Can the science of happiness create a business about the science of happiness?
A Milwaukee-area couple has started a business aimed at making people happy.
Hapacus LLC helps people organize classes around the growing scientific research on happiness. The company built its program by using research in the areas of mental health and well-being, Hapacus said in a news release.
"Hapacus isn't just another happiness book. It is a technology to ensure that the ideas are properly digested and implemented within people's real lives," said Ken Sheldon, a researcher and author of "Designing Positive Psychology."
Hapacus has a student manual, called "The Happiness Journey" that is only available as part of the company's educational program. It includes charts, graphs and visuals related to the subject of well being, the company said.
Humans' brains are built to help them survive, not to make them happy," said Bob Pothier, Hapacus' co-founder and chief executive officer. Pothier and his wife, Virginia, write a blog about happiness.
People can be less happy because of a survival mechanism called negativity bias that causes our brains to favor negative information over positive information, Pothier said. That may have helped cavemen avoid predators, but it does not encourage happiness.
"We have to recognize when our brains have unreasonably focused on negative information so we can manage back towards more healthy patterns," he said.
Pothier was previously chief executive officer of Point One Systems LLC in Wauwatosa, and before that was a senior GE Healthcare mergers-and-acquisitions executive.
Hapacus has begun teaching happiness courses around the country and is looking for people to become Hapacus teachers.
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