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Thursday, 16 March 2006
Keys to Happiness
Mood:  chatty
Topic: Hope & Strength
article 4 blog

Abraham Lincoln once said, "Most people are as happy as they make up their minds to be."

A recently posted article gave me some food for thought...

It stated that:
"Psychologists have recently handed the keys to happiness to the public, but many people cling to gloomy ways out of habit, experts say. Polls show Americans are no happier today than they were 50 years ago despite significant increases in prosperity, decreases in crime, cleaner air, larger living quarters and a better overall quality of life."

Sonja Lyubomirsky of the University of California at Riverside has "discovered" that the road toward a more satisfying and meaningful life involves a recipe repeated in schools, churches and synagogues.
It involves cultivating certain

GRATITUDE-- make lists of things for which you're grateful in your life:
Notice life's small pleasures

SERVICE-- Practice random acts of kindness

FORGIVENESS-- forgive your enemies, or at least bging daling with your anger towards them

HEALTH-- take care of your health

THOUGHTS-- practice positive thinking

HOME & HEART-- time and energy into friendships and family. The happiest people have strong friendships, says Ed Diener, a psychologist University of Illinois.

"Lethargy holds many people back from doing the things that lead to happiness.
Easterbrook, also a Visiting Fellow at the Brookings Institute, goes back to Freud, who theorized that unhappiness is a default condition because it takes less effort to be unhappy than to be happy.
"If you are looking for something to complain about, you are absolutely certain to find it," Easterbrook told LiveScience writers.
"It requires some effort to achieve a happy outlook on life, and most people don't make it. Most people take the path of least resistance. Far too many people today don't make the steps to make their life a more fulfilling one."
== From LiveScience article

This sure reminds me that HEALTH is so one of the major keys...

Looking at the state of health of most Americans, and what they put into their bodies on a daily basis, its no wonder we are lethargic. With a 40 hour (coffee-induced) week & keeping up with the homefront, most people are drained. I've also seen a major connection, little acknowleged connection between mental illnesss and exhaustion.
Many of us dont even realize our true and weakened state as we are constantly encouraged to push themselves, and taking time for rest makes us feel guilty or useless. A whole society is in denial, and reliant on caffiene and other stimulants, which prod us into action and fool us into thinking we're "OK".

For more good information & to read the full article , go to:

More from this article:

The Keys to Happiness, and Why We Don't Use Them
Robin Lloyd Special to LiveScience

Diener has collected specific details about happiness and says that most people are "moderately happy to slighly unhappy", not "unhappy", according to testing and self-evaluations.
His research states that people who positively evaluate their well-being on average have stronger immune systems, are better citizens at work, earn more income, have better marriages, are more sociable, and cope better with difficulties."
" Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi has found that one route to more happiness is called "flow," an engrossing state that comes during creative or playful activity, Athletes, musicians, writers, gamers, and religious adherents know the feeling. It comes less from what you're doing than from how you do it.

" Happiness does not come via prescription drugs, although 10 percent of women 18 and older and 4 percent of men take antidepressants, according to the
Department of Health and Human Services. Anti-depressants benefit those with mental illness but are no happiness guarantee, researchers say.
Nor will money or prosperity buy happiness for many of us. Money that lifts people out of poverty increases happiness, but after that, the better paychecks stop paying off sense-of-well-being dividends, research shows."


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