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Friday, May 18, 2012

How of Happiness: FINAL Post--Sustaining Happiness

How to Sustain Happiness: It’s one thing to intellectually understand that which affects our happiness, but quite another to know how to do what we must to be happy.
a.    Practice gratitude, optimism and spirituality. And study all of the happiness boosting activities in this book. Such pursuit will broaden your horizons and allow you to build upon that broader platform.
b.    Variety works: Don’t necessarily do everything on a strict schedule. Vary the time and place to keep the spice alive. Otherwise the exercises may become quite like background wallpaper—unnoticed and unstimulating.
c.    Get social support: Just about every major program of change contains a social component because people working with other people tend to accomplish goals. Look at Weight Watchers, Alcoholics Anonymous, psychotherapy groups and church circles for quick examples. Others include coffee groups (McDonalds, Starbucks and Panera are loaded with them), informal sports teams (soccer, cycling, etc.) and numerous other examples that illustrate the power of getting social.
d.    Make it a (good) habit: No one ever accomplished anything major without making it part of their lives. Habits form with practice and repetition, so tying habits to daily patterns—like being grateful at meals or praying several times a day at specific times, taking a walk every morning before or after work—moves us toward establishing a habit. The data on smoking cessation and weight loss, however, is daunting. Fully 86% who tried to stop smoking failed, and 80-98% of dieters fail. Further research shows that it often takes multiple attempts for people to overcome bad habits.
19.    Final Words: Getting happy is not for the lazy or undisciplined. Oddly, happiness takes will, attention, and intention. But the payoff is a life worth living—one full of social connections and meaning.

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