Psychology Addict # 29 |The Architecture of Sustainable Happiness – Positive Psychology

in psychology •  6 months ago

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George & The lottery winner


Last week when I spoke to my mother she told me that George, a colleague of hers, asked after me. George is my mother’s age. They worked together for many years when I was a kid. Over two decades ago, on a Sunday afternoon, George went to the water park with his children, where he had an accident (a fall) which caused him to lose the sensation of his legs and become wheelchair bound. Nowadays, George lives a good retired life which he enjoys with his wife, children and grandchildren.

Also last weekend, my husband told me about this TV program he watched. It was a sort of documentary on a young lottery winner, who soon after the euphoria and extravagant celebration of becoming a millionaire, went back to her old self. She did not lose her money or anything like that; the program was an account of her life before and after winning millions. And, based on what my husband told me, despite all the changes the money brought to her life, in essence her general level of satisfaction was still the same.

These two events reminded me of a study I came across a while ago (The architecture of sustainable happiness) that discussed how little influence (10%) life circumstances have on people’s well-being. But, thehedonic adaptation theory of life satisfaction proposes an explanation for this through stating that although our subjective well-being changes after negative and positive life experiences, it always goes back to a baseline level sooner than later - this baseline level being something that is innate and responsible for 50% of our levels of happiness.

So, later in the week, I Skyped my mother and asked her how much George changed after his accident. She told me that in less than 10 months he went back to his old activities, including taking his family to the same water park! My mother said he cursed his wheelchair every now and then; but would soon apologise to it in a jokey way. I don’t remember George before his accident, the George I have always known is the one my mother described: an extrovert.

Extraversion, along with other factors we will discuss next, is one of the features seen in the people who report to experience high levels of subjective well-being most of the time. In this post we are going to use the term subjective well-being, happiness and satisfaction interchangeably.

Primary correlates & determinants of well-being


Extraversion

Extraversion is a personality trait that prompts a tendency in people to socialize and seek leisure activities. Since social relationships – like spending time with those we regard dear to us – is high-up on the list as the cause of well-being, extraversion is amongst the most notable correlates of happiness. Of course, this is an association; so, please don’t get confused and start to think that extraversion actually causes happiness. In the same way we could not say that neuroticism is a cause for unhappiness. However, it correlates with low subjective well-being because it is a personality trait that prompts a tendency to isolation and experience of negative emotions (eg. excessive worry).

Relationship

Being in a relationship is also high up on the list of correlates of subjective well-being; of course you know this means a quality relationship. But what is a quality relationship? When asking couples what are the foremost determinants of satisfaction in their life together, they stated financial security, sharing of responsibilities, sex and friendship.

Unsurprisingly, this list of priorities does not follow the same order for women as for men. I suppose this is why another study found that heterosexual men appear to benefit more from marriage, in terms of overall well-being, than heterosexual women, who seem to be better off single.

Just in case you are curious, the reason for this is that single women appear to receive more emotional support from family and friends when they are single.

Work

Another significant determinant of subjective well-being is work satisfaction, and this is not directly related with the pay-check; it is rather related with work content and healthy relationship with colleagues. This highlights, yet again, the important part that social situations play on either decreasing or improving well-being.

Family

Finally, there is family, an element in life that can prompt both happiness and unhappiness from time to time. For example, a 2003 research revealed cases in which couples which had either small children or teenagers actually experienced a decline in the quality of their relationship.

Is this all? Is your level of happiness in life going to fully depend on whether you like your co-workers, or how good your marriage is at any given moment? No! There is way more to it and this is what the following study, by Lyubormisky, proposes.

The Architecture of Sustainable Happiness



This is a model built upon a diligent review of the studies and research conducted on the primary determinants of happiness. Where life circumstances, which also include all the topics we discussed previously, count towards 10% of the variations of our level of satisfaction in life, which inevitably goes back to a set point (hedonic adaptation), which appears to be genetically determined and account for 50%.

For example, George has always been what we would call a satisfied person. That is definitely a trait that has remained stable through his lifetime. So, when his accident (life circumstance) took place and he learnt he wouldn’t be able to walk again, he understandably was devastated; however, after a couple of months he was already ready to receive his co-workers and watch his football matches on TV, and in less than a year he had completely returned to his old activities. Do you remember when we talked about resilience not so long ago? Maybe this would be yet another element to count towards that 50% set point.

The same is valid for the lottery winner who I know very little about; hence, everything I say here is pure speculation. But, if we assume she is the sort of person who feels unsatisfied in general, then after the exhilaration of winning the lottery (life circumstance) wore off she went back to her set point, which may be one of low level of subjective well-being.

