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Is Having Tons Of Hot Sex The Key To Happiness?

Monday is International Day of Happiness, and that got us thinking about what provides happiness.

If you ask a teenage boy what would make him happy, the answer (assuming it’s not his mother doing the asking) would likely be “Having sex and lots of it.”

If you ask the same question of his grandmother, the answer is probably the same. Yes, older people have sex.

But both sonny-boy and Grammy would be wrong if they thought antics in the bedroom were the path to greater fulfillment. Research has tackled the sizzling issue of whether the key to happiness can be found in your sex life, and the short answer is not really.

While you may think so, having a lot of sex will not make you any happier. The sweet spot for couples is having sex about once a week, according to recent studies. More often than that, and it may become a case of familiarity breeding contempt, or at least losing intensity and weakening desire. For one study by Carnegie Mellon University, 128 couples were asked to start having 40 percent more sex than usual. Instead of more sex making them happier, their moods actually declined.  

If you are keeping score ― and who isn’t? ― the average adult has sex two or three times a month, according to the Happify graphic below. 

Want to feel even better? The National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior  ― regarded as one of the most comprehensive studies in almost two decades ― found that 61 percent of singles and 18 percent of married couples haven’t had sex in the past year.  

And why do we even want to compare our sex lives to others’?

People are often curious about others’ sex lives,” Debby Herbenick, associate director of the Center for Sexual Health Promotion at Indiana University, said in a statement when the NSSHB was released. “They want to know how often men and women in different age groups have sex, the types of sex they engage in, and whether they are enjoying it or experiencing sexual difficulties.”

All of which leads to this: If it’s happiness you are seeking, maybe the bedroom is the wrong place to be looking for it. That, or perhaps you could volunteer for more research?

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

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Ten Simple and Unexpected Ways to Boost Happiness

What are some small ways to boost happiness in everyday life? originally appeared on Quorathe knowledge sharing network where compelling questions are answered by people with unique insights.

Answer by Raj Raghunathan, Professor of marketing and happiness expert at UT Austin, on Quora:

I once surveyed my students to make a list of three small things that make them feel happy after watching this video. Here’s the Top Ten list from that survey:

Note that not all of them will work equally well for you, so you need to figure out which ones work best:

1. Engage in vigorous physical activity.

The next time you need a mood-boost, try this out: go for a long run or play a game of basketball. Now, what counts as a long run for you may be a mere walk in the park for me (it’s more likely to be the reverse), but the point is that the activity needs to be vigorous enough get your heart pumping and your mind distracted from your negative ruminations. If you are like most people, you are unlikely to want to get off your butt if you are feeling down. But, as the Nike slogan says, “Just Do It!” Here’s a fact to get you going: you are guaranteed to feel better after a workout than you felt before it.

2. Hang out with friends.

When we feel down, we typically don’t want to interact with others. This is partly because we don’t want others to see our negative side, but it’s mostly because we don’t think that hanging out with others is really going to help us feel better. I’m not sure where this intuition comes from, but I can tell you that it is wrong: our mood reliably improves after we socialize, especially if the people with whom we socialize are happy and likeable. Similar to how it’s important to overcome the reluctance to exercise, it’s important to overcome the pessimism we feel about the effectiveness of socializing when feeling down.

If you are wondering where and with whom to socialize, just call one of the “favorites” on your smart phone and make a plan to meet. Tell them about what is troubling you to get you started–even a short chat with a close-friend can significantly improve your mood.

3. Consume a moderate amount of alcohol.

I know, I know, I shouldn’t be encouraging people to drink, but what to do? It turns out that when we desperately need a happiness quick-fix, consuming a moderate amount of alcohol can be effective. The key here is to consume just enough to feel a little relaxed. The very process by which alcohol lowers inhibitions can also lower the tendency to worry. In other words, alcohol can temporarily take your mind off things that are causing you to feel negative and thus, can be useful in situations in which our mind is on a “negativity overdrive.” Needless to say, it is important to consume only a moderate amount of alcohol. If you are one of those who can’t stop after two, don’t try this at home or elsewhere!

4. Dress to kill.

As I mentioned in an earlier article, human beings are highly social creatures, which means that we worry a lot about what others think of us. When we believe that others view us positively, we feel good, and when we believe that they view us negatively, we feel bad. So, one way to make yourself feel good is to wear your best clothes and perfume (or cologne, as the case may be) and venture out to your local park or mall. We you look and smell good, or think that you do, you are likely to believe that others view you positively and this will make you feel good.

5. Revisit old (and positive) memories.

Reliving the “good old times” can be a surprisingly effective mood-booster. I say “surprising” because many of us, especially the young among us, rarely engage in reliving fond memories. Curiously, it seems that the more our life has become virtual, the less we are likely to revisit the past. My parents, for example, regularly spend time recalling pleasant past memories, and also routinely pore over the “family album” to relive past memories. Our existence in the virtual world, e.g., on social media websites, should, if anything, allow us to revisit our past even more effectively, given that many of our cherished memories and experiences are merely a “click away”.

A note of caution, however, if you are looking to the Internet to revisit the past: stay away from those who make you feel inferior. That is, stay away from people who are into the game of “keeping up with the joneses”–you know, the ones who frequently post pictures from their vacation in Spain, or engage in name-dropping. Findings show that such “friends” bring you down.

6. Watch a funny or touching video.

Some people prefer funny videos and others prefer heart-warming ones. Regardless, findings show is that even a short exposure to a positive video can significantly boost happiness. (There’s a reason why one of the most popular ways to manipulate mood in experiments is to have participants watch a video.) Here are links to two funny and two touching videos. (Note: the last one is relatively long, at about 15 minutes, but it is well worth it!)

Funny videos:

Dog playing piano: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=…

The Duck Song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=…

Heart-warming videos:

Love Language: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=…

Validation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=…

7. Talk to an older relative.

It’s a bit of a pity that, in many “new” cultures (like the US), the elderly aren’t as respected as they are older cultures (like China or India). Think about it: as you grow older, you get physically weak and mentally less nimble. The one saving grace could have been that you gain in respect. Without it, growing old seems to have no positives. No wonder the US is so “youth crazy”!

As findings on hyperopia show, the elderly do deserve our respect because they have “been there, done that.” They thus have many valuable lessons to share. In particular, no one can put things in perspective like the elderly can. Talking to them will help you discern the important from the merely urgent and will also help you not sweat the small stuff.

8. Tick something off your “to do” list.

Have you ever written down something on your things to do list just so that you can have the pleasure of scratching it out? Well, turns out you are not alone. Findings show that people derive an “efficacy boost” by accomplishing goals and this can, in turn, make them feel good. If you don’t have a things to do list or can’t think of something to write on it to scratch off, don’t worry. Just do something simple and easy, like depositing a check or washing a cup, and you’ll be on your way to feeling good.

9. Do a small act of kindness.

Perhaps the most powerful determinant of how we feel is the story we tell ourselves about who we are. The more we believe that we are efficacious and successful, the better we feel–which is why tip #8 (ticking something off your list) works. Another story you can tell yourself is that a large-hearted, generous person. One way to convince yourself of this story is to act like a large-hearted and generous person. This doesn’t mean that you break your bank to serve someone; all you need to do is to perform a small act of kindness such as, rescuing a kitten from a tree, or giving left-over food to a homeless person. Even merely smiling or saying “good morning!” to someone can pick your mood up.

10. Venture into nature.

Most urbanites don’t recognize it, but human beings are biophiles, that is, we love being out in nature. I take my MBA students on a two day retreat each year to a place out in the boonies. We hike up a hill and swim in the river and do various other “nature-oriented” things. Before going on the trip, most of my students are skeptical that being out in nature is going to do anything good, but many come away making a pledge that they will get out more in nature in the future. (I’m not sure if they actually make good on their pledge, but the pledge is good enough for me.) Turns out you don’t need to go on a two day retreat to reap the benefits of being out in nature: even a short hike or a picnic in a park can help you feel good.

This question originally appeared on Quora – the knowledge sharing network where compelling questions are answered by people with unique insights. You can follow Quora on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.

More questions:

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10 Powerful Ways To Create Your Own Happiness

2017-01-05-1483642794-489505-PowerfulWaysToCreateYourOwnHappinessHP.jpeg

Happiness comes in so many different forms that it can be hard to grasp. Unhappiness, on the other hand, is easy to identify; you know it when you see it, and you definitely know when it’s taken ahold of you.

And let’s face it, happiness and work do not always go hand in hand. A 2013 Gallup study, which reported data from more than 180 million people, found that just 13% of us consider ourselves to be “happily engaged at work.”

Those who do rate themselves as happy are 36% more motivated, six times more energized, and twice as productive as their unhappy counterparts.

Happiness actually has less to do with your circumstances than you might think. A University of Illinois study found that people who earn the most (more than $ 10 million annually) are only a smidge happier than the average Joes and Janes who work for them, and psychologists from the University of California found that genetics and life circumstances only account for about 50% of a person’s happiness. The rest is up to you.

Life circumstances have little to do with happiness because much happiness is under your control–the product of your habits and your outlook on life. Happiness is synthetic–you either create it, or you don’t.

When it comes to making yourself happy, you need to learn what works for you. Once you discover this, everything else tends to fall into place. And making yourself happy doesn’t just improve your performance; it’s also good for your health.

A critical skill set that happy people tend to have in common is emotional intelligence (EQ). At TalentSmart, we’ve tested the EQs of more than a million people and know what makes high EQ people tick. So, we went digging until we found some great ways that emotionally intelligent people create their own happiness.

1. They don’t obsess over things they can’t control. It’s good to know how the Brexit might affect your country’s markets or that your company could merge with its largest competitor, but there’s a big difference between understanding these larger forces and worrying about them. Happy people are ready and informed, but they don’t allow themselves to fret over things that are beyond their control.

2. They choose their battles wisely.
Emotionally intelligent people know how important it is to live to fight another day. In conflict, unchecked emotion makes you dig your heels in and fight the kind of battle that can leave you severely damaged and unhappy for some time to come. When you read and respond to your emotions, you’re able to choose your battles wisely and only stand your ground when the time is right.

3. They get enough sleep. I’ve beaten this one to death over the years and can’t say enough about the importance of sleep to improving your mood, focus, and self-control. When you sleep, your brain literally recharges, removing toxic proteins that accumulate during the day as byproducts of normal neuronal activity. This ensures that you wake up alert and clear-headed. Your energy, attention, and memory are all reduced when you don’t get enough quality sleep. Sleep deprivation also raises stress hormone levels on its own, even without a stressor present. Happy people make sleep a priority, because it makes them feel great and they know how lousy they feel when they’re sleep deprived.

