This might be the most important thing you read all day. I’m not kidding :) Scientific research has found that there is something each person can do in their daily lives that will improve happiness, mental health, relationships, physical health, optimism, and decrease stress/anxiety/depression (R. Emmons, Ph.D., 2007). Sounds like the answer is going to be some complicated, time intensive, and expensive treatment, but it’s not. It can take as little as 5 minutes a day!
The answer is… cultivating gratefulness! Yes, CULTIVATING GRATEFULNESS, by focusing on what you're grateful for a little bit every day, can have all of those benefits and more.
There are several ways to cultivate gratefulness in your life. Here is my favorite:
What makes someone happy? Why are some people happy and others aren’t? What are the biggest life factors that influence happiness? What can I do to be happier?
Happiness is obviously a big topic in psychology, and in my practice as a Clinical Psychologist.
In this article I’m going to present a model of happiness, based on research and my clinical experience. AND tips on how to INCREASE HAPPINESS based on the 5 components outlined below.
Psychologist and the founder of Positive Psychology, Martin Seligman, Ph.D., describes the elements of happiness as consisting of 5 elements using the acronym “PERMA” (Positive emotions, Engagement, Relationships, Meaning and Achievement):
We've all heard the typical advice about how to set goals for the new year - write them down, track your progress, don't give up! While I encourage you to do those things too, in this article I am going to provide you with the next level of ways to make achieving goals really happen. If you're serious about making a change, achieving a goal, and optimizing your life this year, then these tips are for you!
#1 Reward yourself. Think of something you'd like to do with $120. Write it down. Then save that money by achieving your goals. For example, if your goal is to read a book a month, then when you complete the book, put a $10 bill in a jar. At the end of the year you'll have $120. Think of something in that price range and buy it at the end of the year. Take an even more aggressive approach- print a picture of that $120 thing and put it on the jar so you see it everyday as a reminder of what you're working towards. You can use the same method to achieve all types...
Emotional intelligence (EQ) is the ability to recognize, control, and express one's own emotions in an appropriate and reasonable manner, AND the ability to recognize, validate, and even influence the emotions of others.
Benefits to having a high EQ are: more success in your personal relationships, better ability to communicate with others, reduced stress and anxiety, having more empathy, and the ability to overcome life's challenges. If your EQ is great, so is your quality of life!
Signs that you have a high EQ:
- You think about your feelings and the feelings of others. You tend to stop for a moment to really understand how you or someone else feels. This process is essentially a part of your regular habits.
- You are willing to hear what other people think about how you, in terms of how you react and behave. This includes being able to hear negative feedback about yourself with little or no defensiveness.
- You feel and express...
In this post you will learn about a type of meditation called Guided Imagery, and the Top 5 benefits of trying it. There are various Guided Imagery "scripts" that take you on a mental, guided journey. There are scripts to help people fall asleep, to visualize success, to reduce anxiety and more. Watch the video or click here to listen to our newest guided imagery. In this particular one, you will go on a journey to a peaceful place in your mind. This is a place you can always return when feeling stressed, upset or overwhelmed. This is a fairly short Guided Imagery. Some are longer. Several of our other Guided Imagery Meditations are available at https://www.psychsavvy.com/p/freebies
Top 5 Benefits of Guided Imagery Meditation
Meditation has received a lot of attention lately, even though it’s a centuries old practice. You may be familiar with it as a way to calm the mind by focusing on a word, phrase, or sentence that is repeated, or by trying to...
Here's a strategy that is almost certainly going to create a more positive vibe in your romantic relationship...
1. Take a minute right now and think of 3 positive aspects of your partner’s personality.
2. Next, write down a short story of a time your partner demonstrated each of those 3 characteristics.
3. Tell your partner one of those stories, everyday for the next 3 days.
The idea is that if you acknowledge the positive characteristics of your partner, you are helping to create a positive culture of appreciation in your relationship. This is extremely important to the health of relationships.
3 positive characteristics: Creative, Reliable, Funny
Tell your partner a story about them being...
1. Creative: “I was so impressed by the creative ideas you had about how to decorate our living room.”
2. Reliable: “I really appreciated you picking me up last week when I got a flat tire. It means so much to me that I know...
Optimists see the world as a happy place, and they see the future as bright. They are people who love to embrace the moment with a smile. Optimists see the best in others and the best in themselves. As a Clinical Psychologist, I equate optimism with happiness. If you want to be happy, you need to be optimistic. The two go hand-in-hand. But, what happens when problems inevitably arise in an optimistic person’s life? They have the confidence to handle the situation, overcome the obstacle, and move past the disappointment. When an optimistic person faces trouble or despair, he/she may still be sad or disappointed, but they also feel like they can handle it. They see problems as a bump in the road, not as a mountain too high to climb. The good news is, you have a choice as to how you feel. You can say, “Woe is me,” or you can say, “I can handle this!” Becoming more optimistic is a process that takes practice.
The five concepts listed below will help...
As a Clinical Psychologist who works with both individuals and couples, I can tell you that YOU can actually improve your relationship without talking about it! Don't get me wrong, communication is super important and I highly encourage talking with your significant other a lot, but you can also do a few subtle (but really important!) things to make your relationship better, without ever discussing it with your partner.
While there are several actions you can take to improve your relationship, the one I want to highlight here is actually something comedienne Tiny Fey talks about in her book Bossypants. While reading this book for fun, not expecting it to enlighten my practice of psychology, something struck me. In the book she talks about, "The Rules of Improv." (In case your not familiar with Tina Fey, she started out doing improvisational theater in Chicago, then moved on to Saturday Night Live).
Back to the issue at hand... the FIRST RULE...
Happiness and self-concept are fairly well ingrained by adulthood, but can definitely still be influenced by those around you. On the one hand, we’re taught not to take things personally, on the other hand, how we’re treated inevitably has some effect on how we feel. For this reason, it’s important to surround yourself with positive people who bring you up. People who have good self-esteem and feel happy themselves. These are the people who are more likely to be positive, encouraging, supportive, and generally fun to be around. It’s important to be encouraging and supportive of others too. And your self-esteem and happiness will improve when you help others.
Think about your social network. Are the people you spend the most time with positive or negative? Do you feel excited, motivated and happy around certain people in your life? If so, that’s great. Spend more time with those people! Foster those...
A key component to emotional health is reducing feelings of stress and anxiety. Did you know meditation helps with anxiety reduction? One common trait of anxiety is racing thoughts. People with anxiety often report feeling like their thoughts are spinning out of control, they feel like they can’t turn off their mind, and they can’t stop thinking. Often racing thoughts lead to problems with concentration (you’re too distracted to stay focused), problems sleeping (your thoughts are literally keeping you up at night), and depression (your thoughts might be negative which contributes to low mood).
The purpose of meditation is to keep your mind focused on the present. This has a natural consequence of reducing stress and anxiety as it allows the mind a break from the racing thoughts, worries, and panicky feelings that often come with anxiety (e.g. rapid heartbeat, sweating, shaking, fidgeting, etc.). Just like your body needs rest to recharge and be energized, so...
Please enter your name and email address below. Thank you!