The Biology of Happiness - Conversation and Munchies

We had a good discussion on "The Island Where People Forget to Die" during our last meetup. This time, I propose we use an article called "The Biology of Joy" as a starting point for a discussion on happiness.

Did you know that "happiness or related mental states like hopefulness, optimism and contentment appear to reduce the risk or limit the severity of cardiovascular disease, pulmonary disease, diabetes, hypertension, colds and upper-respiratory infections"?

Are we wired from birth to have a certain level of happiness, or do we create our own happiness? What makes some people more able to handle adverse events in their lives than others? What influences mental attitudes?

How do we define happiness, and how can we create more of it? What is happening in our brain when we are happy?

Let's ponder these questions and more while enjoying some munchies in the Whole Foods Cafe (set apart from the store, in the back.)

If all goes well, I have two ideas for things to bring, one edible and one not, that may very well increase the happiness of those participating.

Hope to see you there!

Here is the article -
http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1015863,00.html#ixzz2JLPnYRhO

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  • Mitzi

    Hi Kate,

    I stayed until 6:45pm. When did you arrive?

    Mitzi

    February 11, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Stuff came up, in addition to snow-related shenanigans.

    February 10, 2013

    • Kate

      Hope to see you next time Brian, thanks for letting us know. Are you interested in the improv show on Monday evening the 18th? It's not a discussion group meeting but looks like it could be fun, and we can talk about some of the things from the article if you like.

      February 11, 2013

  • Mitzi

    Where was the meeting? I was at Whole Foods at 6:30 with 2 other people and we couldn't find the meeting.

    February 10, 2013

    • Kate

      Mitzi, Sorry to hear this. We were wondering about you. I am sure that was frustrating. I am not sure how you couldn't find it though. Did you know there was a cafe in Whole Foods? Because, you've got the row of tables by the registers and if you keep going you get to the cafe. Which is pretty small and I think we were the only big group (with a giant 5 lb whoopie pie in the middle of the table, by the windows in the back), so I am curious where it is that you looked. Also, who were you with? People from the group, or?
      Hope to see you soon - Maybe we could do a dry run and I'll show you where we meet =)

      February 11, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    so sorry I have to cancel at the last minute. I had tickets to a show that was canceled last night and rescheduled to this evening. I read the article. VERY interesting!

    February 10, 2013

    • Kate

      thats ok, i heard about that show, hope to see you soon

      February 10, 2013

  • David M.

    Kate, Can't make it tonight. Have fun. Dave M.

    February 10, 2013

  • Kate

    A few additional links and comments I found interesting while researching more earlier.... (this is not required reading!) =)


    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/01/thich-nhat-hanh-fear_n_2502265.html


    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/heidi-grant-halvorson-phd/happiness-tips_b_1775649.html

    How about this quote?

    Human beings spend a lot of time trying to figure out what will make them happy, but not nearly enough time trying to hang on to the happiness they already have. In a way, this is like focusing all your energy on making more money, without giving any thought to what you'll do with the money you've already earned.

    The first principle we will encounter tomorrow will be the principle of anticipation, surprise, novelty, and dopamine enhancement. (Hopefully.) Live demonstration! =)

    February 10, 2013

    • Kate

      this was another interesting article, its long and somewhat hard to get thru, but the basic concepts are rather fascinating. i can summarize. i dont have time to read it a 2nd time and might have missed a few things but i have the basic concepts down... http://www.nytimes.co...­

      February 10, 2013

  • Kate

    Hope everyone is doing okay with all this snow! They say it should taper off in a few hours....

    February 9, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      This article has a special application today: I hope to be creating my own happiness while I'm digging myself out later on after the wind finally stops.

      February 9, 2013

    • Kate

      That's the spirit! Feelings of achievement are one way to achieve a feeling of happiness.

      February 10, 2013

  • Mitzi

    Hi Kate, So glad to her the weather should be good by Sunday night. Do we need to bring anything? Mitzi

    February 7, 2013

    • Kate

      Hi Mitzi! No, just your appetite. I have a surprise planned. =)

      February 9, 2013

  • Kate

    Looking forward to seeing you all this weekend. The snow should be over by Saturday afternoon sometime I believe so hopefully it will not affect us too much on Sunday. I'm looking forward to the discussion. I am going to do some more research before then to supplement that article, as well.

    February 7, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Thank you for this. I should have plenty of time to read it this weekend provided my power doesn't go out :D

      February 7, 2013

  • Mandy

    Thanks for picking this article for this one. It's a great article and you can't go wrong with focusing on happiness, right?

    February 2, 2013

    • Kate

      I agree wholeheartedly!

      February 3, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Thanks for working on the new schedule~!!!

    January 30, 2013

  • David M.

    Hi Kate, I'm glad you've increased the group size a bit. I didn't make the "cut' for the the last meeting and that made me a little bit UNhappy! The next article sounds like a good conversation starter. Looking forward to it.

    January 29, 2013

    • Kate

      Glad you made it this time David. Looking forward to seeing you.

      January 29, 2013

  • Claire

    I'm disappointed I can't make this meet up -sorry for the short notice.

    January 29, 2013

  • Mitzi

    sounds interesting!

    January 29, 2013

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