Guide Finding Your Tree: Making Small Steps on the Path to Joy

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Contents

  1. Finding Joy in the Journey
  2. 460 Bruce Lee Quotes To Skyrocket Your Personal Growth
  3. The Benefits of 'Forest Bathing' | Time
  4. Related Stories

What this means is that there are certain behaviors, lifestyles, and choices that can be made by the individual that can increase the likelihood of happiness but likely involve some work. Let's look at those. In examining the research and the general wisdom of philosophers and others, I have categorized the intentional behaviors into seven general types that do have some overlap and may vary in importance for different individuals.

The information that comprises the list of intentional behaviors below is from research literature reviews by positive psychology researcher, Dr. Commonly people believe that a life of leisure provides happiness. They believe that if they had plenty of money, didn't need to work and could play all day, they would be happy.


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And yet studies of truly happy people show that they often have a high commitment to goals and a sense of purpose driving their lives. Happy people focus intently upon achieving meaningful goals. This drive and the progress towards these goals often aid in creating more positive daily experiences in life. Thus, it becomes a positive cycle of the pursuit of a sense of purpose creates more positive experiences which provide more reinforcement for pursuing goals. As Franklin D. Roosevelt, the thirty-second president of the U.

Our relationships to others is a strong factor in overall level of happiness. Outgoing individuals may be more interactive with many people, whereas introverted folks may be content with one or two relationships. Some people may find sense of purpose in their service to others whereas others are content with socializing. However, there are some components of relationships that are more likely to contribute to happiness.

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One is the feeling of kindness and compassion towards others as well as being genuinely pleased for others' success rather than being competitive or jealous. In addition, the ability to trust, love and see oneself as part of a community is conducive to happiness.

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The more that we see ourselves as entrusted with the happiness of others, the more we receive in return. How we frame the world and our experiences within it influence our degree of happiness. Those who tend to be more optimistic about creating positive outcomes are more likely to engage in active problem-solving and to be more content. However, this does not mean being unrealistic in assessing outcomes which can be detrimental as discussed below in the section on emotional tolerance.

Happier people tend to be satisfied with all their options when making a decision. In other words, as discussed at the beginning of the article, they are not attached to any particular outcome. They will strive towards a particular goal but are equally content if they don't achieve it. This philosophical perspective allows the individual to see the value in all experiences without a need to evaluate them negatively.

Although happiness may not be as simple as developing an "attitude of gratitude," developing a more optimistic perspective and seeing the positive aspect of an event can be helpful. Although emotional tolerance is an area I could write an entire article about if not a book , I will try to briefly discuss this concept. What I have learned over the course of my career as a clinical psychologist is that most problems are worsened by the inability to tolerate emotions.

A couple of areas depict this quite well. The most striking area is grief due to a death or tragedy. I have frequently seen people who contact me in extreme distress due to grief often the only time they have even seen a therapist and after I explain to them that their feelings are a normal part of the healing grief process and they should just allow these emotions, they feel much better.

So much so that they don't need another appointment. Although they continue to grieve, they are able to tolerate the emotions because they understand them better. Another example that I have seen frequently since I specialize with anxiety disorders is people who have Panic Disorder. A hallmark of their symptoms is the inability to tolerate the feelings of panic. When they can get to an understanding that the feelings won't hurt them, that it is just a feeling that will go away, their panic usually decreases significantly.

As I wrote about in Sadness is a State of Happiness , it is not the absence of negative emotions, but the full expression of our emotions that contributes to our happiness. How does this fit with research that shows happier people are more optimistic and have more positive emotions? Interesting research by Maya Tamir and Brett Ford answer this question by examining the concept of the usefulness of emotions. What they found is that happier people want to feel useful emotions that are appropriate to the situation but they don't want to feel negative emotions when they are not useful.

In other words, when it is the time to grieve, happy people grieve; when it is the time to be angry, happy people are angry; but most of the time, happy people are content. I believe this research helps to explain other findings that happy people pursue success rather than avoid failure, do not engage in excessive worrying, are less sensitive to social comparison, are able to forgive and are less likely to dwell on moods Lyubomirsky, If you think about it—all of these things, failure, worrying, social anxiety, inability to forgive and dwelling on moods are not useful.

However, happy people are able to feel anger and sadness and anxiety when the immediate situation calls for it. As William Faulker stated in Absalom, Absalom! Research shows that happier people tend to have greater self-confidence and belief in their abilities. They use social comparison in a positive way that tends to be more motivating rather than comparing themselves negatively to others, and so are not threatened by others' success or abilities. In other words, they are comfortable with themselves. This contentment with the self allows them to strive for self-improvement as a means of creating something positive rather than avoiding something negative.

Finding Joy in the Journey

Happier people believe not only generally in their ability to control their experience in life but also specifically in their ability to choose to be happy. This desire for control has beneficial effects in their lives. They tend to be more assertive, decisive, and engage in active problem-solving.

