Psychologists now know what makes people happy
The happiest people surround themselves with family and friends, don't care about keeping up with the Joneses next door, lose themselves in daily activities and, most important, forgive easily.
"Materialism is toxic for happiness," says University of Illinois psychologist Ed Diener. Even rich materialists aren't as happy as those who care less about getting and spending
Gratitude has a lot to do with life satisfaction, psychologists say. Talking and writing about what they're grateful for amplifies adults' happiness, new studies show. Other researchers have found that learning to savor even small pleasures has the same effect. And forgiveness is the trait most strongly linked to happiness, says University of Michigan psychologist Christopher Peterson.
"It's the queen of all virtues, and probably the hardest to come by," he adds.
Source: USA Today Online Article. 128/2008.