Posts Tagged ‘positive outlook’

I saw an article relating to happiness in the LA Times. I thought I would share:

A guide to enhancing happiness

September 8, 2008

Count your blessings. Express gratitude for what you have privately and also by conveying appreciation to others.

Cultivate optimism. Keep a journal in which you write your best possible future. Practice seeing the bright side of every situation.

Avoid over-thinking and social comparison. When you start to dwell on problems or compare yourself to others, distract yourself with positive thoughts or activities.

Practice kindness. Do good things for others.

Nurture relationships. Pick a relationship that needs strengthening, and invest time and energy in it.

Do more activities that truly engage you. Increase the experiences at home or work in which you lose yourself in total absorption.

Replay and savor life’s joys. Pay attention, delight in and review life’s momentary pleasures.

Commit to your goals. Pick one or more significant goals and devote time and effort to pursuing them.

Develop coping strategies. Find and practice healthy ways to manage stress, hardship or trauma.

Forgive. Keep a journal or write a letter in which you let go of anger and resentment toward those who have hurt you.

Practice spirituality. Get more involved in your church, temple or mosque. Read spiritual books.

Take care of your body. Exercise, meditate and laugh.

Source: “The How of Happiness: A Scientific Approach to Getting the Life You Want,” by Sonja Lyubomirsky

Tips on switching to a positive outlook

September 8, 2008
While working with unhappy clients, psychologist and author Dan Baker draws on the science that shows that half of our happiness is genetic, but as much as 40% is up to us. “That 40% is huge,” says Baker, who is the founding director of the life enhancement program at Canyon Ranch, an upscale spa and resort in Tucson and the author of “What Happy Women Know” (Rodale, 2008), a sequel to his bestselling “What Happy People Know” (St. Martin’s, 2004).

To help clients rewire their unhappy outlook, he offers this three-part prescription. For the next week, do these things daily:

1. Every morning when you wake up, think of someone or something that you have a deep and abiding appreciation for: a former teacher or coach, a neighbor, a parent or friend. Do the same just before lunch. At night, when you get in bed, think of something that occurred that day that you appreciate.

2. Do something for someone else. Call a friend or send her an e-mail. Give a toy to charity.

3. Curb your negative self-talk. When thinking of a forthcoming event, such as the birth of a baby or having the family over for Thanksgiving, don’t focus on the pain or hassles. Focus on the possibilities — and on what’s good and special about the event.

“It only takes a couple minutes each day to eventually build up a new neural network,” Baker says.

Keep up these new behaviors until they turn into habits.

— Marnell Jameson

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