Intentional Activity


For those out there who are similar to George, life overall can be a pleasant experience. But, what about those who are more like the lottery winner? Does that mean they are determined to live a life of low subjective well-being that is 10% dictated by life circumstances and 50% by genetics?

Well, not according to this model, which leaves us with 40% of intentional activities. And this is where we can become proactive and take responsibility for our own well-being. This refers to us engaging, and committing to practices in life that will result in improved levels of happiness and mental-health. It counterbalances hedonic adaptation and delivers the means for us to change our levels of overall satisfaction beyond what is pre-set biologically and imposed by circumstances in life.

What sort of practices can help us change the way we feel for the better?

Luckily, there are endless (including being active and adopting a healthy diet)! However, for the sake of keeping this post not too long I am going to briefly discuss only forgiveness and gratitude; as these are practices that along with mindfulness and altruism have received a lot of attention from positive psychology lately.

Forgiveness


Simply put, forgiveness is ‘to let go’, and for many it isn’t an easy thing to accomplish. But like with everything in life, the more one practices, the better one becomes good at it. So, in a way, this can start with the small things. Not holding a grudge over what in the bigger picture is not really important is a good start. Unfortunately, some people choose to engage with exactly the opposite practice and spend a life time of blaming, harbouring grudges and sometimes even nursing vindictive thoughts.

The bad news here is that nursing this sort of emotion not only prevents people from moving on, but also sparks sadness, anger, and consequently higher heart rate and blood pressure, which in turn may generate anxiety. Well, you get it! It’s a mess! Meanwhile, research has demonstrated that people who are able to forgive and let go of things, are more likely to be happy and serene; aspects that are reflected also in their physical health.

Further, in positive psychology, forgiveness is not solely about that person who has hurt you. It is also about forgiving yourself for a past wrongdoing. And the same interventions can be applied in both scenarios; with the most common one being writing a letter which can be sent or not. In case that situation is out of question, simply, imagining forgiving that person or yourself can alleviate feelings of resentment.

Gratitude

‘Practicing gratitude’ is likely to be positive psychology’s intervention most quoted among researchers. This must be because of the significant and surprising results obtained from several studies. ‘The three good things’ exercise is one of my favourites. And I say this because it just shows how balance is needed in everything in this life. For example, did you know there is such thing as too much gratitude? Oh yeah! Listen to this:

This exercise asks participants to, just before they go to sleep, recall their day and pinpoint three things that went well for them, or that they felt grateful for. An important ‘rule’ here is for the participants to be able to identify their own role in that positive experience. The findings that surprised the researchers the most were the results from the participants who undertook the exercise three times a week for one month and a half. It turns out that their well-being decreased a little. While the well-being of those who did the same exercise once a week for six weeks increased.

The psychologists concluded that it is beneficial and important to remind ourselves of the good things we have in life, as long as it doesn’t become a practice that feels more like a chore.

Looking back at George


If we continue to use George to illustrate this study it becomes clear how he manages to live a content life. He completely let go of what happened to him. Even if for a while he blamed himself for falling over on the water-toboggan after fooling around. He forgave himself and instead nurtured feelings of gratitude for still being there for his wife and children.

Isn’t this what normally happens to some people who go through similar life-changing-circumstances? Normally, they report being happier than before. But, if you notice it is partly because, in their new life, they have embraced a cause, became charitable, and even don’t take things for granted anymore.

So, you see, the point of positive psychology is to raise awareness about how adopting this sort of practices in our lives results in higher levels of well-being, and more importantly, how they work towards preventing mental ill-health. After all, one doesn’t need to have been through such an extreme life circumstance to be mindful, forgiving and grateful.

Scepticism


This post and my previous post on Mindfulness have explored and discussed some of the aspects of positive psychology, a relatively new branch within the studies of mental-health, which unlike traditional psychology, focuses only on positive feelings (and practices) through scientific methods. For the sceptics, positive psychology is nothing more than a fad that will fail to discover anything new, as all it seems to do is to state the obvious.

The naysayers of positive psychology are very harsh indeed. To state this discipline is not adding anything new to the field is rather extreme. Take the very study I discussed here, which revealed that happiness is partially innate. This is something that was previously unknown.

Still, we all know that there is nothing new in talking about the benefits of practices such as forgiveness, gratitude and acceptance; topics that have been around for thousands of years and have been highly nurtured in religious societies. But as the world becomes more of a secular place and values such as those seem to get diluted in the medium of modern life; positive psychology may just have come in time to rescue practices that will keep compassion alive among us.