4. They heed their moral compass. Crossing moral boundaries in the name of success is a sure-fire path to unhappiness. Violating your personal standards creates feelings of regret, dissatisfaction, and demotivation. Know when to stand your ground and express dissent when someone wants you to do something that you know you shouldn’t. When you’re feeling confused, take some time to review your values and write them down. This will help you to locate your moral compass.

5. They exercise during the week.
Getting your body moving for as little as 10 minutes releases GABA, a soothing neurotransmitter that also limits impulsivity. A University of Bristol study showed that people who exercised on workdays reported improvements in time management, mood, and performance. The benefits of exercise always outweigh the time lost in its pursuit.

6. They have a growth mindset.
People’s core attitudes fall into one of two categories: a fixed mindset or a growth mindset. With a fixed mindset, you believe you are who you are and you cannot change. This creates problems when you’re challenged, because anything that appears to be more than you can handle is bound to make you feel hopeless and overwhelmed. People with a growth mindset believe that they can improve with effort. This makes them happier because they are better at handling difficulties. They also outperform those with a fixed mindset because they embrace challenges, treating them as opportunities to learn something new.

7. They clear the clutter.
I don’t need to remind you of how much time you spend at work. Take a good look at your workspace. You should create a space that’s soothing and uplifting. Whether it’s a picture of your family, a plant, or an award that you’re proud of, display them prominently to keep them on your mind. Get rid of the junk and clutter that hold no significance and do nothing positive for your mental state.

8. They lend a hand.
Taking the time to help your colleagues not only makes them happy, but it also makes you happy. Helping other people gives you a surge of oxytocin, serotonin, and dopamine, all of which create good feelings. In a Harvard study, employees who helped others were 10 times more likely to be focused at work and 40% more likely to get a promotion. The same study showed that people who consistently provided social support were the most likely to be happy during times of high stress. As long as you make certain that you aren’t overcommitting yourself, helping others is sure to have a positive influence on your happiness.

9. They let their strengths flow.
A University of Chicago study of peak performance found that people who were able to reach an intense state of focus, called flow, reaped massive benefits. Flow is the state of mind in which you find yourself completely engrossed in a project or task, and you lose awareness of the passage of time and other external distractions. Flow is often described as an exhilarating state in which you feel euphoria and mastery simultaneously. The result is not just happiness and productivity but also the development of new skills through a heightened state of learning. The key to reaching flow lies in organizing your tasks such that you have immediate and clear goals to pursue that play to your strengths. As you begin working on these tasks, your focus increases along with your feelings of adequacy. In time, you reach a flow state, in which productivity and happiness flourish. Set clear goals each day and experiment with task order until you find the secret formula that gets you flowing.

10. They believe the best is yet to come.
Don’t just tell yourself that the best is yet to come–believe it. Having a positive, optimistic outlook on the future doesn’t just make you happier; it also improves your performance by increasing your sense of self-efficacy. The mind has a tendency to magnify past pleasure to such a great degree that the present pales in comparison. This phenomenon can make you lose faith in the power of the future to outdo what you’ve already experienced. Don’t be fooled. Believe in the great things the future has in store.

Bringing It All Together

Applying these strategies won’t just improve your happiness at work; most of them will also improve your emotional intelligence. Pick those that resonate with you and have fun with them.

What makes you happy? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below, as I learn just as much from you as you do from me.

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

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Healing Adventures – Wellness Getaways for Health & Happiness

Healing Adventures – Wellness Getaways for Health & Happiness


Overview -The world’s best places for health & happiness are revealed in this new book, fresh from five continents, with 50 stories and a gallery of color photos. Travel, health and adventure writer Paul Froemming, author of The Best Guide to Alternative Medicine, is your guide on an around-the-world journey into the mind, body and spirit. Ports of call will include a selection of the best resorts and spas, along with their exotic healing treatments. There are meetings with extraordinary teachers of the good life, who will reveal their secrets. Healing Adventures will take you to places of health & happiness, including the best wellness getaways of Europe, North and South America, Asia and the Pacific – and show you how to get there! Places: Warm water spas in Italy, France and Greece. Spa cuisine and massage in Thailand. Water sports and rain forest treatments in Australia, the “Pancha Karma” renewal treatments of India, Tai Ji in China and Shiatsu massage in Japan. Adventures will include Fiji, Tahiti, Hawaii and the Pacific plus California and Mexico. People: Deepak Chopra, MD – Don Miguel Ruiz – Sufi master Sheikh Abdoulaye Dieye – Greenland Shaman Angaangaq – Tibetan Lama Dzongchen Khenpo Rinpoche – Tai Ji Master Chungliang Huang – Entertainer Michael Jackson.

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Bassist: Prince found ‘real happiness’ as Jehovah’s Witness

This image made from a video, former Prince bassist Larry Graham talks about Prince in an Associated Press interview on Monday, May 2, 2016. Graham, a famous bassist and longtime friend of pop megastar Prince says the artist found “real happiness” in his faith and could stay up all night talking about the Bible. Graham tells The Associated Press that Prince became a Jehovah’s Witness later in life and that it changed the star’s music and lifestyle. (AP Photo/Jeff Baenen)MINNETONKA, Minn. (AP) — Music megastar Prince was known for throwing parties that stretched into the wee hours of the morning, but his faith and the Bible could also keep him gabbing until sunrise, according to his longtime friend and "spiritual brother," bassist Larry Graham.



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Searching for More Happiness?

In all the years I’ve been coaching, there’s been and continues to be one strong theme that exists with almost every client. That is, their desire to become happier. Here, in the UK some believe that happiness is about having a curry and beer on a Friday evening. Okay, not everyone is of this opinion, but many Brits are. I too would like to be happier. That’s not to say I’m unhappy. Far from it, I take great pleasure in my work, my marriage and my desire to improve myself. In saying that, a little more happiness would not go amiss.

Apart from guiding others, amongst other things, about how they can become happier, my own desires have become less apparent. What I mean is happiness is not always top of my mind. Somehow, helping others to have a better life has redirected the focus away from my desires and towards being of service. Therefore, my personal development has kind of taken a back seat. Okay, I still continue to take care of myself, eat healthily, keep fit, read avidly and research. Do those aspects of taking care of me make me happier? I don’t think so – I do think they prevent unhappiness creeping in to my consciousness.

The whole area of happiness is not totally understood by the general public. Somehow many believe that quick-fixes enable us to be happier. Research has discovered that almost every quick-fix, including miracle diets, don’t work in the long run. In saying that, it’s as if we all become addicted to the illusion that happiness is within easy reach. I’d say that happiness is in within reach, albeit not easily so. In essence, it’s to do with discovery. Yes, first we need to discover what makes us truly happy. For some, the joy of watching their children grow, for others their retirement. For me, I’m happiest when I am fulfilling my purpose.

In part, my aim is to teach, guide and clearly communicate that with the awareness of our purpose, self belief is buoyed. It also encourages us to convey our passion more authentically. In addition, it provides huge meaning to our lives. Although I don’t have the remedy for finding more happiness. Only you have that, just look deeply within to discover it. To locate your happiness button, ask yourself what sends a ripple of deep satisfaction through your being. Then, consider the times when your self esteem is at its highest. Furthermore, when did you last feel at peace, calm and without worry or stress?

The answers to these questions, will enable authentic happiness to manifest with greater ease. In short, being the Best Version of you: kind, empathetic, considerate, compassionate, optimistic and personable, etc. I was asked if having all of these qualities is ideal. Yes, it is ideal, so by just developing one of these is a great place to start. And like an addiction, you’ll become desirous of attaining more of these qualities. Remember, any actions we take in the affirmative become a part of who we are. Also, our self awareness grows stronger. And remember, the better we know ourselves the better we become at knowing who we authentically are. And happiness will follow.

Some tips:

-To discover more happiness begin by looking inside, not outside

-Spend time considering what makes you authentically happy

-Do your best to avoid spending time around negative people

-Giving to others unconditionally makes us happier

-Luck has a part in being happier, just make sure you are in when it comes calling

-Remember, material wealth is not the answer to becoming happier

-Know you have all the answers about knowing how to be happier

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First Nighter: A. R. Gurney’s “Love & Money” Doesn’t Buy Happiness

When Love & Money begins with Cornelia Cunningham (Maureen Anderman) confronting lawyer Harvey Abel (Joe Paulik) over the disposition of her will, it looks as if the new A. R. Gurney play is going to be substantive. Cornelia, you see, is planning to leave her impressively large gobs of money to charities, and this has Harvey worrying that her heirs–two grandchildren never seen–will contest the stipulations.

The assumption about Gurney’s intent, however, is misplaced. A dramatist who often pulls back from the more shadowy implications of his plots, Gurney withdraws from those here so forcibly that patrons may experience a mild form of whiplash. In the end, the comedy (?)–a co-production of the SignatureTheatre and the Westport Country Playhouse, where Mark Lamos, who directed, is artistic director–is a minor trifle.

Your enjoyment of it will hinge on how fond of trifles you are. Love & Money is so mildly amusing as it passes that I’m writing this review as fast as I can so that even more of it won’t fade from my memory before I finish.

Cornelia is rich, all right. The study–that Michael Yeargan has designed–where the action takes place and featuring its view of a staircase hung with tasteful landscape painting, confirms her wealth. Due to how wrong her late husband and two late children went as a result of being well heeled, Cornelia is convinced that money only corrupts. So she’s giving it away to Save the Children, et cetera.

Harvey’s concern is that Cornelia’s grandchildren will object, and when she assures him they have already been mollified, he surprises her by producing a registered latter from a man claiming to be the son of her late daughter Louisa, whom Cornelia claims never married or had children. Hardly has the missive come out of its envelope when the doorbell rings and in quick time the letter’s sender arrives–an African-American named Walker Williams (Gabriel Brown), who’s been nicknamed “Scott” because of his declared passion for F. Scott Fitzgerald.

Any committed theatergoer familiar with John Guare’s Six Degrees of Separation (there can’t be many who aren’t) will immediately wonder about Scott’s authenticity, but it sure looks as if Cornelia hasn’t spent much of her moolah on theater tickets.

