Happiness Articles

The Importance of Having a Friend to Talk You Down

Thursday, August 14th, 2014

take-friendship-next-level-honestyI’m stable. At least that’s how I usually am.

In the eight years I’ve lived with schizophrenia I’ve managed to find a pretty strong footing for my life. I take my meds and go to therapy and practice my social skills and hell, I even have a job, which is more than a lot of people with schizophrenia can handle.

That said, there are times where the stars align for madness and you lose yourself in being overwhelmed with feelings or thoughts that confuse and delude you.

This past week was one of those times for me.

The Zen of Intimacy

Wednesday, August 13th, 2014

6 Steps to Finding New LoveLife is complex and cumbersome. To ease our anxiety, our minds like to divide reality into simplified black and white categories. There is spiritual practice and psychological inquiry. There’s the life of the spirit and the life of the flesh. We can choose between a path of spirituality and a path of materialism.

For many centuries, the life of the spirit appeared to be in conflict with the human longing for love and intimacy. Even today, many religious leaders warn us about the perils of sexual desire or looking toward others to gratify a yearning that can only be satisfied through spiritual practice.

3 Tips to Change Your Perspective on Nearly Everything

Wednesday, August 13th, 2014

ways-combat-overthinking

Recently I took drastic measures to shift my perspective and conjure up some new ideas, and I can’t wait to tell you all about it!

You see, I’ve been talking a lot lately with activist allies about climate change, or global warming, or climate chaos if you prefer. Like so many earthlings, we are deeply concerned about the safety of the food we eat, our air and water, our farms and gardens, our health and that of the pollinators, soils and seas, and the impact a changing climate will have on them all. And despite lots and lots of studies of how best to talk about these issues with others, it still seems as if we are all a little bit stuck.

How the Strategy of Scheduling Helped Me Make a Habit.

Tuesday, August 12th, 2014

In my study of habits, I’ve identified many strategies that we can use to make or break our habits.

The Strategy of Scheduling, of setting …

On Losing Self-Blame and the Pressure to Feel Joy

Monday, August 11th, 2014

HP Love 2Imagine you had to take a 5-year-old with ADHD with you everywhere you went: to work, in the shower, to the grocery, on your run, out with friends. He was always eager to leave and get back to his Xbox at home.

On the way to the store, he’d ask, “How long is this going to take?” As soon as you put one bag of produce into your cart, he’d say, “Can we go home now?”

It’s like that with my death thoughts.

They aren’t necessarily suicidal ideations. There is no plan of action. Just an urgency to be relieved of the chronic pain I feel, a rush to get somewhere that doesn’t require so much effort to get through a day or an hour.

Why Do We Find the Words ‘I’m Sorry’ So Rewarding?

Sunday, August 10th, 2014

hugging09a

Have you ever been hurt by an unapologetic person? Most of us have. When this happens, it hurts, but we intuitively know the importance of forgiving the person anyway — for our own sake — simply to free ourselves from the heavy burden of resentment.

But still, we deeply crave the words “I’m sorry.” These simple words have the power to deliver nearly instant relief and help us drop our guard. Why is this? What exactly goes on in the heads (and hearts) of people who are at the receiving end of “I’m sorry?”

4 Questions to Ask Yourself to Make Good Decisions

Sunday, August 10th, 2014

difficluty-making-decisionsWe make countless minute and monumental decisions on a daily basis.

What time will I wake up? What will I eat for breakfast? What tasks will I tackle at work? Should I say yes or no to this commitment? Do I want the promotion? Do I want this person for my partner? What doctor should I see? Where should my kids go to school?

Psychotherapist Alison Thayer, LCPC, helps her clients navigate all sorts of decisions — “from how to handle a difficult situation at work or a disagreement with a loved one, to life-changing [decisions], such as quitting a job, ending a relationship or even doing both and relocating to another state.”