[Original Content by Abigail Dantes - 2018]


Reference List:

Argyle, M. (1994) The Psychology of Social Class, London, Routledge.

DeNeve, K.M., and Cooper, H. (1998) ‘The happy personality: a meta analyses of 137 personality traits and subjective well-being’, *Psychological Bulletin, vol. 124, pp. 197-229.

Russell, J.A. and Well, P.A (1994) ‘Predictor of happiness in married couples’, Personality and Individual Differences, vol. 17, pp. 313-21

Lyubormisky, S., Sheldon, K.M. and Shkade, D. (2005) ‘Pursuing happiness: the architecture of sustainable change’, *Review of General Psychology, vol.9, pp.111-31.

Lyubormisky, S. (2008), The how of happiness: A scientific approach to getting the life you want, New York, Peguin Press.

Seligman, M.E.P, Steen, T., Park, N., and Peterson, P., (2005) ‘Positive psychology progress, empirical validation of interventions’, American Psychologist, vol. 60, no. 5, pp. 410-21


Image source: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

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Dear reader,

Today I would like to take advantage of his timely opportunity and let you know how grateful I am for you, who consistently give me encouragement and inspiration. 😊

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Definitivamente cada post suyo es una ensenanza mi estimada @abigail-dantes y sabe las palabras exactas para llegarle a cada persona, en estos momentos no solo yo sino toda mi familia somos asiduos lectores de sus post. Digamos que llegan en un momento de extrema necesidad de ayuda, no solo monetaria sino emocional, se que es una persona que se toma el tiempo leer cada comentario y votarlo, le comento que en su post pasado me dio un voto significativo a mi comentario y con el sbd recaudado de ese comentario pude completar para pagar el analisis de una biopsia para mi padre que posiblemente tenga cancer de prostata, quizas muchos no se tomen el tiempo de leer este comentario y no lo sabran, pero creame que le estoy infinitamente agradecido ya que soy de venezuela y la situacion aqui esta muy dificil. Esa actitud decidida que tiene George es la que tiene hoy mi padre y es lo que me motiva a seguir luchando junto a el. Saludos mi estimada @abigail-dantes reciba muchas bendiciones

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Oh @senteno77, I am so sorry to hear about your father. Have you received the results of his exams? I send you and your family all my positive thoughts and love here from Portugal! I appreciate so much you take the time to read my work and it mades me so happy to hear your family members read it too :) this is very kind !
I hope you can find peace whithin yourselves despite this difficult circumstance.
All the best to you and your dad my dear 🌷

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Aun no le han entregado el resultado de la biopsia, que es lo que determinara que tratamiento seguira, tiene una actitud muy positiva y eso es lo importante. Muchas gracias por su amabilidad @abigail-dantes. Saludos sinceros

Dear Abgigail,

I am late but here I am:)

To measure the well-being, there is also a method I can recommend to you.

"Relationships", "work" and "family" are two of the five pillars of identity within the systemic therapy approach after Hilarion Petzold.
The pillars are:

  1. my existence within my body and mind (health, physically, mentally, sexuality)
  2. social environment (family of origin, current family, friends, colleagues etc.)
  3. every form of activity (paid and unpaid work, care, cultural activities etc,)
  4. matter (material goods, wealth, money)
  5. ethics (religion, spirituality, virtues)

I find it of good use to get people answered how they feel in their lives. In addition, I use a scale from 1-10 for each pillar to get quick and clear insight. I myself used art to give each pillar a meaning. It's quite interesting to paint pictures and look at them after some years.

I am convinced that all of them actually should go under the umbrella of ethics (which includes what you say about forgiveness). It is to me of great logic that without acknowledging ethics all other pillars will suffer. Expanding the frame, even more, I also would add to No. 2 also strangers as well as the rest of living creatures.

That completes the system in my eyes.

I would like you to try the method first with yourself. I am curious what you will say. Do you like to do that experiment?

I appreciate reading also not only your articles but your replies to all of the comments. I can see why you are doing it once a week. There is going a lot of care and thoughts into them.

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Hello Erika :D

I kept postponing the reply to your comment because I saw you had brought me this wonderful activity! I wanted to do it with nothing else playing in my head! :)
So here I am with a nice cup of tea, listening to some music ... let's go!

