Tag Archives: happiness

“If ONLY I found the right person to love, then I would be happy.”

"Light" by Mimi Stuart©
Live the Life you Desire

While I am all for the right person, happiness, and love, it’s more likely that you will experience all three if you live your life knowing that No one can fulfill your unfulfilled deepest needs and desires but you. If you are generally unhappy, no one can or will make you happy.

You may imagine that a particular person’s love and care will make you feel whole. But eventually any dependency on someone else for your feeling of wholeness will lead to disappointment and resentment.

When you fulfill your deepest needs and desires the best you can and engage the world from a sense of wholeness (not that anyone is perfectly whole) rather than from a sense of emptiness and need, then you are more likely to dance in and out of the realm of happiness and fulfillment.

by Alison Poulsen, PhD

Read “Why didn’t you call me?”

Guest Author Roswitha McIntosh
Beyond Gloom & Doom

"Yes" by Mimi Stuart ©

“Yes” by Mimi Stuart ©

Brain research shows that happiness is more closely related to our state of mind than to our external circumstances. We filter life through our mind’s eye. Thus, we can choose to appreciate the moment and view our life as a precious gift. By transforming our state of mind, we can improve life’s ordinary moments, making them extraordinary, which results in greater enjoyment of life’s journey.

Here is an example of how a change of attitude can transform our experience of ordinary life, and make it better for those around us as well.

GUEST AUTHOR Roswitha McIntosh writes:

Whenever I listen to the news or read the newspaper, a sense of gloom overtakes me—nothing cheerful, nothing uplifting. News about terror, war and corruption, news about the alarming decimation of other species and destruction of our planet, or earthquakes, floods and fires. Man against man, man against beast, man against nature, and nature against man. Nothing but gloom.

I decide to take a walk. A neighbor waves a friendly Good Morning. A little boy holds the door for me—what kindness in one so young! The sky is blue. Overhead, a plane takes travelers to distant lands. Below, flowers shine in the sun. My spirits lift with joy.

As always when I enter a grocery store, I marvel at the abundance of it all. I grew up in war-torn Europe, when food was severely rationed. People were pitifully thin.

I remember my overwhelming amazement when I had my first American meal, succulent roast beef—more than a month’s ration—a baked potato, butter and corn. We did have potatoes—that’s what we lived on—but there was no butter or cream or anything else. For my first dessert in America I chose an orange—I vaguely recalled once having seen one. I knew nothing about ice cream.

Today I’m looking for an orchid for my brother. “Long lines,” I mention to the young woman in front of me. It is Saturday. “You’ve got only one item?” she asks, looking at my plant. “Do go ahead of me,” she offers.

I thank her for her kindness, but decline, seeing her little son. “I bet you’re eager too to get back outside,” I say to the boy. He smiles. We chat amicably about this and that and before we know it, we reach the checkout stand.

I walk home with a smile, glad to realize again that most individuals are kind, far kinder than the media realizes. I mentally survey my friends and acquaintances and find that they all have admirable traits: it may be kindness, joie de vivre or integrity, knowledge, special skills or a good sense of humor. It’s rare that I run into a person who’s devoid of a worthy trait.

It is NOT a world of gloom and doom, I conclude, but a world of infinite variety. And, gratifyingly, we are free to choose our focus and attitude. By doing so we create a world of our own making.

by Roswitha McIntosh, editor of the blog “Rosi Colored Glasses

“If I get the promotion and my new relationship works out, then I’ll be happy.”

"Scott Joplin's Great Crush Collision"  by Mimi Stuart© Live the Life you Desire

“Scott Joplin’s Great Crush Collision”
by Mimi Stuart© Live the Life you Desire

It turns out that this kind of thinking is reversed. It actually works the other way around. If you decide to be happy, then your job and your relationships are likely to be successful and fulfilling.

People who are happy feel better, focus better, think more clearly, have better access to all regions of their brains, have quicker more agile responses to changing circumstances and solve problems better. Happy people are more empathetic and creative, which means they will be more diplomatic, interesting and enjoyable to be around.

In essence, happy people perform better at work and have better relationships.

