04 Jan Happiness Down Under
Check out this wonderful posting from Robert Biswas-Diener, one of the world’s leaders in positive psychology (you can see the original HERE)…
In my travels I often bump up against people who are skeptical about the science of happiness. Interestingly, one of the most frequent critiques I hear is that positive psychology is too American. This is a little surprising to me given the large numbers of psychologists in places like Canada, Israel and Norway who are excellent positive psychology researchers. And, in my humble opinion, it is the Europeans who are the leaders in positive psychology applications. So let me take this opportunity to shine the spotlight on a place that is about as far away from the United States as a person can get: Australia. Australia has long been a hotbed of positivity research and application. One of the grand masters of happiness research is Deakin University professor Robert Cummins who has studied quality of life for decades. Similarly, Dr. Tim Sharp of The Happiness Institute is author of several books on the topic. My favorite of Sharp’s books is The Happiness Handbook. This slender volume acts as a nice overview to all of positive psychology with chapters on strengths, happiness, optimism and relationships. I especially like the chapter on “managing your resources.” It is too rare that happiness books directly address diet, emotion management and meditation as keys to well-being and I applaud Sharp’s efforts in this arena. Another thing I like about Tim is his appreciation of the many shades of happiness….. he recognizes that happiness comes in the form of sensual pleasure, joy calmness and contentment, and many other states.
Thanks, Robert, for the flattering and positive feedback!