Number 1 - I would say 7, mostly because of the component 'mentally' - Lately I have too much on my plate, and I have been feeling both overwhelmed and stressed on a daily basis!
Number 2 - It's a 10
Number 3 - I love this pillar Erika and I am going to say 10!
Number 4 - 9
Number 5 - I am not a religious person, but I believe in kindness - luckily, I haven't found myself in the position of having to act against my moral values. I will give this a 9 because the other day I crossed a pathway in order to avoid talking to someone. I had a million things in my head and did not have the energy! In my defense: he doesn't know when to stop talking (bless him!). :P

Thank you for this Erika! It even gave me the time for some self-reflection. Beautiful :)
All the best to you & your family!
:*

Ps: You could turn this activity into a Steemit challenge! :D

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Dear Abigail,
thank you for being open to this little experiment. I am glad you took it for self reflection and enjoyed doing it.

I would say there is nothing to worry ;-) - the 7 is totally okay also.

Though I wouldn't be me without being a little bit more tedious.

If you're between 9 and 10, there's little or no room for frustrating experiences up to the top, which means that this level may need to be pressurized and held - that can feel very heavy in times. This raises the question of whether you have considered this exercise to be a daily result or a general one for the most recent time in your life. The second aspect would be, if I were to ask you with every single pillar whether you think that there are still things that could be improved, you would also have no space to move up because you are already there:)

By improvement I don't mean to be more powerful or to create more things in life or otherwise in this direction, but rather to be "changeable". Does that make sense to you?

Therefore, I would cautiously suggest that you check again to see if you would change anything about some of the results. If not, the better.

I can't give you an exact reason, but I think you are someone who is prone to perfection.; -)

Thank you again & talk to you soon!
<3

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Hello Erika,
This is really wonderful. There is no way to conclude this experiment without deep self-reflection. I am going to copy the pillars here to prevent me having to go back up each time, so here we go:

my existence within my body and mind (health, physically, mentally, sexuality)

I could not have been more efficient at watching my my body if I was a medical equipment. How I feel about my body is tied to my happiness. So when I am not feeling 100% either due to illness or my weight (which has always been more than average), I always feel sad. And sadness is a feeling I always try to get rid of as quickly as possible. I would say I am at 9.

social environment (family of origin, current family, friends, colleagues etc.)

** The way my life is now, it would not matter if there is a war going on in the country where I live. I am pretty much oblivious of most of the negative things going on in the world because I am insulated from them because of my family of origin, steemit family, steemit colleagues, offline friends and colleagues. I have been blessed with an awesome social support system. This is a 9**

every form of activity (paid and unpaid work, care, cultural activities etc,)

** I am inclined to believe that every work done, whether for self or for others, is beneficial to us. Therefore, I feel sad and irresponsible whenever I am unable to do some meaningful work. As a result I have so much activities in my life that 24 hours are not enough. So this is a 10.**

matter (material goods, wealth, money)

I have never had much money but I have material goods. I place little value on these things because I realized early in my life that they are not totally under our control. Therefore giving them a place in dertermining how we feel has the potential of causing us harm in the long run. I am not wealthy but I feel like I am. This is an 8.

ethics (religion, spirituality, virtues)

I was born in a Christian family. However, from a very young age, no religion has been able to completely answer most of the questions I have about life, the meaning of life and why we are here. I have found snippets of satisfying answers from several religions, science and mere reflections on life in totality. The only thing that makes sense in this life is love and I believe in love. I am totally at peace with myself and everybody else. Therefore, this is definitely a 10

Oh, Abby, please forgive me once again for turning your blog to forum. I could not help myself. Thank you, Erika for this experiment. I could not have thought about all these without it. All the best from Nigeria to you two.

Happy Valentines Day!

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Hello my Dear! You don't need to apologize for anything. You can turn my blog into whatever you want. And, I only say this because I trust you enough to know you would only brings us positive constructive things anyway :) Also, I thoroughly enjoyed reading your feedback! Let's see what Erika will have to say about our replies!! :D

Happy Valentine's day to you too (but, just to let you know, Brazilians celebrate it only in June! :P). Still, I wish you all the best always my dear!

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... But, just to let you know, Brazilians celebrate it only in June! :P)

That means double celebration for you, my dear. Who would have thought there was another date for St. Valentine except February, the 14th? Well, that's good to know. Thank you for the permission to use your blog. Yeah, I'm waiting for Erika too.

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Hey Churchboy,
Thank you for taking part with Abi:)

I will take my time and look closer at your results and just wanted to let you know that I read your comment and you should know that it's on my list. If you are okay without a response from me let me know. If you would like to have one, please also let me know:)
I totally forgot Valentines day, was it yesterday? LOL
Take care,
E.

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Thank you for dropping a comment when you saw my response to the assignment. Of course, I would love to hear what you think. I'm here whenever you are able to reply. I enjoyed the assignment. Thank you.

Well done wonderful words
We should be grateful for what life offers us and do more
It is conviction that makes us happy‏

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Oh! Thank you @slimanepro :)
I am very glad to hear you liked it!
Best.

