouse or losing one's job can show measurable changes in happiness levels for several years. The happiness set point idea is that most people return to an average level of happiness — or a set point — after temporary highs and lows in emotionality.

People whose set points lean toward positive emotionality tend to be cheerful most of the time and those whose set points tend to be more negative emotionality tend to gravitate toward pessimism and anxiety. Lykken found that we can influence our level of well-being by creating environments more conductive to feelings of happiness and by working with our genetic makeup.

Although the events of life have some effect on subjective well-being, the general population returns to their set point. In her book The How of Happiness , Sonja Lyubomirsky similarly argued people's happiness varies around a genetic set point. Diener explains that the recipe for happiness for an individual always requires genetics, environment, and behaviour too, so it is nonsensical to claim that an individual's happiness is due to only one ingredient. Only differences in happiness can be attributed to differences in factors. In other words, Lyubomirsky's research does not discuss happiness in one individual; it discusses differences in happiness between two or more people.

Findings from twin studies support the findings just mentioned. Twins reared apart had nearly the same levels of happiness thereby suggesting the environment is not entirely responsible for differences in people's happiness. Whether or not a person manages to elevate their baseline to the heights of their genetic possibilities depends partly on several factors, including actions and habits. Some happiness-boosting habits seem to include gratitude, appreciation, and even altruistic behavior.

Besides the development of new habits, the use of antidepressants, effective exercise, and a healthier diet have proven to affect mood significantly. There is evidence [99] that a vegan diet reduces stress and anxiety. Exercise is sometimes called the "miracle" or "wonder" drug — alluding to the wide variety of proven benefits it provides. Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche has said that neuro scientists have found that with meditation, an individual's happiness baseline can change. A study on Brahma Kumaris Raja yoga meditators showed them having higher happiness Oxford happiness questionnaire than the control group. In recent large panel studies divorce, death of a spouse, unemployment, disability and similar events have been shown to change the long-term subjective well-being, even though some adaptation does occur and inborn factors affect this.

Almost one in four people showed changes in their well-being over the years; indeed sometimes those changes were quite dramatic. The easiest and best possible way to increase one's happiness is by doing something that increases the ratio of positive to negative emotions. Contrary to some beliefs, in many scenarios, people are actually very good at determining what will increase their positive emotions. Lyubomirsky, Sheldon and Schkade suggest to make these changes in the correct way in order to have long-term happiness. False hope syndrome particularly occurs when one believes that changing their behavior is easy and the outcomes of the change will be evidenced in a short period of time.

There are coaching procedures based on positive psychology, which are backed by scientific research, with availability of intervention tools and assessments that positive psychology trained coaches can utilize to support the coaching process. Positive psychology coaching uses scientific evidence and insights gained in these areas to work with clients in their goals. Philip Zimbardo suggests we might also analyze happiness from a "time perspective".

He suggested the sorting of people's focus in life by valence positive or negative and also by their time perspective past, present, or future orientation. Doing so may reveal some individual conflicts, not over whether an activity is enjoyed, but whether one prefers to risk delaying gratification further. Zimbardo also believes research reveals an optimal balance of perspectives for a happy life; commenting, our focus on reliving positive aspects of our past should be high, followed by time spent believing in a positive future, and finally spending a moderate but not excessive amount of time in enjoyment of the present. In the s Csikszentmihalyi's started to study flow , a state of absorption where one's abilities are well-matched to the demands at-hand.

Flow is characterized by intense concentration, loss of self-awareness, a feeling of being perfectly challenged neither bored nor overwhelmed , and a sense "time is flying". Flow is intrinsically rewarding; it can also assist in the achievement of goals e. Flow is achieved when the challenge of the situation meets one's personal abilities. A mismatch of challenge for someone of low skills results in a state of anxiety; insufficient challenge for someone highly skilled results in boredom.

Eustress is arguably less harmful than chronic stress , although the pathways of stress-related systems are similar. Both can create a "wear and tear" effect; however, the differing physiological elements and added psychological benefits of eustress might well balance any wear and tear experienced. Csikszentmihalyi identified nine indicator elements of flow: 1.

