Sigal Samuel wrote an article for Vox titled How to make this winter not totally suck, according to psychologists.

« Shift your focus outward.  »

« “Studies show that anything we can do to direct our attention off of ourselves and onto other people or other things is usually productive and makes us happier,” said Sonja Lyubomirsky, a psychology professor at the University of California Riverside and author of The How of Happiness: A Scientific Approach to Getting the Life You Want. »

« “A lot of life’s problems are caused by too much self-focus and self-absorption, and we often focus too much on the negatives about ourselves.”   »

« Some of the practices are about cultivating a sense of social connectedness. Decades of psychology research have taught us that this is a key to happiness.  In fact, Lyubomirsky said, “I think it is the key to happiness.”   »

« “I do a lot of research on kindness, and it turns out people who help others end up feeling more connected and become happier,” Lyubomirsky told me.  »

«  Psychiatrist George Vaillant  [said] “The key to healthy aging is relationships, relationships, relationships.” »

« Other practices are about cultivating a sense of purpose. Psychologists have found that having a clear purpose is one of the most effective ways to cope with isolation…  Finally, some practices are about cultivating a sense of inspiration — which can take the form of gratitude, curiosity, or awe.  »

«  Regularly feeling gratitude helps protect us from stress and depression… “By reminding you that you’re not alone — that others have contributed to your well-being — it reduces stress,” [said] David DeSteno, a psychology professor at Northeastern University and the author of Emotional Success. »

«  Researchers say it’s better to write in detail about one particular thing, really savoring it, than to dash off a superficial list of things. They recommend that you try to focus on people you’re grateful to, because that’s more impactful than focusing on things, and that you focus on events that surprised you, because they generally elicit stronger feelings of thankfulness… Another practice is to write a letter of gratitude to someone.  »

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