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Unsurprisingly, this list of priorities does not follow the same order for women as for men. I suppose this is why another study found that heterosexual men appear to benefit more from marriage, in terms of overall well-being, than heterosexual women, who seem to be better off single.

This is what I've been noticing more and more as I grow older and gain more experience of life, but also now that women have more freedom, can divorce without being ostracized, etc., it's easier to compare their happiness levels inside and outside of marriage.

My (tentative) conclusions, coupled with what I know of biology, religion, and anthropology, are that monogamy is primarily a male invention, probably meant to make certain the male has a child: in a free-for-all polygamous society, all women would know whether they had a child, but no man could ever be sure.

The vast majority of separations I see around me are initiated by women, and women tend to get well real fast, whereas men are miserable, sometimes for years. Women also seem to enjoy the single life, whereas men appear to lead the bachelor life more like a kind of social pressure rather than actual enjoyment.

And if you look at religions the picture becomes even clearer: it's men imposing monogamy on women. You could even argue that when women embrace monogamy, it's just the successful brainwashing on the part of men, who also invented all the art and music and novels that talk about love, always written by men!

Anyway I'm stating all that in a rather sketchy manner and without any support or argument. But I was thinking what kind of series to start doing after I'm done with my biology series, and I'm thinking to tackle sex differences, cognitive, emotional, etc. I'll be learning and posting at the same time, since my knowledge of the topic isn't deep, and I think it's something that objectively interests everyone: who doesn't like to talk about men vs women!

I veered off topic there, but great post! It's nice how you ground the theoretical in the personal by using George's case study. And I think your posts are getting better. Like you say "the more one practices, the better one becomes good at it"!

Forgiveness

Just today I saw this on my fb feed:

😄

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OH MY GOD ! I don't know whether I am more amazed by his negative emotions or by his boldness to openly express them.

This is an incredibly interesting comment @alexander.alexis, and based on it only I am already looking forward to reading every post of your new series! Also, thank you so much for your always complimentary words :)

All the best to you!!

First of all, allow me to congratulate you for your content @abigail-dantes. Through your post I have given myself the opportunity to learn things that many people live on a daily basis through their circumstances and emotions, without knowing that these are more common in people than they imagine.

I believe that happiness is a state that we all yearn for, because it is the dreamed state, to be happy, with your partner, at work, to have an ideal home with exceptional children and surrounded by a very stable financial health. They are the things that in basic terms as you pronounce in your post are the priorities for your well-being and happiness satisfaction. Thing that is not a lie, we focus happiness on these basic aspects.

The detail is that if some day any of these things are not as you imagined or something unbalances your perfect plan, your world can come down, well, you have based your well-being on these things and once they are not as you think it happens to us like the winner of the lottery, because perhaps his happiness was based on his wealth and not on the really important thing like love, family and enjoy the good that he had wisely.

Now, God bless George, because despite such a difficult circumstance, with courage and his extraversion or ability to maintain his happiness, he went ahead. And to not lie to you, I'd like to be like George. Wao what character.

You mention Neuroticism, which seems to be the state in which emotions have an imbalance that leads to the person not being happy with himself with thoughts that evade situations that bring him pain. And I'm surprised because in the world there are many people like that and we think it's normal because I think that's their personality but today I learn that it's a matter of emotions that result in an alteration of their mental and physical health due to details of dissatisfaction or very low level of subjective well-being.

But dear friend Abigail I think there is a solution to this picture of emotions when we decide to do something for ourselves, because I agree with you that a low level of subjective well-being marks and damages lives, because it deteriorates our health, because everything we feel It will reflect on our body and behavior.

Finally I must say that this post has touched my heart in this section because I have loved the tips of forgiveness and gratitude that among the many others that exist especially these can be crucial for our subjective well-being. Being grateful is very necessary and the forgiveness really useful starting with ourselves and then with others. Forgiveness can be a liberating experience so that so many bonds of our minds release all the negative thoughts and bitterness that besets the soul.

Beautiful study today.
God bless you.

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What a truly wonderful comment @rosibelsac :) It is because of feedback like this I feel inspired to talk about the things I do here. Thank you so much, you (and all the others too, of course) have just made me feel that all the research I put together for this post was worth my while! :D

Yeah, George is indeed a great character. That is why I decided to use him as an example. And also, as a homage to him, who is someone I respect and admire.

when we decide to do something for ourselves

Thank you for making this observation. Because it is indeed the main message of this post. We need to be proactive and work towards our our mental health! The beautiful thing about this is that we can do it through really simple things such as being grateful for our food, the roof over our heads ... and replace the negative thoughts and complaints with gratitude!

