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7 Effective Ways Happy People Think: Marc Chernoff

7 Effective Ways Happy People Think:  Marc Chernoff | Protective Factors | Scoop.it

Believe it or not, I’ve read 27 personal development books specifically on the topic of happiness over the last few years.  (Yeah, I suppose that makes me a bit of a happiness junkie.)  Throughout my reading, one of the sub-topics that kept catching my attention is how our thoughts directly influence our satisfaction and effectiveness in life.

 

Today I want to honor and discuss seven ways I’ve changed my thinking, based on the principles I’ve read about, that has undoubtedly made me a happier person.

 

1.  Feeling privileged and satisfied to be alive.

If you’re reading this, congratulations, you’re ALIVE!  And if you can’t find a reason to smile about that, you’ll have an awfully tough time finding a better reason to do so.

 

Time spent living is time worth appreciating.  You are able to see the sunrise and the sunset.  You are able to hear birds sing and waves crash.  You can walk outside and feel the breeze through your hair and the sun’s warmth on your skin.  When you make the most out of what you have it turns out being a lot more than you ever imagined.

 

A beautiful day begins with a beautiful mindset.  When you wake up, take a second to think about what a privilege it is to simply be alive and healthy.  Breathe onto the bathroom mirror, just to see how amazing your breath looks.  The moment you start acting like life is a blessing, I assure you it will start to feel like one.  (Read Zen and the Art of Happiness.)

2.  Believing in the possibility of a better tomorrow.

What you believe determines who you become.  If the thoughts running through your mind are pure, positive and empowering, you will create positive and empowering beliefs about yourself and about life.  In turn, your actions, habits and daily routines will be a reflection of these thoughts and beliefs.

 

Sometimes you may catch yourself and wonder why you haven’t dropped all your positive ideals, because they seem so absurd and impossible to achieve.  Yet you must keep them, because deep down, in spite of everything, you believe that people are still good at heart and that life still contains a touch of magic.

 

You have to believe that hope is stronger than fear.  That imagination is more influential than public opinion.  That dreams are more powerful than today’s reality.  That determination always triumphs over experience.  That laughter is the best cure for grief.  And above all, you have to believe that love is stronger than any negative force in the world.

3.  Knowing deep down that every step is worth it.

Through every life experience, especially those that force you to look fear and adversity in the face, you will gain strength, courage and confidence.  Stop when you must, take a deep breath and say to yourself, “I am living through this and I am still OK.  I can take the next thing that comes my way.”

 

Make a pact with yourself and do the thing you once thought you couldn’t do.  Take another step, even when you feel too worn out or tired.  Find a reason to laugh, even when you’re trying not to cry.  Trust yourself, even when your mind second-guesses your heart.  Dance, even when others refuse to hear the music.  Dream, even if you’re afraid of what they might bring.  Open the door of opportunity in front of you, even when you have no idea what’s behind it.

 

Every step and experience is what makes you the person you are now.  Without this experience, you are an empty page, a blank journal, an unsung lyric.  What makes you ALIVE is your willingness to live through today’s challenges and then hold your head up high tomorrow with hope and tenacity.

4.  Appreciating the beauty in all the small things.

Subtract the obvious so you can see the meaningful.

Rediscover the sensitivity of your childhood eyes.  The eyes that saw life as it is – a beautiful compilation of tiny lives, each lived one at a time like snapshots in a family photo album.  That saw beauty in flowers and rainbows and wild animals.  That marveled at fireflies and sunsets and starry nights.  That let you dream every instant with your eyes wide open.

 

See yourself sitting right where you are, breathing, moving your limbs, and appreciating this chance to experience this moment.  If a child of two can see the beauty in it, why can’t you?  (Read Tuesdays with Morrie.)

5.  Feeling good enough.

Believe in yourself!  Have faith in your abilities!  Without a humble and reasonable confidence in your own abilities you cannot be effective or happy.  Know that you are good enough, smart enough, beautiful enough, and strong enough.  Do not derive your sense of self-worth from what you own, who you know, where you live or what you look like.  Your self-worth is a reflection of who YOU are and how YOU choose to live.

 

Above all, don’t compare yourself to anyone else.  If you somehow feel ‘better’ than someone you’re comparing yourself to, it gives you an unhealthy sense of superiority.  If, on the other hand, you feel ‘worse’ than someone you’re comparing yourself to, you usually discredit all of the important progress you’ve made.  The bottom line is that the majority of the time this type of social comparison doesn’t stem from a healthy place. 

 

If you feel called to compare yourself to someone, compare yourself to an earlier version of yourself.

6.  Consciously detaching and living in the present.

The greatest step towards a life of positivity is objectivity – experiencing something fully and then learning to let go and move onward.  The key is to accept that everything is changing.  Each moment of your life is unlike any other.  To live each one to the fullest, you must learn to be in the moment, fully, and then step out of it.  This is detachment.