How do you make yourself happy?

To increase your happiness, try some of the following:

• get more sleep,
• eat healthy foods,
• exercise — particularly sports or activities you enjoy,
• pursue your passions,
• change negative thinking to optimistic thinking or at least to humor,
• do nice things for others,
• laugh more,
• meditate,
• increase your gratitude for the good things in your life,
• and focus on the positive angle of challenging circumstances in your life.

How to be happy when you’re angry at someone

When you are angry at someone, take the time you need to find at least one thing you are grateful for in that person. Try to adopt an attitude of gratitude in order to provide you with the clear thinking and demeanor to be more effective interacting with him or her. You may need to take a walk, get some exercise, do some deep breathing, talk to a friend, or take a couple of days before you are able to see some redeemable quality in the other person. Once you feel centered and can see a bit of humanity in the other person, you will communicate much more effectively, or at least avoid making things worse.

When you see the good in others despite their perceived shortcomings, they will sense it and be more open and amenable to you. Your effort at communication will be more compelling. Moreover, you can feel good about yourself for approaching someone in a positive, constructive, and humane way.

by Alison Poulsen, PhD

Read “Should we always be positive? ‘Just be happy!’”

Read “Fantasies: ‘All I want is a Lamborghini! Then I’d be happy.’”

Read “Happiness: ‘We must have a terrible marriage because I’m so unhappy.’”

Should we always be positive?
“Just be happy!”

"Counterpoint" by Mimi Stuart©  Living the Life you Desire

“Counterpoint” by Mimi Stuart©
Living the Life you Desire

One of the trickier skills to living a conscious life is being able to grapple with and balance complex situations without relying on simple platitudes or one-sided belief systems.

Many people are drawn to positive attitudes such as “be tolerant,” “always show compassion,” and “just be happy,” because such attitudes often do enhance health and joy in life. However, it is important to remember that the shadow side of exclusively embracing any attitude, positive or negative, can create more problems than the specific attitude is expected to convey. What remains in the shadow causes destruction in harmful, unexpected ways.

There are situations where we should not be tolerant, namely situations that call for judgment, discernment, and protecting yourself and others. There are certain behaviors, which do not deserve compassion, but that need to be exposed and criticized to prevent further harm from being done. There are times that do not call for happiness, namely when there is a need to experience loss, grief, and sadness.

Tolerance that is grounded in understanding rather than permissiveness and fear does not shy away from discerning the differences, good and bad, between different actions and behaviors. Compassion based on empathy and understanding is more humane and meaningful when it prioritizes whom it blesses with sympathetic concern. Happiness that is grounded in acceptance of the ongoing losses that we face is a deeper happiness than a forced cheeriness that turns its back on the difficulties in life.

While a positive attitude does wonders for one’s health, state of being, and relationships, we should make sure that we don’t become so one-sided that we stop taking the necessary time to view the world with discernment, to hold others accountable for harmful actions, and to experience the breadth of human emotions, which in effect deepens our presence in the world.

by Alison Poulsen, PhD

Read “The Persona and the Shadow: ‘I’ve always been accommodating, but at times I find myself saying very mean things.’”

Read “Displaced Anger: ‘All you think about is your career!’”

Guest Author Ros McIntosh
Staying young

“I hate getting old.”

“Rose” by Mimi Stuart ©
Live the Life you Desire

Most of us want to live a long (and happy) life. But who wants to get old! Neither you, nor I. Since we can’t have one without the other, it’s best to make the BEST of it. We can grow old and yet retain some of the wonderful feelings of youth.

Happiness

Happiness is number one. Being miserable contributes to no one’s happiness. Happiness is within our control — we have no one to ask for it, and no one can take it away — not even Uncle Sam. We alone decide if we want to be cheerful or depressed. Of course, it’s not always easy; listening to the daily news can be a mighty damper — the ups and downs of the campaign, nuclear power in jumpy hands, riots about videos, floods and fires, or the wrinkles in our face. All sad, sad, sad. But can our sadness change any of it? Not very likely. On the other hand, our smile may cheer up someone. And, most importantly, it’ll cheer us. A smile steers our thoughts into more upbeat channels. Our gloriously beautiful Earth provides much to be grateful for. As Shakespeare says: Assume a virtue if you have it not. And smile.

