59 Seconds
59 Seconds

59 Seconds

So, if thought suppression is not the answer, what can you do? One possibility is to distract yourself. Perhaps spend time with your family, go to a party, get more involved in your work, or take up a new hobby. (Location 155)

you need to know how to use a pencil, how to keep the perfect diary, how to carry out small acts of kindness, and how to develop the gratitude attitude. (Location 157)

From a psychological perspective, thinking and writing are very different. Thinking can often be somewhat unstructured, disorganized, and even chaotic. In contrast, writing encourages the creation of a story line and structure that help people make sense of what has happened and work toward a solution. In short, talking can add to a sense of confusion, but writing provides a more systematic, solution-based approach. (Location 185)

if you walk into a room that smells of freshly baked bread, you quickly detect the rather pleasant aroma. However, stay in the room for a few minutes, and the smell will seem to disappear. In fact, the only way to reawaken it is to walk out of the room and come back in again. Exactly the same concept applies to many areas of our lives, including happiness. (Location 193)

visualizing a wonderful future is unlikely to increase the chances of achieving your goals. (Location 211)

However, other work suggests that when it comes to putting a smile on your face, such exercises are more likely to prove beneficial. (Location 211)

In short, when it comes to an instant fix for everyday happiness, certain types of writing have a surprisingly quick and large impact. Expressing gratitude, thinking about a perfect future, and affectionate writing have been scientifically proven to work—and all they require is a pen, a piece of paper, and a few moments of your time. (Location 227)

the wisest way to spend your money in order to put a smile on your face. (Location 261)

The results from both studies clearly indicated that in terms of short- and long-term happiness, buying experiences made people feel better than buying products. (Location 269)

studies carried out by psychologists also suggest that whenever we are confronted with negative results from tests, we prove to be extremely good at convincing ourselves that we are an exception to the rule.) (Location 309)

So, scientifically speaking, if you want some real retail therapy, help yourself by helping others. It has a direct effect on your brain that in turn makes you feel happier. (Location 337)

Those who performed their kind acts each day showed a small increase in happiness. However, those who carried out all their acts of kindness on just one day each week increased their happiness by an incredible 40 percent. (Location 343)

A few dollars spent on others may be one of the best investments that you ever make. (Location 354)

materialism takes root in early childhood, and is driven mainly by low self-esteem. (Location 359)


People smile when they are happy, but they also feel happier because they are smiling. (Location 390)

It seems that presenting weaknesses early is seen as a sign of openness. (Location 521)

It seems that modesty, rather than honesty, is critical for positive aspects of your past. By delaying mention of such details, you appear to prefer letting your strengths emerge naturally, while playing your cards early is seen as boastful. (Location 526)

This bias, known as the “spotlight” effect, has been found in many different settings. From assessing the effects of a bad-hair day to performing poorly in a group discussion, those who feel embarrassed are convinced that their mistakes are far more noticeable than they actually are. Why? It seems that we focus on our own looks and behavior more than on those of others, and so we are likely to overestimate the impact of our situation. (Location 545)

When thinking about the name of a new project, campaign, or product, keep it simple. Adam Alter and Daniel Oppenheimer, of Princeton University, tracked the fortunes of companies on the stock market and found that those with simple and memorable names, such as Flinks, Inc., tended to outperform companies with awkward names such as Sagxter, Inc.9 Further research showed that the effect resulted not from larger companies’ tending to have simpler names but from a natural tendency of people to be drawn to words that are easy to remember and straightforward to pronounce. (Location 572)

The simpler language resulted in significantly higher ratings of intelligence, showing that the unnecessary use of complex language sent out a bad impression. (Location 582)

you can increase how bright people think you are by merely writing legibly and simplifying your language. (Location 586)

“He that has once done you a kindness will be more ready to do you another than he whom you yourself have obliged.” In other words, to increase the likelihood that someone will like you, get that person to do you a favor. (Location 604)

Leo Tolstoy appeared to agree, writing, “We do not love people so much for the good they have done us, as for the good we do them.” (Location 606)

