07 November 2008

The Little Things in Life...

At Mind Hacks' weekly roundup I found a link to this article, discussing what it takes for people to become happier over time. The conclusion?

However, improvement may not come from major events such as winning the lottery, despite the seemingly life-changing nature of such examples. Rather it seems like the key for long lasting changes to well-being is to engage in activities that provide small and frequent boosts, which in the long run will lead to improved well-being, one small step at a time.

I find this of particular interest because it handily explains how my decision to engage in a daily practice of taiji and meditation was able to pull me out of the deep depression I found myself in after my grandma died. It gave me a "small boost" each day, and, over time, those boosts resulted in a lasting difference. Time helped, too, of course, but I'm honestly not sure I would have made it through the worst of it without that daily practice. I don't think I would have suicided, but I suspect that I would have gotten to the point of not being able to function. Sure, there are medications out there that might have helped, but I'll take meditation over meds any day.

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