Happiness on the Cheap

March 18, 2010 at 8:06 pm (Uncategorized)

Tara Parker-Pope, NY Times’ health blogger, had a few interesting bits recently.

On Deep Conversations and Happiness:

Substantive conversation seemed to hold the key to happiness for two main reasons: both because human beings are driven to find and create meaning in their lives, and because we are social animals who want and need to connect with other people.

“By engaging in meaningful conversations, we manage to impose meaning on an otherwise pretty chaotic world,” Dr. Mehl said. “And interpersonally, as you find this meaning, you bond with your interactive partner, and we know that interpersonal connection and integration is a core fundamental foundation of happiness.”

So small talk, networking, sports & weather– NOT the modus operandi according to this study.

On Vacations and Happiness:

“The practical lesson for an individual is that you derive most of your happiness from anticipating the holiday trip,” he said. “What you can do is try to increase that by taking more trips per year. If you have a two week holiday you can split it up and have two one week holidays. You could try to increase the anticipation effect by talking about it more and maybe discussing it online.”

So feel free to tell me all about your vacation plans–it seems happiness really is the journey and not the destination.  Never underestimate foreplay.

I guess the happiest times in my life were having deep conversations while on vacation.  (Maybe that is why people tend to think fondly of their University days?)   I find coasts are integral.  I have distinct happy memories vacationing and talking in Essaouira (Morocco), Rimini (Italy), Mallorca (Spain), and Howth (Ireland).  And it was only sunny in Italy. 

However, for all my “talking deeply” I don’t know if it has always led to optimal happiness.  Sometimes you might need to take the advice and shut up, have a drink, turn your brain down a notch and feel.  Check out Lisa Simpson’s take:



  1. sarah said,

    I find it interesting Sahab wasn’t mentioned in this post.

  2. chaseandbeenchased said,

    If only Sahab was a coastal city like “glorious” Aqaba.

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