When Marci Shimoff talks about her research into what makes people happy, or the “happiness set-point,” or her latest bestselling book, “Happy for No Reason: 7 Steps to Being Happy from the Inside Out”, she interrupts herself for a moment and gets real.


When Marci Shimoff talks about her research into what makes people happy, or the “happiness set-point,” or her latest bestselling book, “Happy for No Reason: 7 Steps to Being Happy from the Inside Out”, she interrupts herself for a moment and gets real.

 

“When I speak of being happy for no reason, it doesn’t mean being happy 24/7 — it means you have an inner state of peace and well-being that doesn’t depend upon your circumstances,” Shimoff says.

 

“There is now a science of happiness called ‘positive psychology’ that has done a lot of research into happiness — and science is actually cracking the ‘happiness code,’” she says.

 

“We now know what it takes to make people happy, and since it’s the one thing we all want most in life, then it’s a brilliant thing to give yourself — some attention on raising your happiness level.”

 

Shimoff also is co-author of six “Chicken Soup for the Soul” books focusing on women. Together with authors Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen, their “Chicken Soup” books have sold more than 13 million copies worldwide in 33 languages and have been on the New York Times bestseller list a total of 108 weeks.

 

Her 2008 publication of “Happy for No Reason” debuted at No. 2 on the New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller lists.

 

Shimoff is scheduled to speak at a conference in Rolla on Friday.

 

“I’ve done a tremendous amount of research into the field of happiness, and it’s been clearly found that anyone can raise their happiness level,” Shimoff says.

 

“People are very hungry for this. Unhappiness is an epidemic of major proportions. One of every five women are taking antidepressant drugs.”

 

Medications are not a prescribed element of Shimoff’s therapy. She prefers more natural methods.

 

“I think there’s a place for antidepressant drugs, and I never tell people to go off them without consulting with their doctors, but I think they are overprescribed.

 

“There are ways to access a greater state of happiness without the antidepressants and without the side effects.”

 

Shimoff attributes much of her research into happiness to the “100 unconditionally happy people” she has interviewed. She calls them her “happy 100” and cites some of the 21 main happiness habits that anyone can practice:

 

“Don’t believe everything you think. Just because we have a thought doesn’t mean it’s true.

 

“Make your cells happy. Happiness is also a physiological function. There are things you can do to create the happiness chemicals in your body, naturally.

 

“Take responsibility for your happiness.

 

“Focus on gratitude.

 

“Find your passion.”

 

According to Shimoff, studies confirm people have a “happiness set-point,” or a happiness level that hovers around a fixed range.

 

“You can do things to rewire your brain, change your thinking to increase your happiness, change your feelings, live more with an open heart, gratitude and loving kindness,” she says.

 

“I’ve seen remarkable results in how people can change their health, their relationships, and even the successes in their lives, by raising their happiness level.

 

“These things aren’t hard,” she says, referring to the techniques she teaches. “Just taking five-to-10 minutes a day to do these practices, within 30 days, you’ll notice a difference.

 

“Most people spend more time on their hair in a day than they spend on their happiness.

 

“It’s a different world when you raise your happiness level,” Shimoff says.

 

Slated as the morning keynote speaker at the day-long conference on the “Dynamics of Aging,” offered by the Phelps Regional Medical Center on Friday, Shimoff plans to discuss her philosophy, offer some techniques for reprogramming the “happiness set-point” to a higher level of peace and well-being and offer participants the “Happy for No Reason Self-Assessment.”

 

The afternoon session of the conference features Dr. Jeff Kerr from PCRMC, who will discuss the “Secrets of Longevity.”

 

Available to the public, the cost of the conference is $199 and includes a continental breakfast, lunch and a signed copy of Shimoff’s book. To register for the event at PCRMC, call 458-7693.