Stuff Addiction II

I haven’t posted anything in my happiness category for a long time, isn’t that sad?

One of those postings is about a syndrome I named stuff addiction. News on that front. It might be worse than I thought:

the brain systems for liking and wanting are separate. … a drug like nicotine produces much craving but little pleasure.

A good advertisment induces craving. Golly, the distinction between use and signal value runs deep.

That’s from a Sunday supplement article on happiness research that appeared in the Times of London. That’s light and fun to read.

One teaser in the article is the mention of a 100 “interventions” for building happiness; and even that 40 of these have now undergone at least some clinical testing.

Not that these interventions would necessarily be fun in and of themselves. This frightening one is outlined:

A third technique involves writing a long letter to someone you’re grateful to but have never properly thanked, and visiting them to read it out in person.

Seligman and his graduate students weep tears of joy when they do this exercise, but most Brits would probably rather be miserable than do it.

Same in New England I suspect. Thank goodness! That one’s not particularly effective.

These get higher marks:

In one internet study, two interventions increased happiness and decreased depressive symptoms for at least six months. One exercise involves writing down three things that went well and why, every day for a week. The other is about identifying your signature strengths and using one of them in a new and different way every day for a week.

Of course what’s the point of a Sunday supplement if your not selling something.

Seligman speculates that doing more exercises for longer would bring greater benefits. Hundreds of thousands of people have registered with his website www.reflectivehappiness.com – where, for $10 a month, they are given a happiness programme including instruction in a package of positive exercises.

Cheaper than cable!

0 thoughts on “Stuff Addiction II

  1. Pingback: Ascription is an Anathema to any Enthusiasm » Blog Archive » Nice people scratching the itch I gave them.

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