Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Study finds that happiness really does come from within

A study by researchers at the University of Rochester, in the U.S. has confirmed that happiness really does come from within. They followed 147 graduates from two universities during their second year after graduation and asked them about their satisfaction with life, self-esteem, anxiety, physical signs of stress and their experiences of positive and negative emotions. Some people's goals were classified as intrinsic - having deep, enduring relationships, developing one's skills and helping others to improve their lives - while others (being wealthy or improving one's image) were classified as extrinsic. The study found that the more committed people were to their goals the more likely they were to succeed in reaching them. However, people who acheived extrinsic goals were actually less happy: they had more negative emotions like shame and anger and more physical symptoms of anxiety such as headaches, stomach aches and loss of energy. People who valued personal growth, close relationships and community involvement did find happiness through acheiving their goals, however. They experienced a deeper sense of wellbeing, richer connections with others and fewer physical signs of stress.

You can find out more about this research at


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