Clear goals exist every step of the way, 2. Immediate feedback guides one's action, 3. There is a balance between challenges and abilities, 4. Action and awareness are merged, 5. Distractions are excluded from consciousness, 6. Failure is not worrisome, 7. Self-consciousness disappears, 8. Sense of time is distorted, and 9. The activity becomes " autotelic " an end in itself, done for its own sake [] His studies also show that flow is greater during work while happiness is greater during leisure activities. Arguably, some people pursue ineffective shortcuts to feeling good. These shortcuts create positive feelings, but are problematic, in part because of the lack of effort involved.

Some examples of these shortcuts include shopping, drugs, chocolate, loveless sex, and TV. These are problematic pursuits because all of these examples have the ability to become addictive. When happiness comes to us so easily, it comes with a price we may not realize. This price comes when taking these shortcuts is the only way to become happy, otherwise viewed as an addiction. One of these, A Pleasant Life, involves good feelings about the past, present, and future. To tie this with addiction, they chose an example of alcoholism. Research on positive affect and alcohol showed a majority of the population associates drinking with pleasure. The pleasure one feels from alcohol is known as somatic pleasure, which is immediate but a short lived sensory delight.

The researchers wanted to make clear pleasure alone does not amount to a life well lived; there is more to life than pleasure. Secondly, the Engaged Life is associated with positive traits such as strength of character. A few examples of character strength according to Character Strength and Virtues: A Handbook and Classification by Seligman and Peterson are bravery, integrity, citizenship, humility, prudence, gratitude, and hope, all of which are shown in the rise to recovery. To descend into an addiction shows a lack of character strength; however, rising to recovery shows the reinstatement of character strengths, including the examples mentioned above.

Thirdly, the Meaningful Life is service and membership to positive organizations. Examples of positive organizations include family, workplace, social groups, and society in general. Organizations, like Alcoholics Anonymous , can be viewed as a positive organization. Membership fosters positive affect, while also promoting character strengths, which as seen in the Engaged Life, can aid in beating addiction. Researcher Dianne Hales described an emotionally healthy person as someone who exhibits flexibility and adaptability to different circumstances, a sense of meaning and affirmation in life, an "understanding that the self is not the center of the universe", compassion and the ability to be unselfish, an increased depth and satisfaction in intimate relationships, and a sense of control over the mind and body.

Layard and others show that the most important influence on happiness is mental health. Keyes and Shane Lopez illustrate the four typologies of mental health functioning: flourishing, struggling, floundering and languishing. However, complete mental health is a combination of high emotional well-being, high psychological well-being, and high social well-being, along with low mental illness. Although health is part of well-being, some people are able to maintain satisfactory wellbeing despite the presence of psychological symptoms. Meta-analyses published between and show that exercise is associated with reductions in depressive symptoms, fatigue and QoL plus improvements in attention, hyperactivity, impulsivity, social functioning, schizophrenic symptoms, and verbal fluency in various special populations.

However, aerobic exercise has no significant effect on anxiety disorders. In a study conducted by Andrew Steptow and Michael Marmot at University College London, found that happiness is related to biological markers that play an important role in health. The least happy subjects also had a large plasma fibrinogen response to two stress-inducing tasks: the Stroop test, and tracing a star seen in a mirror image. Repeating their studies three years later Steptow and Marmot found that participants who scored high in positive emotion continued to have lower levels of cortisol and fibrinogen, as well as a lower heart rate.

However, in a study building on earlier research found that happiness has no effect on mortality. That's just not true. Happiness does however seem to have a protective impact on immunity. The tendency to experience positive emotions was associated with greater resistance to colds and flu in interventional studies irrespective of other factors such as smoking, drinking, exercise, and sleep. Positive emotional states have a favorable effect on mortality and survival in both healthy and diseased populations.

Even at the same level of smoking, drinking, exercise, and sleep, happier people seem to live longer. Health consumers sometimes confuse the terms "wellness" and "well-being". Wellness is a term more commonly associated with alternative medicine which may or may not coincide with gains in subjective well-being. In , [] the Australian Government reviewed the effectiveness of numerous complementary therapies: they found low-moderate quality evidence that the Alexander technique, Buteyko, massage therapy remedial massage [] , tai chi and yoga are helpful for certain health conditions.