To Harvey’s consternation, Scott ingratiates himself with Cornelia by way of the love for Fitzgerald that she shares. He also shows her a typewritten letter he says he received from Louisa after she’d left him with his father’s family and moved to France. There’s also the overall charm he smilingly dispenses. It does seem strange, though, that with all his passion for Fitzgerald, he doesn’t know the word “badinage.”

Oh, well, he does get around Cornelia, but when Harvey has to leave for lunch with his girlfriend, Scott doesn’t fare so well with Cornelia’s crusty cook Agnes Munger (Pamela Dunlap) and with Juilliard student Jessica Worth (Kahyun Kim). She’s stopped by to test a spinet Cornelia is offering to donate to the school

It turns out Cornelia had the instrument converted to a player piano some time earlier so she could program it with many of the Cole Porter songs she adores. (Did Scott Fitzgerald and Zelda love Cole Porter? Undoubtedly they all knew each other in Paris, but I digress.) The talented piano offers Jessica an opportunity to sing one of the 1913 Yale grad’s less well-known ditties, “Make It Another Old-Fashioned Please,” which Kim does nicely. When Harvey returns from lunch with news relevant to Cornelia and Scott, he seizes–with an important aim in mind–the opportunity to reprise “Get Out of Town,” another of Porter’s wry ballads. Like Kim, Paulik makes his unexpected rendition an attention-getter.

About this time, Gurney decides to wind up his tale to fit today’s trendy intermission less 90-minute format. In the name of a spoiler-free Love & Money account, no details will be listed as to how he does it. Certainly, nothing will be revealed about whether Scott is who he claims to be or whether Cornelia really cares one way or the other or whether Harvey prevails in his distrust of Scott.

But it’s fair to say that a work with the elements of a more probing examination of the haves and the have-nots definitely dwindles into something that couldn’t be more light-hearted and gay in the now nearly forgotten sense of the word. This, when money is blatantly prominent among the great contemporary American themes.

With Lamos deftly capturing Gurney’s curious mood, the cast members can’t be faulted. Anderman, who only leaves the stage for a short time when Cornelia goes to enjoy a cold-soup lunch with Scott, is lovely. Paulik does the hard-nosed lawyer well and then gets hilariously unstarched when he goes into his song. Brown is clever at keeping everyone guessing about what Scott is up to. Dunlap’s no-nonsense maid is right on the, uh, money, and Kim takes full advantage of her scene.

(Just wondering: Has Gurney given Scott the name Walker Williams because “Walker” is the designation accorded men who escort wealthy ladies when the husbands aren’t available? There is definitely the implication that Scott could turn into one of those odd characters.)

It may be that many ticket buyers will be as wowed by this addition to Gurney’s long play list as Cornelia is wowed by Scott. Others are very likely to leave their seats thinking a baffled, “Huh?”

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First Nighter: A. R. Gurney’s ‘Love & Money’ Doesn’t Buy Happiness

When Love & Money begins with Cornelia Cunningham (Maureen Anderman) confronting lawyer Harvey Abel (Joe Paulik) over the disposition of her will, it looks as if the new A. R. Gurney play is going to be substantive. Cornelia, you see, is planning to leave her impressively large gobs of money to charities, and this has Harvey worrying that her heirs–two grandchildren never seen–will contest the stipulations.

The assumption about Gurney’s intent, however, is misplaced. A dramatist who often pulls back from the more shadowy implications of his plots, Gurney withdraws from those here so forcibly that patrons may experience a mild form of whiplash. In the end, the comedy (?)–a co-production of the SignatureTheatre and the Westport Country Playhouse, where Mark Lamos, who directed, is artistic director–is a minor trifle.

Your enjoyment of it will hinge on how fond of trifles you are. Love & Money is so mildly amusing as it passes that I’m writing this review as fast as I can so that even more of it won’t fade from my memory before I finish.

Cornelia is rich, all right. The study–that Michael Yeargan has designed–where the action takes place and featuring its view of a staircase hung with tasteful landscape painting, confirms her wealth. Due to how wrong her late husband and two late children went as a result of being well heeled, Cornelia is convinced that money only corrupts. So she’s giving it away to Save the Children, et cetera.

Harvey’s concern is that Cornelia’s grandchildren will object, and when she assures him they have already been mollified, he surprises her by producing a registered latter from a man claiming to be the son of her late daughter Louisa, whom Cornelia claims never married or had children. Hardly has the missive come out of its envelope when the doorbell rings and in quick time the letter’s sender arrives–an African-American named Walker Williams (Gabriel Brown), who’s been nicknamed “Scott” because of his declared passion for F. Scott Fitzgerald.

Any committed theatergoer familiar with John Guare’s Six Degrees of Separation (there can’t be many who aren’t) will immediately wonder about Scott’s authenticity, but it sure looks as if Cornelia hasn’t spent much of her moolah on theater tickets.

To Harvey’s consternation, Scott ingratiates himself with Cornelia by way of the love for Fitzgerald that she shares. He also shows her a typewritten letter he says he received from Louisa after she’d left him with his father’s family and moved to France. There’s also the overall charm he smilingly dispenses. It does seem strange, though, that with all his passion for Fitzgerald, he doesn’t know the word “badinage.”

Oh, well, he does get around Cornelia, but when Harvey has to leave for lunch with his girlfriend, Scott doesn’t fare so well with Cornelia’s crusty cook Agnes Munger (Pamela Dunlap) and with Juilliard student Jessica Worth (Kahyun Kim). She’s stopped by to test a spinet Cornelia is offering to donate to the school

It turns out Cornelia had the instrument converted to a player piano some time earlier so she could program it with many of the Cole Porter songs she adores. (Did Scott Fitzgerald and Zelda love Cole Porter? Undoubtedly they all knew each other in Paris, but I digress.) The talented piano offers Jessica an opportunity to sing one of the 1913 Yale grad’s less well-known ditties, “Make It Another Old-Fashioned Please,” which Kim does nicely. When Harvey returns from lunch with news relevant to Cornelia and Scott, he seizes–with an important aim in mind–the opportunity to reprise “Get Out of Town,” another of Porter’s wry ballads. Like Kim, Paulik makes his unexpected rendition an attention-getter.

About this time, Gurney decides to wind up his tale to fit today’s trendy intermission less 90-minute format. In the name of a spoiler-free Love & Money account, no details will be listed as to how he does it. Certainly, nothing will be revealed about whether Scott is who he claims to be or whether Cornelia really cares one way or the other or whether Harvey prevails in his distrust of Scott.

But it’s fair to say that a work with the elements of a more probing examination of the haves and the have-nots definitely dwindles into something that couldn’t be more light-hearted and gay in the now nearly forgotten sense of the word. This, when money is blatantly prominent among the great contemporary American themes.

With Lamos deftly capturing Gurney’s curious mood, the cast members can’t be faulted. Anderman, who only leaves the stage for a short time when Cornelia goes to enjoy a cold-soup lunch with Scott, is lovely. Paulik does the hard-nosed lawyer well and then gets hilariously unstarched when he goes into his song. Brown is clever at keeping everyone guessing about what Scott is up to. Dunlap’s no-nonsense maid is right on the, uh, money, and Kim takes full advantage of her scene.

(Just wondering: Has Gurney given Scott the name Walker Williams because “Walker” is the designation accorded men who escort wealthy ladies when the husbands aren’t available? There is definitely the implication that Scott could turn into one of those odd characters.)

It may be that many ticket buyers will be as wowed by this addition to Gurney’s long play list as Cornelia is wowed by Scott. Others are very likely to leave their seats thinking a baffled, “Huh?”

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Happiness, Higher Education and the Pillars of Life

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Posing at my alma mater Boston College

Will an Ivy League degree — or even your next advanced degree — bring you happiness, satisfaction and personal success?

I’m not sure if two recent trips around the northeast or August back-to-school fever prompted this question that beckoned a response.

Surprisingly, within a 10-day time span, I’d visited over a dozen university campuses to query students, observe campus cultures and cultivate something of an answer.

I’ve always venerated higher thought and education played a significant role in my upbringing. So did the pursuit of happiness. At times, my desire for happiness conflicted with social beliefs and educational expectations.

For example, in their effort to have me follow in my grandfather’s footsteps as an attorney, my parents sent me to a private prep school for girls. The education was supposed to be better than our public high school, but the constricting atmosphere dampened my spirit. I excelled in academics but also turned anorexic.

A return to public high school buoyed me and I regained energy as well as girth.

By the time I was college bound, the need for an appealing culture was as important to me as access to a quality education. Stepping onto the grounds of Boston College during a campus visit, I knew I’d found a welcome home. I sensed a place where I could grow intellectually while remaining pleasantly grounded.

However, law school proved a different experience. Trying to please parents whose professional goal for me had never changed, I moved back to New Jersey after graduation and trudged into my next academic chapter.

My LSATs were decent. I’d been accepted to several law schools in New York but instinctively knew that commuting via public transportation during inclement weather would prove an easy deterrent to attendance. I opted instead for Seton Hall Law School in Newark, a mere 12-minute drive from home.

Our L1 class was intimate. I marveled at several fellow classmates who carried passionate desires for a future in law. Two others who spent several post-graduate years gaining business and life experience knew exactly why they were pursuing a J.D. too.

For me, there was neither passion nor sufficient life experience. I perceived no joy spending the majority of my adult years practicing law. I exited mid-stream and never looked back.

While the loss to my family was palpable, I could no longer carry the excess weight. I was purposed to find my own life calling and could no longer support the expectations of others. The decision to leave was daunting. However, the rewards of developing my own talents and paving my own path to professional success proved golden.

I marveled at this most recent university pilgrimage which spanned two recent trips up north.

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Smiling during my recent return to Seton Hall School of Law

A trip to New England with my husband for his New England Basketball Hall of Fame induction gave us a few days for tooling around the region by car. While in Connecticut, we toured the campuses of Yale, Trinity College and Quinnipiac University .

A visit to Providence, Rhode Island brought us to College Hill for Brown University and Rhode Island School of Design. Checking out the resort town of Newport, I stumbled upon Salve Regina University, uniquely housed within a waterfront mansion.

Onward to Massachusetts, we toured our alma mater Boston College and College of the Holy Cross, another Jesuit institution and BC rival from our era.

As my husband flew back to Florida, I boarded a bus to New York. A few days in Newark, NJ brought me together with old friends and my first return to Seton Hall Law School since my departure.

The next day, a friend pursuing her PhD picked me up for lunch and brought me to Seton Hall’s main campus where she’s currently matriculating. We toured the quiet grounds and investigated Seton Hall’s Graduate School of Diplomacy.

