Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Happiness through Attitude Adjustment - Part 1

Photographic art by J M Barclay
I bought a 5x5 print of this today. I am grateful.
I found it because a friend posted a link on Facebook.
The universe conspires to assist me. No, I'm not joking!

Yesterday and today, my assignments in my health coaching course were about positive psychology. I got to listen to a lecture by James Pawelski, PhD, Director of Education and Senior Scholar in the Positive Psychology Center at the University of Pennsylvania about achieving happiness. The lecture was chock-full of information that I'm still digesting. I'll be sharing some of it soon, I assure you!

Today, part of my assignment was to watch this video from 20/20 that reminded me of my post from a few days ago as well as a book that I read in 2009. Pursuit of happiness has been a recurring theme in my life for the last few years and I haven't been highly successful. Most likely my set point (genetic) for happiness is quite low. What is encouraging is that Dr. Pawelski and the experts in the video agree that even with a low set-point, I can choose actions that will increase my happiness dramatically.

The video, the lecture, and the book have one solution in common, the first key to happiness is a change in attitude gained by attention to gratitude. In 2009, I started writing down 5 things for which I was grateful before I got out of bed in the morning. This habit didn't take, probably because I'm not a morning person. Dr. Pawelski instructed us to do an exercise called "Three Blessings" wherein before you go to bed, you write down three good things that happened during the day and then write down why each of them happened. One of the experts in the video recommends following grandma's advice: count your blessings.

So, step one to changing my attitude (one degree at a time) is now officially to count my blessings before I go to bed. Five of them, in writing, and why these blessings happened. I think you'll be able to tell if this approach works, since I'm fairly transparent, but I'll make sure to post about it through the year.

No comments:

Post a Comment