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Wednesday, July 25, 2012
Happiness: Post #6 - Take A.I.M.
AIM—Attention, Interpretation, and Memory: The Dieners’ formula for developing a positive mindset is AIM: Pay attention to the blessings around you, be open to positive interpretation of events, and savor the good memories. Avoid ruminating about bad memories. Rather, savor the good ones to find your way toward happiness. Attention: often we suffer from “change blindness”—when we’re focused on bad things we miss the good ones. The opposite is fortunately true as well. Interpretation is about how we see the world. Do we see it full of threats or opportunities? Such views determine our attitude toward life. Some thinking pitfalls of pessimists: Awfulizing (worst case view); distress intolerance (avoiding distress); learned helplessness (why bother); perfectionism (make small things big); rejection goggles (seeing rejection everywhere). Memory is about recognizing, focusing and reminiscing or savoring the past positive experiences in your life. Just as ruminating about negative events can plague you, savoring can provide regular injections of happiness.