Happiness Research & Wendy

Happy Thoughts by Wendy Holcomb

For a young woman with a myriad of health issues Wendy Holcomb is one of the most spunky, positive people I’ve encountered on the blog-o-sphere. In her own words:

I have a few chronic illnesses that are a part of my life: Meniere’s Disease (this has caused severe hearing loss), Gluten Intolerance, Fructose Malabsorption, chronic migraines, Hypothyroidism, Hypoglycemia, chronic pelvic pain, Bi-Polar II Disorder and chronic hip trouble. However, I’m determined to
find a way to live an active, useful, and happy life!

How does Wendy remain so positive?  What makes us happy?  What makes us unhappy?  All the psychology research FINALLY being done on happiness (instead of despair, decay and decadence) appears to have common threads.

University of California psychologist Sonja Lyubomirsky finds that  “. . .practicing acts of kindness both random (let that harried mom go ahead of you in the checkout line) and systematic (bring Sunday supper to an elderly neighbor) triggers a cascade of positive [neurochemical] effects—it makes you feel generous and capable, gives you a greater sense of connection with others and wins you smiles, approval and reciprocated kindness—all happiness boosters.”

Psychologist Martin Seligman provides the acronym PERMA to summarize Positive Psychology’s correlational findings: Humans seem happiest when they have

  1. Pleasure (tasty foods, warm baths, etc.)
  2. Engagement (or flow, the absorption of an enjoyed yet challenging activity)
  3. Relationships (social ties have turned out to be extremely reliable indicator of happiness)
  4. Meaning (a perceived quest or belonging to something bigger)
  5. Accomplishments (having realized tangible goals).

There is also a growing body of evidence that correlates “contentment” with just three things:

  • A sense of belonging (a community, faith group, family)
  • The ability to contribute artistically (self-expression in any form)
  • Service (to others).
Personally I will take the 3.  For me it seems that the 3 encompass just about everything else. 

What do you think?

Check out Wendy’s blogs:

CreatetoHeal    PicnicWithAnts   WendyCooks (gluten free recipes)

5 comments on “Happiness Research & Wendy

  1. You are such a dear to mention me in such a posiyive way! I’m humbled. Today has been a rough dizzy day and I was feeling a little blue…it happens even to me 😉

    I too try to take all 3.

    And I get such joy out of giving. It gives me such joy to give.

    I have found since I’ve become more disabbled that I get so much community and sense of worth from my fellow friends who are health callenged. I feel so touched when someone raches out to me just to vent, or ask for a recipe or anything. I’m so grateful I can be there for others , and have friends like you to kick me in the butt when I need it and encourage me.
    Thank you…and Max for being my friends.


  2. Judy, Loving Wendy and her blog and beautiful art work. She deals with so much because of Meniere’s disease that I find it amazing that she can still be so creative, and positive.


  3. A nice post..indeed very inspiring… world is beautiful because of people like Wendy..and you too Judy.. I am inclined to go by three.. they do cover all…it is good to just Be.. total acceptance..

    Judy have a look on my both posts at Haiku Heights..


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