A: These two words, considered sincerely, can radically reconfigure the landscape of your mind. Worry rarely leads to positive action; it’s just painful, useless fear about hypothetical events, which scuttles happiness rather than ensuring it. Some psychologists say that by focusing on gratitude, we can shut down the part of the brain that worries. It actually works.
How can I keep myself absolutely safe?
A: Ask this question just to remind yourself of the answer: You can’t. Life is inherently uncertain. The way to cope with that reality is not to control and avoid your way into a rigid and little demi-life, but to develop courage. Doing what you long to do, despite fear, will accomplish this.
Are your thoughts hurting or healing?
A: Your situation may endanger your life and limbs, but only your thoughts can endanger your happiness. Telling yourself a miserable mental story about your circumstances creates suffering. Telling yourself a more positive and grateful story, studies show, increases happiness. Wherever you are, whatever you’re doing, choose thoughts that knit your heart together, rather than tear it apart.
There have been several times in my personal life that I’ve had the choice to live on the darkside or see the brightside, it was a choice. We’ve all been there at times in our lives. In a few months time I look forward to embarking on being able coach those that have lived long enough to know what it’s like to be a “survivor”. Once you’ve survived cancer or have survived a different life-threatening situation, you change. Researchers have found that people who regularly write down things for which they are grateful in “gratitude journals” have increased satisfaction in life, higher energy levels, and improved health. In one study, people who read a letter of appreciation to someone in their lives were measurably happier still almost one month later. Performing acts of kindness or altruism, boosts moods. Twitter chat participants stressed the importance of smiling and laughing, pointing to movements like “laughter yoga” around the world. Data shows that our relationships matter too. People that engage in meaningful conversations with friends or family, report being happier than those who don’t. Close interpersonal ties and strong social support are crucial for happiness.
My strong feeling is that so much of what this research describes is Life Coaching. People who are feeling good but want to feel better, or people who are going through a change and want to find that next place that will make them happier would achieve so much benefit by being in a trusting coaching partnership. It’s enormously beneficial to have a coach who is chock full of emotional intelligence, as well as skill, in addition to feeling that they’re happy to be alive.
Are you Happy? Could you be Happier? Happiness=Health…Health=Happiness
Achor, Shawn, The Happiness Advantage, 2010, Crown Publishing Group, New York, NY 10019
Beck, Martha, (posted 2/11 issue of O Magazine), 20 Questions That Could Change Your Life http://www.oprah.com/spirit/Martha-Becks-20-Questions-That-Could-Change-Your-Life_1
Chan, Amanda, (posted 11/01/2011), Happiness Tied To Longer Life, Study Finds, HuffPost Healthy Living http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/01/happiness-long-life-_n_1068209.html
Chopra, Deepak, (posted 11/29/10), Why You Don’t Want to Be Happy, HuffPost Healthy Living. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/deepak-chopra/why-you-dont-want-to-be-h_b_789295.html
Rubin, Gretchen, The Happiness Project, 2009, HarperCollins Publishers, New York, NY 10022