Posts Tagged ‘happiness habit’

Defeating the Dismal Downers

Sunday, August 14th, 2011

Mayo Clinic PET scan of normal and depressed brainsWe all get them from time to time, those dreadful, dismal, dragging, despondent feelings.

What causes the Dismal Downers and what can we do to defeat or deter them?

Photographs showing differences in brain activity when people are depressed – like this from  the Mayo Clinic – may be familiar.

Reduced Brian Activity Is Associated With Depression. One of the keys to raising our spirits and defeating depression is to find ways to stimulate our brain activity.

Exercise -  Many research studies show that regular rigorous exercise improves brain function and brightens people’s moods. This may be tied to improvements in the supply of blood flow to the brain.

Our brains represent about 2% of our body mass, but they consume about 25% of our body’s supply of oxygen. Brain function declines when brain blood flow declines.  (Source: Massachusetts General Hospital “Mind, Mood & Memory” August, 2011)

Neural activity also stimulates blood flow to specific parts of the brain, but one’s heart and circulatory system must be strong enough to support the necessary increased flows.

Music - Many people also find music helps brighten their moods – the music stimulates their brains and their bodies into greater activity.

Stimulants - Other types of stimulants like alcohol, drugs or caffeine may produce the same effects but with negative consequences. They briefly raise blood pressure, alertness and mental activity but they also set us up for a reactive downer when the effects of the stimulants pass.

We can achieve many of the same things naturally without these negative consequences. This is why a brisk walk can do so much to brighten our mood and increase our mental  alertness.

We can avoid overeating and dairy products and starches that make many people sleepy and slow.

We can choose to stimulate our own minds with lots of challenging, interesting thoughts. People who continually love to learn or acquire new skills or languages are found to retain their mental acuity into old age.

Habitually Happy people continually stimulate their minds with a constant stream of interesting, exciting, creative thoughts and mental activity. They think boredom is an inability to entertain ourselves when our environmental stimulation is low.

The Best Stimulation of All Is Happiness, Fun and a Good Time. Habitually Happy People Try To Have A Good Time All of The Time. 

Why Not Try It, It’s A Great, Fun Way To Brighten Your Mood, Defeat The Dismal Downers and Sharpen Your Mind!

Copyright 1999- , Michele Moore. All Rights Reserved. Explore HappinessHabit.com and Creating-Happiness.com for more happiness quotes. Our materials may NOT be published, broadcast, redistributed or rewritten without written permission from the authors.

 

 

Happy Happiness Blog!

Wednesday, June 1st, 2011

Explore our happiness quotes explaining how to create happiness and a happy life. Use the Search Box on the right to look for happy quotes and topics in this blog that are important to you.  Enjoy HappinessHabit.com and  Creating-Happiness.com!

Links to some of our most popular quotes for creating a happy life:

Dealing Distress & Despair:  Don’t Beat Yourself Up! · Bouncing Back Quickly, Powerfully ·  Feeling Overwhelmed? ·  Dealing With Dangerous, Deranged Thoughts  ·   Detach From Distress and Despair ·  Avoid The Fault Finding Feel Goods · Defeating the Dismal Downers  ·   NEW – Happiness Habits For Veterans

Creating Happiness: Have A Good Time All The Time ·  YOUR Best ·   Savor, Enjoy, Appreciate ·  Forgiveness And Happiness ·  Fight With Finesse · What Are Habitually Happy People? ·  Can You Really Be Happy All of the Time? ·  Happiness Lessons From The Godfather · Love Powers Happiness ·  Happiness And Greatness ·  Happiness Without Hardness ·  Happiness And Pride ·  Happiness & Mastering The Art Of Living · Happiness And “Work”

The Happiness Blog is being hacked – it’s been seeded with typos, links are being broken, sentences rearranged or garbled so they don’t make sense.  We’re fixing these problems as fast as we find them. If you come across anything weird, please Tweet us or Comment to alert us so we can fix it. MANY THANKS!

