The Secret to Happiness: Thinking Fast

The secret to happiness doesn't come from thinking happy thoughts ... it comes from thinking happy thoughts fast.

Here's what researchers at Princeton and Harvard universities found:

Results suggested that thinking fast made participants feel more elated, creative and, to a lesser degree, energetic and powerful. Activities that promote fast thinking, then, such as whip­ping through an easy crossword puzzle or brain-storming quickly about an idea, can boost energy and mood, says psychologist Emily Pronin, the study’s lead author.

Pronin notes that rapid-fire thinking can sometimes have negative consequences. For people with bipolar disorder, thoughts can race so quickly that the manic feeling becomes aversive. And based on their own and others’ research, Pronin and a colleague propose in another recent article that although fast and varied thinking causes elation, fast but repetitive thoughts can instead trigger anxiety.

Why? The researchers think that "thinking quickly may unleash the brain’s novelty-loving dopamine system, which is involved in sensations of pleasure and reward."

Come to think of it, reading Neatorama should trigger the same novelty-loving dopamine system and thus make you all feel happier!

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i bet they did a research among students, who really are made happier by thinking. that's not necessarily the case among all the population
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@dbsmall:
I have no idea if your information about depression and intelligence is valid, but consider the following.

Do smarter people necessarily think faster thoughts? Maybe they think more deeply, taking time to consider all the implications and weighing all the factors. Maybe they come to better conclusions in the same amount of time, or just can consider more information at once.
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Interesting...I was under the impression that people who are victims of psychological depression are almost invariably above average intelligence.

Is this a processor speed vs. processor power thing, again?
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Flying through crossword puzzles and brainstorming fast is great, but not what I would call happy.
Unless, it's a game show with Big Prize$.
Oh, Alex, you're not, THE Alex, are you?
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