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Can We Foster Happiness?

Life happens! And sometimes the hits, disappointments or even tragedies keep coming. Is is possible to have some control over our emotions? Or are we victims to the the random acts of fate? We can improve our mental health and foster happiness by being aware of conditions that will support and cultivate good mental and emotional health.

Anger - Try to Let It Go

There are many barriers to happiness. The ebb and flow of life brings disappointments, bad luck, and conflict in inter-personal relationships. When we are hurt, our pain often evolves to anger and feeling resentful. We may think that getting even will make us feel better. We grip our anger with tightens, which only increases our suffering.

Anger does not bring justice, restitution or peace. We can foster happiness by seeing how anger makes us suffer.

Foster Love In Your Relationships

It is said that the happiest people in the world are those with a rich network of close and supportive relationships.

So, to foster happiness, we must foster relationships.

We are happy when we feel heard, validated, appreciated and understood by our family and friends. There are many skills that we can learn to help foster loving relationships.

One simple and very powerful skill is setting the right intention. We can make it our intention to show appreciation, to validate, or to listen. An intention can help our words to soften, our understanding to deepen, or our true appreciation to be felt by those we love. Intentions can change the dynamics of relationships, even when it is a relationship that has a history with heavy expressions of anger. At first, you may try to change the dynamics of the relationship by simply setting an intention to remain calm the next time you interact with this person.

Negativity Bias

The brain, according to Dr. Rick Hanson, has a bias to pay attention and remember negative details and forget positive details. According to Hanson, this negativity bias helped to keep us alive. It is more important to remember the the color of the poisonous berries than the delicious berries. However, Hanson has shown that mental techniques such as paying attention to positive stimulus and focusing on them (Hanson suggest 30 seconds) will rewire the brain, and tilt it towards a more happily outlook. The work of Rick Hanson is quite beneficial! I use it a lot with my clients who suffer from depression, to help them cultivate greater happiness in their lives.

in peace and wellness - diane


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