Posts Tagged ‘happiness’

Are Your Hitting Your Losada Line of Happiness? By Claire Dorotik-Nana, LMFT ~

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It has been said that positive emotions expand our consciousness in ways that help us solve problems. For Barbara Frederickson, the author of Positivity: Top-Notch Research Reveals the Upward Spiral That Will Change Your Life, positive emotions build upon one another in ways that extend beyond the present moment.

 

Rather than focusing on developing an overarching or all-encompassing habit of happiness, Frederickson argues, we should focus on small “micromoments,” or opportunities for happiness. It is from these moments that we can then broaden and build upon a larger goal of more lasting happiness.

 

So just how many “micromoments” do we need?

 

In her early work with Marcial Losada, Frederickson answered this question. In what is now known as the “Losada line” Frederickson and Losada showed that the ratio of positive to negative emotions that fosters flourishing, learning, optimism, and even overcoming various negative physiological factors that accompany negative emotions, is effectively 2.93, or three positive emotions for every negative one.

 

In one study, Frederickson asked 86 participants to submit daily emotions reports – as opposed to focusing on larger and more general questions such as: “Over the last few months, how much joy did you feel?”

 

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Non-Extraordinary moments

 

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“I don’t have to chase extraordinary moments to find happiness.

 

It’s right in front of me if 

 

I’m paying attention and practicing gratitude.”

– Brené Brown –

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Small mundane thoughtless moments are filled with inner peace when approached with gratitude and humility.

 

We need sometime each day when the mind is empty, focused and expansive.

 

Happiness is not found in chasing pleasure but in giving and gratitude.

 

Jealousies disappear in the broth of gratitude.

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Picture a special room filled with special air!

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Picture a special room filled with special air, air-filled with inner peace (happiness).

 

It is a special mix, only absorbed when the mind is focused, empty, balanced and going slow.

 

 

Inhale, hold, absorb, let go, feel the rush.

 

 

Maximum absorption comes with daily practice , daily effort, daily desire.

 

 

How much would you pay to enter this room for a half hour?

 

 

There would be an enormous line to buy this room.

 

 

Actually, the room you are in right now is exactly like this special room.

 

 

Focus, slow the breath, empty the mind of thoughts and enjoy your inner peace.

 

 

Money will not buy your way into this room, only daily practice.
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“Altered Traits”: the happiest point in your life?

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“The Dalai Lama’s emotional life seems to include a remarkably dynamic range of strong and colorful emotions, from intense sadness to powerful joy.

 

His rapid, seamless transitions from one to another are particularly unique—this swift shifting betokens a lack of stickiness.

 

 

Stickiness seems to reflect the dynamics of the emotional circuitry of the brain, including the amygdala and the nucleus accumbens.

 

These regions very likely underlie what traditional texts see as the root causes of suffering—attachment and aversion—where the mind becomes fixated on wanting something that seems rewarding or on getting rid of something unpleasant.

 

The stickiness spectrum runs from being utterly stuck, unable to free ourselves from distressing emotions or addictive wants, to the Dalai Lama’s instant freedom from any given affect.

 

 

One trait that emerges from living without getting stuck seems to be an ongoing positivity, even joy.

 

When the Dalai Lama once was asked what had been the happiest point in his life, he answered, “I think right now.
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Gratitude and paying attention?

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I don’t have to chase extraordinary moments to find happiness.

 

 

It’s right in front of me

 

if I’m paying attention

 

and practicing gratitude.

 

– Brené Brown
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Sounds like awareness and gratitude are important.

 

I would add some giving to complete the menu.
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Happiness escapes us, not taught in grade school, high school or college

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Happiness, a word which 99% have no clue, where or how to find it or even what direction it occupies, or inhabits.

Happy is not the cessation of suffering, the elimination of the current crisis, the misfortune of an arch enemy. It is neither achievement, victory or defeat. Happy can not appear as long as crisis, worry and doubt hound us. We must endure, stay present, let go, and take action to find happiness.

Happiness then, the pursuit of happiness, lies in our ability to let go of what scares us, enough to experience this present moment, unencumbered by judgment. When we worry, we suffer and never find peace of mind, tranquility, or happiness. Here are a few descriptions of happy and how to pursue her.

