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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

“The Best Kept Secret to Happiness”

How compassion is the best kept secret to being happy, healthy, wealthy and wise
Published on November 5, 2012 by Emma M. Seppala, Ph.D. in Feeling It
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Marketing executives want us to believe that happiness lies in a product that will taste delicious, magically fill our bank accounts, or transform us into a supermodel that looks not a day past 20. Our social norms promise that happiness will lie in status, accomplishments, relationships, and possessions. We are always on the lookout for the next thing: once we have the perfect mate, we look for the perfect home; once we’ve found the perfect home, we look for a bigger one, or a new car or a bigger bank account; once the perfect job is attained, we look for the next promotion or look forward to retirement or a new job.  We seem to be on a constant and futile chase after the promised land of lasting happiness. Dan Gilbert of Harvard University has shown that we are, in fact, terrible at predicting what will lead to happiness. Our norms, for example, would suggest that a winning lottery ticket would make our happiness scores skyrocket while paralysis would make them plummet. Research shows, however, that winning the lottery ticket, though it creates an initial rise in well-being, does not lead to lasting happiness over time nor does becoming paraplegic lead to lasting unhappiness.

A closer look at our own experiences as well as research data suggests that the secret to lasting happiness does not lie in any goods, relationships or achievements, but rather in what we can give: not just material gifts, but gifts of time, gifts of love, gifts of ourselves. Compassion and service don’t just make us happy but they also have a host of other associated benefits and may even contribute to a longer life. Here’s how:

Compassion Makes You Happy

brain-imaging study headed by neuroscientist Jordan Grafman from the National Institute of Health showed that the “pleasures centers” in the brain, i.e. the parts of our brains that are active when we experience pleasure (like dessert, money, sex) are equally active when we observe someone giving money to charity as when we receive money ourselves! Giving to others even increases well-being above and beyond spending money on ourselves. In a revealing experiment published in Science by Harvard Business School professor Michael Norton, participants received a sum of money. Half of the participants were instructed to spend the money on themselves and the other half were told to spend the money on others. At the end of the study, participants that had spent money on others felt significantly happier than those that had spent money on themselves. This is true even for infants! A recent study by Elizabeth Dunn and colleagues at the University of British Columbia shows that, even in children as young as 2, giving treats to others increases their happiness more than receiving treats themselves.

Compassion Makes You Wise

One reason compassion makes us happy is by broadening our perspective beyond ourselves. We know from research on anxiety and depression that these tense and unhappy states are highly self-focused. During stress or sadness, we are usually focused on the things that are going wrong in our lives. Research shows that depression and anxiety are linked to a state of self-focus, a preoccupation with “me, myself, and I.” When you do something for someone else, however, that state of self-focus immediately dissolves. Now think of a time you were feeling blue and suddenly a close friend or relative called you for urgent help with a problem. All of a sudden your attention was on helping them. Rather than feeling blue, you began to feel energized and before you knew it, you may even have felt better and had gained some perspective on your own situation as well.

Compassion Makes You Attractive  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

“Take a Picture, Improve Your Life”

What do good photos have in common with good organizations?
Published on July 10, 2012 by Nancy K. Napier, Ph.D. in Creativity Without Borders

Feeling overwhelmed? Does your life have too many “dimensions” to it? Stop. Pick up your camera and go take a photo. Or, at least look at some great ones. The principles of “great photos” might also just help you in your organization or even your life!

I always look for lessons beyond the borders of one discipline, whether art or science or business, for how they may be useful in another one. And I’ve always loved photographs – the homemade ones and the professional ones. But I’d never really thought about the principles of good photography could help organizational leaders. After spending a week at Santa Fe Photography Workshops, my thoughts on how to view organizations has changed, a lot.

We’ll get there, but first, let’s talk photography.

If you’ve ever looked at good photos (or a piece of art or dance, or heard a good piece of music), you might react by saying, “I like it.” But why do you like it?

At least three key components come into play. First, a good photo has an intent or a reason for being, beyond the “I was there” aspect. It moves us, tells a story, helps us see something in a new way, or raises questions. read more

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

“What Do You Want?”

We don’t often know ourselves what we most deeply desire

Published on August 5, 2012 by Alex Lickerman, M.D. in Happiness in this World

“What do you want?”What question could be more basic—or more imperative—to answer? From publishing a bestselling book to getting married to taking our next breath, the narratives of our lives are driven ultimately by the desires we feel. But as simple as the question may be, identifying the answer is often anything but.

Research suggests that our conscious minds aren’t so much in charge of the decisions we make as they are great rationalizers of them. Which means they often collude with our unconscious minds to craft stories about why we do things and even why we feel things that are just blatantly untrue. We often have far more invested in seeing ourselves as virtuous, noble, fair-minded, and good than we do in recognizing the truth: that we often want things and therefore do things that make us base, selfish, self-righteous, and unjust. read more

Schedule your first appointment today with David Vendig.

Los Angeles Therapist & Life Coach | David Vendig | 323-744-0751

“Kindness Moves Mountains”

Published on August 18, 2012 by Marietta McCarty in Life Saving Philosophy

It’s unfortunate that the word “kindness” is plastered on bumper stickers and repeated numbingly on greeting cards. The centrality of giving and receiving kindness in any life well lived often gets overlooked, the concept and the reality diluted and taken for granted.

Burmese Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi makes her case for kindness quite clearly for the world to hear in her Nobel Lecture in Oslo, Norway, on June 16: “Of the sweets of adversity, and let me say that they are not numerous, I have found the sweetest, most precious of all, is the lesson I have learnt on the value of kindness. Every kindness I received, small or big, convinced me that there could never be enough of it in our world…. Kindness can change the lives of people.” read more

 Schedule an appointment with David Vendig,
Los Angeles Life Coach | Therapist | 323.744.0751