Such a direct approach tends to increase positive life experiences which, in turn, influences belief in control and degree of happiness. Conversely, it has been found that an external locus of control, a belief that luck, not effort, is a primary factor in what occurs, has been shown to be detrimental to the achievement of happiness Lyubomirsky, Finally, researchers DeNeve and Cooper in their analysis of studies concluded that as important as personality variables are to happiness, health behaviors are of even greater importance.

Happier people take care of their physical and mental health needs. As such, they are more likely to exercise, eat nutritiously, and engage in relaxation of some sort.

If they need medical care, they are more likely to follow through and take proper care of themselves. One other point about health behaviors is that exercise and other health behaviors is a good example of how we need to be able to tolerate discomfort for the benefit we derive. And along those lines, take a moment to love the everchanging moment exactly as it is. It includes suffering, wounded beings lashing out at others, loss and pain, but also constant shifting, constant growth and degradation, constant moving into something new.

You are one with the wholeness of the universe, co-creating it with all other beings and matter and energy, and it is something to be loved fiercely. This is the process I suggest you try. What happens here is that we open up to change instead of resisting it.

We learn to love things as they are, including the change, rather than complaining about them. With daily training, I can guarantee that something will shift in you. Daily training is the best method. Feel free to start with just 2 minutes, and work your way to 5. When 5 minutes is too short, extend to Practice the steps above.

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Practice during the day. After a week, in addition to the morning training, try to notice when you are stressed or resisting change. When that happens, think of it as a mindfulness bell that is calling on you to practice. Pause, if you can, and practice, even for a few moments. Journal how these two trainings go, and share with someone else. Intermediate: Give yourself some discomfort training. After you do the first two trainings for at least a month and two months is even better , set aside minutes each day for discomfort training.

For example, difficult exercise or a cold shower, or a writing session every morning. This session is supposed to be more than mildly uncomfortable, but not crazy uncomfortable. Somewhere in the middle. As you put yourself in this discomfort, practice the steps above. Advanced: Do a weeklong meditation retreat, or a week of purposeful change. After you practice for 6 months to a year, go on a weeklong meditation retreat. It will deepen your practice. Or go through a week of drastic change, that you put yourself into on purpose.

For example, purposely travel around the world with very little less than 8 lbs. The point of this kind of training is to give yourself an extended period of practicing with the method above. These are basically theme-based social policies, and provide different bonuses for the empire. The way you adopt tenets shapes your Ideology, and tailors it to your needs and goals. See below for more information. Ideology has a big impact on the diplomatic relations with other civilizations, both in standard negotiations and in the matters of the World Congress. One very obvious effect is that you can have an idea of a civilization's voting intentions in the Congress if you follow the same Ideology even if you have no Diplomat in their capital!

But other than that, those that follow the same Ideology as yours will tend to be more friendly to you, supportive, and open to sharing information. On the other hand, those with different Ideologies will tend to become more hostile. Another effect for differing Ideologies is a penalty on your Tourism influence to other civilizations which will make it harder to progress towards a cultural victory. The new cultural concept which involves a civilization gaining influence over other civilizations with Tourism also plays a major role in Ideologies.

As in real life, travelers and tourists spread not only the culture of their nation, but also its political ideas, so the Tourism generated by a civilization also creates ideological pressure on other civilizations.

In other words, politics now becomes a major factor in a nation's life, with the potential power to cause serious harm. The main effect which expresses this is Public Opinion. Public Opinion refers to how well the people of one civilization feel about the Ideology their leaders have chosen.

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As such, there is no Public Opinion present with civilizations that have not adopted an Ideology yet. A civilization that is not being influenced at all, or otherwise being influenced only by civilizations sharing the Ideology, will have the default Public Opinion level of Content The people are in full agreement with their leaders about the ideology they are following. Conversely, when a civilization is being influenced by another one with different Ideology, its Public Opinion will drop to the lower levels, based on the exact influence difference:.

The larger the difference, the more severe the drop. If the Ideology of the nation influencing yours is the same as yours, then Public Opinion will stay Content because their ideas are basically the same as your ideas.

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Public Opinion only drops if the nation influencing you has a different Ideology. The effect of low Public Opinion is the reduction of Happiness. Discontent from Public Opinion translates directly into a certain level of added Unhappiness for your empire depending on the number of Cities, or the number of Population, whichever is greater.

The Unhappiness penalty is more severe the higher the level of discontent is. Based on the incoming cultural influences, the civilization will also have a Preferred Ideology. Otherwise, citizens will prefer the Ideology of whichever civilization s has the most influence over them. Depending on how severe the penalties are, a civilization may be compelled to change to the public's Preferred Ideology. It is very difficult to maintain a Content Public Opinion level - you need to be a culturally strong civilization, be it in your Tourism stat or your total Culture generated, otherwise you will have to deal with some Unhappiness generated from Public Opinion.