Affirmations – Dangerous Delusions?

Wednesday, June 1st, 2011
affirmations are dangerous delusions - stuart smalley - Saturday Night Live

Stuart Smalley - Saturday Night Live (Al Franken)

Saturday Night Live’s Stuart Smalley comes to mind whenever I hear the word Affirmations.  Silly, nonsensical, comic.

Focus On What You Want To Achieve And The Steps You Must Take To Attain It is a key Happiness Habit.

We think it is critical to focus on your goals AND what you need to do to achieve them.

Repeating Positive affirmations over and over again, saying and pretending that you have already achieved your goals is delusional and counterproductive. This does not emphasize what you actually need to do to attain your goals.

Positive affirmations are very much part of our “The Secret” driven culture. They do everyone a serious disservice.

If you wander around pretending you already have achieved something you have not worked for, it’s easy to get lost in lies.

Here’s a paraphrased example of affirmations from a self help book I recently saw:

  • There are two things you must know to reach a goal. First it must be clearly identified and quantified.  Second, goals should be written and affirmed as if they already existed.
  • To affirm something, you write and / or state it repeatedly, sincerely believing it has already been accomplished.
  • Your affirmation might sound something like this:  “I have sold five units as of January 30, 2011. Gross income from these sales is $500,000 and net profit is $80,000. I am respected and lead my field in sales production.”
  • By expressing your desired outcome in the present tense, you condition your subconscious mind to accept it as fact. This method is taught by most success motivators.
  • Write your affirmations several times each morning and evening. Post them on your bathroom mirror, refrigerator, your computer or car dashboard. Refer to them often and repeat them out loud. Believe them!
  • By planting this seed of positive expectancy you condition yourself to move toward your goal swiftly and unswervingly.

Does this sound familiar? No where does it describe what you actually must do, or do differently to achieve these goals!

Wishing doesn’t make things real. Repeating affirmations over and over again detaches you from reality. If you truly believe it when you have not achieved it, it is delusional.

So focus on what you what to achieve and the steps you must take to attain it.

Positive affirmations do help you to step into the right mind set to perform and present yourself at your best. A successful salesman I know always says: “Cool, confident, successful and savvy” to himself before he walks into any room to remind himself of how he wants to think of himself and what we wants to project.

This helps him connect with a clear image of the person he wants to be – but it is very different from pretending and telling himself he has already done something he hasn’t worked to attain.

Use affirmations to help you to connect with your best self and then:

Focus On What You Want To Achieve And The Steps You Must Take To Attain It to achieve your dreams.

Copyright 1999- , Michele Moore. All Rights Reserved. Explore HappinessHabit.com and Creating-Happiness.com for more happiness quotes. Our materials may NOT be published, broadcast, redistributed or rewritten without written permission from the authors.

Creating Happiness Blog

Saturday, May 15th, 2010

See the Creating Happiness – http://Creating-Happiness.com for recent postings!

Rebounding From Resolution Remorse

Sunday, January 10th, 2010

sunset-02_4033700How are your New Year’s Resolutions doing?  Are you happy with your progress?

Eager excitement and anticipation blaze in our New Year’s celebrations.

We are determined to make this year much better than the last which just gratefully passed.

Now, barely several weeks into the New Year, many of us feel the Gnawing Nags of Negativity signaling New Years Resolution Remorse.

We have not done and are not doing all of the things we were so enthusiastically determined to do.

The power of habits, inertia and the demands of life seem to be dragging us back into the same ruts we wanted to escape.  So what do we do?

Here are a few key Happiness Habits to help you redouble your determination and desire to achieve your New Year’s goals and aspirations:

Don’t Beat Yourself Up – Criticizing and castigating yourself is damaging, demoralizing and very counterproductive. We do it because as children, adults punished us in efforts to improve our behavior, so we do it to ourselves thinking it will make us better.  It doesn’t, it defeats us.

Expect Lapses and Plan for Them – Many successful personal development programs grow in fits and starts with great leaps forward alternating with relapses backwards.  The key is to learn how to handle your relapses well.