 

Take any emotional feeling – love for a significant other, or grief over a lost family member, or fear and pain from a deadly illness.  If you hold back on your emotions and you don’t allow yourself to go all the way through them, you can never get to the point of being detached from them.  In other words, if you spend all your energy being afraid of feeling your true emotions – the vulnerability that love, sincerity and acceptance entails – you will be forever stuck.

 

But by throwing yourself into these emotions, by allowing yourself to fully embrace them to the point where you’re effectively in over your head, you leave no emotion abandoned or question lingering in your mind.  You know what love is.  You know what grief is.  You know what fear is.  And only when you know these things can you say, “I’m OK.  I have experienced this.  I know what this emotion feels like, and now I need to detach from this emotion and move on with my life.”  (Angel and I cover this in detail in the Adversity and Happiness chapters of 1,000 Little Things Happy, Successful People Do Differently.)

7.  Embracing change.

As Oscar Wilde so profoundly said, “To live is the rarest thing in the world.  Most people exist, that is all.”

 

Living a positive life hinges on your ability to accept the fact that everything is constantly moving forward, away from everything that previously existed.  Not only do you have to emotionally detach from the past, but you also have to willingly thrust yourself forward into the unknown.  You have to open yourself to trying new things, especially those that you may previously never have thought of doing, or had been too hesitant to attempt.  This is how you open doors of opportunity for positive growth.

 

So many people live within the confines of unhappy situations and yet refuse to take the initiative to change their circumstances.  They are conditioned to believe that the only choice is the current choice because it’s the life they know.  Their comfort zone blinds them from the truth – that nothing is more damaging to the human spirit than a mind that resists progress and change.

 

All of your personal growth and much of your joy in life will come from your encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater commitment than to embrace an endlessly changing horizon.

The floor is yours…

What would you add to the list?  What is your number one tip for being happy?


Via Jim Manske
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Photo by drhealthi • Instagram

Risk and protective factors for substance abuse in children. Lets help keep our children safe
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After tragedy, who bounces back? Keys to resiliency may lie in childhood - NBC News.com

After tragedy, who bounces back? Keys to resiliency may lie in childhood - NBC News.com | Protective Factors | Scoop.it
RT @StlPlay: After tragedy, who bounces back& Keys to resiliency may lie in childhood http://t.co/6GRQANpV6F via @NBCNewsHealth
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U of M researchers identify risk and protective factors for youth involved in bullying

New research out of the University of Minnesota identifies significant risk factors for suicidal behavior in youth being bullied, but also identifies protective factors for the same group of children.
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Penn State professors honored at Society for Prevention Research meeting - Penn State News

Penn State professors honored at Society for Prevention Research meeting - Penn State News | Protective Factors | Scoop.it
Penn State professors honored at Society for Prevention Research meeting
Penn State News
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Penn State Professors Mark Greenberg and Karen Bierman were recently honored at the 2013 Society for Prevention Research Annual Meeting.
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5 Financial Literacy Tips for Kids

5 Financial Literacy Tips for Kids | Protective Factors | Scoop.it
Improve your kids' financial literacy skills by teaching them these important money ideas. (Raising financially responsible children is never easy, but we have 5 key strategies to help guide you.
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Building a love for science both in (and out) of the classroom - Video on NBCNews.com

Building a love for science both in (and out) of the classroom - Video on NBCNews.com | Protective Factors | Scoop.it
Video on msnbc.com: A Chicago program called Project Exploration is helping low-income kids discover practical applications for science, math and engineering by introducing them to careers they might not ordinarily have considered.
Aleshia Clarke's insight:

These programs are a "lifeline" to disadvantaged kids. They offer a "hand up" for those who don't currently see the point to getting a good education. Their "hands-on" nature motivates a child's natural curiosity and willingness to learn.

 

Parents can also host small group STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) "clubs" at home by getting 4 - 6 kids together to work on a "project" a couple times a month.

 

There are formally sponsored teams that teachers or parents can "lead." I lead my daughter and her friends, aka the "Random Clan" in the Sally Ride Science Toy Challenge, and we made it all the way to the final challenge round!

 

If a group is out of the question, I reccommend the NASA Inspire Program; it is an online STEM mentoring community that rewards kids for individual activities and offers online teamwork activities too. Plus, kids get an official NASA team patch designed by one lucky member. How cool is that!

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Building Resiliency in Girls: Strength vs. Stressors

Building Resiliency in Girls: Strength vs. Stressors | Protective Factors | Scoop.it
The Laurel School (Ohio) emphasizes accessing resources that help girls cope in challenging situations: creativity, growth mindset, self-care, purpose, and relationships, the key components of resilience.
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Sunflower Foundation's curator insight, June 24, 2013 2:06 AM

These skills can be as important as book learning. One of the things our Foundation has learnt is the way that lack of such skills is tied to lack of an education.