On the other hand, the balance of evidence indicates that homeopathy, aromatherapy, bowen therapy, Feldenkrais, herbalism, iridology, kinesiology, pilates, reflexology and rolfing shiatsu were classed as ineffective. There is growing evidence that a diet rich in fruits and vegetables is related to greater happiness, life satisfaction, and positive mood as well. This evidence cannot be entirely explained by demographic or health variables including socio-economic status , exercise , smoking , and body mass index , suggesting a causal link. On days when people ate more fruits and vegetables, they reported feeling calmer, happier, and more energetic than normal, and they also felt more positive the next day.

Cross-sectional studies worldwide support a relationship between happiness and fruit and vegetable intake. This could be due to the protective benefits from chronic diseases and a greater intake of nutrients important for psychological health. Other food and drink practices associated with well-being are probiotics, [] [] alcohol, [] and binge [] drinking. Bupa [] recommends oily fish, food with tryptophan such as milk, nuts, lentils, whole grain breads, cereals, pasta, soy and chocolate, dark chocolate, the Mediterranean diet overall including vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts and olive oil for wellbeing.

Eudaimonic well-being has been found to be empirically distinguishable from hedonic well-being. Individual roles play a part in cognitive well-being. Not only does having social ties improve cognitive well-being, it also improves psychological health. Having multiple identities and roles helps individuals to relate to their society and provide the opportunity for each to contribute more as they increase their roles, therefore creating enhanced levels of cognitive well-being.

Each individual role is ranked internally within a hierarchy of salience. Different roles an individual has have a different impact on their well-being. Within this hierarchy, higher roles offer more of a source to their well-being and define more meaningfulness to their overall role as a human being. Ethnic identity may play a role in an individual's cognitive well-being. Learned optimism refers to development of one's potential for a sanguine outlook. In short, it is the belief one can influence the future in tangible and meaningful ways. Learned optimism contrasts with learned helplessness , which consists of a belief, or beliefs, one has no control over what occurs, and that something external dictates outcomes, e.

Optimism is learned by consciously challenging negative self talk. This includes self talk on any event viewed as a personal failure that permanently affects all areas of the person's life. Intrapersonal, or internal, dialogues influence one's feelings. In fact, reports of happiness are correlated with the general ability to "rationalize or explain" social and economic inequalities. Hope is fostered when a person utilizes both pathways thinking the perceived capacity to find routes to desired goals and agency thinking the requisite motivations to use those routes.

Author and journalist J. MacKinnon suggested the cognitive tool of "Vertical Agitation" can assist in avoiding helplessness e. The concept stemmed from research on denial by sociologist Stanley Cohen. Cohen explained: in the face of massive problems people tend towards learned helplessness rather than confronting the dissonant facts of the matter. Vertical Agitation involves focusing on one part of a problem at a time, while holding oneself accountable for solving the problem — all the way to the highest level of government, business and society such as advocating strongly for something: eco-friendly lightbulbs.

This allows each individual in society to make vital "trivial" read: small changes, without being intimidated by the work needed to be done as a whole. Mackinnon added: a piecemeal approach also keeps individuals from becoming too 'holier than thou' harassing friends and family about every possible improvement , where widespread practice of Vertical Agitation would lead to much improvement. Well-being has traditionally focused on improving physical, emotional and mental quality of life with little understanding of how dependent they all are on financial health. Through this work, individuals would be better equipped to manage their money and achieve the financial wellness that is essential for their overall well-being.

It has been argued that money cannot effectively "buy" much happiness unless it is used in certain ways, and that "Beyond the point at which people have enough to comfortably feed, clothe, and house themselves, having more money — even a lot more money — makes them only a little bit happier. According to the latest [] systematic review of the economic literature on life satisfaction, one's perception of their financial circumstances fully mediates the effects of objective circumstances on one's well-being.

Professor of Economics Richard Easterlin noted that job satisfaction does not depend on salary. In other words, having extra money for luxuries does not increase happiness as much as enjoying one's job or social network. Unemployment is detrimental to individual well-being. However, that does not hold true in countries where unemployment is widespread. Psychology Today [] reports that the impact of unemployment is dampened in those for whom work is less central to their identity, those who receive less criticism and less negative judgments from others, those who can meet their immediate financial obligations and those who do not see their unemployment as high stress and negative.

