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“7 Myths About Happiness”

Nearly all of us buy into what I call the myths of happiness.
Published on March 9, 2013 by Sonja Lyubomirsky, Ph.D. in How of Happiness

Nearly all of us buy into what I call the myths of happiness—beliefs that certain adult achievements (marriage, kids, jobs, wealth) will make us forever happy and that certain adult failures or adversities (health problems, divorce, having little money) will make us forever unhappy. Overwhelming research evidence, however, reveals that there is no magic formula for happiness and no sure course toward misery. Rather than bringing lasting happiness or misery in themselves, major life moments and crisis points can be opportunities for renewal, growth, or meaningful change. Yet how you greet these moments really matters.

I’ll Be Happy When I’m Married to the Right Person

One of the most pervasive happiness myths is the notion that we’ll be happy when we find that perfect romantic partner—when we say “I do.” The false promise is not that marriage won’t make us happy. For the great majority of individuals, it will. The problem is that marriage—even when initially perfectly satisfying—will not make us as intensely happy (or for as long) as we believe it will. Indeed, studies show that the happiness boost from marriage lasts an average of only two years. Unfortunately, when those two years are up and fulfilling our goal to find the idea partner hasn’t made us as happy as we expected, we often feel there must be something wrong with us or we must be the only ones to feel this way.

I Can’t Be Happy When My Relationship Has Fallen Apart

“Awaken Your Brain”

Is Extreme Wellbeing on Your “Must Have” List?

Then Play the Brain-Centered Integration Game Published on October 4, 2012 by Jeff Skolnick, M.D., P.h.D. in Awaken Your Brain 
 
In the year 2000, having studied the issue exhaustively, the White Commission on Complementary and Alternative Medicine declared that a “biopsychosocial–spiritual” approach to healthcare was optimal.When I read that, I could hear the collective ‘forehead smack’ as people thought, “Really? An exhaustive study to say something as obvious as that?”

It’s commonsensical. If you want peak wellbeing, you improve every area of your life. The thing is that although we may know that, we forget. We focus on one or two, maybe three areas at the expense of all the areas let alone the key strategies within each one.

Here’s a list. Just scan it. It’s got the six life wellness areas and some key examples of strategies within each one. Before you finish it and begin to freak out because it seems like so much, by the very end of this post you’ll learn that there is more to it than meets the eye:

1.  Physical

  • Exercise — both aerobic and strengthening
  • Nutrition — including optimal food, fluid and fasting
  • Sleep, rest and relaxation
  • Self-health, supplementation and partnering with professionals

2.  Mental

  • Learn about your personality and how you uniquely experience things
  • Understand the story of your family and childhood
  • Discover how to change your behavior and thinking
  • Laugh; have fun

3.  Social Read More

Los Angeles Therapist & Life Coach | David Vendig | 323-744-0751 | www.DavidVendig.com

5 Tips for Balance & Harmony in Your Life

Have you ever driven down the road when the sun was shining, the music on the radio was perfect, and all was good?  Remember that feeling of harmony and warmness?  It’s as if you were happy and you did’t know why, but it didn’t even matter.  That’s because you were in the moment of balance and harmony.  It’s a great feeling so here are five tips I’ve put together for you to help you feel balanced in life more often.

1.              Schedule time for yourself. It’s kind of like the whole airplane thing – you need to put on your own oxygen mask before you can help another person put on theirs.  Help yourself help others by making time for you first.

2.              Learn to be flexible.  Having a plan in life is a great way to stay organized and have clarity, but sometimes life events are not set in stone.  If something happens out of the norm and throws you off, remember to breathe, keep your cool, and be okay with change.  Some of the best adventures come from spontaneity.  Being in the moment can be one of the most beautiful feelings in in life.  Check out the links & resources at the end of this article for more about being in the moment.

3.              Prioritize. Take out a piece of paper and pen.  Hand write a top 10 priority list from family, work, fun, to staying positive.  If inner peace is important to you, write it down, make it your number one priority.  Knowing your priorities is helpful in the decision making process.  Often, when facing a decision, it’s easy to get lost and get stressed.  If you are feeling stuck, make your list, and then make your next step based on your true priorities in life.  Also, a quick note that your priority list may change throughout time.

4.              Build a support network. Balance & Harmony are awesome states to be in and having a group that you know you are close to and trust is key.  Even if you have three people in your support network, that can be enough.  Remember that giving is part of taking, and if your group is giving, you will feel balance more often, if you are giving too.  Support networks are great when you are feeling overwhelmed and need help, just like all of us do.

5.              Enjoy quality time with your loved ones.  Yes, you might feel great when you are meeting your life goals, but you will feel even better if you celebrate your friends and family.  Spending quality time with the people in your life brings sincere harmony to your heart.  When spending time with people, remember to listen to them and their needs.  Find out how the other person is feeling in life and find ways to uplift them.  That little tip puts the quality, in quality time.

Remember, the most important person in the world is you, and you enjoy meeting your life goals, spending time with the people closest to you, being true to your own priorities, being okay with change, and making time for you.  Follow these five tips, and feel lighter every day.

