Sunday, September 19, 2010

Week 38

Secret #75
Listen to music.

"Music communicates to us on many different levels, and our favorite music tends to transport our mind to its favorite place."

I love music. Any type of music. I like listening to music while I am doing anything. Especially working on pictures or cooking. I love that my kids love music too. They like to rock out and dance or just listen to the amazing classical composers. Music can change your mood. It can be so calming. But there are types of "music" (if you can call it that) that can be very disturbing and can almost put you in an angry mood just listening to it. So I guess technically I don't like ANY type of music. But is good for you. They say that Mozart is not only good for babies brains, but it also helps stimulate brains at any age. I need to start listening to more Mozart.

"A positive effect on mood was found for 92 percent of individuals when they listened to the music of their choice. Excitement and happiness were typical reactions to the music."

Secret #76
Let your goals guide you.

"When you have chosen reasonable, meaningful, and aligned goals, pursue them with all your heart."

I really like the example that they use in the book saying that if you want to cook something tremendous, you don't take everything out of your cabinets and fridge and pour it all in a big bowl and mix and cook it. Even if you took a lot of time on it you would still end up with garbage. Instead you follow a recipe and only add what you need and put in just the right amounts and you end up with exactly what you wanted.

Life is the same. "It doesn't take everything you have, and everything you can get your hands on, to wind up where you want to be." You just need a plan and then you need to have the patience to follow it.

"In ongoing interviews with a group of attorneys, a distinct transition was noted as career became less important and family more important. Those who recognized the change and reorganized their priorities accordingly expressed 29 percent more life satisfaction than those who did not."

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Week 37

*For explanation of The Happiness Experiment" go HERE .*

Secret #67
Some people like the big picture, and others like the details.

"When you look at a restaurant bill, you can eye the total due or you can focus on each item listed. Life is the same way. You can think in terms of the totality of what you have accomplished, or you can think in terms of the momentary episodes of your life. Adopt the focus that makes you feel more satisfied. If yo think things turned out all right even though there were bumps in the road, think big picture. If you're not sure how it will turn out but you know that your life has been marked with moments of great happiness and pleasure, then focus on the details."

" Researchers find that it is not more typical to experience happiness as following from events or to experience our perspective on events as flowing from happiness; both patterns are prevalent."

Secret #68
Do things that you are good at.

"We need to feel competent. Take on responsibilities in areas in which you excel, whether it's cooking, gardening, or accounting, and ask for help when you are struggling."

"Who is happier, stay-at-home parents or parents who work outside the home? In studies comparing members of those two groups, researchers found happiness in both situations if the person felt competent at what they were doing."

Secret #69
Go visit your neighbor.

"We no longer live in a time when people know all their neighbors and consider them to be friends. A shocking number of people have never had a conversation with their neighbors, and some couldn't pick them out of a lineup. Introduce yourself, or invite your neighbor over for coffee. Neighbors are not only a great potential source of friendship, they make us feel more comfortable in our homes, which is where most of us spend much of our time."

"Greater community interactions can increase happiness by almost 30 percent."

Secret #70

"Your smile makes other people happy, which in turn makes you happy."

" In a study of adults of various ages, a tendency was found for subjects to mimic the expressions of those around them. In other words, sad faces evoked more sad faces, and smiling faces evoked smiles and happiness."

Secret #71
Don't accept television's picture of the world.

"Watch television for any length of time, whether it's the news or a prime-time show, and you will inevitably come to the conclusion that virtually everyone is either very rich or about to die a horrible, bloody death. These pictures affect us more than we know. We fear that the awful events on television will happen to us, and we are frustrated that the nearly universal wealth we see on television hasn't reached us yet. Separate what you see from what you know to be real. Base your expectations on reality, not on television."

"Television changes our view of the world, and can encourage us to develop highly unrealistic and often damaging conclusions that serve to reduce our life satisfaction by up to 50 percent."

Secret #72
You always have a choice.

"Remember, you don't have to do anything. You can choose to do whatever you think is important enough to warrant your efforts. Don't lament your responsibilities as burdensome and unavoidable. Think of the positive effects of your actions- the reasons you go to work, the reasons you keep the household running."

"Interviews on life satisfaction levels found that those who expressed a sense of autonomy, of making decisions for themselves, were three times more likely to feel satisfied than those who did not."

Secret #73
Be agreeable.

"Make it easy for people to deal with you. Don't be angry or disruptive merely because you can."

"Researchers found that having a positive attitude about those around us is among the most important predictors of life satisfaction and that without such attitudes, we are less than half as likely to feel happy."

Secret #74
Don't ignore one part of your life.

"We are happier when all the pieces of our life are generally in good shape than when one area we care about is perfect and everything else is falling apart."

"In research on a large group of college students, those who were less likely to link the attainment of a specific goal to their overall mood were 19 percent more likely to be satisfied."

I think this week I am going to not accept televisions picture of the world and go smile at my neighbors.