Health

Our health and stamina decline as we grow older; so it’s vital for us to walk and keep active, and stay away from the refrigerator. We need less food, and more gentle movement to keep our muscles alive and our body flexible. As to medications? Doctors often assume that their patients feel short-changed if they have to leave their office without a prescription. Worse, I hear that some doctors have a vested interest in some pharmaceuticals or pharmacies. I told my doctor that I’m no friend of pills, and he’s never prescribed me anything yet, except for something temporary like a flu.

Adventure

A sense of adventure and curiosity, and the excitement of discovering or learning something new is one of life’s greatest pleasures. When we finally retire, we have more leisure to pursue these joys. My life has always been filled to the brim, but since I retired, the days seem shorter than ever — there’s so much to do, to explore, to write, to share. My daughters gave me a new bicycle and pink and blue roller blades when I turned 65; I took up playing the piano at 70, I read more books in foreign languages now, and am having a ball volunteering. And think of all the wonders that Google is willing to reveal if we ask for it! It’s unimaginable that we once had to do without it.

Friends

Cherish your friends; and honor them for being your friends. Treasure them in good times as well as in bad. Loneliness makes for poor company; we thrive in interaction with others. A pet may help, but a pet ties us down and needs daily care. If you’ve moved away from your friends, join a group, volunteer or become a friend to the friendless. To have a good friend is one of the greatest delights of life, as R. W. Emerson put it.

Looks

I’ve found the perfect solution for our declining youthful beauty, but you may not like it. I found light bulbs with low, low wattage and use them near my mirrors! I feel better when I’m not reminded of my wrinkles and glad to discern nothing but a cheerful grin. It seems ludicrous and a losing battle to pretend that we’re younger than we are.

It’s more fun to put some twinkles in our wrinkles, and be proud of our age! We’re still alive, and eager to make the best of it. And that is all that matters. It’s grand to enjoy the fruits of our efforts — no more crying babies at two in the morning, instead some darling grandkids to spoil. No more rush hour traffic to fight, instead full devotion to the daily paper. We have leisure to do what we like. It’s worthwhile to be grateful for, or, if you’re still young, something to look forward to.

Come to think of it, the last ten years have been the happiest of my life.

Until next time,

by Ros McIntosh (Rosi), author of four books and RosiColoredGlassesBlog.

Read “My life has no purpose or meaning.”

Living the Life you Desire:
“Why me? Everything would be different, if only….”

“Noble Love” by Mimi Stuart ©
Live the Life you Desire

Sometimes we impulsively focus on the negative, perpetuating our view of ourselves as victims lacking influence over our own life and attitude.

Sometimes we rush through life without any awareness of how those around us and we ourselves are feeling. In other words, we lack connection with the world and ourselves.

It’s important to ask yourself how you want to experience the journey through life. By keeping in mind how you really want to live your life, you are more likely to live the life you desire, whether that means being happy, reaching your full potential, having meaningful relationships, or all of the above.

Living a more fulfilling life is possible when we become self-aware and understand the dynamics of life’s subtleties.

Ask yourself what you would like more of in your life?

Enjoyment with friends.
Confidence—abilities and skills.
A better job.
Time with family.
Solitude.
Time outside to exercise and enjoy the out-of-doors.
Respect from those around you.
Better health.
More fun.
More financial security.
Serenity.

There is a time for solitude and a time for pursuing financial security. Much suffering comes from neglecting specific spheres in our life. The man who only wants to have fun and enjoy friends may end up alienating friends when he banks on their generosity for too long. The woman who is exclusively compelled to drive forward her career may find herself estranged from family and friends.

As we approach different stages in our life, we may be able to adjust our lives to achieve greater balance and with it a more fulfilling life. Living a meaningful, fulfilling life involves being mindful of the world around us as well as keeping aware of our own inner experience as we pass through the different phases of our life.

by Alison Poulsen, PhD

Read “Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs: ‘Since he lost his job, he doesn’t seem to care about our relationship.’”