Resources

·      Ways to Find Peace

·      The Power of Now

·      The Five Love Languages

 

“The Courage To Change”

Guest Blog from Epsilon Healing Academy

Have you ever wanted to change something in your life and no matter how much you tell yourself and others that you want to change, you stay stuck?  Sometime it feels as though invisible forces work against us.  In a way, that is true.

The fact is –- change is hard.

To begin with, change involves taking action.  In other words, it means adding something else to your (very likely) already full plate.  One’s degree of discomfort with a situation or circumstance is weighed against the time and effort it takes to do something about it.  This often happens on a subconscious level.  For example, you might think you’d like to exercise more but you tell yourself you’re too busy and leave it that, thinking that you will get to it eventually.  But, you don’t stop to dig deeper into the reasons you don’t make your well-being a priority.

We are masters at holding onto old habits, old ways of thinking and doing things.  We convince ourselves that if we are not exactly happy, we’re at least okay.  After all, we’ve survived this long.  The longer we remain entrenched, the harder it is to let go. Read More

Los Angeles Therapist & Life Coach | David Vendig | 323-744-0751 | www.DavidVendig.com

“Change Your Nature”

Reinvention: How To Be Perfect

Changing your behavior is possible. Start by taking small steps and using positive reinforcement.  By Hara Estroff Marano, published on January 01, 2004 – last reviewed on December 04, 2012

It’s the new year. You’ve probably got lots of ambitious plans for change. This time, you want to make them stick. The first thing you need to know is, it’s not easy to change. The second thing is, you probably have no idea how to do it.

Here are some principles of change from the pros.

  • Break down the behavior into its component parts. Say you want to get more exercise, and you want to do it by running two miles every day before work. So you need to get up an hour earlier than usual (more if you’re slow to start), throw on your running clothes, drink a couple of glasses of water, take your portable music player, do some warm-up exercises, go out and run, do a few minutes of cool-down exercises, shower, dress, prepare breakfast, eat, leave for work.
  • Examine the consequences of both changing your behavior and maintaining the status quo. Change is frightening, and fears of the unknown make us cling to old behaviors despite our best intentions.
  • Build in as much positive reinforcement as you can. For example, plot the most attractive running route you can, one that takes you by some scenic spots. And when you’re done, be sure to take time to enjoy the exhilarating feeling you get after a run.
  • Take small steps of change, simplify the process and prepare for problems. Don’t, for example, start out expecting to run two miles. Give yourself time to work up to that distance. Also, remember that it’s easiest to get out the door if you put your running clothes out the night before. Or line up a friend to run with you so you’ll have a reason to go running even on the days you’d rather sleep longer.
  • Learn more about the process to keep surprises from derailing you. Monitor how long it takes you to run half a mile, then a mile, then two miles.
  • Provide structure so that you are not sabotaged by spontaneous impulses. Classify all your activities as to whether they are helpful or not in achieving your goal.  READ MORE

Los Angeles Therapist & Life Coach | David Vendig | 323-744-0751 | www.DavidVendig.com

“Wired to Worry”

Stealth Super-Powers

Deep within you are powers you’ll never know you have—until they’re unlocked by fear. By Jeff Wise, published on November 01, 2010 – last reviewed on November 18, 2012

Before he even knew what he was doing, Tom Boyle Jr. was out of the truck and running. He’d been in the front seat of a pickup with his wife, feeling relaxed after a dinner at a Tucson mall, waiting for the line of cars in front of them to make a right turn out of the parking lot. The Camaro at the front of the queue lurched into the street, wheels squealing, and roared away trailing sparks.”Oh God, do you see that?” his wife said.

Boyle saw it: the crumpled frame of a bike under the car’s bumper, and tangled within it a boy, trapped. That’s when Boyle got out and started running. For an agonizing eternity the Camaro screeched on, dragging the mass under it. As it slowed to a stop he could hear the bicyclist pounding on the car with his free hand, screaming. Without hesitating Boyle bent down, grabbed the bottom of the chassis, and lifted with everything he had. Slowly, the car’s frame rose a few inches. The bicyclist screamed for him to keep lifting. Boyle strained. “It’s off me!” the boy yelled. Someone pulled him free, and Boyle let the car back down.

The young man was bleeding badly. Boyle held him in his arms until the ambulance came. Then he sat on the curb, drained. He felt like he was going to throw up. He asked his wife to drive him home.

Today, looking back on that frightening evening, Boyle is deeply proud of how he helped the injured cyclist. But the one thing he still can’t figure out is how he managed to lift the car. He’s a strong guy, sure. But a Camaro weighs over a ton. “Today, right now,” he says, “There’s no way I could lift that car.”

Boyle suddenly found himself in a zone that he had never before encountered. Thrust into the intensity of a life-or-death crisis, he experienced an ancient and automatic resolve. So strong is this force, so alien to our normal conscious experience, that those who experience it report that it’s like being possessed.