Failure Is NOT Falling Down, It’s Staying Down – Giving up because you made a goof or series of goofs is a grievous condemnation and limitation on your future performance.  Successful people make mistakes, they are also determined not be defeated by them.

Misery Is Meant To Make Us Move - Those Gnawing Nags of Remorse and Negativity are a powerful, helpful signs you are slipping back into patterns and behaviors you resolved to avoid.   Say “Thank you Resolution Remorse, you are reminding me and reinforcing my resolve to achieve my goals.”

Redouble Your Determination, Drive and Desire – Your dreams haven’t changed, you are just disappointed in your recent actions to attain them.  This doesn’t mean you can’t do it.  Reinforce your resolve to work hard to achieve your goals.

Drive Discipline With Desire -  Don’t view discipline as deprivation, see discipline as steps to dream realization.  The secret to successful discipline is to always desire something positive more than whatever tempts you. Fire up and redouble your desire to achieve your goals.

See Small, Very Specific Steps To Success – Start small, construct your process as a series of small, very specific steps that lead to dream fulfillment. Continually celebrating successful completion of each step sets you up for a series of successes.

Lapses Mean You Have To Work Even Harder – Make up for your mistakes and work hard to catch up and stay on track.

Continually Recall And Reinforce Your Resolve – Remember and relive the feelings that lead to your resolution.  Continually reinforce your desire and determination, rekindle your resolve to achieve your dream.

Happy New Year from Michele Moore and the  Happiness Habit Team!

Copyright 1999-     , Michele Moore. All Rights Reserved. Explore HappinessHabit.com and HappinessBlog.com. Our materials may NOT be published, broadcast, redistributed or rewritten without written permission from the authors. Photograph from Dreamstime.com

Holiday Happiness In Hard Times

Monday, December 14th, 2009

Holidays can be extraordinarily happy even when you are experiencing hard times.  Here’s how to enjoy the holidays when you are hurting.

Be Honest About Where You Are, Decide To Be Deliberately Different – Consciously deciding to change and do things differently helps cut painful connections with the past.  Different can be very delightful, deliberately deciding to do things differently can be very liberating.HoldiayHapiness-dreamstimef

Joy Has NO Price Tag – Our greatest joys don’t come from gifts of material things.  The people, memories, experiences and magic moments that bring us the most joy are not tangible items. Recall sources of joy in the past and recreate them in new and different ways.

Create a Colonial Christmas – imagine what Christmas was like 250 years ago for the first settlers of our country. Create a 1760′s Christmas – simple, joyous, special.  Decorate using free, natural items:  pine cones, evergreen limbs, pop corn strings.

Cut simple decorative shapes from colored paper or old magazines.  Enjoy candles with mirrors.  Look for bonfires if you don’t have a fireplace.

Consider Exchanging Care Coupons - Create and decorate coupons for the intangible gifts your loved ones will value the most:

  • This coupon is good for one hour of help with anything you ask – I promise to work hard happily, enthusiastically and energetically.
  • This coupon is good for one hour of undivided, uninterrupted time together doing exactly what you want to do.  I promise to give my full, undivided, sincere, enthusiastic attention and appreciation to you and whatever you decide to do.

Create a Another Country’s Non Commercial,  Cultural Christmas – What Christmas would be like if you were living in a Hindu, Muslim or Buddhist country?  Or in a simple village in Latin America?  Mongolia?  Ethiopia?  Learn about other cultures, recreate one for a memorable, enjoyable holiday.

Emphasize Enjoyable Experiences – Look for experiences that bring happiness and joy in the holiday season.

End Extravagant Expectations – Money does not buy a joyful holiday.

See Stabs Of Self Pity As An SOS - Immediately redirect your time, energy and attention toward thoughts, actions, objectives and activities that will help you to build happiness and spiritual success.

