Happiness, gratitude and depression

Is Facebook making you depressed?

A paper published in the Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology expands on earlier studies about the detrimental effects of Facebook.

'Seeing Everyone Else's Highlight Reels: How Facebook Usage is linked to Depressive Symptoms' finds that the opportunity to socially compare with others can contribute to depressed feelings.  It’s not that Facebook causes depression, but rather it gives us more opportunity to compare ourselves with others.  And as other people are much more likely to only publish ‘positive’ stories, it becomes easier to draw unsatisfactory conclusions about your own experiences.  The research suggests that those who are vulnerable to depression should reduce their Facebook use.

How to be happy

Now that we’ve stepped away from Facebook, let’s focus on the United Nations’ International Day of Happiness.  Here, drawn from multiple sources in ‘the science of wellbeing’ you will find ten keys for happier living.  These include: Giving, Exercising and Appreciating (gratitude).    Over on Mashable, Rachel Graf brings together a number of scientific sources that demonstrate the benefits of gratitude, as well as the rise of social good startups

Happy Danes - again

We’ve previously outed Danes at super happy.  Now a new research project, by Eurostat, confirms that Danes are a happy bunch.  Unsurpisingly unemployment and poor health impact on ‘life satisfaction’ while supportive personal relationships play a valuable role in enhancing happiness.

Sources: The Independent; ITProPortal;  Mashable; Europa.