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Old 09-12-2008, 06:17 PM
l0stsheep l0stsheep is offline
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Default I Want to be Happier

ABC helps people grow physically, this thread is aimed to help people grow emotionally.

Martin Seligman likes to tell of when he was gardening one day and his 5-year old daughter Nikki came out to join him. Amidst his furious weedking, his daughter Nikki was off to the side joyously throwing the weeds into the air and dancing around. He yelled at her to stop and she walked away only to return moments later. She asked to talked to him.
"Yes, Nikki."
"Daddy do you remember before my fifth birthday? From three to five I was a whiner, I whined every day. But when I turned five, I decided not to whine anymore. That was the hardest thing I've ever had to do. And if I can stop whining, you can stop being such a grouch [!] (Seligman, 1991).

He goes on to relate how, just like our actions, are emotions and our thoughts (cognitions) are under our control. This thread will rely heavily on that point. It may not be easy, and important things rarely are, but it's possible to learn to control our thoughts and our emotions.

Throughout this thread I want to post, and encourage others to post, any helpful techniques they have used to help bring more lasting happiness and satisfaction into their lives.
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Old 09-12-2008, 06:28 PM
l0stsheep l0stsheep is offline
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I will start with one:

Positive Journaling
Many people are familiar with the concept of journaling, if not under the impression that journaling is not very masculine. When, in fact, nothing could be further from the truth. What could be more masculine than taking your thoughts and feelings head on? Only strong men and women could have such might (and you all are strong!).

Positive journaling is somewhat different than normal journaling. The first part is the same: take time everyday to sit down and put your thoughts and feelings onto paper. But the second part is what can make journaling a positive part in your life (normal journaling IS possitive in that it helps sort out your thoughts, but journaling can do so much more). After you have listed something, positive journaling asks you to evaluate what you have listed.

If what you have listed is negative - Then think of how you can appraise the situation differently. Are you capturing every point of view, or can you look at this situation differently? I guarantee you that other points of view are there, and I know you can find a positive way to appraise even a dismal situation. Positive journaling asks you to find that positive appraisal of the situation and journal about it.

If what you have listed is neutral or positive - Then think of behavior you can do to further this situation. How can you extent the positive nature of the situation or feeling? Or, how can you turn this neutral situation into a positive one. Just like above, I guarantee that you can find this positive appraisal, and once you do, journal about it.

After your journaling - Resolve to put your words into action! I can't speak more highly of how effective positive BEHAVIOR can have on your mindset. I will post more sources in a bit about how behavior can effect your cognitive state.

Good luck!
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Old 09-12-2008, 07:30 PM
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Throughout this thread I want to post, and encourage others to post, any helpful techniques they have used to help bring more lasting happiness and satisfaction into their lives.
I knew from a young age that life was precious and that I should try to enjoy every moment. So my technique is to remind myself to take each day slowly because you never know when it will end or when I loved one may be taken away from you.

Now that I have two young boys, it is even more important to me to remind myself daily to take it slow, because sometimes feelings creep in of "I just wish they would grow out of this stage..." but you know, there will ALWAYS be some new stage, so why rush the current one. Just live life and love it everyday.
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Old 09-16-2008, 06:31 AM
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I like it commander! Thanks for the input! I hope it will continue to come.


My next idea comes from the new literature on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (Hayes, 2007).

As we go through life, we are undoubtedly met with difficult life situations. Maybe we lose a job, lose a loved one, fail a test, fail in an interview. Life is uncanny in it's unrelenting supply of difficult times. The question I pose today is how you view these difficult life situations.

Oftentimes, when something happens to us we are prone to blame ourselves. "Why didn't I study enough?" "I should have spent more time at home." "I should have been a better friend."

But are we always right to accept blame when something happens to us? In any circumstance, there are many possible explanations for a certain outcome. If you fail a test, it may be that you are "not smart" or it could be that your professor didn't prepare you for the test. If you miss a workout, it could be that you "didn't have enough foresight," or if could be that something out of your control came up during the day.

So, when looking at life situations, don't look to yourself as "responsible" but look to yourself as "response-able." When something negative comes up, you are not at fault for the situation, but you are able to respond to the situation.

There is liberation in being able to let go of any possession of life situations in leu of accepting the ability to respond to them.
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Old 09-16-2008, 12:39 PM
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Great thread!!! i will be honest, i am a mild attention seeker...i sometimes catch myself trying to 'outdo' others...or tell a better story after someone else is done, always trying to be 'in first place so to speak'...i am aware of this...and lately have been working on it..today i found my horoscope in a newspaper and it hit home PERFECT it is now in my pocket, and will be there every day....

