The happy news is that the hitherto asserted 'set point' for an individual's happiness may not be the accurate picture of reality; it may be possible for people to increase their happiness levels over the long term. The 'techniques' that they could use are being uncovered, and this article talks about two of them.
There's no shortage of advice in how to become a happier person, as a visit to any bookstore will demonstrate. In fact, Martin Seligman of the University of Pennsylvania and colleagues have collected more than 100 specific recommendations, ranging from those of the Buddha through the self-improvement industry of the 1990s.
The problem is, most of the books on store shelves aren't backed up by rigorous research, says Sonja Lyubomirsky, a psychologist at the University of California, Riverside, who's conducting such studies now. (She's also writing her own book).
In fact, she says, there has been very little research in how people become happier.
Why? The big reason, she said, is that many researchers have considered that quest to be futile.
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Thanks to Swarup for the pointer.