Summary #1144

New and diverse experiences linked to enhanced happiness, new study shows

eurekalert.org
  • Study authors used GPS to track participants for up to 4 months, regularly texting them to ask about their positive and negative emotional states.
  • People who were the most active explorers also reported the most positive emotional states.
  • Later, some participants underwent MRI scans, and the results showed that the brain actively rewards us for experiencing new things and switching locations.
  • People feel happier when they experience different things and visit new places often, but it’s unclear whether people with less interesting experiences actually feel sadder.
  • What’s important, even small changes - exercising at home, walking around your neighborhood, choosing a different route to go shopping - can have a positive impact.

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