"The person who finishes first is not always the winner. There is something valuable to be gained through patience and humility. Quiet, selfless acts build your inner strenght."
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Old 09-23-2008, 11:57 AM
MartinofSweden MartinofSweden is offline
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I find this an important subject and would like to join the discussion, with a slight twist. Putting this short I believe that negative emotions do not neccecarily need to be all bad but could actually be benefitial, in that they may give rise to questions regarding the purpose of life and may make you search for your creator.



There is absolutely nothing that comes even close to the peace and overwhelming joy you experience when laying down and resting at the feet of your God. Check out Hebrews 4 which speaks of the rest that is available to us through Christ.



Coming to Him in prayer and songs really transforms my state of mind from darkness to light and gives perspective on life. In His mighty presence all issues of my life become highly insignificant. The more I see of Jesus the more I realize how fully dependant I really am on Him, and my heart is overflowing with thankfullness. If you havenīt experienced His grace yet you should search for Him, there is nothing in this world (or in the life that has been given to you) worth holding you back - you have everything to win and nothing to loose!
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Old 09-23-2008, 12:00 PM
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Originally Posted by MartinofSweden View Post
I find this an important subject and would like to join the discussion, with a slight twist. Putting this short I believe that negative emotions do not neccecarily need to be all bad but could actually be benefitial, in that they may give rise to questions regarding the purpose of life and may make you search for your creator.



There is absolutely nothing that comes even close to the peace and overwhelming joy you experience when laying down and resting at the feet of your God. Check out Hebrews 4 which speaks of the rest that is available to us through Christ.



Coming to Him in prayer and songs really transforms my state of mind from darkness to light and gives perspective on life. In His mighty presence all issues of my life become highly insignificant. The more I see of Jesus the more I realize how fully dependant I really am on Him, and my heart is overflowing with thankfullness. If you havenīt experienced His grace yet you should search for Him, there is nothing in this world (or in the life that has been given to you) worth holding you back - you have everything to win and nothing to loose!

without going to the bible and staying scientific. i think negativity can be channelled into a positive sort of if angry generally testosterone is higher so hitting the weights in a controlled anger could be benificial in getting passed plateu's etc?
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Old 09-25-2008, 12:43 PM
MartinofSweden MartinofSweden is offline
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Originally Posted by klosey View Post
without going to the bible and staying scientific. i think negativity can be channelled into a positive sort of if angry generally testosterone is higher so hitting the weights in a controlled anger could be benificial in getting passed plateu's etc?
Iīm not sure I follow, do you mean getting angry increases testosterone?
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Old 09-26-2008, 04:10 PM
bigbear6708 bigbear6708 is offline
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maybe....if not, getting angry, definately puts me into the zone for a GREAT workout..i find going on a run when im mad is a great way to get a good cardio wo as well as increase my mood..i can just get into the zone and workout!
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Old 09-26-2008, 10:42 PM
Algavinn Algavinn is offline
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A few months ago my fiance of 3 and a half years left me. This was by far the most painful experience of my life, and in all truth she was all that mattered to me. How am I doing right now? Quite well, really. I think largely she was such a huge part of my life and who I was that having it removed forced me to be another person, on top of the shock of it all. Either way it has still taken a lot of conscious effort to keep myself from spiraling down. The biggest things for me, I think, in this have been the therapeutic effects of working to better myself. This means increased discipline, dedication, health, and aesthetic qualities through body building, mental and intellectual through meditation, spiritual, philosophical, academic, and strategic study, and many other things. Realizing that to make the most of this life and ensuring that I can grab onto every opportunity that I so desire means making myself the best person I can be. I may not have what I want right now, but I am making sure that when it comes along, I will have it.

Secondarily I cannot stand, more than just about anything else, the feeling of regret. "The saddest words of mice and men are 'it may have been' " I don't know if I have that quote accurately stated, but it stands true either way. Knowing that I did not try hard enough, and missed something that I will never have the chance of having again, or doing something that cannot be undone. These are true tragedies. With every action I keep in mind whether this is something that will cause me suffering in the future. Suffering comes from within, only pain is not under our control. I do the best to limit my suffering.



I am fairly happy, despite my loss, because there is still potential in this life. Without life there is no potential, so I continue, optimistically, even though I am not satisfied with what I have now. One source in particular that I found very illuminating and helpful was the book 'The Art of Happiness' by the Dalai Lama. This is a secular look at emotions and suffering, and how we can defeat negative emotions. It is written by an American psychologist with interviews with the Dalai Lama, so is backed by a lot of scientific study and research. I would suggest it to anyone looking to lead a happier life.
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