3 Creative Ways to Combat the Blues

Saturday, August 9th, 2014

3 Creative Ways to Combat the Blues Often, stress, disappointments, and mundane realities of everyday life plague our inner worlds so much that it’s difficult to experience positive emotions such as joy, peace, and spontaneity. Unfortunately, it becomes a vicious cycle.

The negative emotions build up even more, sapping our mental and physical energies to the point where it’s a challenge just to get through our daily routines. Our bodies become just as blunted as our spirits. Happily, though, there are three easy and inspiring activities that can help us beat the blues and increase our general well-being.

Top 7 Excuses that Suck the Happiness from Your Life

Wednesday, August 6th, 2014

just-be-happy-positive-psychology-smiling-woman

Stop making excuses and go for the things that bring you joy and passion.

As I approached a birthday, one with a ginormous number, a wise coach posed the question: If not now, when? I was grumbling about how I hadn’t been getting enough done when I really wanted to spend more time reading, watching movies and the World Cup; in other words, engaging in activities that would result in getting even less done. If not now, when?, she asked.

My coach had a valid point. Perhaps you, too, use some of these same rationalizations, as you avoid pursuing your passions and desires. Here are some of the things you say to yourself that delay your own happiness.

Want to Increase Your Happiness? Try Increasing Your Gratitude

Monday, August 4th, 2014

relationship-happiness-gratitude

“A simple grateful thought turned heavenwards is the most perfect prayer.” — Doris Lessing

Think of anything — big or small — that exists in your life, whether it is a relationship, a job, a particular flower, or your morning coffee. Now, if this thing were to disappear tomorrow and be gone forever, would you miss it? If you would, it is something to be grateful for today — because it is here in your life right now.

How would our lives change if, everyday, we focused on our abundance rather than on what was lacking? According to new research, we would be happier people. On the contrary, materialists — people who are focused on obtaining material goods — tend to feel more depressed and unsatisfied.

Why is this? According to the Baylor University researchers, a material outlook tends to focus on lack — what one does not have. This, in turn, takes the focus away from what we already have.

Own Your Own Strength: Finding Power in Helplessness

Monday, August 4th, 2014

happy woman summer

One of the most crushing and crippling side effects of low self-esteem is the sense of helplessness with which it saddles us.

Hopelessness too, of course. But before hopelessness comes helplessness: that paralytic mixture of fear and resignation driving our belief that, whatever good, bad or incalculable thing awaits us around any corner, we will be tragically but blameworthily unequipped to handle it. Whether it’s a new relationship, a health issue, a job interview or a banana split, the one thing we think we know for sure is that we cannot endure it unscathed if at all, much less emerge educated, victorious, enjoying ourselves and/or improved.

For those of us who struggle with self-loathing, helplessness is not just a feeling but a conviction — in every sense of that word.

My Intention: Shifting Into Neutral and Being in the Present Moment

Thursday, July 31st, 2014

My IntentionI have myriad personal and professional goals that I want to achieve. I made a personal goal sheet that I hang on my refrigerator door. Each morning, when I open the refrigerator door and grab the creamer for my morning cup of coffee, the goal sheet silently stares back at me. I am reminded of the goals waiting to be accomplished, waiting to be achieved. It is a memo to self of all I have to do and have yet to accomplish.

At times this goal sheet can leave me feeling depleted and worn; it is a daily reminder of what I have not done. So I am making a conscious effort to increase my daily intentions, my deepest wishes for myself and the world that align with my authentic self.

Recent Comments
  • Dp: As a treatment resistant depression sufferer, I’m quite familiar with this. But I need to tell you that...
  • Kent: Thank you for this article. I can’t understand why I am having such a difficult time getting over this....
  • Tara: Oh Jennie, I’m sorry to read that you’re in a bad place. Your situation seems as bad as mine except...
  • kristina: They didn’t seem to mention higher levels of leptin, nor any background on other habits of the woman...
  • London: Thanks Alf. However, I’m afraid that I’m not as optimistic as you. My first marriage ended...
Subscribe to Our Weekly Newsletter


Find a Therapist
Enter ZIP or postal code



Users Online: 10312
Join Us Now!