The Benefits of Existentialism

Do you ever read something and it makes you so happy that you want to squeal with delight, but you can't because you're at work and squealing with delight is liable to be disruptive in your shared workspace? Well, that happened to me today when I read this on the NY Times Well Blog.

It may sound counterintuitive, but people who spend more of their day having deep discussions and less time engaging in small talk seem to be happier, said Matthias Mehl, a psychologist at the University of Arizona who published a study on the subject.

“We found this so interesting, because it could have gone the other way — it could have been, ‘Don’t worry, be happy’ — as long as you surf on the shallow level of life you’re happy, and if you go into the existential depths you’ll be unhappy,” Dr. Mehl said.

But, he proposed, substantive conversation seemed to hold the key to happiness for two main reasons: both because human beings are driven to find and create meaning in their lives, and because we are social animals who want and need to connect with other people. (emphasis added)

What better possible venue than healthcare for deep conversations? Talk Deeply, Be Happy