Anxiety and depression are on the rise. One study shows that the rise in anti-depressant use has risen over 400 percent in recent years. One in 10 Americans is currently using a psychotropic medication for anxiety, depression or similar forms of mental distress. A recent study found that this rise in anxiety and depression is occurring in teenagers as well.
Research by Shelley Gable and Jonathan Haidt suggests that we actually have three times more positive experiences than negative. So why are our happiness levels not higher and what can we do about it?
This question has become of such interest that an entire field of research – positive psychology – has developed around it. Scientists aren’t the only ones asking this question, so is everyone else — which explains the recent surge of books on happiness (Amazon currently has over 72,000 books listed under happiness!), attendance at yoga class (over 20 million) and meditation seminars, and the burgeoning of websites devoted to increasing happiness (like our very own Fulfillment Daily, but also Happier, and Happify among others).
Silicon Valley has joined the race and is using novel concepts from positive psychology to seriously hack happiness.