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Research indicates that men and women have different reactions to stress, which affects their ability to accurately tune into others. Distinguishing one’s own thoughts and feelings from another person’s plays an important role in crucial social skills, such as understanding and empathy.

A key challenge for well-being interventions is promoting sustained engagement to improve long-term outcomes. One way to increase engagement is to introduce variety. Researchers investigated whether supplementing interventions with items from a person’s social media archive could add variety and increase engagement.

The World Happiness Report is a landmark survey of the state of global happiness.

Researchers find that regulating one’s responses (emotion regulation) to life events increases happiness.

Learning to control emotions before, during and after a positive event can increase short-term and long-term happiness. Researchers reviewed scientific literature that included 157 positive emotion interventions. Results showed that there are several strategies that can effectively increases happiness. These strategies include selecting a situation, deploying attention, engaging in cognitive change and expressing a response. Doing so has a variety of benefits, such as helping people choose and modify situations where positive emotions are likely to occur, helping people appreciate their good fortune, and helping people foster positive emotions like joy and gratitude. Researchers focused on empirical evidence for 25 positive interventions. They found strong evidence in support of 13 of them, including mindfulness-based therapies, applications of character strengths, acts of kindness, and the gratitude visit.

A longitudinal study has found that hopelessness and depression are each predictors of coronary heart disease (CHD). When adjusted for level of depression, hopelessness was an independent predictor of CHD. However, when adjusted for level of hopelessness, depression was not an independent predictor of CHD.

This study was the first of its kind to explore depression and hopelessness as individual predictors as long as 18 years out.

MAPP Program

Learn to apply the principles and tools of positive psychology to any professional domain or as preparation for further study in a Ph.D., M.D., or J.D. program, in the Master of Applied Positive Psychology program at the University of Pennsylvania.