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Wednesday, May 2, 2012

How of Happiness: Post #5--Optimism

Cultivate Optimism: Viewing life through the best possible lens—“a global expectation about a positive future” [that your goals can be accomplished].
a.    Your Best Possible Self Exercise:
i.    Take 20 minutes a day for just 4 days writing about “your best possible future” in a journal and see what happens. What will your life look like in 5 or 10 years if all goes as well as you hope? You get an immediate jolt in happiness.
ii.    Identify “Barrier Thoughts”—identify negative thoughts and then dispute them or ask how they can make you better. For example, if you have a setback, what does it teach you for the future or what good can come from it?
iii.    Why? Writing is a structured process with rules that force us to make things concrete and organized and which allows meaning to emerge from the data. It also allows you to talk to yourself in ways that you can examine and analyze.
iv.    Optimists see that they’re in control, not forces outside them. So, they’re less likely to give up, more prone to have faith, are better able to cope with ups and downs, have less depression or anxiety, and are more resilient.

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