Other protective factors include the expectation of reemployment, routines that structure one's time and evaluating oneself as worthy, competent and successful. According to the latest [] systematic review of the economic literature on life satisfaction, unemployment is worse for wellbeing for those that are right wing or live in high income countries. Not all unemployment is bad, however: international data from sixteen Western countries indicates that retirement at any age yields large increases in subjective well-being that returns to trend by age Executive coaching, a workplace intervention for well-being and performance, is proven to work in certain contexts, according to a independent quantitative scientific summary synthesising high quality scientific research on coaching.

A more recent study has challenged the Easterlin paradox. Using recent data from a broader collection of countries, a positive link was found between GDP and well-being; and there was no point at which wealthier countries' subjective well-being ceased to increase. It was concluded economic growth does indeed increase happiness. Wealth is strongly correlated with life satisfaction but the correlation between money and emotional well-being is weak. Money, or its hectic pursuit, has been shown to hinder people's savoring ability, or the act of enjoying everyday positive experiences and emotions. In a study looking at working adults, wealthy individuals reported lower levels of savoring ability the ability to prolong positive emotion relative to their poorer peers.

Studies have routinely shown that nations are happier when people's needs are met. Lottery winners report higher levels of happiness immediately following the event. But research shows winner's happiness levels drop and return to normal baseline rates within months to years. This finding suggests money does not cause long-term happiness One [] women strong study shows that house owners are no happier than renters. Specifically, using subjective well-being data from China, the authors find that homeownership is associated with higher levels of life satisfaction, although this happiness premium is larger for people who have full ownership compared to those who have only a minor ownership stake in their home.

Adults who live with parents also tend to have [] poorer levels of well-being. Mindfulness is an intentionally focused awareness of one's immediate experience. An aim of mindfulness is to become grounded in the present moment; one learns to observe the arising and passing of experience. One does not judge the experiences and thoughts, nor do they try to "figure things out" and draw conclusions, or change anything — the challenge during mindfulness is to simply observe. Ellen J. Langer argued people slip into a state of "mindlessness" by engaging in rote behavior, performing familiar, scripted actions without much cognition, as if on autopilot. Advocates of focusing on present experiences also mention research by Psychologist Daniel Gilbert , who suggested daydreaming, instead of a focus on the present, may impede happiness.

Fifteen thousand participants from around the world provided over reports using an online application on their phones that requested data at random times. Killingsworth found people who reported daydreaming soon reported less happiness; daydreaming is extremely common. Reflecting on past positive experiences can influence current mood, and assist in building positive expectations for the future. There is research that suggests a person's focus influences level of happiness, where thinking too much about happiness can be counter-productive. Rather than asking: "Am I happy? The personal answer to any particular question can lead to positive actions, and hopefulness, which is a very powerful, and positive feeling.

Hopefulness is more likely to foster happiness, while feelings of hopelessness tend to undermine happiness. Todd Kashdan, researcher and author of "Designing Positive Psychology", explained early science's findings should not be overgeneralized or adopted too uncritically. Mindfulness to Kashdan is very resource-intensive processing; he warned it is not simply better at all times. To illustrate, when a task is best performed with very little conscious thought e. Davidson highly recommends "mindfulness meditation " for use in the accurate identification and management of emotions. The modifiable personality traits which might cause greater well-being have yet to be critically synthesised.

However, there is evidence that certain traits are beneficial for individual happiness or performance: [] locus of control, [] curiosity, [] religiousness, spirituality, [] spiritual striving, [] sense of urgency, self-compassion, [] authenticity, growth mindset , positive mental attitudes , [] grit, goal orientation with a [] meta-analysis concluding that approach rather than avoidance goals are superior for performance; [] as well as prosocial rather than zero-sum goals. Researchers [] who have reported on the character traits of people with high and low life satisfaction found that character strengths which predict life satisfaction are zest, curiosity, hope, and humour. Character strengths that do not predict life satisfaction include appreciation of beauty and excellence, creativity, kindness, love of learning, and perspective.

Meanwhile, research [] on character strengths that is separated by gender indicates the character strengths that predict life satisfaction in men are humour, fairness, perspective, and creativity, while the character strengths that predict life satisfaction in women are zest, gratitude, hope, appreciation of beauty, and love. Certain traits are specifically beneficial to those with certain health issues. Many tools for psychological wellness have entered popular culture via the personal development and self help industry. Positive music, [] will lower distress and pain, [] but news media consumption is detrimental for happiness.