It is a simple thing to do, but that goes a long way towards our well-being!

All the best to you :)

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Thank you abigail-dantes for your beautiful comment and take into account my appreciation.

Today I have taken the time to respond to this message because even if you do not believe it, your messages are very nutritious for my life, but especially this has been very important.

Since I read this post, my whole weekend has been full of anecdotes and messages that are aimed at happiness and what we do to get there and I have taken the time to reflect widely on it.

I have reflected and decided that in my life many things must change and for love of myself start to do something for me and look for search a emotional state in my life that is healthy.

And I really thank God for his writing and for take me the time to translate, read and take note of every interesting thing that you say, but above all I remind my brain of each of those important paragraphs for me to begin with. practice it, and as help.

Abigail successes.

I wait for the next ones. God guide you.

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My subjective well-being dropped like 70% when I read:

Extraversion, along with other factors we will discuss next, is one of the features seen in the people who report to experience high levels of subjective well-being most of the time.

However, it did get back to my innate baseline level sooner rather than later. : )

Would you say that extraversion correlates with seeking leisure activities in general or only with seeking social leisure activities?

Maybe the amount of positive effect of being in a relationship also depends on intraversion/extraversion - my guess is that extraverts both need and enjoy it somewhat more than introverts.

I might be wrong, but, although I wouldn't mind having financial security at all, I would say that people who stated financial security as their top benefit from the relationship are hardly in a really high-quality relationship.

It is interesting how hard it can be to accept and forgive your own minor flaws or mistakes, while you would easily accept and forgive those same flaws or mistakes if you found them in other people. Actually, little idiosyncratic flaws and mistakes can sometimes even raise the attraction of a person!

Cheers! : )

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Hi @lifenbeauty :)

What a beautiful comment this is!! The beginning of it actually made me laugh out loud. :D

Although extraverts seek social leisure activities in general, the tendency is to go for more social ones! I completely agree with what you said about the enjoyment extraverts and introvert get out of a relationship. In general, extraverts get more enjoyment out of things than introverts, for sure!

Your observation on financial stability is indeed a valid one! However, this is a finding that is aligned with Maslow's hierarchy of needs.

Your final paragraph is very, very interesting. You see, in many cases, flexibility with accepting one's own flaws and mistakes is linked with being a perfectionist - another personality trait :)

I wish you a great weekend!
All the best to you always.

Dear Abigail, I am not just saying this to flatter you (or to flatter my "other half" that your cartoon avatar is lol) but this article took me about 5-6 minutes to read (and comprehend I hope) and I honestly feel much wiser and enlightened.

There are several topics that you "touch" in your post, but I would like to focus on forgiveness exclusively, as I tend to believe that if we (humans) manage to forgive with a sincere heart (and brain I may add), then we have taken a HUGE step forward, when it comes to our spiritual and mental evolution.

You are writing, Further, in positive psychology, forgiveness is not solely about that person who has hurt you. It is also about forgiving yourself for a past wrongdoing

Allow me to add that when you forgive, you do an absolute favor to yourself and humanity as a whole (some may not realize how). On the one hand, you let hate/pain go and this helps no one but YOU, as you are the one who experiences all these ill emotions that usually derive from hate/pain/urge for vegeance as the other person will never ever be directly infected by your pain or hate (well, that is if you don't take action in order to hurt him/her back).

On the other hand, when you forgive you defeat your worst possible enemy in life, YOUR OWN EGO!

Last but not least, let's not forget about self-forgiveness...The healing "superpowers" this simple (but so hard to achieve) act has, could solve so many existential and personal issues that often happen to be sources of more serious mental problems.

Forgiveness is usually accompanied with love&balance (inside us). Unfortunately, manyyyyyyyy people fail to realize that...even 2018 years after the ONE preached all about the eternal gifts of unconditional love and true forgiveness.

Regardless, that was ONE inspirational and encouraging post, Abigail. Thank you...the gratitude usually comes last :)

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@tkappa ❤️My cartoon-soul-mate! How wonderful to see you here.

Your incredible kind words made me smile :)

Please let me tell you how invaluable your comment is as it furthers the discussion about self-forgiveness. You explored with detail the benefits of nurturing healthy emotions and practices as well as how through it we heal not only ourselves but the world around us.

On the other hand, when you forgive you defeat your worst possible enemy in life, YOUR OWN EGO!

I suppose that if we become more aware of this important observation you made; both forgiving others and self-forgiveness can become a more achievable goal.

