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This Emotional Life: Rethinking Happiness


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This Emotional Life: Rethinking Happiness
Program Description

Pledge Event. It is critical to well-being, yet it remains such an elusive goal for many. What is it, why is it important and how can we attain more of it? Viewers discover the latest research that says we often incorrectly predict what will bring greater happiness, leading us to look for it in the wrong places. As the study of behavior turns more toward positive emotions, the episode explores the latest research on the activities and qualities that foster them, such as meditation, compassion, forgiveness and altruism. The series features remarkable stories of resilient individuals whom scientists are studying to learn more about us all, including a man who overcame an abusive childhood to become a renowned surgeon and a Vietnam veteran who survived torture, solitary confinement and seven years as a POW, and yet emerged emotionally unscathed. Understanding why some people have the ability to bounce back after disaster strikes, while others do not, sheds light on how all of us can lead happier, more fulfilling lives. The film ends by coming full circle to the understanding that the quality of our relationships - with friends, family and larger community - ultimately defines our happiness.

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Chicago: “This Emotional Life: Rethinking Happiness,” 09/15/2010, GBH Archives, accessed February 26, 2024,
MLA: “This Emotional Life: Rethinking Happiness.” 09/15/2010. GBH Archives. Web. February 26, 2024. <>.
APA: This Emotional Life: Rethinking Happiness. Boston, MA: GBH Archives. Retrieved from
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