Proactive laughter as in laughter yoga increases mood and improves pain tolerance. However, proactively smiling only increases happiness among those who believe smiling is a reaction to feeling happy, rather than a positive intervention. Ed Diener et al. Since tendency to positive emotion has a correlation of 0. An emotionally stable the opposite of Neurotic personality correlates well with happiness. Not only does emotional stability make one less prone to negative emotions, it also predicts higher social intelligence — which helps to manage relationships with others an important part of being happy, discussed below.

Cultivating an extroverted temperament may correlate with happiness for the same reason: it builds relationships and support groups. Some people may be fortunate, from the standpoint of personality theories that suggest individuals have control over their long-term behaviors and cognitions. Genetic studies indicate genes for personality specifically extroversion , neuroticism and conscientiousness , and a general factor linking all 5 traits, account for the heritability of subjective well-being. Purpose in life refers broadly to the pursuit of life satisfaction. It has also been found that those with high purpose in life scores have strong goals and sense of direction. They feel there is meaning to their past and present life, and hold beliefs that continue to give their life purpose.

Research in the past has focused on purpose in the face of adversity what is awful, difficult, or absurd in life. Recently, research has shifted to include a focus on the role of purpose in personal fulfillment and self-actualization. The self-control approach, as expounded by C. Snyder , focusses on exercising self-control to achieve self-esteem by fulfilling goals and feeling in control of our own success.

This is further reinforced by a sense of intentionality in both efforts and outcomes. The intrinsic motivation approach of Viktor Frankl emphasized finding value in three main areas: creative, experiential, and attitudinal. Creative values are expressed in acts of creating or producing something. Experiential values are actualized through the senses, and may overlap the hedonistic view of happiness.

Attitudinal values are prominent for individuals who are unable to pursue the preceding two classes of values. Attitudinal values are believed to be primarily responsible for allowing individuals to endure suffering with dignity. A personal sense of responsibility is required for the pursuit of the values that give life meaning, but it is the realization that one holds sole responsibility for rendering life meaningful that allows the values to be actualized and life to be given true purpose. Determining what is meaningful for one's self provides a sense of autonomy and control which promotes self-esteem. Purpose in life is positively correlated with education level and volunteerism. However, it has also been found to decrease with age. Purpose in life is both highly individual, and what specifically provides purpose will change over the course of one's lifetime.

All three of the above theories have self-esteem at their core. Self-esteem is often viewed as the most significant measure of psychological well-being, and highly correlated with many life-regulating skills. Purpose in life promotes and is a source of self-esteem; it is not a by-product of self-esteem. Self-efficacy refers to a belief that one's ability to accomplish a task is a function of personal effort. Low self-efficacy, or a disconnect between ability and personal effort, is associated with depression ; by comparison, high self-efficacy is associated with positive change, including overcoming abuse, overcoming eating disorders, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

High self-efficacy also has positive benefits for one's immune system , aids in stress management, and decreases pain. According to Bloodworth and McNamee sports and physical activities are a key contributor to the development of people's well-being. The influence of sports on well-being is conceptualized within a framework which includes impermanence, its hedonistic shallowness and its epistemological inadequacy. Research has shown it is possible to help suffering people by building their strengths.

In addition, prevention researchers have discovered strengths act as buffers against mental illness. The strengths that represent major strides in prevention include: courage, future mindedness, optimism, faith, work ethic, hope, honesty, perseverance, and the capacity for flow and insight. Suffering can indicate behavior worthy of change, as well as ideas that require a person's careful attention and consideration. Human suffering demands scientifically informed solutions. Suffering and well being, however, are both part of the human condition, and psychologists should be concerned with both.

In reference to the Buddhist saying "Life is suffering", researcher and clinical psychologist Jordan Peterson suggested this view as realistic, not pessimistic, where acceptance of the reality life is harsh, provides a freedom from the expectation one should always be happy. This realization can assist in the management of inevitable suffering. To Peterson, virtues are important because they provide people with essential tools to escape suffering e. Peterson maintained suffering is made worse by false philosophy i. Similarly, Seligman believes positive psychology is "not a luxury", saying "most of Positive Psychology is for all of us, troubled or untroubled, privileged or in privation, suffering or carefree. The pleasures of a good conversation, the strength of gratitude, the benefits of kindness or wisdom or spirituality or humility, the search for meaning and the antidote to "fidgeting until we die" are the birthrights of us all.