My final stops on the university circuit arrived while spending time with our Brooklyn-based daughter. A lengthy summer walk through Manhattan brought me to the grounds of Columbia University and, finally, to Fordham Law.

Each collegiate venue delivered its own culture and sense of place. I appreciated every school’s unique strengths and assets. But rather than checking out admissions statistics, tuition costs or the latest rankings from U.S. News & World Report, I was on a different kind of journey.

I wanted to investigate those on a path of personal happiness and needed to chat with those heading toward career and life satisfaction.

Not surprisingly, I unearthed no correlation between happiness and the more rarefied universities. Neither did I find a lack of expectation or joy at some of the lesser known institutions.

Instead, I discovered that stressed, anxious and sometimes near panic-stricken students were those feeling compelled to attain goals held in esteem by others — rather than themselves.

Conversely, the confident and energized students were those whose university provided them with the conduit to do what they had a personal passion for and engage with what they truly loved.

While at Columbia, I was inspired to ask about the pillars of our lives. The question is as pertinent for the academic as it is for anyone on a path toward life purpose and satisfaction.

A young coed I chatted with captured my reflective question on video. I hope you pause to watch it and ask yourself this question, too.

You may be studying as an undergrad, a graduate student or even as a life long learner.

Whatever your goals, may you find your pursuits of higher learning helping you to raise the unique — and satisfying — pillars of your life!

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If you’re struggling with an eating disorder, call the National Eating Disorder Association hotline at 1-800-931-2237.

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Special News Bulletin-http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

Two Traits That Predict Happiness

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There is no grander goal in life than the pursuit of happiness.

We all want to be happy, but we all have slightly different ideas of what it is. Even psychologists use various definitions of the term. It could simply be that happiness is as unique as the people that try to define it.

For many of us, though, it’s more than just a short burst of joy or a quick laugh at the latest cat video on the internet.

We mean real happiness. The kind of happiness where we look back at our life and feel contentment, meaning, and accomplishment. Something commonly referred to as “well-being” by many psychologists.

Finding happiness is not as easy as it sounds. People have even wondered if we can predict who’s going to be happy and who isn’t. That might sound crazy, but a recent analysis by psychologist Scott Barry Kaufman finds that there are two traits that could predict happiness.

Predicting Well-being

Well-being is a particular area of research that is studied by positive psychologists. It includes not only positive moods – which can be temporary – but a general satisfaction with one’s life.

If you haven’t heard of positive psychology, it’s the branch of psychology that explores the positive areas of human development. Things like happiness, flow, and optimism. They also have a classification handbook – co-authored by Martin Seligman – that spells out a total of 24 character traits that a person can exhibit under 6 broad virtues.

It was these characteristic traits that Dr. Kaufman was curious about. Using data from a larger project – which included 517 individuals ranging from the ages of 18 to 71 – he wanted to see if he could find any associations to happiness.

Of the 24 traits that he analyzed, he discovered two that were significant predictors of well-being. For a deeper look at the details of his analysis, you can check out his article over at Scientific American.

The Obvious Candidate

The first trait won’t be a surprise to many of you. The single best predictor of well-being was gratitude.

Gratitude has been found in many studies to increase happiness and well-being. It can also give a boost to romantic relationships, mental health, and heart health. If you’re unaware of how the practice of gratefulness can benefit you, I highly encourage you to check it out.

This simply chalks up another victory for gratitude and shows how important it can be towards contributing to your own happiness.

The Dark Horse

The other trait is a bit more surprising. Dr. Kaufman found that “love of learning” was the second characteristic that could independently predict well-being.

While I’ve always been a promoter of lifelong learning, it’s interesting to see it was the only other trait that predicts well-being (although there were a few close contenders.)

Love of learning, as defined by the classification book, means mastering new skills, topics, and bodies of knowledge, whether on one’s own or formally.

This mean that happiness is predicted by more than just having years of formal education. Yes, formal education is associated with better habits, health, and overall longevity. But we’re also talking about lifelong learners. Individuals who explore new hobbies, master new skills, and engage in mentally stimulating activities. People who learn for the fun and challenge of it.

Mastery is one of the great intrinsic motivators – as pointed out by Daniel Pink in his book Drive. This shows that the pursuit of knowledge is deeply motivating and also has profound implications for our happiness and well-being.

A Hidden Lesson

There was another result from Dr. Kaufman’s analysis, but he touches on it only briefly.

He found evidence that working on your character strengths is predictive of well-being – one of the main tenets of positive psychology. That means practicing or training these character strengths can result in higher well-being also.

Other research backs up this claim. In a study looking at practicing optimism and gratitude, people with depression were part of 6 week program that practiced good deeds and activities like writing gratitude letters. The people who stuck with the program saw improvements in mental and physical health.

Psychologists from Zurich have also tested the effect of practicing these traits. Over 10 weeks 178 adults were separated into three groups. One group was used as a control and didn’t do any character exercises, while the other 2 groups trained different character strengths. The researchers found that anyone that did any training, whatsoever, had a boost to their well-being.

A World in Pursuit

It’s not just Americans that want to be happy. Happiness is something that is sought after by people of all cultures in every corner of the globe.

In a study published in Perspectives on Psychological Science, researcher Ed Diener cites a survey he conducted among 10,000 people in 48 countries. Happiness was rated as the most important out of 12 possible outcomes.

Happiness is important to us as individuals and society as a whole. While finding out which traits can predict levels of happiness is a fun exercise, maybe there’s a bigger lesson to be learned.

If you want to be happy, you should practice positive traits.

This article first appeared on TheBrainFlux. You can join thousands of others getting brain tips by following on Twitter or Facebook.

Image:
Josef Seibel

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GPS for the Soul – The Huffington Post
Special News Bulletin-http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

What My Pointer Dog Taught Me About Life and Happiness

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Photo by Paulo Silva

I have the tiniest German Shorthaired Pointer anyone knows of. Her name is Embry, and she is about thirty pounds (where the breed standard is about forty-five to sixty pounds for females) of pure love and snuggles. Her main goal in life is to get under the covers. Any covers. Do you have a towel laying around? She wants to get under that. A napkin? That’ll work.

She is a happy, grateful dog. For no other reason than being alive. Her main achievements in life revolve around getting bites of chicken, successfully forcing her way into the tiniest spots between two people, and taking intense naps in incredibly entertaining positions. Every day she teaches me how to be a better person, which is strange, with her being a dog and all.

Every morning, Embry FLIES out of her soft crate, almost breaking the zipper, jumps into our bed, and glues a very cold nose to either of our faces. “Hello parents! I am here! Rejoice!” she seems to be saying.

She is full of love and and forceful snuggling, and I can’t help but laugh. I used to ask her, “What are you so excited about?” but now I hug her and say, “I knooooowww, we are so happy for no reason! Let’s party!” A new day, new smells, naps, maybe new toys and treats, fresh laundry to roll around in, potty breaks, eating grass… the opportunities are endless and the world is her oyster.

We run downstairs, and she starts running in small circles wagging her little nub of a tail signaling she’s ready to go potty, one of the highlights of life, obviously. If I take too long getting to the door, she sends me one of her snorts that sound like a race horse at the track gate. Still half-asleep, I open the door to let her out and she does her business proudly. She runs back inside and grabs Dharma (her favorite toy, a blue dragon) by the head, and brings her to me as a trophy of a successful potty escapade. Thank you so much, I was really needing a slobbery stuffed animal rubbed against my leg. If only we could celebrate our small victories like that…

I sit down to eat and have my coffee, and the shameless begging begins. Dharma is long forgotten when there are potential treats at stake. She was my husband’s dog at first, but she has lived with me for three years now, and I have to admit I have completely ruined her. She sticks her entire GSP nose into my plate or bowl, and snorts again. Excuse you?! I tell her “no,” and she backs off daintily, just to fake politeness. “Sorry mama,” her raised paw says. Two seconds later, she tries again. “You persistent little nugget,” I tell her, shaking my head. I wish I could be that shameless in real life. Wait, but why can’t I? I should be as persistent as she is when there’s a lot more than chicken at stake…

The day goes on, and I sit down to write as she finds herself a little cozy spot in the living room, where she can monitor me. Sometimes she’s an independent woman and goes upstairs and puts herself in her crate. She doesn’t need company, she could use a little alone and quiet time to unwind from her busy morning of potty and begging. She didn’t even excuse herself, she just left. What life would be like if I could just say, “I just need to be alone in my crate today. Bye.” The freedom!

I take a break from work and go upstairs to do some chores. As I pick up the six thousand pillows and blankets to make the bed, I look over at her inside her crate. She’s under her blanket next to Dharma, watching me from the little fabric window. I try to remember why I decided I needed all of this stuff on my bed. Look at her, she has one blanket and she’s perfectly fine. She doesn’t even feel the need to put up some art in her crate. Why do I need so much to be happy?

I head back downstairs and start to do some laundry, where I find some of Dharma’s friends, Gerard and Madeleine, buried underneath the piles. All of it is covered in black and white hairs, including the clean laundry, which she prefers for napping. She follows me downstairs and I scold her a little for getting into the clean clothes. She’s embarrassed and sad about that for a moment, and looks up at me with “I’m-so-ashamed” eyes. Right, you don’t fool me missy.

I get back to work, and hook myself up to all my electronics: iPhone, laptop, iPad, remotes, earphones… you know, all the things crucial to my daily survival. Today, like most afternoons, after hours of looking at too many screens, I get overwhelmed and mentally over-stimulated. I look over at her and she’s sprawled out on the couch, not a worry in sight. Sigh. She’s already forgotten about the laundry, and perks up when she sees me watching her. I wish we knew how to forgive and forget that quickly.

I jump up closing my laptop, pull my earphones out, turn my phone off, throw on some running shoes and take her to the field across the street. I let her loose, and she runs in erratic circles, ears flapping in the wind, looking up at the sky. Forever hopeful, she is looking for potential birds she’s never going to catch. Every so often, she sees me across the field and runs towards me as fast as she can, skinny legs flying in every direction. I’m laughing and the sun is setting, and I wonder why I get so caught up with “life” every day. She doesn’t care if she looks cute, or if she should post this adorable moment on her Instagram. She lives in the moment, and she chooses to be happy with whatever she’s got. She is grateful for the smallest of things, like the freshly cut grass and the warmth of the sun, and now I am too.

