Happiness is a warm abstract thought

Happiness is a warm abstract thought

I discovered a fascinating article in the latest edition of the Journal of Positive Psychology – please enjoy the following brief summary.

Research investigating the relationship between self-contruals and subjective well-being has traditionally focused on understanding how dimensions such as positivity-negativity and internality-externality relate to happiness and wellbeing. The investigators involved in this study (Updegraff and Suh) conducted two investigations looking into how a potentially important yet unexamined dimension, the abstractness versus concretenes of people’s self-construals is realted to happiness and life satisfaction. The first part of the study found that happier people tend to think about themselves with a higher level of abstraction; and the second part of the study found that people encouraged to think about themselves in more abstract terms experienced greater increases in happiness.

What does this mean?

You’ll experience more happiness, wellbeing and life satisfaction if you can think about yourself in more abstract ways. So don’t define yourself too narrowly and be prepared to be flexible when thinking about who you are!