Smiling dogPositive #1: Smiling dog.  Every time I look at this little dog, I smile.  Why?  Because it looks like he is smiling at me!  He is so cute and always enthusiastic (aka: Happy!).  A happy dog makes for a great companion in good times and in times of struggle.

Positive #2: Google photo sharing.  I am very impressed with this feature in Google that automatically saves pictures taken on my phone to the cloud.  I took the above picture and then thought about getting the wires to hook it to my computer.  Then I remembered this feature, went to the site and there they were.  Incredible.

Positive #3: Ingress’ in game ability to communicate.  There’s a really cleaver feature within the Ingress game that allows me to communicate with anyone playing the game at whatever level I choose (5k, 10k, 20k, etc. etc up to GLOBALLY).  It also allows me to talk privately to my team, allowing us to coordinate game play.  Case-in-point – looks like a team mate needs help in Lehi.  I’m off!


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Report from IPPA Conference, Day 3

Wow! What an absolutely amazing day! In case you’re just “tuning in”, today is day 3 of the 2nd Congress of the International Positive Psychology Association.
Here are the highlights:

  • Barbara Fredrickson (author of my #2 pick on Happiness, Positivity) talked about Love
  • Meeting Todd Kashdan and (what may be his last) talk at IPPA
  • Possible collaboration with positive psychologist and local, Lynn Johnson
  • Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy with a Positive Spin
  • Positive Computing
  • Meeting Jane McGonigal and using her on-line game to enhance Happiness 101
  • How much you think you can do something effects whether (and how hard) you try *
  • The use of strengths in therapy – the intermediate lesson *
  • Gala and the National Constitution Center *

* I will report on these tomorrow.

It was much cooler today. A blessing for my walk to my third download of information in the realm of positive psychology, a.k.a. Happiness! As I walked through City Hall in (literally) the heart of Philadelphia, I hummed a little tune. I was distracted by the richness and variety of the people as I walked. Per haps distracted enough by the suits, the homeless, the street venders, the skaters and the provocative dress, the song’s lyrics did not bubble to the surface until in the shadow of the Downtown Marriott. I murmured, “All you need is love. Bump-ba bump-ba bump. All you need is love. Bump-ba bump-ba bump. All you need is love, love – love is all you need.” As I realized I was humming a Beatles standard, I also realized that the topic of Barbara Fredrickson’s talk was “Love: A new lens on the science of thriving” Continue reading Report from IPPA Conference, Day 3

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Is this person genuinely happy?

Is this person genuinely happy?

In his book, Authentic Happiness, Martin Seligman (or as I have started calling him, “Uncle Marty”) describes a study in which trained psychologists attempted to predict whether people would lead happy lives just by looking at their yearbook photo. Dacher Keltner and LeeAnne Harker studied the photographs of 141 women graduating from Mills College in 1960, specifically looking at their smile. A man named Guillaume Duchenne discovered specific markers of a genuine smile – namely the corners of the mouth turn up and the corners of the eyes crinkle – like crow’s feet. It turns out that the muscles that control these movements are difficult to control voluntarily and therefore are a good indicator of genuineness. They referred to the women with the less genuine smile as the “Pan American smile” – after stewards of the now-defunct airline. Do you suppose if they were truly happy and sporting the Duchenne smile that the airline would still be around? But, I digress. 30 years after the yearbook pictures were snapped, Keltner and Harker found that, indeed, the graduates sporting the Duchenne smile were statistically happier, reporting more personal well-being than the Pan-American smilers. Now, this of course does not mean if you were not genuinely smiling for your yearbook photo that you are doomed to a life of despair. On the contrary! It’s never too late! Studies have shown that your body has a biological reaction when you smile – Duchenne or even the “why do I have to pose for this picture” fake smile. Your body does not know the difference and so it releases chemicals into the pleasure center of your brain. So, smile more! It feels good to you and you will often find that people are friendlier and may even smile back. Or if nothing else, we can take our cues from Ziggy, “Smile! People will wonder what you’re up to.” ~Frank

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