Find me and #EmbryTheGoat on Instagram!

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GPS for the Soul – The Huffington Post
Special News Bulletin-http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

Mindfulness in Your 20s: How to Use Gratitude As Fuel for Happiness

Plenty of research shows that gratitude is a key component of happiness. Even when practicing mindfulness, expressing loving-kindness to the world is an important step to a healthy mind. Taking time each day to fill up your tank with gratitude can be a useful way to travel through life.

I’ll go first, then it’s your turn:

I’m thankful for myself.
This past winter surrounded my car with a lot of snow. Before I complained about it, I was thankful I had the physical ability to shovel myself out. I was thankful I had the mental ability to know how to drive and have a job to drive to. And when I got so distracted with thankfulness that I stepped on a sheet of ice and bit the pavement, I was thankful I had the emotional ability to laugh at myself.

I’m thankful for my family.
Being a grown-up is hard. I want to go back to college where other people make my dinner, my bills are paid for in one enormous check, and I can still be wearing my flannel pajama pants at noon. Luckily, my parents know more about life than me and are only a phone call away. I just think every piece of food should come with extremely specific directions of how it needs to be cooked. Also, everything under a car hood should be color-coded; the only time you see it is when you’re frustrated anyways. And why is it legal to make clothing out of material that can shrink? I guess what I’m trying to say is: Thanks, Mom and Dad.

I’m thankful for my friends.
You know how people walk past you throughout the day and instinctively say, “Hey, how are you?” even though there’s a good chance they don’t even remotely care about how you answer that question? Find the people who do care about your answer. Those are your friends. And I am thankful for each and every one of mine.

I’m thankful for that lady at the grocery store today who had trouble counting.
I ordered half a pound of turkey. She gave me 1 full pound and then asked if it was ok that she was “a little” over. Although I was “a little” annoyed, the counter was packed with other waiting customers, and I sensed she was very stressed. So, I thanked her. Because I remembered that I am financially stable enough to afford the one pound, which definitely made me feel grateful.

I’m thankful for my dishwasher.
Seriously. I am. Even though it annoys me. As I write this, the dishwasher in my apartment is louder than a warzone. Not to mention I could make an entire new dish set on a pottery wheel before that machine cleans the ones I have. But you know, it’s ok. Because I’m thankful for the time a dishwasher saves me. Plus, now I know what it sounds like to be next to a hurricane.

I’m thankful for you.
Whoever you are. There’s a chance you are a friend of mine, and you’re reading this blog out of friendship obligation. But if this does make its way to the screen of someone who I don’t know, I’m still thankful for you. And I wish you the best in life. And you look nice today. I know I’m assuming, but I still like to make a good first impression.

Try Thanks
OK, now your turn.

A major component of mindfulness is expressing loving-kindness for everyone around you, including yourself. This is really tough to do for the people who annoy you, dislike you, or have wronged you. But those are the people who will end up teaching you the most about life anyways. So, even if you have trouble being thankful for these people, you can at least be thankful for how their actions have shaped you.

Once a week, use some quiet time to silently express gratitude to the world. Start with yourself, then slowly move to a family member, good friend, annoying friend, acquaintance, stranger, everyone you see, and then the world. Take a deep breath in between each level of gratitude. Let it fill you up.

You could also consider keeping a gratitude journal. Each night, write down three things that you were particularly thankful for that day. That way, you’re going to sleep with the light of others shining in your heart rather than the light of your phone shining in your eyes.

Take time to find the thankfulness in every situation. Once you are filled with thanks, find ways to express that gratitude in what you say and do. One of the easiest ways to feel happy is to make someone else feel it first.

Then, come over to my place for a sandwich. I hope you like turkey.

(Part 7 of an ongoing crash course on mindfulness in your twenties. Click here for the last post.)

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GPS for the Soul – The Huffington Post
Special News Bulletin-http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

Happiness in Jersey

Happiness in Jersey


The only thing in Jersey Kinkaid’s world that she has time for are keeping her grades up so that she doesn’t lose her scholarship to South Texas University, playing the bass in her band, The Prototype, and satisfying her coffee addiction. Oh, and the occasional random hook-up she indulges in to pass the time. Love? Eh, not so much. Save that crap for a Katherine Heigl or Natalie Portman movie. Jersey’s seen enough in life (courtesy of her Pops) to realize that undying romance is nothing more than a myth used to sell books and movie tickets. As she knows too well, the only thing inevitable in life is death- love is definitely not promised. That’s why when Jersey meets Isaiah “Zay” Broussard with his soulful gray eyes, quick wit and easy charm, she’s determined to remain aloof. She doesn’t have time to get sidetracked by fleeting fantasies, even if she does feel a connection to Zay she’s never experienced before. But when his interest in her only seems to intensify, despite her attempts to brush him off, she gets to see a side of him and herself she didn’t expect, causing her to question her hard won philosophies on life, love and finding happiness.

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6 Ways to Cultivate Better Relationships for More Happiness

Happiness is an elusive topic that has been studied and contemplated by many throughout history. While there are many theories and ideas of what it means to be happy, I decided to focus on the relational aspect of happiness in this blog. As an Imago relationship therapist and someone who specializes in helping my clients achieve happy and healthy relationships I have come to view much of happiness through a relational lens.

It is no coincidence that online dating and the wedding industry are extremely successful businesses. Human beings seek and crave close and intimate relationships. When we feel loved and connected we feel “whole.” However, romantic relationships are not the only or even primary source of relational happiness. Friendships and family relationships can be just as important. When someone in therapy is going through a difficult time a psychotherapist may often ask, “who is your support network?” This is an important question because the stronger the support network, the easier the recovery. Feeling loved and supported by a “tribe” is often essential to how happy we are. In fact, research even shows the mental and physical benefits of friendship.

Of course on the opposite end of the spectrum, relationships also have the power to make us extremely unhappy. Being in the wrong relationship or being surrounded by people who don’t make us feel good or take advantage of us can feel awful and drain us emotionally. Positive relationships enhance our happiness but negative relationships have the power to make us unhappy. Because relationships are so powerful it is important to know how to cultivate fulfilling relationships. Throughout our lives no one teaches us how to be in relationships. There are no classes in school that tell us how to have healthy and happy relationships. We are often just navigating them on our own and learning as we go.

Given that we are often uneducated on healthy relationships, what are some things one can do to cultivate better relationships with others? Here are a few tips:

1. Empathy: The most successful relationship dynamics are when each person involved in the relationship has a strong sense of empathy. Empathy basically means that you are consciously thinking about how another person might feel and acting respectfully and thoughtfully accordingly. I’ve seen a lot of relationships end because of the narcissism, selfishness or entitlement of one person. If you want to develop a real sense of intimacy and closeness with another person you have to be able to put yourself in their shoes. I believe that empathy is the foundation and core of any successful relationship.

2. Thoughtfulness and Generosity: When I use the word “generosity” I don’t mean that you should be buying your friends and family expensive gifts (or gifts at all). Generosity is emotional generosity. My grandfather died recently and some friends of mine wrote me really thoughtful cards which meant the world to me and made me feel really lucky. Even just checking in with someone on a regular basis to show you care is a sign of thoughtfulness and generosity. Showing appreciation through words, gift giving, verbal appreciation or any thoughtful gesture that shows someone you are thinking of them is also a form of thoughtfulness and generosity.

3. Consistency and Follow Through: I was raised with the mantra: “If you tell someone you’re going to do something, you do it” (thanks, dad!). Nobody likes someone who constantly bails, doesn’t follow through, or makes empty promises. You can only get away with flaky behavior for so long before people stop putting up with it.

4. Compromise and Fairness: All relationships should have some feeling of reciprocity. This doesn’t mean tit for tat but it means both parties in the relationship do not feel like the relationship is one sided or uneven. All strong relationships require a degree of compromise and fairness. People who consistently take from others and expect people to give and bend over backwards for them without lifting a finger are people who don’t have many friends or any friendships of real substance. They are users.

5. Don’t Ask People For Things Only When You Need Something: This was another childhood message I received that I am incredibly grateful for. Isn’t it the most infuriating thing when someone calls you only when they need something from you? All positive and healthy relationships should stem from something beyond just selfish needs. People are more inclined to want to do nice things for you when they feel like you really like them for who they are and not what you can do for them.

6. Boundaries: If you find yourself in a friendship/relationship with someone who has little or no empathy, is not thoughtful or emotionally generous, is flaky, does not compromise, or only asks for things of you when they need something from you, put up a boundary and either distance yourself from the person or end the relationship entirely. There is no point in having relationships that make you feel bad, drain you and leave you resentful.

This article was originally published on Lena’s blog at the Imago Center in Washington D.C. website

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

GPS for the Soul – The Huffington Post
Special News Bulletin-http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

The 8 Most Important Things We’ve Learned About Happiness In The Past 10 Years

We’re living in a golden age of happiness — the scientific study of happiness, at least.

The field of positive psychology has exploded in growth since its inception in 1998, dramatically increasing our understanding of human flourishing. We now know more than ever about what makes us happy, how we can spread happiness socially and geographically, and how happiness affects our physical and mental health.

But it’s just the beginning. In the next decade, we’re likely to see not only a greater understanding of positive emotions, but also the application of this research on a practical level to improve well-being on a global scale.

“Positive psychology has just scratched at the surface of the benefits of topics like meditation, gratitude and forgiveness,” Emma Seppala, Ph.D., a positive psychologist at Stanford and associate director of Stanford University’s Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education, told The Huffington Post in an email. “The next decade of research will dive deep into these topics.”

Already, this burgeoning research offers valuable tools for each one of us to bring more joy into our own lives and the lives of others. In honor of HuffPost’s 10th anniversary, here are eight scientific findings about happiness from the past decade — and reasons why we’ll be happier in the future, too.

happiness

1. We get happier as we get older.
Although we tend to focus on the downsides of aging, a robust body of research suggests we’ve got a lot to look forward to as we get older. One survey conducted in 2013 found 23 and 69 to be life’s two happiest ages. Other data suggests that after happiness levels drop around mid-life, they tend to increase steadily into old age. One conducted by Duke University researchers in 2006 found that 70-year-olds tended to rate themselves as being happier than 30-year-olds did.

Why? Greater appreciations for life’s little triumphs and acceptance of life’s trials likely play a role, as well as lower stress levels.

“As we age, we have the opportunity to accept who we are, instead of focusing on who we feel we need to become,” psychoanalyst Ken Eisold wrote in Psychology Today. “We relax into being ourselves.”

