Wednesday, June 29, 2016

The Job of Being Happy

C. Coimbra photo

Editor's Note:  We often wonder if it is the lack of happiness that brings people to the point of senseless violence and negative behavior.  It would seem that a person who has found happiness would not fall into the trap of extreme violence against complete strangers. The following is an excerpt from The Greater Good website on the subject of happiness (click this link for the entire article. 

How do you figure out your happiness strengths and weaknesses? Consider how well you demonstrate the following skills in your daily life:

Positive thoughts about the self

  • Acceptance: The ability to accept yourself and your emotions non-judgmentally.
  • Positive self-views: The ability to see yourself as a good, worthwhile human being.
  • Clarity: The ability to understand what you value, how you feel, and who you are.
  • Positive reappraisal: The ability to change your thoughts in ways that help you experience longer-lasting, more intense, or more frequent positive emotion.

  • Positive thoughts about others
  • Rejection tolerance: The ability to perceive the actions of others as inclusive rather than rejecting.
  • Empathy: The ability to put yourself in another person’s shoes and see the world from their perspective.
  • Gratitude: The ability to be thankful for the experiences and people you have in your life.
  • Letting go: The ability to stop fretting and ruminating about negative interpersonal situations.

Positive behaviors involving the self

  • Planning: The ability to develop effective strategies and take actions that progress you towards your goals.
  • Growth mindset: The belief that your strengths can be developed through hard work and dedication.
  • Self-care: The ability to resist engaging in unhealthy behaviors (drugs, alcohol, shopping, or overeating) as a means to increase happiness.
  • Prioritizing positivity: The ability to make time for, and consistently schedule, activities that you enjoy.

Positive behaviors involving others

  • Kindness: The ability to be friendly, generous, and considerate of others.
  • Autonomy: The ability to resist the influence of others, make your own independent decisions, and take action based on your unique values.
  • Expressivity: The ability to easily communicate and share intimate aspects of yourself with others.
  • Assertiveness: The ability to stand up for yourself, speak up, and communicate your needs.

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