The Meaning of Life.
Martin Seligman is an unusual psychologist.
What makes him pretty unique is that he was one of the first of his profession to conclude that there was a lot of sense in psychologists looking at ways in which people could be happier, rather than simply focusing (as had been the case for scores of years previously) on the psychology of ill-health and unhappiness.
Don't just look at why things go wrong, he reasoned. Let's also examine why things go well for people, so you and I can learn from them.
Professor Seligman has identified three distinct components of happiness: The Pleasant Life
(a glass of wine);
The Good Life
(work, romance, hobbies);
The Meaningful Life
(using your personal strengths in the service of something bigger than you - in your community for example).
Of those three approaches, Martin Seligman
suggests that it's the third which gives us the most long-term joy.
Filling your life with more transitory pleasures means that before long you'll be asking yourself 'Is this all there is?'
We all want to feel that we matter and that we can make a difference.
So which parts of your life fall into this meaningful category?
Is there a way in which you could do more?
It's worth thinking about, isn't it?
We already have perfect compassion,
perfect wisdom, perfect joy.
We only need to settle our minds so they can arise
from deep within us.
Do it for a minute or two, longer if you wish.
The vibrations soothe your brain,
prevent overthinking and relax your face, head
You may even find that humming a little tune brings a
smile to your face.
Bonus:Humming reduces the risk for sinus infections.
It increases airflow between the sinus and nasal cavities, keeping the sinuses healthy and reducing the likelihood of infection.
Good vibrations needed!
There are many physical and mental benefits to laughter.
It can relieve tension and stress, boost your immune system,
and improve your heart. A study from Vanderbilt University concluded that laughter
can even burn calories!
Since it's been shown that humor does benefit people, not only physically but mentally as well, it is a good idea to find ways to heighten your own sense of humour. One way suggested by Clarke (2002) is to create a humour library which is readily available for use. She defines a humour library as a collection of funny videos, performances of comedians, and to identify a group of people who are fun and witty to keep things lively in social settings. Instead of going to the doctor when you're stressed out and having them give you pills to mask your feelings and make you believe you're feeling better, it's recommended that you just give yourself a dose of laughter, it's not only natural and safe, it's also free (Clarke, 2002).
Another tip on increasing your sense of humor is to make a point of having
every family member share something funny that happened each day at the dinner table (Stritof, 2006). This helps in several ways, it helps the family members feel closer to one another which in turn helps to create a social support network and it also makes each individual more conscious about the humorous events each day.
It takes some work to pay attention to the little things every day that if you stop and think them through are humorous. In time you won't have to consciously think about finding something to laugh at everyday, with practice it is something you'll do automatically!
Positive psychology is about building thriving individuals....
It is also about families, and communities.
Such "thriving" may involve sometimes feeling "bad"-
Such as when we push ourselves to do something difficult (stress),
When we love our children so much that we are afraid to lose them,
When we improve after experiencing failure and self-doubt.
And when we find intimacy only after risking rejection.
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