“As we age… we relax into being ourselves.”

2. You can rewire your brain for happiness.
One of the most amazing things about the human brain is neuroplasticity — the brain’s capacity to rewire itself in response to new experiences.

We can actually wire our brains for happiness by focusing our attention on positive experiences and emotions, says neuropsychologist Rick Hanson, author of Hardwiring Happiness: The New Brain Science of Contentment, Calm, and Confidence. When you linger on a positive experience, it becomes encoded in your neural chemistry. Linger on many of these experiences, and the connections become strengthened over time and easier to retrieve.

“The longer the neurons fire, the more of them that fire, and the more intensely they fire, the more they’re going to wire that inner strength –- that happiness, gratitude, feeling confident, feeling successful, feeling loved and lovable,” Hanson told HuffPost in 2013.

3. Happy mind, healthy body.
More and more science is revealing the depth of our mind-body connection. We know now that cultivating a positive state of mind isn’t just good for your mental health — it can also keep your body healthy and protect you from disease.

Positive emotions have been shown to boost immune system functioning, positively alter gene expression, improve sleep quality and reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke, among other physical health benefits.

4. Social connection is key.
Human beings are social creatures, and the quality of our relationships is inextricably linked with our physical and mental well-being.

“Over a given period, people who have strong ties to family, friends, or coworkers have a 50 percent greater chance of outliving those with fewer social connections,” CNN medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta wrote last year. “If our relationships can have such an effect on our overall health, why don’t we prioritize spending time with the people around us as much as we do exercising and eating right?”

5. We can thrive in the face of life’s challenges.
The field of post-traumatic growth — which investigates how people not only survive but come to thrive in the wake of adversity — is one of the most exciting in all of psychology right now, says Dr. Scott Barry Kaufman, a psychologist at the University of Pennsylvania.

“I believe we need to move beyond positive emotions and incorporate trauma and anxiety, and investigate how these ‘negative’ emotions can lead to greater personal growth and well-being,” Kaufman told The Huffington Post in an email.

6. We’re happier when we’re helping others.
Being kind to others is a fast track to happiness. Volunteering makes people happier and boosts their longevity, according to a 2013 review of studies from the University of Exeter.

Helping others may also be an effective way to combat feelings of disconnection in our increasingly online lives.

“Too much use of technology can actually isolate us and make us lonelier,” Kaufman told The Huffington Post. “Also, generations appear to be getting more and more narcissistic and self-focused, and we know that’s not conducive to well-being. I think we will only be happier in the future if we can figure out a way to harness new technologies for the benefit of helping others.”

An added benefit? Kindness is contagious.

7. Lasting happiness is born of purpose.
“Happiness cannot be pursued; it must ensue,” Austrian psychiatrist and Holocaust survivor Viktor Frankl wrote in his 1946 manifesto Man’s Search for Meaning. “One must have a reason to ‘be happy.'”

In recent years, psychologists have demonstrated what Frankl long held to be true: Happiness doesn’t just come from chasing pleasure or positive experiences. As mounting research has demonstrated, sustainable happiness (and good health) comes from having a deep sense of purpose in life.

“One must have a reason to ‘be happy.'”

Studies have shown that a sense of purpose and meaning increases well-being and life satisfaction, boosts self-esteem and can even ward off depression.

8. Mindfulness is a gateway to happiness.
You don’t have to be a veteran yogi or a meditating monk to make yourself at least “10 percent happier,” as ABC anchor Dan Harris says, through a mindfulness practice. Studies have shown that meditation boosts positive feelings and psychological well-being, in addition to warding off stress, depression and anxiety.

“Research suggests that we are happiest in the present,” Seppala told HuffPost. “We will be happier in the future, if we learn to be present!”

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

GPS for the Soul – The Huffington Post
Special News Bulletin-http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

Who Is Holding Your Happiness Hostage?

All blame is a waste of time. The only thing blame does is to keep the focus off you when you are looking for external reasons to explain your unhappiness or frustration.

You may succeed in making another feel guilty about something by blaming him, but you won’t succeed in changing whatever it is about you that is making you unhappy.

— Wayne Dyer

Last week, while running some errands, I bumped into a close friend of mine whom I see on a fairly regular basis. It was immediately obvious that he was troubled about something because I could feel the negative energy sort of oozing out his pores. I said, “What’s the matter with you… you look very stressed out… is everything okay?” He bristled at the question and then said:

No, I’m not okay, because one of my coworkers is a real unethical person who is playing office politics, manipulating and lying to everyone there, spinning things around, and creating turmoil and hard feelings among a majority of the staff.

The office is so incredibly tense that everyone is walking on eggshells, except this guy. And to make it worse, somehow he has managed to fool the boss into thinking he is the best employee the company has ever had.

The truth is, he is the worst employee the company has ever had, and he’s getting away with it, and that really bugs me!

I spoke with my friend for a few minutes, trying to lift him up and out of his emotional quagmire, and then we said goodbye. So now, here it is a week later, and I saw my friend again last night, and guess what? He is still stuck in the same story with the same seething anger and resentment… the same cloud over his head. I felt bad for him because he seemed so miserable, and I suspect he still is today. It was clear that he was allowing his happiness to be held hostage by this person. The next time I see him, rather than asking “What’s the matter with you?” I should just say, “Who’s the matter with you?” Of course, I wouldn’t do that, not only because it would be thoughtless but also it would probably only serve in making him even more miserable, and I would probably lose a friend to boot.

Have you ever gotten a personal “bone” you were gnawing on about another person, stuck in your throat, making you miserable, and you just couldn’t seem to get rid of it? It’s safe to say it’s likely most of us have, and we know it’s not a pleasant experience; but who is really suffering, you or them? It’s amazing how often we externalize our power, placing our happiness in someone else’s hands by blaming them and their behavior for whatever is making us miserable. Perhaps it’s time to reclaim some of that power and release whomever you may be holding responsible for stealing your joy because they aren’t being the kind of person you think they “should be.” You may be right; they may be guilty of everything you have judged them to be, but would you rather be right or happy? If you are attached to always being both right and happy at the same time, you will suffer greatly.

Who’s the matter with you today? In other words, who might be holding your happiness hostage with your permission? If someone “special” pops up in your mind when I ask that question, consider blessing them rather than cursing them. While this idea may seem a bit challenging, consider that you may not have all the facts on their back story that cause this person to behave as they do. When we convert our anger and judgement into compassion amazing things happen within us that can also spill over into the life of the one who challenges us the most. Others often live up to (or down to) what we think of them and about them. To bless someone is to confirm that you see the light and presence of that which is sacred within them, even if they cannot see it themselves. When you do this you’ll be amazed at how quickly your inner peace finds its center in you again. It’s so easy to reclaim your power when you cease looking at others as the source of your unhappiness. Happiness really is an inside job!

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— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

GPS for the Soul – The Huffington Post
Special News Bulletin-http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

The World Book of Happiness

The World Book of Happiness


The knowledge and wisdom of 100 happiness professors from around the world. It may be surprising to learn the amount of scientific research conducted on happiness and that there is a World Database of Happiness, a cumulative and continuous register of that research. In fact, the United States ranks higher than average in happiness, though not as high as the Nordic countries, including the happiest of nations, Denmark. So perhaps there is a lot to be learned about happiness and how to achieve it. The World Book of Happiness is a fascinating compilation of brief essays by 100 of the most prominent experts in positive psychology working in 50 countries. Writing from their own areas of expertise in language free of academic jargon, the contributors examine the principles of happiness, also known as subjective well-being, and how to achieve it. These expert recommendations are shown as “keys” to happiness. The book reveals many paths to happiness. From the founder of positive psychology, it is “other people matter.” From Germany it is “pride, modesty and gratitude.” In Malaysia it is “nourish the soul,” and in Austria “fitness, friends and fun” bring happiness. And in Denmark, home to the happiest: “Believe in yourself.” But what, too, of genetics, geography and health? The experts also consider these factors and recommend keys to happiness that address what we think we cannot control. Positive psychology may not be widely known, but the desire to be happy is universal. By transforming information into knowledge and knowledge into wisdom, The World Book of Happiness brings readers a hopeful and practical guide to that elusive state of being.

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THE DIRECTIONS TO HAPPINESS: A 135-Country Quest for Life Lessons

THE DIRECTIONS TO HAPPINESS: A 135-Country Quest for Life Lessons


A JOURNEY THROUGH 135 COUNTRIES REVEALS WISDOM FROM UNLIKELY SAGESIn THE DIRECTIONS TO HAPPINESS, Bruce Thoreau Northam shares the infinite goodwill of strangers through enlightening tales from his travels to 135 countries. He has spent decades navigating the globe in a continuing search for words to live by-and live for-in local mode. Bruce Northam is the award-winning journalist and author of Globetrotter Dogma, In Search of Adventure, and The Frugal Globetrotter. He also created “American Detour,” a show revealing the travel writer’s journey. His keynote speech, Directions to Your Destination, reveals the many shades of the travel industry and how to entice travelers. Northam’s other live presentation, Street Anthropology, is an ode to freestyle wandering. Visit AmericanDetour.com.Editorial Reviews:”By the end of the book, you like the author, you believe him, and you’ve had a fun ride-because this is no namby-pamby travelogue.” -Travel+Leisure”A literary compass: 135 Countries, Infinite Lessons, One Book.” -Travelgirl Magazine

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Steps Toward a Year of Happiness

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The new year has arrived! It’s a perfect time to make a habit of the practices that will bring you the greatest amounts of happiness and contentment.

