“The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate.” ~ Oprah Winfrey
Finding reasons to be happy now can benefit your future.
Dr. Dacher Keltner of the University of California claims she can predict a person’s future by judging the strength of their smile. Researchers examined yearbook photos of 111 female students taken between 1958 and 1960.
Subsequent tests revealed that the women who expressed more positive emotion in those photos became more mentally focused, had more successful marriages, and enjoyed a greater sense of well-being.
From the article:
“While positive emotion tends to broaden thought, negative emotion tends to narrow it and hold back development….The findings of Dr Keltner and his colleagues, published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, are among the first to show that differences in the extent to which people express emotion may be stable throughout their lives and dictate personal and social success.”
Get more here.
The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others. – Mahatma Gandhi
Thinking of others is not only good for everyone around you, it’s also good for your psyche. Don’t make yourself the center of the universe and then it won’t be the end of the world if something goes wrong.
“Humility is not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less.”
Thoughtful words from C.S. Lewis, but do they equate to real life happiness? Our self-esteem is a bit of a tricky topic, because current research on self-esteem paints a very inconsistent picture: it seems that high self-esteem is certainly related to happiness, but it can produce other problems with the ego.
For instance, a variety of research suggests that self-esteem that is bound to external success can be a fickle beast—certain students who tied their self-esteem to their grades experienced small boosts when they received an acceptance letter (grad school), but harsh drops in self-esteem when they were rejected.
“Muddy water, let stand, becomes clear.”― Lao Tzu
Visualize your stress is locked up in a helium tank. Fill up balloons with your stress and label them (i.e. job, relationship, a person’s name, etc.) Then one by one let the balloons go. Watch them rise into the sky and disappear into the clouds.
“If you let go a little, you will have a little peace. If you let go a lot, you will have a lot of peace.” ~Ajahn Chah
Eckhart Tolle believes we create and maintain problems because they give us a sense of identity. Perhaps this explains why we often hold onto our pain far beyond its ability to serve us.
We replay past mistakes over and over again in our head, allowing feelings of shame and regret to shape our actions in the present. We cling to frustration and worry about the future, as if the act of fixation somehow gives us power. We hold stress in our minds and bodies, potentially creating serious health issues, and accept that state of tension as the norm.
Emotion always has its roots in the unconscious and manifests itself in the body. ~Irene Claremont de Castillejo
Mentally scan your body to get a sense of how stress affects it each day. Lie on your back, or sit with your feet on the floor. Start at your toes and work your way up to your scalp, noticing how your body feels.