When you gossip about another person, listeners unconsciously associate you with the characteristics you are describing, ultimately leading to those characteristics’ being “transferred” to you. So, say positive and pleasant things about friends and colleagues, and you are seen as a nice person. In contrast, constantly complain about their failings, and people will unconsciously apply the negative traits and incompetence to you. (Location 661)

The message is that people are more likely to agree with you when they have already said something positive. (Location 689)

Why should the urge to help others decrease as the number of people in the room increases? When faced with a relatively uncommon event, such as a man falling down in the street, we have to decide what’s going on. Often there are several options. Maybe it really is a genuine emergency and the man is having a real epileptic fit, or maybe he has just tripped, or perhaps he is faking it as part of a social psychology experiment, or maybe he is part of a hidden-camera stunt show, or perhaps he is a mime just about to start his street show. Despite the various possibilities, we have to make a quick decision. But how do we do that? One way is to look at the behavior of those around us. Are they rushing to help, or are they continuing to go about their daily business? Are they telephoning for an ambulance or still chatting with their friends? Unfortunately, because most people are reluctant to stand out from the crowd, everyone looks to everyone else for pointers, and the group can end up deciding to do nothing. Even if a clear and present need for help exists, there is still the issue of responsibility. (Location 760)

The message from the bystander effect is clear—the more people who are around when a person is apparently in need of assistance, the lower the likelihood that any one person will actually help. (Location 782)

When people see that an e-mail has been sent to lots of others, the same diffusion effect can arise, with everyone thinking that it is everyone else’s responsibility to respond.30 To increase the chances of getting people to help, send the message to each person individually. (Location 789)

These plans were especially powerful when the sub-goals were concrete, measurable, and time-based. (Location 1018)

Some research suggests that eating more slowly helps people eat less, perhaps because it fools our brains into thinking that we’ve eaten more and allows extra time for the body to digest food. (Location 1188)

However, starting the meal at a normal rate of eating and then dropping to the slower rate caused both men and women to experience a large reduction in their appetite. The normal-slow combination was even more effective than eating slowly all the way through the meal, suggesting that the secret to feeling satisfied is to start at your normal speed but then savor each and every mouthful. (Location 1193)

“the average person thinks up twice as many ideas when working with a group than when working alone,” (Location 1287)

a large body of research now suggests that for more than seventy years, people using group brainstorming may have inadvertently been stifling, not stimulating, their creative juices. (Location 1313)

In fact, other research shows that if you really want to get in touch with your inner Leonardo da Vinci, there are several quick and surprisingly powerful techniques available. All it takes is a glance at the right type of modern art, lying down on the job, doing nothing, or putting a plant on your desk. (Location 1317)

Surrealist Salvador Dalí would sometimes generate ideas for his paintings by using an interesting technique. He would lie on a couch and put a glass on the floor. He would then carefully place one end of a spoon on the edge of the glass and lightly hold the other end in his hand. As he drifted off to sleep, he would naturally relax his hand and release the spoon. The sound of the spoon falling into the glass would wake him up, and he would immediately sketch the bizarre images that had just started to drift through his half-asleep, semiconscious mind. (Location 1340)

Recent work suggests that you don’t even need to spend as long as fifteen minutes away from a problem. Instead, you can achieve the same results with just a few moments’ respite. (Location 1357)

Priming. Prime your mind by working feverishly on a problem, but then give yourself a release of effort by doing something completely different. During the release period, feed your mind with new and diverse ideas by, for example, visiting a museum or an art gallery, paging through magazines or newspapers, going on a train or car journey, or randomly searching the Internet. But don’t push it. (Location 1408)

When the world becomes too familiar, your brain reverts to automatic pilot and stops seeing what is right in front of your eyes. (Location 1419)

Try switching your mind to manual by becoming more curious about the world. Ask yourself an interesting question each week. (Location 1420)

even a small amount of plant life can have a surprisingly large impact on making the world a better place. The recovery rates of patients in hospitals are significantly improved when they are able to see trees from their ward windows,8 and prisoners whose cell windows overlook farmlands and forests report fewer medical problems than others. (Location 1433)