Not sure what to try first? See if something from this list helps you get started:

  • Start moving: Develop a fitness routine that is reasonable and sustainable. Don’t worry about what anyone else is doing. This is your time! Make sure to include components that will improve your flexibility and balance, as well as that cardio to get your heart pumping. And, good news! Everything you do for your physical health will also positively impact your brain health.
  • Turn off: Take some time every day to turn off technology. Give yourself a break from being tuned in and on call. Breathe deeply, clear your mind and just be.
  • Give yourself a break: Accept that neither you nor anyone else is perfect. Everyone has problems and insecurities, and everybody will make a mistake every now and then. Allow yourself to be less than perfect without beating yourself up over every little thing. And let those people around you, whether at home or work, know that you won’t explode every time they fall short of your expectations. You, and they, deserve a break. Make it a habit to cut everyone some slack.
  • Practice gratitude: Look around you and appreciate the beauty you see. Give thanks for all the gifts in your life. This of the people you are lucky to have supporting and caring about you. Appreciate that last meal you had, and that you were lucky enough to get it. Think about your home, nature, air and water. Do you take them for granted? Imagine if you didn’t have any of these things; I bet you’ll soon realize just how much they contribute to your happiness and well-being.
  • Give back: If you don’t already have a way to provide service in your community, find a way and be consistent in your participation. Giving to those who are less fortunate than you is a great way to get things in perspective. And, even better, you will soon spend more time trying to make the world a better place for others rather than moaning about whatever may be missing from your own life.
  • Practice your passions: What makes your heart sing? Give yourself time for your passion, and see if it’s possible to combine that activity with one of your other activities. Maybe it blends well with your exercise, healthy cooking, or getting back to your community. If not, it’s still well worth making time for whatever puts you in that zone.
  • Make time for mindfulness: It sounds so silly, but mindfulness is the easiest way to improve your life. In fact, it’s so easy that many feel it’s hard. It’s hard to turn off technology. It’s hard to take time away from work, television, reading, family, or anything else. It’s hard to stop thinking about whatever’s coming in the future, or what already took place. But focusing on the now, zeroing in on what’s happening in your life right this second, then the second is gone… lost forever. Lose not one second more. Learn how to practice mindfulness and reap the benefits every single day.

Now that you have some ideas, try to figure out how you’re going to put some of these ideas into practice.

And have a happy, fulfilling, wonderful year. It’s right there just waiting for you.

Dr. Wolbe can be reached via her website www.drsusiewolbe.com.
GPS for the Soul – The Huffington Post
Special News Bulletin-http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

Gary Zukav: Why Even the Best Job Can’t Bring You Happiness – Help Desk – OWN

Tune in for Gary’s advice on the new series Help Desk on Sunday, September 21, at noon ET/PT.
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Keith, an economics student, is about to start his career. Like many new grads, he’s nervous about entering the working world and worried about choosing the right job.

“How can I understand myself or better understand my soul to know if this job or career is worth pursuing, and if it will make me happy?” Keith says.

For guidance, he’s turning to Gary Zukav, the internationally renowned teacher and author of The Seat of the Soul. In the above video, Gary explains why even the most delightful job is not enough to fulfill Keith completely, and shows him where to find true happiness.

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When the Journey to Happiness Stalls, Try Focusing on Meaning

In college, I thought I could study my way to being perpetually happy. I figured I had all the prerequisites needed for a happy life: a supportive family, good friends, a good education and the world ahead of me. I read countless books on happiness, became a psychology major, practiced smiling 20 times per day and even wrote my senior thesis on Martin Seligman’s work about “learned optimism,” or how to see the glass as half full. Yet I found that the more I focused on trying to be happy, the more elusive it felt.

It appears I’m not alone. Recent psychology studies have suggested that if we doggedly try to focus on happiness, it can impede our ability to be happy! In their article “Can Seeking Happiness Make People Happy?” Mauss and colleagues contend that people who highly value happiness end up setting happiness standards that are difficult to achieve. [5] When they don’t attain these high standards, they feel disappointed, “paradoxically decreasing their happiness the more they want it.”

So where do we go from there? Two experiences during my residency training to become a psychiatrist profoundly helped me on my own journey. The first was becoming familiar with meditation, which enabled me to take pressure off my quest for perpetual happiness. And the second was asking myself a slightly different question than “how can I be happy” that steered my journey toward values and meaning.

Before I started to meditate, I thought I was failing every time I had an unpleasant thought, be it unhappiness, loneliness, anger, anxiety, or frustration. With meditation, I slowly learned that those feelings are part of the package of life. Instead of trying to push the feelings down only to have them pop up (often at unexpected and sometimes pretty inconvenient times) or develop self-sabotaging distractions to ease my troubles, I learned to just accept the unpleasant feelings — to sit with them while they ebbed and flowed in my mind. The more I sat with feelings, the less threatening they felt. And I discovered I need not beat myself up every time a negative thought or feeling popped up. In other words, I stopped adding to my misery by judging myself when I felt miserable.

When I stopped asking myself, “How can I be happy?” an unexpected new question popped up, which was, “How can I be happy with myself?” It started with learning an unconventional technique to relieve emotional distress called the Emotional Freedom Technique. As part of this technique, my teacher asked me to repeat the self-statement, “Even though I have this pain, I deeply love and accept myself.” I hesitated. Was that true? Did I “deeply love and accept myself?” I was embarrassed that with all the introspection I’d done, I hadn’t asked myself that question before. And I was also disturbed that when I did answer it, my answer was a hesitant, “Umm… maybe?” It pushed me on my journey to figure out what I could do to make that self-statement feel truer to me. I began to figure out what I valued, so that when negative feelings came up, I could still work towards things that were meaningful and affirming for me.

There is a type of therapy I recently discovered that makes me feel like I might have re-invented the wheel with my two transformative experiences. It is a form of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) called Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). ACT encourages people to accept what is out of their personal control (such as depression, chronic pain, external events like economic downturns or disasters, etc.) and commit to taking actions that are in accordance with their central values. ACT assumes that even when people are experiencing a great deal of pain, there’s an opportunity to find meaning and purpose. The therapy teaches people how to accept painful feelings that are out of their control using mindfulness (a meditative practice involving paying attention to our experience in the moment), and shows people that pain can sometimes help with crafting rich and meaningful lives.

In my work as a psychiatrist, I often focus on reducing or eliminating symptoms, such as those that come with depression and anxiety disorders. ACT, instead, aims to change a person’s relationship with his or her thoughts and feelings so they are no longer seen as symptoms. In his book ACT Made Simple, for example, Russ Harris makes an analogy to a plant we might judge as an “ugly weed” in our garden that we just can’t get rid of. If we view this plant as a menacing, ugly weed, we’ll spend a lot of mental energy feeling upset, frustrated, maybe embarrassed about it, wishing it weren’t there, etc. But if we view the plant as an unfortunate fact of life, common to the native environment, then we are free to not waste mental energy on it. This leaves us able to better focus on what we find meaningful.

Although ACT still has a limited research base, there is some evidence that it can be as effective in the treatment of depression as CBT; there is also evidence of its effectiveness in treating anxiety disorders and chronic pain. One proposed mechanism for the effectiveness of ACT is that it helps decrease what has been called “experiential avoidance.” When we attempt to avoid negative thoughts and feelings, not only do we often fail, but we can actually come to feel greater anxiety and distress. By decreasing our experiential avoidance, we can feel a reduction in distress, and move more easily toward what we value in our lives.

So if you find yourself bogged down on your path to happiness, it may be time to pause and refocus. Instead of tormenting yourself with, “Why can’t I be happy?” you could try to be present with all the feelings you’re having at this very moment, good, bad, and ugly. And then use the mental energy you save to figure out what you value in life. One question that I particularly like is, “When I’m 80 years old, what do I want to look back and say about myself?”

It’s a big question to ask. One thing I can now say for myself is, “Even though I was tired and a little achy, I still wrote that article about meaningfulness.”

For more on ACT: http://contextualscience.org/act

References:

1. Churchill R. Third wave cognitive and behavioural therapies versus other psychological therapies for depression. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2013, Issue 10. Art. No.: CD008704. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD008704.pub2.

2. Forman EM, Herbert JD, Moitra E, Yoemans P, Geller PA. A randomized controlled effectiveness trial of acceptance and commitment therapy and cognitive therapy for anxiety and depression. Behav Modif 2007. 31: 772-799.

3. Harris, R. (2009) ACT Made Simple: An Easy-To-Read Primer on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Publications.

4. Hunot V, Moore THM, Caldwell DM, Furukawa TA, Davies P, Jones H, Honyashiki M, Chen P, Lewis G,

5. Mauss, I. B., Tamir, M., Anderson, C. L., & Savino, N. S. Can seeking happiness make people unhappy? Paradoxical effects of valuing happiness. Emotion 2011. 11: 807-815.

6. Seligman, M. (2006). Learned Optimism: How to Change Your Mind and Your Life. New York: Vintage Books
GPS for the Soul – The Huffington Post
Special News Bulletin-http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

Can This Simple Exercise Double Your Happiness? (VIDEO)

Have you ever noticed that sometimes the anticipation of an event — a weeklong vacation to the beach, a long-overdue visit from a dear friend, a wedding — feels even more enjoyable than the event itself? For days, weeks or months, the excitement builds; then, when the big day arrives, your happiness level doesn’t skyrocket any more than it already has.

Happiness researcher Shawn Achor has studied how to foster happiness and has seen the powerful effects of this type of anticipation. He shares some of his findings on an episode of Oprah’s “Super Soul Sunday.”

“One of the things we found that’s so powerful for creating happiness in the present is actually the anticipation of something good that’s happening in the future,” he says. “We know that people actually enjoy vacations more before the vacation than actually on the vacation. The reason for that is because you’re anticipating it.”

Achor suggests using this concept in a simple exercise to multiply the effect of that positivity.

“Think about something you’re really looking forward to and then, in your brain, visualize every detail of that experience,” he says. “Try to live it, because our brain can’t tell much difference between visualization and actual experience.”

The result, Achor says, is momentous. “You’re literally doubling the positive effect upon your life, causing you to not only feel it when it happens, but helping you to feel it now,” he explains. “So, that positive event can be shaping the way you wake up in the morning, the way you interact with your kids, the way that you interact with strangers on the street.”

