Wednesday, October 24, 2012

How Knitting Makes you Happy

The positive psychology movement often looks at the question "are successful people happy or do happy people become successful?" For more background on the result of one study go here

I've considered this topic a lot while thinking about my knitting career. I think we may be asking the wrong question. Perhaps not being concerned with success at all gets us there faster? 

Research also shows that attacking challenges makes us happy, and we are happy when we accomplish things even if the result is not optimal. This is due to the feelings of accomplishment from the lessons learned. This can happen even during a failed project. 

If you want to be happy, set challenges for yourself. Just in case you didn't go to the link, the evidence indicates that making yourself happy first will make you successful. That means that the unsuccessful projects will lead you to be successful later on.

Oddly though, there were a few surprising drawbacks to being happy found in the study: "cheerful people appeared be worse at problem solving, maybe because they were so relaxed and did not always learn from trial and error. Also because they were more likely to think that everything was always going well, they could also be worse at critical thinking and error checking".

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