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When Negative Thinking Becomes Positive

When Negative Thinking Becomes Positive

Pessimistic Positivity – The Myths of Happiness Revealed   Is it possible to be happy all the time? In truth, the answer to the question depends on your definition of happiness. Martin Seligman, a leader in the positive psychology movement, has a real dislike for the word “happiness” because, as he notes, to the modern ear, “happy” means “buoyant mood, merriment, good cheer, and smiling.” The problem isn’t with any of these attributes arising as part of the natural course of life. But this type of hedonistic experience isn’t what the word “happiness” has met historically. Thomas Jefferson’s declaration that ... Read More »

You’ll Never Be Happy Trying – Part 2

You’ll Never Be Happy Trying - Part 2

There are many myths that surround happiness. While trying to find happiness seems like a normal pursuit, modern psychology isn’t so sure. According to the prevailing theory, we have accidental bouts of happiness that come and go beyond our control. Further complicating the search for happiness is that there are many myths surrounding it. One thing that positive psychology as shown us is that happiness is an emotion, and when it comes to any emotion we can’t “get” or “have” them. Instead we are them, or we are being them. In the previous post I addressed one of the biggest ... Read More »

You’ll Never Be Happy Trying

Happiness-You’ll Never Be Happy Trying

“Try not. Do. Or do not. There is no try!” ~Yoda~ If you are trying to be happy, you will never be happy. Yoda was right. One of the problems standing in the way of our happiness is that we are trying too hard. When it comes to our emotions, which includes happiness, we cannot “get” or “have” them, they are within us, they are something we are. We are being happy, we are being ticked off. We aren’t doing anger, we’re angry. If you’re screaming at the guy that cut you off in traffic you’re not thinking to yourself, “Great, now ... Read More »

Is There a Real Equation for Happiness?

Is There a Real Equation for Happiness

In the last few weeks I’ve noticed and increase in the number of articles centered around the idea that there’s a mathematical formula for happiness. Initially I made an assumption which turned out – as many assumptions do – to be totally wrong. My assumption was that there had been either a refinement of the “happiness formula,” created by the gurus of happiness Diener, Lyubomirsky and Seligman, or someone else had cracked the code and come up with an actual mathematical equation to the age old mystery of “what is the secret to happiness.” My first mistaken assumption was that ... Read More »

Does Being Hardier make you Happier?

Does Being Hardier make you Happier?

When I hear the word hardy, and happiness is not the first emotion that comes to mind. Strong, yes. Substantial, sure. But happy; not really. How were these two words put together? It was Dr. Tom Muha, a positive psychologist, who asked, what is potentially a disturbing, question, which is, “Are you prematurely dead? Again you might be wondering what does that question have to do with hardiness and happiness?don’t worry it’ll come together in a minute. I’d said “a potentially a disturbing question” because we all have that inner critic called our ego and it’s always quick to answer ... Read More »

All Happiness is not Created Equal

All Happiness is not Created Equal

It seemed like sure a simple act, “a no brainer,” really. After all she only had a couple of items and I was easily going to pass the century mark with what was in my cart, besides I was in no real Hurry. Maybe it was just me or maybe she was later for a “very important date,” and I’ll never know because I didn’t ask, but she responded to my small act of kindness with an enthusiasm and delight that was nice, but unexpected and, I thought, really not necessary. Still I enjoyed it, it made me feel happy. ... Read More »

Positive Thinking and the Law of Attraction

Positive Thinking and the Law of Attraction

“Law of Attraction…says that which is like unto itself is drawn.”  ~Abraham~  Positive psychologist will tell you that how you think about yourself, another person or the world in general, has a greater affect on your experience of happiness than any objective circumstance in your life. The idea that optimistic thinking can and will influence how you first perceive and then act in the world, is not  new nor the “discovery” of modern psychology. Seer’s, saints and great grandmothers have for millennia understood the power of positive thinking and the power it can wield in or daily lives. Optimistic or positive thinking enhances our happiness ... Read More »

Letting Happiness Happen

Letting Happiness Happen

“It is the paradox of life that the way to miss pleasure is to seek it first. The very first condition of lasting happiness is that a life should be full of purpose, aiming at something outside self.” ~Hugo Black~ It turns out that there’s a paradox in the pursuit happiness. It seems obvious that anything we feel is worth achieving – whatever the goal, personal or altruistic – we pursue it “with a passion,” in other words we are willing to work at it. It’s no surprise then that research, by Sonja Lyubomirsky, Ed Diener and Laura King revealed that ... Read More »

Step into Happiness

Step into Happiness

The idea of stepping into happiness is a bit misleading, though it is based in a common misconception, which is that happiness it out there somewhere waiting to be found or in this care, to be “stepped” into. Happiness is always within you – you chose to be happy. Granted sometime the choice can seem difficult, especially when it seems as if the world has conspired against you. Robert Holden PhD, director of the Happiness Project, describes it this way, “Nothing in the world cam make you happy; everything in the world can encourage you to be happy.” The premise ... Read More »

The Key to Happiness is Connecting

The Key to Happiness is Connecting

Positive psychologists have been telling us for a while now that the key to happiness is connecting. But on Facebook, really? Oh, if I could only write out “really” the way Amy Poehler and Seth Meyer’s said it on Saturday night live.  With just a “little” bit of sarcasm. Sure I connect on Facebook, but I’ve never considered in intimate form of relationship building. Different generation I guess. Because according to Hugh MacKay, author and social researcher, that while connecting on social media is a pale comparison to “what we need as humans to maintain community.” The bigger question is just ... Read More »