Shawn Achor and Oprah continue their discussion on happiness this weekend on “Super Soul Sunday,” airing June 1 on OWN at 11 a.m. ET, during which it also streams worldwide on Oprah.com, Facebook.com/owntv and Facebook.com/supersoulsunday.
GPS for the Soul – The Huffington Post
Special News Bulletin-http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

Single Motherhood Doesn’t Seem to Hinder Happiness

Raising a child more likely to brighten these women’s lives, study says
healthfinder.gov Daily News
SPECIAL NEWS BULLETIN!-http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News-
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Jennifer, Gwyneth & Me: The Pursuit of Happiness, One Celebrity at a Time

Jennifer, Gwyneth & Me: The Pursuit of Happiness, One Celebrity at a Time


For fans of “The Happiness Project” and “The Year of Living Biblically” comes a pointed look at our fascination with celebrities, as one woman strives to remake herself in the image of her favorite stars. What woman hasn’t seen pictures of Jennifer Aniston, Gwyneth Paltrow, or Beyonce and wished she had their clothes, their abs, their seemingly flawless lives? For Rachel Bertsche, these celebrities are the epitome of perfection–self-assured and effortlessly cool. Yet lately, between juggling her career, her marriage, and her dream of becoming a mother, Bertsche feels anything but put together. In “Jennifer, Gwyneth & Me, ” Bertsche embarks on a quest to emulate her Hollywood role models–while sticking to a budget–to see if they really hold the keys to happiness. While trying to unlock the stars’ secrets, from Sarah Jessica Parker’s wardrobe to Julia Roberts’s sense of calm to–maybe one day–Jessica Alba’s chic pregnancy, Bertsche learns valuable lessons. A toned body doesn’t come easy or cheap, avoiding social media can do wonders for your peace of mind, and confidence is the key accessory for pulling off any outfit. But can she immerse herself in the A-list lifestyle and still stay true to herself? And will her pursuit of perfection really lead to happiness? Praise for Rachel Bertsche’s “MWF Seeking BFF” “Written with verve, insight, and humor . . . Bertsche writes cleverly, but not glibly, about the challenges young women face today.”–“Chicago Tribune” ” A] charming, funny chronicle.”–“People”

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Are You Ready to Open Up to Trust, Happiness and Joy?

Be happy for this moment. This moment is your life. — Omar Khayyam

I’ve had my share of profound unhappiness. When it hits, I’m always struck by its enormity and completeness, like a hurricane that moves in and devastates until there is nothing left of what was touched.

For the record, I’m not talking about depression. I’m talking about reliving low points, like family dysfunction, poisonous relationships, infertility, miscarriages and cancer, in the tar pit of your soul. I’m talking about going about your business and WHACK! Something comes up and, like an elephant, you remember and relive your emotions like it’s happening to you all over again.

I don’t remember exactly where I was or what I was doing when a thought recently struck me out of the blue. It moved me so profoundly that I stopped whatever it was I was doing and wrote it down:

“I just had a deep understanding of what happiness is — being joyfully, unabashedly in the moment and trusting that that is exactly where you belong… this moment (and ME) is enough, in fact, it is all.”

Mindfulness is conscious awareness of what you are feeling and experiencing in the present moment. But there is more. To get to joy it’s not enough to just be aware of the present. To get to joy you have to trust that the present moment is exactly where you belong.

Joy comes from the knowing, the trust, the deep understanding that you are, right now, enough. With that trust and the joy it brings, you can let down your defenses and stop seeking validation. You can lean into happiness, which is the bubbling up of little pieces of joy in the moment.

As adults with histories, we can’t know happiness unless we know its opposite and find it in our hearts to trust despite that knowledge. It takes vulnerability and reliance on forces outside of our control, but, mostly, it takes a commitment to creating live out loud joy for ourselves.

In the five years since my breast cancer diagnosis, I’ve experimented more and more with trust (because it finally took cancer to convince me of how little control I really have over life.) I’ve become more optimistic, more Zen and more patient. Who knew that trading the “safety” of mistrust, for the vulnerability of trust, would lead to joy.

The Dalai Lama said, “the purpose of our lives is to be happy.” Have you found yourself actively seeking out happiness and joy? Are you able to trust that you are exactly where you belong at the present moment?

Originally published on WhereWeGoNow.
GPS for the Soul – The Huffington Post
Special News Bulletin-http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

Could Letting Go Be the Secret to Happiness in 2014?

As 2014 dawns, I find myself thinking more and more about letting go.

I’ve made all my usual resolutions — get back to the gym more, lose those 5 pounds, spend more time with my family.

But lately I’ve been wondering: Could it be that many of my problems could be solved — would dissolve actually — if I could let go of things more?

I’m thinking of all the things I hang on to, despite my better judgment — worries, anger, unrealistic expectations, and the constant desire for more.

Meditation teacher Martine Batchelor illustrates this with a story about stairs. Each time she walked up the old, beat-up stairs in her house, she saw in her mind a second set which were perfectly refinished. Hanging on to this perfect set in her mind caused her a lot of grief.

How often do we make ourselves miserable by holding on to two sets of reality? The house I have, and the house I want. The place I’m at, and the place I want to be. The children I have, and the children I think I should have. And of course there is my personal favorite: The parent I am, and the parent I would like to be.

Despite the fact that it makes us so unhappy, the impulse to hang on for dear life seems to be very strong. Why do we persist?

Perhaps it has to do with feeling safer in the face of fear. I remember sitting at the top of the slide at the swimming pool, my father waiting to catch me in the pool below, a long line of kids waiting behind me, and my not being able to let go. Hanging on just felt safer.

One of our first reflexes is the palmar reflex — a baby can grasp with its little fists from birth — and in our evolutionary past, we needed to grab on to a furry mother and hang on for dear life. Maybe it’s not so surprising that the act of letting go is sometimes accompanied by an irrational fear.

Letting go is difficult for other reasons. It can feel like letting go of control. Two friends of mine had a dispute they couldn’t resolve. Both seemed to be unwilling to let go, even at the price of losing a good friendship. Being “right” seemed more important than the friendship.

And when we let go of anger, other feelings may be lurking underneath — feelings like sadness or shame. Feeling angry may feel safer.

But hanging on to anger takes a lot of energy. It can be exhausting. I am reminded of the Tibetan monks who endure months or years of torture, yet who practice compassion for their captors. This is not just an act of altruism, but an act essential to their own spiritual survival. A heart burdened by anger is not free; indeed, the more we rail against our captor, the more he takes up residence inside us.

If someone who has been tortured can let go of anger, couldn’t the rest of us give it a try?

What must we let go of to free ourselves of suffering? When I ask myself this question, the answer pops up immediately: Let go of comparing yourself to others, let go of the dream of perfection, let go of anger. Let go of the constant worrying.

I don’t mean that we should ignore our feelings of anger, sadness or grief. Perhaps, rather, we can simply be with those experiences — feel them, but hold them more lightly. Unclench our fists a little, and let them evaporate on their own. As Tara Brach says, let them move through us and beyond us.

But how do we accomplish this?

I think compassion and forgiveness can help. Compassion for ourselves, for our tendency to judge ourselves, expect too much from ourselves, and compare ourselves to others. Compassion for the pain of living this human life — for what it feels like to be angry, sad, distraught, worried.

Just as important, we need compassion for those who have wronged or hurt us, even unknowingly. Like compassion, forgiveness is also an act of letting go. For what is forgiveness if not letting go of the hold of anger which imprisons our hearts? Only by letting go of our emotional albatross and embracing compassion and forgiveness can we begin to heal ourselves.

My mother-in-law Janice taught me this lesson on her deathbed. As she lay dying, she slipped into a coma. We thought the end had come. But, miraculously, the doctor was able to revive her again. Her son Jim and his wife Abby (my brother and sister in laws) sat by her bed. Janice and Abby had often had a difficult relationship. This time, Abby brought a bouquet of flowers to Janice. Janice inhaled their scent and began to sing, “Wouldn’t it be lovely?” a song she had always loved. Would you sing with me? she asked Abby. My sister-in-law was moved by this request, and all three began singing together.

Abby related the story to me with joy. She told me in wonder how much she enjoyed spending these precious moments with her mother in law — someone she had previously avoided — and how the pure joy and love seemed to shine through her: “Once you got under all her anxieties and worries, she was just pure love. It was like I was finally seeing who she truly was as a person.”

What an amazing gift! Janice had finally let go of her lifelong worries, resentments and fears, her struggle to control all of them and others. When she let go, the joy and love that was always there just flowed.

Will we also wait until our deathbeds to let go, or can we decide to do it now?

What do I need to let go of to be happy? As this new year unfolds, I let this question arise when it wants to and listen for the answer. I can’t say that I’ve given up my New Year’s resolutions completely — I still want to lose those five pounds, get to the gym, and spend more time with family.

But I’m realizing that sometimes less is more, and that letting go of things might be a surprisingly simple, if not easy, way to happiness.
GPS for the Soul – The Huffington Post
Special News Bulletin-http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

Health and Happiness: Your Guide to Proper Physical Fitness, Healthy Nutrition and Leading a Positive and Balanced Lifestyle

Health and Happiness: Your Guide to Proper Physical Fitness, Healthy Nutrition and Leading a Positive and Balanced Lifestyle


Brittany D. Costa has dedicated her life to creating a safe, healthy and happy environment for her family, clients and readers. In an effort to be on the cutting edge of Health and Wellness trends and information, Brittany has developed her guide book, Health and Happiness to share reliable, everyday ways to lead a healthy and happy life. Delivered in a fun and engaging manner, this workbook is filled with practical tools that guide the female reader through fitness, nutrition and lifestyle strategies. This book not only reveals vital health and wellness information, but it is also interactive, incorporating areas for the reader to personalize her book and record her progress. Brittany has gathered her favorite fitness, nutrition and lifestyle solutions to help readers evaluate and improve upon their current health habits by collaborating information gathered from a variety of resources including research, personal experience, and working with a variety of clients. What also makes this book special are the integrated interviews from top experts in the industry including Dr. Frank Lipman, Tara Stiles and Kathryn Budig which are placed throughout the chapters so readers get different points of view from well-respected professionals. With so many conflicting sources of health advice, this book provides easy to understand health and wellness tips for women looking for strategies that better manage their fast-paced lives. Health and Happiness encourages readers to learn the skills they need to enhance the quality and longevity of their life, while holding them accountable by providing areas for the reader to interact and draft their personal goals, experiences and results. Health and Happiness is divided into three sections. The Fitness section works with readers on the importance of creating balance, strength and flexibility focusing on Yoga, Barre, Pilates, Cardio and Total Body Conditioning. This section includes workout tips and routines by Brittany and other various

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Ski Your Way to Happiness?

Researchers surveyed casual skiers, snowboarders who found playfulness can bring happiness
healthfinder.gov Daily News
SPECIAL NEWS BULLETIN!-http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News-
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What a Girl Wants: The Ultimate Survival Guide for Beauty, Health, and Happiness

What a Girl Wants: The Ultimate Survival Guide for Beauty, Health, and Happiness


This is the ultimate, up to the minute, Total guide to beauty, health, and happiness for preteen and teen girls. This book will cover everything from makeup, skin, and hair care tips to the dos and don’ts of relationships. Packed with do-it-yourself beauty recipes, fitness tips, stress busters, the news and views of real girls, and fun expert advice, this is the perfect book for girls learning to discover and cherish their uniqueness.
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