Enjoy Natural Beauty – Take walks.  Savor, enjoy and appreciate the beauty around you:  the special smells, the fresh air on your face, the spectacular sunsets you were always too busy to watch.

Assess Reality Accurately, Don’t Get Carried Away - Don’t diminish holiday joy by over spending, over eating or over compensating for any difficulties, it’s not necessary.

Strangers Can Offer Security And Safety – Family relationships and even long standing friendships can suddenly turn toxic over the holidays.  New or different people change holiday dynamics and interactions.  Changing the place, time and theme of holiday celebrations can help break bad ruts.

Begin Your New Year’s Resolutions Early -  Whatever they are, begin now.  Eat and drink healthily.  Avoid excesses, too much rich food, alcohol.  Too many sweets and starches can drive you nuts.   Jump start your diet, exercise or personal development programs.  Exercise aggressively. Eat wisely.

Continually Sparkle, Radiate and Set A Positive, Enthusiastic  Holiday Tone – Consciously deciding to continually sparkle and radiate joy raises your spirits and the spirits of the people around you.  Use holidays as an excuse to smile, speak and greet strangers warmly. Extend a genuine holiday welcome to everyone you meet.

Be Adventuresome And Creative – Decide to do things you haven’t done before, or decide to do them in very different ways.

There are lots of wonderful new ways to enjoy the holidays, find them, explore  and enjoy them.

Look For Free Festive Activities With New People In New Places – Volunteering to help others often comes with free food and fun holiday festivities. Find free concerts, free special holiday events and religious activities. Learn about different cultures or religious groups. Visit a friend, relative or shut in who will relish your company.

Spend time really exploring, enjoying and savoring the holiday season and holiday decorations.  Do things you were always too busy to do in the past.  Make this holiday wonderfully different and it won’t be deficient.

Creativity Is A Key To Happiness In Ordinary Times, It Is Especially Important In Hard Times.  Find Creative New Ways To Enjoy Your Holiday And Bring Joy To Others!

Copyright 1999-     , Michele Moore. All Rights Reserved. Explore HappinessHabit.com and HappinessBlog.com. Our materials may NOT be published, broadcast, redistributed or rewritten without written permission from the authors. Photograph from Dreamstime.com

Self Pity Stabs Happiness

Sunday, December 13th, 2009

SelfPity-989448

Stabs of self pity strike suddenly from time to time.

All we see are the wrongs, the inequities and the dreadful damage our difficulties have caused us.

A overwhelming surge of painful, debilitating self pity begins to set in.

Don’t let self pity overwhelm or over power you.

Stop Self Pity Before It Grows And Deepens

Don’t give those negative, debilitating thoughts and feelings any time and attention, all they will do is bring you down.  They are non productive, unnecessary and dangerous.  Self pity sabotages happiness and brings dreadful, dismal, downward spirals of despair.

Revolt and Rebel Against Self Pity
Refuse To Give Those Painful Thoughts Your Time And Attention

Self Pity SOS - Let self pity’s first twinges serve as an SOS to immediately redirect your thoughts, actions, energy and attention toward positive goals, activities and objectives that will help you to be happy and spiritually successful.

Don’t Let Self Pity Down Your Spirits
Don’t Give Self Pity Your Time or Attention

Negative judgments power all fear, emotional pain, anxiety and despair. Self pity is a super charged negative judgment.

The normal response is to ask, can these negative judgments help me in some way?  If  the answer is YES, turn the negative judgments into a series of positive action items and constructive steps that build happiness and spiritual success.

“I’m going to be late!” is an anxiety producing negative judgment that can help you if you turn it into a series of positive actions items:  I will stop what I am doing, watch the clock carefully, collect my things and get ready to walk out the door at least three minutes early.

If the answer is NO, discard the negative judgments and refocus your time and attention on activities that will help you achieve your goals, be happy and spiritually successful.  The negative judgments are making you miserable for no reason.

Stabs of self pity signal an immediate jump to this NO response.  Self pity rarely contains any positive action items that can help you to triumph and be happy.  Feeling sorry for yourself is debilitating, dismal and no fun.  Stop it before it grows and deepens.