Matthew Ricard describes it this way:

“It is therefore always better to familiarize ourselves with and prepare ourselves for the kind of suffering we are likely to encounter, some of which will be unavoidable, such as illness, old age, and death, rather than to be caught off guard and sink into anguish. A physical or moral pain can be intense without destroying our positive outlook on life. Once we have acquired inner well-being, it is easier to maintain our fortitude or to recover it quickly, even when we are confronted externally by difficult circumstances. Does such peace of mind come simply because we wish it to? Hardly. We don’t earn our living just by wishing to. Likewise, peace is a treasure of the mind that is not acquired without effort.”

Further expounding:

“If, conversely, happiness is a state that depends on inner conditions, each of us must recognize those conditions with awareness and then bring them together. Happiness is not given to us, nor is misery imposed. At every moment
we are at a crossroads and must choose the direction we will take.”

Happiness is a choice. We must create a space, an empty, aware space, where judgments and emotions can flow freely without impact. Thoughts are air without action, harmless creations of the cognitive machine. Helpless unless attended to, honoured, invested.

In the “The Undefeated Mind” by Alex Lickerman , he opines on happy like this:

“Perhaps for at least two reasons. First, because merely desiring happiness more than anything else doesn’t itself teach us how to achieve it. And as we’re all capable of believing things without evidence, many of our beliefs about what makes us happy will simply turn out to be wrong. How many of us, for example, consider happiness to lie in the unmitigated pursuit of pleasure? Certainly pleasure plays an important role in contributing to happiness, but to appreciate how an existence can be overflowing with pleasure and still be miserable we only need look at people for whom certain pleasures (sex, gambling, drugs, and so on) send all other considerations spinning off into the distance and often cause the collapse of the very lives they delight. Further, too much pleasure can be paradoxically unpleasant (a few jelly beans are delicious, but too many make us sick), something happiness, by definition, can never be.

Loss Aversion

“Which brings us to the second reason happiness is difficult to achieve: it requires not only the presence of joy (meaning a positive emotional state), but also the absence of suffering. Unfortunately, we often fail to appreciate these things as separate and focus most of our efforts on finding things that bring us joy rather than on preparing ourselves to withstand hardship.”

We must endure, withstand the school yard bully to have a chance of experiencing happiness. We must not be consumed to the point where we dissociate continually. Constant fear and worry eliminate a chance at a fulfilling life.

Now, on to the pursuit of happiness. After we endure, where is happiness hiding?

Sheila Catherine in “Focused and Fearless” describes happy this way. Non attachment.

“What is true happiness?
To begin to explore this, notice the mind that grasps at perceptions, and notice when there is no grasping in the mind. When you feel the mind without grasping, even for a moment, let yourself fully experience that quality of ease, from head to toe.
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There is happiness in the expression of non-attachment. Can you find it? Rest into that state of ease beyond attraction and repulsion. Try it in fairly neutral encounters, with physical pleasure, or in the face of pain.

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Updated: Mindfulness: A Simple Outline!!!!


Frank Glick took this photo at Fort Snelling National Cemetery. When he recorded the shot, he never could have guessed how much it was going to mean to the widow of the World War II veteran buried there. — Star Tribune
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Each step fulfilled leads to the next step. Healing or happiness does not arrive from a calm, a mellow straight line path. Rather, it is a path with set backs, turmoil and stress.

 

 

It is a path inhabited with intense terror, enormous anxiety and fear of the unknown.

 

 

It is an infinitely simple path, visually, a mundane looking innocent exercise. It unfolds like this:

 

 

Awareness (Paying attention, Finding ourselves lost in thought then coming back to now)

 

 

Mindfulness (daily focus  on the breath,  No goals, no doubts, no worries)

 

 

Acceptance (ok with uncomfortable, awkward, letting go of thought and judgment)

 

 

Surrender (no resistance, heart is a butterfly net, catch your fears with your net)

 

 

Gratitude (desires in perspective,  we have what we need, look for ways to give others)

 

 

Giving (In a loving kindness way, no reward needed, do not write a check, see and talk to those you help)

 

 

Freedom (Life expands, the ego has faded for a moment, take calculated risks with a smile)

 

 

Happiness (the mind empties, life deepens, expands, opportunity is unlimited)

 

 

More happiness hopefully.
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