Most of us tend to think of fear as a negative, as something to be avoided. But fear can have powerfully positive effects as well. Read More

Los Angeles Therapist & Life Coach | David Vendig | 323-744-0751 | www.DavidVendig.com

“Quiet: The Power of Introverts”

Are You Shy, Introverted, Both, or Neither (And Why Does It Matter)?
Shyness and introversion are not the same thing. Published on July 6, 2011 by Susan Cain in Quiet: The Power of Introverts
Bill Gates is quiet and bookish, but apparently unfazed by others’ opinions of him: he’s an introvert, but not shy.Barbra Streisand has an outgoing, larger than life personality, but a paralyzing case of stage fright: she’s a shy extrovert.

Shyness and introversion are not the same thing. Shyness is the fear of negative judgment, and introversion is a preference for quiet, minimally stimulating environments. Some psychologists map the two tendencies on vertical and horizontal axes, with the introvert-extrovert spectrum on the horizontal axis, and the anxious-stable spectrum on the vertical. With this model, you end up with four quadrants of personality types: calm extroverts, anxious (or impulsive) extroverts, calm introverts, and anxious introverts.

Interestingly, this view of human nature is echoed all the way back in ancient Greece. The physicians Hippocrates and Galen famously proposed that our temperaments – and destinies – were a function of bodily fluids. Extra blood made people sanguine (calmly extroverted), yellow bile made them choleric (impulsively extroverted), phlegm made them phlegmatic (calmly introverted), and black bile made them melancholic (anxiously introverted.)

But if shyness and introversion are so different, why do we often link them, especially in the popular media? Read More

Los Angeles Therapist & Life Coach | David Vendig | 323-744-0751 | www.DavidVendig.com

“The Will and Ways of Hope”

Talent, skill, ability—whatever you want to call it—will not get you there. Sure, it helps. But a wealth of psychological research over the past few decades show loud and clear that it’s the psychological vehicles that really get you there. You can have the best engine in the world, but if you can’t be bothered to drive it, you won’t get anywhere.

Psychologists have proposed lots of different vehicles over the years. Grit, Conscientiousness, self-efficacy, optimism, passion, inspiration, etc. They are all important. One vehicle, however, is particularly undervalued and under appreciated in psychology and society. That’s hope.

Hope often gets a bad rap. For some, it conjures up images of a blissfully naïve chump pushing up against a wall with a big smile. That’s a shame. Cutting-edge science shows that hope, at least as defined by psychologists, matters a lot.

Hope is not a brand new concept in psychology. In 1991, the eminent positive psychologist Charles R. Snyder and his colleagues came up with Hope Theory. According to their theory, hope consists ofagency and pathways.  The person who has hope has the will and determination that goals will be achieved, and a set of different strategies at their disposal to reach their goals. Put simply: hope involves the will to get there, and different ways to get there.

Why is hope important? Read More

Los Angeles Therapist & Life Coach | David Vendig | 323-744-0751 | www.DavidVendig.com

“Dogs, Happiness, and Health”

Which is most likely to make you significantly happier and healthier?
Published on August 29, 2012 by Howard S. Friedman, Ph.D. in Secrets of Longevity

Many, many scientific studies reveal that being actively involved with friends and associates is an excellent predictor of well-being. There is even pretty good evidence that getting yourself more involved in a social network with others, such as by volunteering in the community, is a reliable way to make yourself feel better, both mentally and physically. Or, if you prefer scientific jargon, we could say: Individuals who are well integrated into their communities are much happier and healthier, as compared to the network-less lonely recluse.

Right now, tens of millions of people worldwide are spending time on THE social network, namely Facebook. So why isn’t everyone doing great? Is Facebooking just as good as hanging out in real life? Perhaps it matters what you are doing on Facebook? Browsing around, I’ve noticed that there are more than a few pictures and videos of dogs and cats in cyberspace. Most of us love pets, so does this kind of posting provide a double benefit? All the evidence is not yet here (as studies continue to trickle in), but I doubt that Facebook is the secret to vitality and longevity. read more

Los Angeles Therapist & Life Coach | David Vendig | 323-744-0751 | www.DavidVendig.com

“Finding Your Voice”

Control is an illusion. Release it, and freedom emerges.
Published on July 16, 2012 by Jennifer Hamady in Finding Your Voice

People want control. We’re all desperate for it. What we wouldn’t give to have more of it in our relationships, our work, and our lives.

Not that we come right out and say so. Instead, we hedge a bit, asking mentors, coaches, therapists, and friends how to better manage our careers and other people. How we can change this or that aspect of ourselves or our circumstances… how we might better deal with specific situations and relationships.

Certainly, there’s nothing wrong with wanting growth and development. Yet that’s not what most of us are really after. Subtle as we try to be, the proof is in the pudding of our thoughts, our feelings, and our actions; in spite of all our questioning and questing, many of us feel pretty stuck. No matter the energy we exert, we remain in a standstill. Read More

Los Angeles Therapist & Life Coach | David Vendig | 323-744-0751 | www.DavidVendig.com