Positive coping is defined as "a response aimed at diminishing the physical, emotional, and psychological burden that is linked to stressful life events and daily hassles" [] It is found that proper coping strategies will reduce the burden of short-term stress and will help relieve long-term stress. Stress can be reduced by building resources that inhibit or buffer future challenges. For some people, these effective resources could be physiological, psychological or social.

Terror management theory maintains that people suffer cognitive dissonance anxiety when they are reminded of their inevitable death. Through terror management, individuals are motivated to seek consonant elements — symbols which make sense of mortality and death in satisfactory ways i. Research has found that strong belief in religious or secular meaning systems affords psychological security and hope. It is moderates e. Religious meaning systems are especially adapted to manage anxiety about death or dying because they are unlikely to be disconfirmed for various reasons , they are all encompassing, and they promise literal immortality.

Whether emotional effects are beneficial or adverse seems to vary with the nature of the belief. Belief in a benevolent God is associated with lower incidence of general anxiety, social anxiety, paranoia, obsession, and compulsion whereas belief in a punitive God is associated with greater symptoms. An alternative explanation is that people seek out beliefs that fit their psychological and emotional states. Citizens of the world's poorest countries are the most likely to be religious, and researchers suggest this is because of religion's powerful coping abilities.

Galen describes evidence including his own research that the benefits of religion are due to strong convictions and membership in a social group. The capacity for loving attachments and relationships, especially with parents, is the strongest predictor of well-being later in life. Seligman writes: "Unlike money, which has at most a small effect, marriage is robustly related to happiness In my opinion, the jury is still out on what causes the proven fact married people are happier than unmarried people. Married persons report higher levels of happiness and well-being than single people. When asked, spouses reported similar happiness levels to each other. The data also shows the spouses' happiness level fluctuates similarly to one another. If the husband is having a bad week, the wife will similarly report she had a bad week.

There is little data on alternatives like polyamory , although one study stated wife order in polygyny did not have a substantial effect on life or marital satisfaction over all. On the other hand, at least one large study in Germany found no difference in happiness between married and unmarried people. Studies have shown that married couples are consistently happier and more satisfied with their life than those who are single. Self-reported satisfaction typically drops as the years of marriage roll on, particularly for couples who have children compared to those who do not. One team of researcher from Northwestern University who summarised the literature in , identifies that this trend does not reverse throughout the marital period.

Surprisingly, there has been a steady decline in the positive relationship between marriage and well-being in the United States since the s. This decline is due to women reporting being less happy than previously and single men reporting being happier than previously. With this, a two-factor theory of love was developed by Barnes and Sternberg. This theory is composed of two components: passionate love and companionate love. Passionate love is considered to be an intense longing for a loved one. This love is often experienced through joy and sexual fulfillment, or even through rejection. On the other hand, companionate love is associated with affection, friendship and commitment.

Stutzer and Frey found that the absence of loneliness and the emotional support that promotes self-esteem are both important aspects that contribute to individual well-being within marriage. Because of the expansive research done on the significance of social support within a marriage, it is important to understand that this research was inspired by a theory called the attachment theory perspective. Attachment theory stresses the importance of support and care giving in a relationship for the development of trust and security. Attachment theory, as conceptualized by Collins and Feeney is an interpersonal, transactional process that involves one partners caregiving responses.

While the mantle of parenting is sometimes held as the necessary path of adulthood, study findings are actually mixed as to whether parents report higher levels of happiness relative to non-parents. Folk wisdom suggests a child brings partners closer; research has found couples actually become less satisfied after the birth of the first child. By contrast, parents' self-report levels of happiness are higher than those of non-parents. This may be due to already happy people having more children than unhappy people. In addition, it might also be that, in the long-term, having children gives more meaning to life.

