Psych Central

Happiness Articles

4 Tips for a Joyful Day

Monday, February 10th, 2014

4 Tips for a Joyful DayA joyful day is different for everyone, said Bobbi Anderson, a pain management coach, certified hypnotist and Reiki Master. For her a joyful day is filled with love, calm and peace. But she also finds joy in sadness, disappointment and even chaos.

“Joy is inside and not dependent on outside things.” In other words, it’s a mindset.

For business coach Jeanna Gabellini, joyful days also are about mindset.

For her, joy means feeling that time is abundant, which isn’t about having an open calendar, but, again, a matter of attitude and approach.

Calling All Rebels: What’s Your Perspective?

Sunday, February 9th, 2014

Calling All Rebels: What's Your Perspective?For my book Before and After, about habit-formation, I’ve been developing …

When ‘Thank You’ Blocks Receiving: Soulful Ways to Convey Appreciation

Saturday, February 8th, 2014

When 'Thank You' Blocks Receiving: Soulful Ways to Convey Appreciation When someone does a kind deed or favor for us, the proper response is to say “thank you.” We’ve been taught from an early age to thank people for things they do for us.

The intention behind this social edict is to safeguard us from becoming self-centered creatures who feel entitled to everything without acknowledging others’ kindness.

8 Benefits of Kissing

Monday, February 3rd, 2014

8 Benefits of KissingIn a recent feature on this website, Valerie Reiss lists eight health benefits of kissing.

I was especially intrigued to learn about kissing’s power to lift the mood. Demirjian explains that kissing stimulates the feel-good chemicals in the brain, mainly serotonin, dopamine and oxytocin.

So what are the health benefits of kissing?

8 Ways to Find Real Happiness at Work

Sunday, February 2nd, 2014

8 Ways to Find Real Happiness at WorkMost adults spend more waking hours at work than anywhere else. If you are unhappy there, you are unhappy a major chunk of the time.

Sharon Salzberg, renowned meditation teacher and cofounder, with Jack Kornfield and Joseph Goldstein, of the Insight Meditation Society, has just released an invaluable resource on finding happiness at work. Real Happiness at Work includes practical techniques and practices for people who hate their jobs, love their jobs, or don’t care enough to belong to either group.

Her pages speak to folks seeking meaning and fulfillment in their occupations, even if their responsibilities consist of scrubbing down toilets. Here’s what she found — and how you can find real happiness at work.

4 More Reasons Why Receiving Is Harder Than Giving

Saturday, February 1st, 2014

4 More Reasons Why Receiving Is Harder Than GivingWe’re taught that loving means giving. If you love someone, you give all of yourself without wanting anything back.

Sounds good, sounds noble. Relationships suffer when we’re so self-absorbed that we’re not available for others. But giving is half of what loves requires from us. My experience as a psychotherapist for over thirty years reveals that relationships are just as likely to flounder because we’re not skilled at the art of receiving.

In an earlier article, I discussed five reasons why receiving is harder than giving. Here I offer four more angles on why being receptive is tricky. Being mindful of these challenges may allow you to receive more deeply.

Why Making Comparisons Hurts You More Than It Helps

Friday, January 31st, 2014

Why Making Comparisons Hurts You More Than It HelpsAt the start of a new year, many people make resolutions and are inspired to make changes in their lives. This year my resolution is to have no resolution.

The problem with resolutions is that it can place you on a dangerous course of comparison. We constantly compare images, status, children, wealth, skills or values.

Although dangerous, comparison also is quite essential for our growth and development. We all need a parent, teacher, friend, pastor or role model to guide us and teach us. Most times your mentor knows something more than you, hence the comparison: you know more; I know less. Therefore, I want to know what you know. There’s also the triple comparison: he is “better” than me, but I’m “better” than she.

One tricky comparison is that of suffering. For example, someone’s family member dies and another person’s marriage is over. Though different, both are experiencing the same feelings of pain, grief and loss. To compare the extent of one’s trials is not so important, in my opinion.

Answering the Question: ‘What Should I Do With My Life?’

Thursday, January 30th, 2014

Answering the Question: 'What Should I Do With My Life?'What’s the first question exchanged when we meet someone new? You guessed it: “So… What do you do?”

In our culture, what you do for a living is inextricably tied to society’s perception of your worth. A stable job with a good salary is highly regarded, but we often look less lovingly upon the self-trained artist or entrepreneur who gives blood, sweat, and tears to make their vision possible.

Why is this? Is the number on your paycheck the true meaning of success?

Understanding Oxytocin, the ‘Love Hormone,’ & Its Effects on Pain

Friday, January 24th, 2014

Understanding Oxytocin, the 'Love Hormone,' & Its Effects on PainWhat occurs when we defy the body’s natural ability to begin the process of labor and to secrete peak levels of oxytocin, the hormone of love?

Studies have shown oxytocin’s role in reducing pain. For instance, Beverly Whipple, professor emeritus at Rutgers University and a famed author/ sexologist found that when women masturbate to orgasm, “the pain tolerance threshold and pain detection threshold increased significantly by 74.6 percent and 106.7 percent respectively.”

Furthermore in an interview with Wired magazine another colleague from Rutgers University psychology Professor Barry Komisaruk, said, “We’ve seen that there is a strong inhibition of the response to pain during orgasm.”

“What that leads us to think is there is some kind of very important interaction between the orgasmic experience and the pain experience.”

At Work, Are You More of an Energizer or a De-Energizer?

Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014

At Work, Are You More of an Energizer or a De-Energizer?I’m re-posting this quiz, because I’ve been thinking a lot about this issue lately.

I read Cross and Perker’s The Hidden Power of Social Networks: Understanding How Work Really Gets Done in Organizations, and I was riveted by their discussion of energy.

This caught my eye, because my father is always emphasizing the importance of energy, whether at work or at play — especially at work.

Why People In Happy Relationships Don’t Worry About Being Right

Sunday, January 19th, 2014

Why People In Happy Relationships Don't Worry About Being RightWhen Kanya was in grad school, she had a professor who used to ask if students would prefer to be happy or right.

At the time, she was young and still valued being right above all else. Now, with time and experience behind her, she realizes that being happy is much more important than being right.

Kanya’s figured it out, but this question plagues many relationships. The question for couples is: How do we get over our natural desire to be proven right in the face of conflict?

Do You Like Simple, Potato-Chip News & Gossip?

Saturday, January 18th, 2014

Do You Like Simple, Potato-Chip News & Gossip?I’ve identified sixteen strategies to use for fostering habits, and one strategy is the Strategy of Distraction.

It’s a highly effective strategy, particularly for people who are attracted to potato-chip news. I’m not attracted to potato-chip news, myself, so it took me a while to understand this challenge.

“Potato-chip news” is news that’s repetitive, requires little effort to absorb, and is consumable in massive quantities: true crime, natural disasters, political punditry, celebrity gossip, sports gossip, or endless photographs of beautiful houses, food, or clothes.

Recent Comments
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  • april: I spiralled into a depression and my partner did not understand and could not support me. I could not even...
  • His Back: This is a reasonable article but like many I have read it falls short of a few key points. But first my 11...
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  • Terry: I agree. How about the old “Count your blessings garbage. Or look to the future. What for?
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