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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Being Positively Happy

Anyone who knows me knows I am passionate about the topic of happiness. What makes us happy? What keeps us happy? How do we get there? I have interviewed authors, therapists, gurus and teachers. I find I can grasp it for a while, and then, inexplicably, just as easily as I found it, it slips through my fingers and I'm on the hunt again.

This morning I listened to a TED talk that is amazing. And funny. I feel like maybe he's cracked the code.

In this talk he posits exactly what keeps me, and possibly many of you from being able to have sustained happiness. Are you ready?

We're always changing the goal line of the "I'll be happy when..." story. "I'll be happy when this article is written," "I'll be happy when I'm earning more money," "I'll be happy when I have a boyfriend (or girlfriend)." We set ourselves up for a never ending race for which there is no end. Oh my God!
Somehow, I thought it was just me. I am notoriously hard on myself, and i thought it was just my own secret shame of never feeling like I've done enough, or am enough. Little did I realize I am far from alone.
 
But there is hope! Shawn Achor gives us several things we can do that are proven to help raise the level of happiness. Among them are writing down three things you are grateful for that day. Journaling about one thing in particular that brought you happiness. And exercise and meditation.

I don't know if this is the holy grail I've been seeking or not. The thing is, no one is happy ALL the time, life is full of ups and downs, but if we can find ways to make those dips less severe we may well be on to something.

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