Good morning all! Here’s wishing you all a Happy International Happiness Day in advance (March 20th).
By the way, anyone training to be happy? Time to take out your happiness scales and rate yourselves. Hope you find remarkable improvement in happiness levels! Care to share your results? But even if there is no improvement, there’s no need to be unhappy. We can start all over again. And again and again – after all practice makes one perfect. J And to help you in this happy venture, log on to this site and download a free Happiness Guidebook.
And while you are at it, how about some more training? Apparently one can even train to be resilient. Apparently, the key to resilience or the capacity to bounce back from difficulties is, by changing our attitude towards things. Just as Shakespeare famously wrote, “Nothing is good or bad, only thinking makes it so.”
Or, as researchers like George Bonanno, a clinical psychologist, put it – “Perception – Do you conceptualize an event as traumatic, or as an opportunity to learn and grow? Events are not traumatic until we experience them as traumatic.” In this article, posted by Maria Konnikova, he speaks of a different term: PTE, or potentially traumatic event. He suggests that every frightening event, no matter how negative it might seem from the sidelines, has the potential to be traumatic or not to the person experiencing it.
Therefore, it is how one views an event makes it stressful or not. For instance, suppose I have a massive (or minor) argument with my husband (err well no need to suppose I guess!) I could fret and fume, expect and demand instant resolution of the conflict. Which of course could lead to amicable solution (in my dreams) or just escalate the conflict.
Or, I could utilize the unexpected (and much needed) bonus time to write Chapter 45 or browse through Calvin for a few laughs, or draw hope and succor from quotes on life in general or annoying ‘better’ halves, in particular. Psst – sometimes, I am tempted to provoke a confrontation just so that…hushhh (who knows he may just be reading this – well I live both in hope and dread)
Going back to the topic at hand, research has shown that people can be trained to think of and react to unpleasant events and situations in a less emotional way, or one that is less negative. And the good news is, training seems to have lasting effects.
On the flip side, the mind can also lead us to exaggerate or blow out of proportions the myriad events that occur in our humdrum lives. Often, an event is dissected, analyzed, hashed and rehashed ad nauseam until it becomes bigger than it really is. It works sort of like a bubble gum – diligently chewed upon until it spreads out thin and can be blown into a gigantic balloon. The bigger the better until it blows up right into our faces.
The ideal approach would probably be to chew on the event, absorb the juice and then spit out the tasteless pointless remnants.
Only when we acknowledge the addictive and pointless nature of this negative circle of thoughts and make a determined effort to put a full stop (or even a semi-colon) can we hope to emerge a better, stronger person to take on the challenges of life, heads on. It is a slow painstaking process, often one-step forward and two steps backwards. Nevertheless, it can be done.
Trust me – been there, done that (err… doing it)!
Happy training and wish you all tons and tons of happiness – not just on 20th March but ‘hamesha’
Just look at Calvin – even he knows how the mind can trick you, perhaps even kill you.
Thought for the day
“What you’re supposed to do when you don’t like a thing is change it. If you can’t change it, change the way you think about it. Don’t complain.”
― Maya Angelou
“What’s the use of complaining about something you have no intentions of changing?”
― Mario L Castellanos
“If you can quit, quit. If you can’t quit, stop complaining – this is what you chose.”
― J.A. Konrath
“Complaining does not work as a strategy. We all have finite time and energy. Any time we spend whining is unlikely to help us achieve our goals. And it won’t make us happier.”
― Randy Pausch
Have a super weekend people and catch you all on Monday – hopefully with loads for me to read 😉