When Stabs Of Self Pity Strike, Immediate Redirect Your Thoughts And Attention Toward Positive, Exciting, Encouraging Thoughts, Actions And Activities That Will Help You Succeed And Be Happy.

Copyright 1999-     , Michele Moore. All Rights Reserved. Explore HappinessHabit.com and HappinessBlog.com. Our materials may NOT be published, broadcast, redistributed or rewritten without written permission from the authors. Photograph from Dreamstime.com

Feeling Overwhelmed?

Wednesday, October 14th, 2009

Scream1-01

When you are feeling overwhelmed and over powered by all the things you have to do, how can you stay sane, focused, balanced, confident, effective and happy?

Break Important Tasks Down Into Small, Specific Steps or Sections That Are Easy To Visualize And Achieve During A Short, Definite Period of Time.

Work As Hard As You Can, Complete That Step. Stop And Celebrate Success.

Assess your progress in terms of your larger goals and the time you have to attain them.  Decide what to do next and how long you will spend on it.

Work as hard as you can, complete that step, stop, celebrate success, assess your progress and plan your next steps.

Great Achievements Are Built Through A Series of Very Small, Specific, Successful Steps. 

If You Still Feel Overwhelmed, Break The Step Down Into Even Smaller, Shorter, Easy To Visualize And Achieve Steps or Actions.

Working Hard Is Energizing And Empowering – It Incites A Delight And Drive To Get Things Done. Urgency creates energy, determination, drive, decisiveness and focus.  See work as an exciting series of successful achievements leading to valued goals, not a dreadful burden.

If You Can’t Face Getting Up And Moving - Take a couple of long, slow deep breaths.  With each deep breath, feel energy coming into your body and radiating outward with each exhale.  Smile confidently.  Swing your legs around, take another deep, energizing breath, stand up confidently and smile.

Ask yourself, What Are You Going To Explore, Enjoy & Experience?  What Are You Going To Appreciate & Achieve?  What Are You Going To Accomplish So You Feel Good At The End Of The Day?

Priorities Are Key.  Identify What Is Truly Most Important And Work On That Task. Don’t get distracted by busy work that allows you to avoid addressing important goals.

Planning Previews Success – Think carefully about what you want to achieve and the time and resources you have to accomplish it. Planning is a preview of your success. 

Make Planning Previews Part Of Your Project’s Process.

Avoid The Fault Finding Feel Goods, Turn Negative Judgments Into Positive Actions and Avoid All UnNecessary, NonProductive Negativity.

You Will Feel Much Better And More Confident.

Copyright 1999-     , Michele Moore. All Rights Reserved. Links to our website and pages are welcomed! Please note our materials may NOT be published, broadcast, redistributed or rewritten without written permission from the authors.  Explore HappinessHabit.com for more happiness quotes and insights.

Bouncing Back Quickly, Powerfully

Sunday, October 4th, 2009

BouncingBall-01Disasters and deep disappointments are an inevitable part of life.  Here are secrets to bouncing back quickly and powerfully:

Focus on Fixes – Ask yourself, what can you do to correct the problem, ensure it doesn’t happen again, gain from your pain, learn, grow, strengthen your skills and power to build happiness and future success?

Don’t Beat Yourself Up, Blame, Complain or Criticize! Focusing on where you are now and what’s wrong keeps you stuck in the problem and misery.  Focusing on what you want to do differently and where you want to go in the future helps you to grow and achieve it.

We don’t feel better by blaming, beating ourselves up or by focusing on problems. Beating ourselves up reinforces errors we want to avoid.  It focuses time and attention on what’s wrong, not on building new skills and strategies that bring happiness and future success.

We Bounce Back by embracing our goals, our Best Selves and by focusing on what we want to achieve and do differently and then working hard to attain it.

Turn Anguish Into Achievement – Turn anger, regret and anguish into positive actions that improve the situation and help you to be happy and more effective in the future.

