What Happy People do Differently - Part I

“Truly happy people seem to have an intuitive grasp of the fact that sustained happiness is not just about doing things that you like. It also requires growth and adventuring beyond the boundaries of your comfort zone.” (Kashdan & Diener, Psychology Today, Aug 2013) Simply put, happy people are curious. In a 2007 study done by Kashdan and Michael Steger, participants were monitored for 21 days on their daily activities and how they felt. Those who felt curious on any given day also felt the most satisfaction and engaged in happiness-inducing activities. Interestingly enough, curiosity is at its base an anxious state. It’s a state of not knowing and is largely about exploration. Studies seem to suggest that curious people accept the notion that while being uncomfortable and vulnerable is not an easy path, it can also provide a means of becoming stronger and wiser. In fact, the study performed by Kashdan and Steger suggests that curious people invest in activities that cause them discomfort but the result is often a higher psychological peak. So, from time to time, it seems that it’s worth engaging in an experience that is novel, intricate, uncertain, and even upsetting.