a shift in thinking' toward someone who has wronged you, 'such that your desire to harm that person has decreased and your desire to do him good (or to benefit your relationship) has increased.' Forgiveness, at a minimum, is a decision to let go of the desire for revenge and ill-will toward the person who wronged you. It may also include feelings of goodwill toward the other person. Forgiveness is also a natural resolution of the grief process, which is the necessary acknowledgment of pain and loss.
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All that is required to become an optimist is to have the goal and to practice it. The more you rehearse optimistic thoughts, the more 'natural' and 'ingrained' they will become. With time they will be part of you, and you will have made yourself into an altogether different person.
Write down your barrier thoughts, and then consider ways to reinterpret the situation. In the process, ask yourself questions like... What else could this situation or experience mean? Can anything good come from it? Does it present any opportunities for me? What lessons can I learn and apply to the future? Did I develop any strengths as a result?
If we observe genuinely happy people, we shall find that they do not just sit around being contented. They make things happen. They pursue new understandings, seek new achievements, and control their thoughts and feelings. In sum, our intentional, effortful activities have a powerful effect on how happy we are, over and above the effects of our set points and the circumstances in which we find themselves. If an unhappy person wants to experience interest, enthusiasm, contentment, peace, and joy, he or she can make it happen by learning the habits of a happy person.
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When we are fully mindful of the transience of things - an impending return home from an overseas adventure, a graduation, our child boarding the school bus for the first day of kindergarten, a close colleague changing jobs, a move to a new city - we are more likely to appreciate [be grateful for] and savor the remaining time that we do have. Although bittersweet experiences also make us sad, it is this sadness that prompts us, instead of taking it for granted, to come to appreciate the positive aspects of our vacation, colleague, or hometown; it's 'now or never.'
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Women's magazines will often ask me things like, 'All right, I need six five-minute happiness strategies.' And I say, well, there aren't any five-minute happiness strategies. This is something you have to do kind of every day for the rest of your life. Just like if you want to raise moral children or if you want to advance in your career. It's a goal you pursue your whole life.
No one in our society needs to be told that exercise is good for us. Whether you are overweight or have a chronic illness or are a slim couch potato, you've probably heard or read this dictum countless times throughout your life. But has anyone told you-indeed, guaranteed you-that regular physical activity will make you happier? I swear by it.
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