Friday, October 05, 2007

How to Think Happy

The Entire Article Here

I found this article on MSN, and being the self-helper that I am, was immediately intrigued. Then disappointed. Sarcasm crept up and reared its ugly head, as I had hoped to learn something new. Apparently I already think happy.

Proof I already follow these rules show below each item in color.

Here are four habits that longevity experts say are at the heart of a sunny disposition—and that you can adopt, too.

People That Think Happy

Perhaps your neighborhood gossip is on to something: All that chitchat keeps her plugged into a thriving social network—and people who socialize at least once a week are more likely to live longer, keep their brains sharp, and prevent heart attacks. Make the effort to connect with the friends you already have. Call now, and before you hang up, schedule a lunch date—personal contact is even better.

OR call a friend that you’ve recently kicked out of your life and tell them why, if they don’t already know. This will instantly make you happy, as validating oneself for their actions (for example, not returning phone calls because your ex-friend tried to control you or steal your boyfriend) usually does. After blaring out your friend on your call, immediately hang up without allowing them to speak. This will also make you happy because you got the last word in.

On an entirely different note, you could call yourself when you are feeling down and leave a voice message about how hot you are and how you can’t wait to see you, all in a very deep, breathy voice of the opposite sex. Surely this will boost your self esteem, make you happy, and make you even happier that you paid a few dollars extra a month to have voice mail hooked up after all.

Buoy your spirits by recording happy events on paper, your computer, or a PDA. People who write about all the things they are thankful for are optimistic about the upcoming week and more satisfied overall with their lives, according to a University of California, Davis, study. They also feel physically stronger.
"It's hard to be bitter and mad when you're feeling grateful," says Sonja Lyubomirsky, PhD, author of the upcoming book, "The How of Happiness: A Scientific Approach to Getting the Life You Want."

I’m a big advocate of screaming at people that cut me off while driving in my car. Now, think about how good that feels, how it releases a little tension. Now imagine this: you get out of your car at the next stop, knock on the window and actually thank the person who cut you off for almost making you plow into the back of their car. Including phrases like “You stupid idiot” heightens the euphoria you will feel by expressing your gratitude.

Do you perform five acts of kindness in any given day? That's the number of good deeds that boosts your sense of well-being and happiness, according to research by Lyubomirsky. Your karmic acts can be minor and unplanned - giving up your seat on the bus; buying an extra latte to give to a coworker. You'll find that the payback greatly exceeds the effort.

Oh, this is one of my favorites, as I already aim for five acts of kindness daily. Some of the things I’ve done recently is buying an extra bar of soap at the dollar store to give to the homeless guy at the corner of the interstate by my house, and hiding the bagels from my over weight boss at work. Both are random and kind, as I’m helping the bums get clean and therefore giving them a better appearance for a possible job interview, and well, my boss is just intent on clogging his arteries and I’m simply saving him from himself.

These acts must be done randomly. I’ve also woken my boyfriend up at 3 am for a toe bath, and left a casserole on my neighbor’s doorstep out of the blue. Unfortunately, they were out of town that weekend and a pack of wild dogs tore into the casserole, leaving food splattered everywhere. Not my fault. I was only trying to be randomly kind.

Yes, you can rewrite history—and feel better about yourself in the bargain. Set aside a little time each week to write about or record—or even just mentally revisit—an important event in your past. Reflecting on the experience can reshape your perception of it, as well as your expectations for the future, says Robert N. Butler, MD, president of the International Longevity Center-USA in New York City. When creating this "life review," you get to list all your accomplishments—an instant self-esteem booster. Organize your historical review by epochs: your postcollege years, early marriage, career, motherhood. Subdivide each section into triumphs, missteps, and lessons for the future.

Man, I can’t express to you how important this is to stay happy. The times I felt the best about myself were in my college days. Once a month, I reenact some of my favorite memories: I put on my sleaziest outfit, down several shots and dance on my dining room table with my balcony door open. Not only do I relive my bar-hopping days when I was thin and agile, but I give my neighbors a free show. So technically, not only am I reappraising, I am also giving a monthly random act of kindess.


jason said...

a toe bath?
Hmmm. Must have been really tired when that happened.
A toe bath?

-Papa said...

1. "..On an entirely different note, you could call yourself when you are feeling down..,"
Oh that is so passe'! Try this instead and try out both the male and female popularity voice call.

2. "..I’m a big advocate of screaming..,"

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream?

3. "...and hiding the bagels from my over weight boss at work."

That's nice, but if you try and hide my chocolate you'll be pulling back nubs.

4. "...I put on my sleaziest outfit,...and dance on my dining room table...but I give my neighbors a free show."

That explains why your neighbor now walks around with a white cane and needs a seeing eye dog. :P

-Papa said...

Yo Babers,
Give the Bro's a heads up, what's a toe bath? However if it involves toe jam don't tell us. ;D

random moments said...

Can't a girl just get silly once in a while?

The toe bath reference was more of an attempt to gross jason out. You know, sucking bitty toes? Not our style. *bleh*

Lightning Bug's Butt said...

Well played, RM. I see your sarcasm muscles are developing nicely.

Ari said...

"Unfortunately, they were out of town that weekend and a pack of wild dogs tore into the casserole, leaving food splattered everywhere."

That was my favorite line, without question. Many giggles and great imagery. :)

Lad Litter said...

Yep, we should all live our lives based on your principles. I expect to see you pushing these on Dr Phill in the near future

Chunks said...

I think the two of us should live closer to each other so we could team up and unleash a bit of hurtin' on the world!

On second thought...the world isn't ready for the two of us together! Great post!

Anonymous said...

Once a month, I reenact some of my favorite memories: I put on my sleaziest outfit, down several shots and dance on my dining room table with my balcony door open.

OMG... that's like every day at my house...

except I live in a trailer park

and instead of a balcony it's a have torn down deck.

and my sleaziest outfit is the sweatsuit I bought at the goodwill.

and instead of shot of alcohol I do shots of milk... chased with Oreos.

And I'm happy...

minijonb said...

i don't try to do random acts of kindness... i just try to do random acts period. it works pretty well for me. keeps me on my toes.

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