Thank you once again my dear, for your truly encouraging and beautiful comment!
All the best :)

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I was inspired by your great post, Abigail. But it's true...It took me around 30 years (alright, let's not count the first few years that I was an innocent toddler lol) but I finally realized that my MAIN issue in life was my inability to forgive...others and myself. The power of forgiving is INCREDIBLE!

You take care dear Abigail :)

Looks like this one is for me. Although I too was a little "worried", when you talked about Extraversion

is amongst the most notable correlates of happiness

But then again, since I know now, after reading on, that I most likely inherited the happy spirit of my parents, I got over it quickly :-)

I find myself in most of what you say contributes to happiness, gratitude playing a big role. Thing is, I don't "practice" it, like a task I have to do more or less periodically. Its more of a general attitude. And when something great happens, I hesitate for a moment and let that thankful feeling flow through me. Of course, "great" means something different for everyone. For me it can be a comment here or my mother coming by with some cookies ;-)

I found it funny, when you wrote about

the participants who undertook the exercise three times a week for one month and a half. It turns out that their well-being decreased a little

It reminded me, of how I was often amazed when I lived in the States and there always seemed to be a formula for everything. Of course, many things actually worked a lot better than in Europe, which to me feels more "analog", compared to "digital" in the so called new world. Not sure if that makes any sense. What I'm trying to say is, when everyone in a society follows a certain procedure and knows the rules, a system is more efficient. Of course every society has these "rules" and rituals, but for an outsider, in the US they seemed to me more "scientific". I even saw it in something like dating. It was amazing, how my friends followed a kind of procedure, with predetermined turning points and reactions. European approach appears rather chaotic in many areas... at least in my generation. But with what might appear chaotic, another element comes in, which I see as freedom... and to come back to the subject: you are not grateful because of a set schedule or because you are supposed to be, but because you just are.

There is this Swiss happiness researcher, forgot his name... and he compared people with jobs, I mean working for someone with those self employed (on equal "career levels"). All the facts actually put self employed people in the disadvantage. They have to work more for less money, must take higher risks, no spare time, high responsibility and so on. Nevertheless, the self employed were generally happier and he explained it with the level of freedom and self determination.

Forgiveness is something I too had my problems with for a long time. No issue on more minor things and I can go along for quite a while. But when I feel someone really stabbed me in the back, I used to remain hostile forever (almost). I now learned, and I think its probably one of the benefits of getting older, that it is actually me, who simply had a wrong expectation. Its not necessarily the other one who changed or did something. On my side, its me, who wanted or expected something and it didn't happen that way... Of course I'm no saint and we all have people we just don't like or get along with. But holding a grudge and focusing ones thoughts on them or a particular issue is really just a waste of time and energy. Its better to go and do the dishes, if nothing else helps ;-)

Reading your beautiful post raised my already high level of happiness even a little more and I am really glad and grateful that I stumbled over your b&w photo with the glasses a few weeks ago...

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Hello my dearest @reinhard-schmid

I am so pleased to hear you liked this post. I confess that I thought of you when I was writing about gratitude, as this is something that always comes across on your comments. You never fail to mention how grateful you are for your parents, wife, job etc... maybe this is why you cannot relate to it as a 'practice', as it is rather part of who you are :) and this why you are able to find happiness in a comment or cookies.

I found your comparison of the North American and European culture and how you associated it to the Swiss study very interesting. There is a lot to be said about the sense of freedom, particularly when it comes to subjective well-being.

Ahahahah, absolutely, doing the dishes is much, much better than holding grudges. And I must say this is the most practical, objective strategy for 'letting things go' that I have ever heard! Ahahah :) Excellent!

Ooohhhh I remember your first comment on my blog (on that photo post, of course!). I am very grateful that you have found my blog too my dear. Thank you for your constant support!

I wish you and you wife a wonderful Saturday evening!
All the best to you both always.
:*

I like the way you post. You seem inspired by stories around you. This is something I look for in psychological posts. A litlle bit of human in psychology. sometimes it is missed.

The story of your mother's friend seems to be very postive. I can tell similar stories f people I know. But something came to my mind in the middle of your post. Also your thoughts about more secular world nowadays inspired me to thing about... PTSD and Post Traumatic growth.

Posttraumatic growth is evidence for everything you wrote down in your post. I mean that you are going to be upset with your life without some factors in it and you will be happy after turbulences when you have some factors in your life. PTG is a little bit diffrent. It shows us that some traumatic events can cause in people will to look for theese factors. To create them by themeselves. It is also called benefit finding and the name for it says a lot! It comes also from buddism, hinduism, christianism. in ancient times people belived that negative experience can lead us to happiness. It is not so secular point of view.

