WISDOM WITHIN - June 2018 - Kansas City
How to Become More Happy
By Suzette Scholtes
What do happy people do? What helps them to remain happy and become happier? Many reasons but the key one according to Psychology Today: They are givers, not takers. They tend to rely upon a strong social network. They live in the moment.
Author Katherine Center wrote a book Happiness for Beginners where she speaks a lot about the new psychology of no longer fixing problems but practicing the beauty of becoming happier.
The other day I felt so happy and alive I began dancing in the bedroom. ‘What is all that racket?!” my partner yells at me. I felt happy.
One key of the practice, according to Center, is to look daily for things you remember that are “good.” Say for example we live a day where half of our day went well and half the day was negative. Those unhappy ones tend to dwell on the negative.
It will take practice to focus upon the positive.
One of my friends last summer heard something fall in the night and her huge oak tree was on its side, the roots exposed as big as a barn. She starts her day over morning coffee feeling gratitude for three things from the day before. She shared she sat and sat after the fall of this tree ruined most of their back yard. Finally, she found it: It did not fall on the house! And for that she was grateful.
Its follows the laws of attraction which this magazine has written much about: The more we focus upon the good the more the good will come.
Yesterday I practiced focusing on the good. It was small stuff such as the gorgeous sunrise, the birds chirping, and the delicious warm coffee in a mug as I cupped it.
Many people think they will be happy when they get what they want. But there is always something we want whether more money, more health, more success, more friends. The other key to happiness is to appreciate everything! So the two three keys 1. Look for the positive each day 2. Feel gratitude (or even keep a journal and 3. Appreciate the good things of your day.
I find for me when I feel overwhelmed with too many deadlines, they may leak my happiness. The anecdote for this I find is to make a schedule and stay organized. I also love to use the affirmation: I am happy now. Perhaps not as happy as I hope yet to be but happy enough.
But it literally goes deeper than this. Our pleasure system is modulated by neurotransmitters called opioids. They help us focus on the good things in life and tune out discomforts. Being upbeat creates more dopamine and serotonin in the brain. Being happy literally re-shapes our brains helping us use the full spectrum of both left and right sides!
I had a friend who became so negative the best and most healthy choice for me was to remove her from my life. She complained so much she became a weight upon my heart.
Our pleasure system is modulated by neurotransmitters called opioids. They help us focus on the good things in our life and tune out discomfort. Being upbeat literally creates more dopamine and serotonin in the brain.
So what do happy people do?
They build a strong social network: They stay connected to families, neighbors and friends. This buffers depression.
They engage in activities that fit their values and lifestyle. Most happy people tailor their fitness and emotional goals. They offer acts of kindness, express gratitude and live in the moment.
Many of them volunteer their time. Being of service links us to health and longevity.
It helps lift our esteem and self-worth.
They focus on an optimistic thinking. When things get let adversity seep so much into their lives and know that challenges will soon pass.
They know material wealth is a small part of the equation. They understand material possessions will bring some comfort but does not always provide happiness.
It was Abraham Lincoln who said “Most people are as happy as they make up their minds to be." My mind is focusing on happiness. And you?
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Suzette Scholtes’ non-fiction writing won the prestigious “Writers Digest” award. Her passions are writing and yoga and she feels one needs a sense of humor for both. She founded The Yoga School of Therapeutics where she manages one of the regions prestige teacher training programs. 10400 W. 103rd Street,