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Focusing on the time to be happy: Past, present and future focused happiness interventions

King, Terri Linzi (2010) Focusing on the time to be happy: Past, present and future focused happiness interventions. Southampton Solent University.

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Abstract

Drawing upon past positive-psychology literature and happiness increasing strategies, this study investigated the temporal orientation of three happiness increasing exercises; past, present and future-focused interventions, and the effects upon subjective happiness, gratitude and positive and negative affect. Sixty participants were randomly assigned to each of the week-long intervention conditions, with baseline and post intervention measures of well-being recorded. Irrespective of condition, significant increases in positive affect, subjective happiness and gratitude were observed, along with decreases in negative affect. The greatest increases in gratitude were observed for the past-focused, daily-blessings condition. Building upon previous literature, this study demonstrates the effectiveness of happiness increasing interventions and the benefits of implementing one small daily habit to increase overall well-being irrespective of temporal orientation of the exercise.

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