“Sowhat if todaywere the last day ofthe rest of your life?”
Goals Thought provoking Informative Practical Fun
Skill 1Find a quiet place in your mind.Now take deep slow belly breaths.
“It appears that the way people perceive the world is more important to happiness than objective circumstances.” Ed Diener Great wealth is not having great possessions but few wants!
“To different minds, the same world is ahell, and a heaven.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
The Nun Study (Danner et al., 2001) Only positive feelings predicted longevity Age 85: 90% of most cheerful quartile alive; 34% of least cheerful quartile alive. Age 94: 54% of most cheerful quartile alive; 11% of least cheerful quartile alive
Two Types of People in the World The Fault Finder“The fault-finder will find faults even in paradise” Henry David Thoreau Could lead to resignation The Merit-finder“The invariable mark of wisdom is to see the miraculousin the common.” Ralph Waldo Emerson Could lead to detachment The need to respect reality
The positive elements of being a Merit Finder Well-being (Thompson, 1985) Health Affleck et al. (1987) Bower (1988) King & Miner (2000) Longevity
“We see what we look for and we miss much ofwhat we are not looking for even though it isthere... Our experience of the world is heavilyinfluenced by where we place our attention.” Stavros and Torres
“As a man thinkth so shall he be!” Cognitive distortions By David Burns
The Ten Cognitive Distortions (David Burns)1. All-or-nothing thinking 2. Magnifying or minimizing 4. Emotional reasoning3. Over-generalization 6. ‘Should’ or ‘must’5. Mental filter statements4. Disqualifying the 8. Labeling positive 10. Personalization and blame5. Jumping to conclusions
Skill 2 Identify ways in which you think that are stress inducing or stress producing. Identify one action you can take to promote new thoughts.
Actions: Change the Way You think!Seek actions that promote positive attitudes. Help others Exercise Be mindful Value self Become empowered - Reduce helplessness What actions can you take?
Other Distortions By our nature we focus on the unique for self preservation. For survival we focus on: Danger Change The media filters these realities to play on our inherent preferences for the unique.
Media bias tends to: Magnify rather than report all Accentuates the negative It tends to be detached from the greater reality Focuses on the negative 10%
We need to remember:Focus creates reality.Change your focus and you change your reality.
Actions:Change the focus of your attention. to news, art and the media! Be more selective Look for good news Question the bad news Bring balance to your use of the media.
DO YOU HAVE ANY DOGS IN YOUR LIFE YOU DON’T WANT?
More Actions: Research on Gratitude Emmons and McCullough (2002) Four groups: gratitude, hassles, superior, control Psychological and health benefits Physiological benefits (McCraty & Childre 2004) Benefits of trait gratefulness Maintaining freshness through mindful focus
Learning to be Grateful“You say grace before meals. All right. But I say gracebefore the concert and the opera, and grace before theplay and pantomime, and grace before I open a book,and grace before sketching, painting, swimming,fencing, boxing, walking, playing, dancing, and gracebefore I dip the pen in the ink.”“Gratitude has produced the most purely joyful momentsthat have been known to man.” G. K. Chesterton
21 days or your money back Try It! Be mindful – stop, reflect, meditate Becoming a merit-finder Visualize it, feel it Chipping away negativity Nurture Gratitude Make a bucket list “Life begins when you do!”
Summary of Options Deep breathing Thought distortions Rituals Worry/Sleep Acceptance Gratitude 21 days or your money back
Bibliography and Recommendations• Danner, D., Snowdon, D., and Friesen, W. (2001).Positive emotions in early life and longevity: Findingfrom the nun study. Journal of Personality and SocialPsychology, 80, 804-813.• Emmons R. A. & McCullough M. E. (2004). ThePsychology of Gratitude. Oxford University Press.• Seligman, M. (2002). Authentic Happiness. FreePress.• Brother David Steindl-Rast (1984). Gratefulness, theHeart of Prayer. Paulist Press.• Wiseman, R (2003). The Luck Factor. Miramax.• Wiseman’s website: http://www.luckfactor.co.uk/