Sunday, January 20, 2013

Turning toward happiness (Part 3)

(Part 2 can be found here; Part 1.) 

As stated before, when I came across this article yesterday, my decision seemed to be more firm. So, I'm extracting some quotes from the article with some of my annotations in italics. 

They have an optimistic thinking style. Happy people rein in their pessimistic thinking in three ways. First, they focus their time and energy on where they have control. They know when to move on if certain strategies aren't working or if they don't have control in a specific area. Second, they know that "this too shall pass." Happy people "embrace the suck" and understand that while the ride might be bumpy at times, it won't last forever. Finally, happy people are good at compartmentalizing. They don't let an adversity in one area of their life seep over into other areas of their life. I have never been an unhappy type person, but I've never been an effervescent person either. I guess I'm a more serious and focused sort. Until recently, I don't smile much anymore. I've not felt in control of my time and energy, so, according to this finding, I fall into pessimism. This is accurate. Second, the "this too shall pass" line just isn't happening. Everything's here to stay. My husband has always told me that when I do a little more than's expected, a little more will be expected. True. Unfortunately. And while I can usually compartmentalized well, I've found that I tend to want to blame some of my undoing on those who supervise me; you know, "they see my problems, why won't they try to help instead of insisting on something more?"

They know it's good to do good. Happy people help others by volunteering their time. In the past few years, I've tutored before school for free. I've held professional development sessions. But now, I've no time or energy. And my attitude is "it really does no good."

They know that material wealth is only a very small part of the equation. Happy people have a healthy perspective about how much joy material possessions will bring. This one doesn't seem to be in my picture. Yet. :)

They develop healthy coping strategies.. Happy people encounter stressful life adversities, but they have developed successful coping strategies. Post-traumatic growth is the positive personal changes that result from an individual's struggle to deal with highly challenging life events, and it occurs in a wide range of people facing a wide variety of challenging circumstances. According to researchers Tedeschi and Calhoun, there are five factors or areas of growth after a challenging event: 
·         renewed appreciation for life
·         recognizing new paths for your life
·         enhanced personal strength
·         improved relationships with others
·         spiritual growth 
Happy people become skilled at seeing the good that might come from challenging times. Interesting. I only say "Yeah, right" now. 

 Part 4 tomorrow.


anne said...

Keep 'em coming! :)

DebD said...

I've been away from your blog for many years. I think I stopped coming by about the middle of your first year teaching at school.

After 19yrs, I retired from homeschooling 2yrs ago. It's been a tough time of change and struggle. I keep thinking how all the other major changes in my life were happy ones: marriage, new house with young family, new babies. This change has been anything but happy for me.

I find that these posts resonate with me. I am nodding at almost every comment you've made here. Sadly, I think I've descended from pessimism to depression though. Also, while I really liked the article, and it had great things to ponder, it does make it look really easy. But isn't that true of most of these types of self-help articles? Still, there's good food for thought.