Positive psychology is an important field of study, for as Dr. Martin Seligman has said, “the skills to relieve misery are different than the skills needed to be ‘happy’”. Plenty of people have wiring that makes it difficult to cope with life. The rest of us just need a little help to reinforce our good habits, knowledge and understanding to allow for a fulfilling life.
I woke up the other morning to a discussion by the local radio hosts about eating habits – they read a quotation from some guru that talked about savoring just three bites of a loved food and then walking away for 15 minutes to satisfy a craving. The hosts had much derision on this point, but they had lopped off the most important word as the discussion ensued – savor.
Savoring is very much different than eating and a far cry from gobbling. Let’s get away from the food focus and apply this thought to our work day. We are hard wired to give great weight to threats based on our ancestral survival needs – so we can skim over the pleasant, fulfilling things and linger over the dolorous ones.
Tell your brain that your survival needs rest more powerfully on savoring the moments when you get an ‘atta boy/girl’ of any kind and less on dwelling in the land of the gotta do’s. What did you do right? What are the good behaviors that you want to repeat? Learn from the mistakes, but don’t beat yourself up or forget the successes.
Check out this website to learn more about your own happiness status – Authentic Happiness – and learn some clues on how to build on your current state.
One thought presented is to craft a beautiful day for yourself every now and again as a means to reinforce your happiness. Build in activities that play to your strengths, say curiosity or fitness or gardening or animals. Taking time to deliberately work on your happiness is beneficial to all around you, and to you.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve been talking for months about doing something like this, but not taking action. We should make a pact to compare beautiful days by the end of the summer.
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