Every once in a while, I like to do a quick quasi-experiment with my psychology classes. I hand out slips of paper to everyone in the class. It appears (to the students) that all of these papers are the same, although they in fact are quite different. Half of the class has just received a slip asking them to name the three best events that happened to them over the past week. The other half of the class receives a paper that asks them to list the three worst events that happened to them during the past week.
2012 is quickly approaching and many of us will start thinking of resolutions for the New Year. It can actually feel uplifting to begin a new plan such as joining a gym to get fit, writing one page a day for the next Great American novel, or more prosaically, keeping up with your inbox). But, as most of us know, the novelty wears off as we get bored and discouraged. We’re suddenly confronted with the day to day challenge of sustaining our goals. Unexpected events throw us off course. We need to stay late at work, we can’t leave our smart phone or a relative gets sick. Disappointingly, one day of missing the goal then leads to missing the next and next day, until we feel defeated and our goal is abandoned.
What is your theme for 2012 going to be? I’m not asking what your goals are with accomplishments by dates, or what your resolutions are going to be. Rather, what your vision or dream for the upcoming year is going to be. What do you feel energy or excitement around? What is it that you will be able to wrap yourself around and embrace? What is the thing that you can really connect with? What engages your imagination and feels compelling. That “something” that makes you want to work towards it, give it life, and make it dance!
Do you have fun every day? The kind of fun that Cyndi Lauper knew that girls wanted to have, although she chose to ignore the poor guys! The fun that makes you run out on a sunny day and play in the park with or without children? The type of fun that makes you crank up the stereo and go dancing through the house bellowing at the top of your lungs, despite the fact that dogs are howling outside? If you don't do this on occasion, you're really missing out! In fact, you could be self-sabotaging your everyday goals by not incorporating fun into your daily existence.
Relating to other people can feel like constantly walking across a minefield. Sometimes, we’ll notice that other people just don’t seem to want to be around us, or we’ll notice that we can’t get rid of the negative people in our lives. You may also notice that you feel uncomfortable around someone and you can’t quite put your finger on why. This article will help you to figure out the things that you or others might be doing that cross boundaries and get in the way of closeness in relationships.
The holidays only amplify the loneliness surrounding single life. If you were feeling empowered and independent before December rolled in, a few too many smiling pairs might be causing your exterior to crack a bit. It's amazing to have someone, but if you don't, we're also advocating that you embrace your single status this holiday season. It's time to focus on other aspects of your life and stop stressing over when you'll find that perfect person.
End your pattern by becoming aware. Uber aware. Know what triggers your pattern (e.g., what tips off that nightly conversation) so you can stop the cycle before it starts running without your permission. Then decide how you want to act instead. What's your ideal state if your pattern didn't exist? Consciously replace your patterned response with an action that matches how you want things to look.
Life is too short and too precious to waste time being unhappy, resentful or dissatisfied. You are the only one responsible for your own perceptions of the reality that you live in and you are the only one who can change it! Every moment offers a choice of what we think, say and do. We never know when our last day of living may be, so it is important to live life to its fullest and make the most of what we have at this time. But how can we do this when we feel “stuck”?
The happiness of people in our social networks matters MUCH more than you think. Here’s why: Our friends influence what we think of as normal, and that influences our habits, feelings, and behavior, which, in turn, make us happy. Or not. It is somewhat unbelievable, I know, but research shows beyond a shadow of a doubt that my next-door neighbor’s best-friend’s co-worker–whom I’ve never met–often influences how happy I am.
That Apple CEO Steve Jobs, who died today, Oct. 5, 2011, was a visionary on a large scale is undisputed, but it's the small-scale personal ways in which he has affected all of our lives that really resonate. And not just by making our lives more convenient with his products, but by inspiring us to live better with his own life.
The mass of men live lives of quiet desperation ~Thoreau If you have eyes to see, you’ll see it everywhere. If you listen carefully, you’ll hear it. Most times, logging into Facebook provides an overwhelming dose of it. Desperation. It looks a lot like the person who can’t wait for the weekend. It sounds like the person who walks into the office saying “I hate Monday!!”. It’s the person who hates their job but needs the money.
For twenty years I kept a journal in which I wrote about heartbreak, anxiety, and addiction. It was my only outlet from my pain, my way to give voice to my fears. But today my journal entries reflect an empowered woman who is happy and bleeds authenticity. I’ve overcome my addictions to love, drugs, food, work and fear. I worked hard, and man, was it worth it. What changed?
My name is Gabrielle and I’m a recovering over-thinker. “Recovering” is the operative word. For the past 15 years, I’ve worked hard to overcome my addiction to over-thinking. I was 16 when I realized I was addicted to my thoughts. These thoughts were merely fearful illusions I’d created based on my past experiences and my uncertainty about the future. I was totally consumed by my thoughts and they often manifested in the form of funky behavior.
Do you have a case of the "When I haves?" That tripped-up way of thinking goes something like this: "When I have that job," or "When I have that relationship," or "When I have that money . . . then I will be happy." It's a dangerous habit that leads to depressing, self-perpetuating thoughts like, "When will I get there?" and "Why am I not there yet?"
I stood there in my sweatpants, a bit disheveled, wanting to cry out, "No! You and I belong together!" But that was my need, not his. He walked off, his Bakugan backpack shining in the sun, without turning his head. I tightened my jacket around me. He caught sight of his friend, and slung his arm around his shoulders, a gesture that seemed more mature than he was. They disappeared into the school, laughing, tilting their faces towards one another. And just like that, the cord was severed.