Saturday, May 30, 2009

A scientific look at the top 10 recommendations for happiness in New Age books

In an interesting twist, in September 2008 the Journal of Happiness Studies took a scientific look at the top 10 recommendations provided in New Age books for increasing happiness. In an article called New age advice: ticket to happiness?, which you can download for free from their site here, the author -- Maarten C. Berg -- first presents the top ten list. To save you time, here are the recommendations, in no particular order:
  • Become spiritual
  • Be authentic
  • Know yourself
  • Connect to the world
  • Meditate
  • Think positively
  • Take control
  • Live healthily
  • Live simply
  • Follow your gut feelings

Next, the author "considers the probable effects on happiness of these, by examining both the theoretical plausibility and the empirical conditions of happiness."

And finally, the author concludes that "that several recommendations are likely to produce beneficial consequences...", but "...the advice will not fit everybody equally well and that some New Age practices may reduce happiness, e.g., practices that undermine a realistic outlook on reality."

So quite an interesting endeavour, in my opinion. And, btw, is your gut telling you that focusing on one or more recommendations on the list could be beneficial for you?

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