Monday, January 4, 2016

The Happiness Experiment - Week 1 Report

Michael Salsbury
On December 28, I posted the first installment in this series.

Based on a talk by Shawn Achor, in which it is claimed that expressing gratitude daily for six weeks will increase a person's happiness and reduce their pain levels significantly, I've begun a habit of finding one person each day to whom I'm grateful in some way and sharing that gratitude with them.  When I have contact with the person, I do so directly.  When it's someone famous (whom I can't visit or call directly) or someone who's no longer with us, I express it here in the blog.

I'm measuring pain levels with the standard physician-style 0-10 level, with 0 being no pain and 10 being the highest level of pain I've experienced. Happiness is tracked using the Oxford Happiness Questionnaire.

Here are the results to date:

  • December 28, 2015:  OHQ Score 2.34, Max pain level 6
  • December 29, 2015 - January 3, 2016:  OHQ Score: 2.2 average, Max pain 5.4 average
Anecdotally, I'd say it's too soon to draw any conclusions.  The daily pain numbers were showing a decline until today when they spiked back up.  The happiness score increased on Deecember 29, but has been dropping since then.  Today's score was 2.17, down from 2.34 at the start.

Today's expression of gratitude wasn't recorded in the blog, but was a text message and verbal sharing with my brother-in-law from Pittsburgh.

The experiment now continues into week 2.

About the Author

Michael Salsbury / Author & Editor

In his day job, Michael Salsbury helps administer over 1,800 Windows desktop computers for a Central Ohio non-profit. When he's not working, he's writing, blogging, podcasting, home brewing, or playing "warm furniture" to his two Bengal cats.


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