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Doreen Nagle: Teaching your child resiliency - Visalia Times-Delta

Doreen Nagle: Teaching your child resiliency - Visalia Times-Delta | Protective Factors | Scoop.it
Doreen Nagle: Teaching your child resiliency
Visalia Times-Delta
Resiliency is important, no doubt, but trying to avoid disappointments in the first place is also important. One of the best ways to do that is to plan ahead.
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Crime prevention program targets kids at early age - WANE

Crime prevention program targets kids at early age - WANE | Protective Factors | Scoop.it
Crime prevention program targets kids at early age
WANE
FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) - Fort Wayne Police Department's Crime Prevention Program is focused heavily on keeping children away from a life trouble.
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Patterns of Protective Factors in an Intervention for ... - Alcohol Reports

Attendance data from 195 youth from three Yup'ik communities were coded for the specific protective factor exposure of each youth, based on information from the intervention manual. The coded attendance data were then ...
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"Suicide Prevention across the Globe: Strengthening Protective ...

Even if life treats hard and you can't see any light. There are people, moments and songs that lead through the dark and make life worth living. Passion keeps us moving hope takes us further.
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Center for the Study of Social Policy / System Reform / Strengthening Families

Center for the Study of Social Policy / System Reform / Strengthening Families | Protective Factors | Scoop.it
Ideas Into Action
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Give Schoolchildren Mental Health Lessons As One In Five Show Depression ... - Huffington Post UK

Give Schoolchildren Mental Health Lessons As One In Five Show Depression ... - Huffington Post UK | Protective Factors | Scoop.it
MSN UK
Give Schoolchildren Mental Health Lessons As One In Five Show Depression ...
Huffington Post UK
Pupils should be given lessons on mental health, it has been suggested, amid fresh concerns that many youngsters are affected by the issue.
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Prevention Science - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Prevention Science - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia | Protective Factors | Scoop.it
Preventive interventions aim to counteract risk factors & reinforce protective factors to disrupt social dysfunction. http://t.co/qt90RLXEYk
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Home

Home | Protective Factors | Scoop.it
BoostUp is about giving potential graduates at-risk of dropping out the support they need to stay in school and on-track for graduation. This site is full of great resources and ideas to help you make a difference in the lives of students.
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Resilience: A Meta-Analytic Approach - Lee - 2013 - Journal of Counseling & Development - Wiley Online Library

RT @bb_resilience: Abstract: #Resilience: A meta-analytic approach http://t.co/pPYOBo7t8z #risk #protective #factors #research #review
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Path to wellness - San Angelo Standard Times

Path to wellness - San Angelo Standard Times | Protective Factors | Scoop.it
Path to wellness
San Angelo Standard Times
photos by Jennifer Rios/Standard-Times About 50 people walked a mile along the Concho River with San Angelo Community Medical Center's Dr. Michael Blanc on June 5.
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Photo by unlimitedrebel • Instagram

Day 5: Giving back to the community! Community service with Sowing Seeds of Hope! I simply adore giving back and helping people.
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“Am I Crazy?” The 9 Components of Mental Health and How You ...

“Am I Crazy?” The 9 Components of Mental Health and How You ... | Protective Factors | Scoop.it
Believe it or not, a mental health professional can make it through his or her bachelor's, master's, and doctoral programs without having a single, significant discussion on what the term ”mental health” actually means (or the ...
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Mindfulness, Meditation, Wellness and Their Connection to Corporate America's Bottom Line

Mindfulness, Meditation, Wellness and Their Connection to Corporate America's Bottom Line | Protective Factors | Scoop.it

On Tuesday I'll be guest-hosting CNBC's Squawk Box, a program that bills itself as the show that "brings Wall Street to Main Street." As well as discussing Cyprus and a possible euro-crisis, we are going to discuss the growing trend in corporate America of taking steps -- meditation, yoga, mindfulness trainings -- to reduce stress and improve health and creativity.


Via Cottesloe Naturopathic Clinic
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Cottesloe Naturopathic Clinic's curator insight, June 17, 2013 11:28 AM

There is a growing realisation that what is good for the health of the individual is good for the economy. It's not rocket science...

Pure Vacations's curator insight, June 19, 2013 9:01 AM

Time to tune it to what your body is trying to tell you folks! ;-)

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Spotlight on perinatal mental health | NSPCC

Spotlight on perinatal mental health | NSPCC | Protective Factors | Scoop.it
New research has been published in a report, 'All Babies Count: Spotlight on perinatal mental health', which describes how a lack of focus on mother’s mental health has led to a “postcode lottery” for families.
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After tragedy, who bounces back? Keys to resiliency may lie in ...

After tragedy, who bounces back? Keys to resiliency may lie in ... | Protective Factors | Scoop.it
After a tornado hit the Henryville, Ind., home of Stephanie Decker last year, injuring her so badly that both her legs had to be amputated, the 38-year-old mother of two knew she had to.
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Drug use among street children and adolescents: what helps? (Brazil)

Several factors are inversely associated with frequent and heavy drug use including: being age nine to 11 years; school attendance; reduced exposure to street culture; family bonds; and not having suffered domestic violence. These variables have been confirmed as important protective factors against frequent or heavy drug use. These factors should therefore be taken into consideration in the formulation of public policies aimed at this population, emphasizing specific moments and stages in development at which the adolescent is more open to intervention.


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