Worrying about problems is very different from solving or resolving problems.  Regret and remorse do not always cause reform. Desire and Determination To Do Things Differently Bring Positive Change.

Ask yourself, Is being upset helping me to fix the problem or to be more effective in the future?  How long do I want to be upset?  How miserable do I want to be and for how long?

Rebounding Rapidly:  Think about how will you feel when the problem is behind you, when you have successfully rebounded.  Visualize yourself successfully recovered from the problem.  Feel those powerful positive feelings, embrace and project them.  Practice feeling and being in rebound mode until it becomes habit.

We Can Rebound More Quickly By Focusing On How We Will Feel When We Have Rebounded From The Difficulty And Then Consciously Taking On Those Attitudes And Perspectives.  Bad things happen but they don’t have to make you miserable for long.

Our Best: We are truly at our best and able to perform our best when we are UP, confident, energized, focused and happy.  Don’t tear yourself down, distract or distress yourself.   Don’t detract from your ability to excel and do well.

See Yourself At Your Best, Feel Those Powerful, Confident Feelings And Project Them. They Will Become Genuinely Yours.  More Bouncing Back

Copyright 1999-     , Michele Moore. All Rights Reserved. Links to our website and pages are welcomed! Please note our materials may NOT be published, broadcast, redistributed or rewritten without written permission from the authors.  Explore HappinessHabit.com and HappinessBlog.com for more happiness insights.

Criticism, Control and Happiness

Friday, August 28th, 2009

CriticismControlNoText-drea

Criticism And Control Occur So Frequently Together They Are Practically Synonymous.

Criticism Is Almost Always A Power Play.

People criticize to try to assert their superiority, power and to gain control of people, situations and interactions.

Critics assert control by planting doubts and disparaging or damaging ideas in  people’s minds.  They may or may not be factually correct or beneficial.

Criticism Is Corrosive.

Criticism leaves people deflated, demoralized, confused and uncertain about what they should do. That’s often the critic’s intent. Critics like to leave people feeling badly and powerless, that’s how they exert power and control.

If you can get a person to doubt themselves, their ideas or their abilities, it’s easier to control them, dominate them or at least get them to defer to your desires.

Doubt is often all you need to dominate and dissuade others from differing with you.

Criticism Is Counterproductive.

Criticism focuses on what’s bad, wrong or unattractive.

Calling something is bad does not describe what is good.  Saying something is wrong does not express what is right or desirable.  Describing what you don’t want does not not communicate what you do want.

Criticism only helps to the extent it expresses what to avoid.  Criticism does NOT present clear descriptions of successful solutions,  strategies or what you can do to improve.

Criticism Is Often A Deliberate Distraction – Critics criticize to derail other people’s success.  Deflecting or dealing with criticism takes time, energy, attention and resources from positive, important activities. It’s easy to find yourself worrying about what critics say is wrong rather than focusing on what is truly important to you.

Focus On What You Want To Achieve, Articulate Benefits.

Habitually Happy people focus on what they want to achieve.  They can describe why it is desirable, beneficial or attractive.  Clear goals help define the steps to attain them.

They spend just enough time with wrongs so they can rapidly recognize and reject bad things.   They then redirect their attention, energy and enthusiasm to positive activities that help them build happiness and spiritual success.

Focusing on why they are working and striving for their goals reinforces their desire and drive to achieve them.

Recognize Criticism for What It Usually Is – A Corrosive, Counterproductive Power Play.

Treat criticism like any other Negative Judgment:  Ask can it help me in some way?  If YES, turn those negative judgments into positive action items.  If NO, don’t give critics your time, attention or concern.

Focus On What You Want To Achieve.
Enjoy Your Progress And Eventual Success
.

Copyright 1999-     , Michele Moore. All Rights Reserved. Explore HappinessHabit.com and HappinessBlog.com. Our materials may NOT be published, broadcast, redistributed or rewritten without written permission from the authors. Photograph from Dreamstime.com