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Elisa Goldstein, Ph.D.Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D.
A blog about mindfulness, stress-reduction, psychotherapy and mental health.

Be Happy Right Now!

Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D. Updated: Jun 22nd 2009

woman and sunThere may be all kinds of different perceptions and feelings that have arisen when reading the title to this blog. You may be coming to this blog in total disbelief that what will follow will actually make you happy right now, or maybe you've struggled for so long and feel you have been sold a bill of goods in too many self help books and ready for a fight, or maybe you're are interested to see what could possibly follow that could make you actually happy right now!

Well, here is my suggestion. Get out a pad of paper and start writing down all the things that make you happy. This may be the smile on your child's face, flowers in the garden, a funny comedian, a beautiful sunset, or simply the fact that you have the faculty of seeing, hearing, tasting, smelling, and touching. I'm serious, get out a pad and write these things down.

In 2003, Robert Emmons and Michael McCullough conducted a research study that found that those who practiced counting their blessings faired far better in areas of stress and well-being than those who counted burdens or just daily activities.

There is actually a website that might give you some ideas . A client of mine sent this to me where people write down 5 things that make them happy.

If your head is getting full of judgments that this is some Pollyanna scheme that could never work. See if you can take a step back and notice if it is a habit for your mind to immediately pre-judge things before you try them. If it is, thank it for its opinion and redirect your attention to see if this can be helpful to you.

It's definitely worth a shot!

As always, please share your thoughts, questions and stories below. Your interaction here provides a living wisdom for us all to benefit from.

Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D.

Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist in private practice in West Los Angeles and is author of the upcoming book The Now Effect, co-author of A Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Workbook, Foreword by Jon Kabat-Zinn, author of the Mindful Solutions audio series, and the Mindfulness at Work™ program currently being adopted in multiple multinational corporations.

Check out Dr. Goldstein's acclaimed CD's on Mindful Solutions for Stress, Anxiety, and Depression, Mindful Solutions for Addiction and RelapsePrevention, and Mindful Solutions for Success and Stress Reduction at Work. -- "They are so relevant, I have marked them as one of my favorites on a handout I give to all new clients" ~ Psychiatrist.

If you're wanting to integrate more mindfulness into your daily life, sign up for his Mindful Living Twitter Feed. Dr. Goldstein is also available for private psychotherapy.

    Reader Comments
    Discuss this issue below or in our forums.

    This is right on! - Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D. - Jun 24th 2009

    This is a wonderful and important addition to this blog. Certainly deriving meaning and strength from our struggles is one of the key aspects in this life. 

    The worth of struggle - - Jun 24th 2009

    Practicing such an activity is useful in that it helps to frame my life around those moments and relationships that bring me joy.

    I also beleive  that it is useful to frame our struggles in a manner that brings worth and purpose to our lives. We tend to under utilize the meaning of our difficulties. We spend our time trying to avoid or get rid of our problems. In the process we tend to inflame them. What if we moved toward our problems and began to see them as a journey towards our character development? What if we allow our problems to teach us and mold us?  I think it is more important to find meaning and purpose to our stuggles than to simply count our blessings. Then we can move more freely toward lasting joy rather than fleeting minutes of happy thoughts. The real transformation is when you can count your struggles as blessing.

    Food for thought,

    MindForTherapy

    www.mindfortherapy.com

    good one - - Jun 24th 2009

    good one! I like this article

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