In a research study by Pollmann-Schult on 13, Germans, it was found that when finances and time costs are held constant, parents are happier and show increased life satisfication than non-parents. By contrast, many studies found having children makes parents less happy. Compared with non-parents, parents with children have lower levels of well-being and life satisfaction until children move out of the household, at which point parents have higher well-being and satisfaction. However, when adults without children are compared to empty nest parents, parenthood is positively associated with emotional well-being. This is thought to be because of social changes in regards to employment and marital status.

Males apparently become less happy after the birth of a child due to added economic pressure and taking on the role of being a parent. Fathers who worked and shared an equal part in child-raising responsibilities were found to be the least satisfied. The investigation was conducted on Canadian university undergraduates. The study determined that participants derived well-being from eudaimonic pursuits only if their parents had role modeled eudaimonia, but not if their parents had merely verbally endorsed eudaimonia. Studies were also conducted on responsiveness and demandingness. The studies participants were American university undergraduates.

The terms are described as follows; responsiveness satisfies the basic psychological need for autonomy. This is relevant to eudaimonia because it supports and implements the values of initiative, effort, and persistence, and integration of one's behaviour's values, and true-self. Autonomy is an important psychological factor because it provides the individual with independence.

Demandingness cultivates many of the qualities needed for eudaimonia, including structure, self-discipline, responsibility, and vision. Responsiveness and demandingness are reported to be good aspects of parenting. The studies report both of these qualities as important factors to well-being. The study addressed parenting style by assessing and using adaptions of Baumrind's Parent Behaviour Rating Interview. Adaptions of this interview were made into a seventy-five question based survey; participants answered questions organized into fifteen subscales.

The study determined that eudaimonically oriented participants reported their parents had been both demanding and responsive towards them. A multiple regression showed that demandingness and responsiveness together explained as much as twenty-eight percent of the variance in eudaimonia, this suggests parenting played a major role in the development of this pursuit. This supported the expectation that eudaimonia is cultivated when parents encourage internal structure, self-discipline, responsibility, and vision, and simultaneously fulfill a child's needs for autonomy. The research concludes that parents who want their children to experience eudaimonia must firstly themselves "mentor" their children in the approaches to attain eudaimonia.

To encourage eudaimonia verbally is not sufficient enough to suffice eudaimonia into adulthood. Parents must clearly role model eudaimonia for it to truly be present in the child's life. In the article "Finding Happiness after Harvard", George Vaillant concluded a study on what aspects of life are important for "successful living". In the s, Arlie Bock, while in charge of the Harvard Health Services, started a study, selecting Harvard students from graduating classes of , '43, and ' He sought to identify the aspects of life contributing to "successful living".

In , the psychiatrist George Vaillant continued the study, undertaking follow-up interviews to gauge the lives of many of the students. In , Vaillant again interviewed these students as to their progress in life. Vaillant observed: health, close relationships, and how participants dealt with their troubles. Vaillant found a key aspect to successful living is healthy and strong relationships. A widely publicized study from in the British Medical Journal reported happiness in social networks may spread from person to person.

Happiness tended to spread through close relationships like friends, siblings, spouses, and next-door neighbors; researchers reported happiness spread more consistently than unhappiness through the network. Moreover, the structure of the social network appeared to affect happiness, as people who were very central with many friends, and friends of friends were significantly happier than those on the network periphery. Evers, G. Naming nursing: Evidence-based nursing. Ferlie, E. Improving the quality of health care in the United Kingdom and the United States: A framework for change. Milbank Quarterly 79 Evidence-based clinical practice.

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House officer education and organizational obstacles to quality improvement. Joint Commission Journal on Quality Improvement 22 Wu, S. Zielstorff, R. Characteristics of a good nursing nomenclature from an informatics perspective. Online Journal of Issues in Nursing The Institute of Medicine study Crossing the Quality Chasm recommended that an interdisciplinary summit be held to further reform of health professions education in order to enhance quality and patient safety. Health Professions Education: A Bridge to Quality is the follow up to that summit, held in June , where participants across disciplines and occupations developed ideas about how to integrate a core set of competencies into health professions education.

These core competencies include patient-centered care, interdisciplinary teams, evidence-based practice, quality improvement, and informatics. This book recommends a mix of approaches to health education improvement, including those related to oversight processes, the training environment, research, public reporting, and leadership. Educators, administrators, and health professionals can use this book to help achieve an approach to education that better prepares clinicians to meet both the needs of patients and the requirements of a changing health care system.

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