Inspired me again. Thanks Abigail!

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Gosh @smashedturtle, I have had the same thoughts towards PTSD!

Thank you very much for pointing this out to us and explaining in an effective, straight-forward way.

All the best to you always my dear & thank you so much for taking the time to stop by once again :)

I will not praise your work once again, we all know the quality you bring here!

I will just say that in a world full of negativity, positive psychology might seem a bit too "light" and cheap, magazine-advice kind of science, but if people did focused on the positive things happening in their life, then some would certainly avoid mental-health issues in the future. I was out with a friend today, a young woman my age, just started her Master's courses, is in a relationship but works only part-time and still lives with her parents (as most young Greeks do due to the crisis). This woman is the personification of negativity. A pessimist with various psychosomatic reactions, today she woke up with a swollen ankle as she usually gets night numbness and cramps and hurt herself while sleeping (a thing she has done various times in the past). I try to give her an alternative point of view on her reality, but most of the time she is "ressistant". I won't go long on her story, she is my friend, I care about her and I believe she needs professional help (she sought for in the past, but the specific specialist hadn't helped that much).

My question is: how can positive psychology "upgrade" someone from the lottery winner level to that of George's? I have been through times of darkness myself, but I happened to have an "epiphany" and decided to get rid of the negativity (at least as much as I can), stop whining and being grateful to what life has offered me. Find the things I don't like about me and try to change me for the better. I consider myself a very lucky person, somehow God never lets me down no matter how much I have let Him down. And, I don't know maybe it's because it applies on my case, if you are not pushing yourself and trying for yourself, no one will ever help you. We are our worst enemy and our savior at the same time. (Do you believe I am just too stubborn to see another way?)

Keep doing your amazing job @abigail-dantes! We need it! Lots of cyber hugs with love to you!! ❤️❤️❤️

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My Dearest @ruth-girl :)

Since you are here let me just tell you now what I have been meaning to say for a while (but, have been struggling to find the time!). Xenon's Lesson About Truth is so beautiful, with so many meaningful lines and an overall invaluable message. You have started a lovely series for children & adults there (with fancy photos!)! Well, you know how much I LOVE your fiction writing! Anyways ....

Now to your comment ....

Well, you share the same opinion with many, many psychologists about this field. There is A LOT of scepticism surrounding it. For sure! I suppose that only the future will tell us if positive psychology is here to stay!

Your friend sounds fascinating to me. I am sorry to hear her well-being didn't improve much after seeing a specialist. Unfortunately, this is not uncommon. Even more so when the person is reluctant to engage with practices that will help break a certain pattern of thinking and behaving. This sure takes time! Not to mention commitment and effort.

Sometimes, what I ask myself about people who present this sort of mind set is: Is their negativity affecting themselves?

For example, I know a lady who, based on what you said, is the older version of your friend. She spends most of her time complaining about everything, I mean everything and everyone. Nothing is good enough, no one is good enough. She is negative about people's projects ... well, you get it. Also, she is also full of pains and aches and spends a lot of time in the clinic just to find out there is nothing serious with her. With time I came to realize that she is actually fine! Her several visits and exam results never showed elevated heart rate, or high blood pressure. Nothing! My most humble conclusion tells me that her negativity, surprisingly, does not seem to affect her subjective well-being.

Is there any chance your friend is like this? Or, is she actually afflicted by chronic sadness?

If so, in order to "upgrade" her set point as you smartly said here. She would have to engage with intentional activities. This is something that in theory is totally achievable for her because she is fully functioning in life. You said she is doing a Masters, she socializes etc... and this is why I ask you whether her negativity is a bad habit she developed or is the result of her low levels of well being.

Intentional activities include anything like more objective practices such as exercising to subjective ones such as gratitude. But she needs to be proactive. She even has an example right before her: you!

Lots and lots of cyber hugs (ahahahah) and love to you too my dear :)
I wish you all the best always.

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Thank you so much for the support! This series is an attempt to disguise some of my personal thoughts and questions under Xenon's wisdom!! :)

As far as my friend is considered, I believe it all started when she moved back after university. She struggled for years to find a job in the city where we studied, but unfortunately she didn't make it and had to stay in the little town we grew up. For a few years she even gave up dancing (it was a twice-a-week hobby that she absolutely loved). If you put a few unsuccessful relationships she had in the past, some light bullying during school years and teenage insecurities she never managed to overcome (that's what I see at least), this girl came to wither day by day.
She happens to get sick easily too, a few minor gynecological problems and some vitamin deficiencies surely have their share on her bad mood. Sometimes I don't know if she attracts all these unfortunate events with her negativity or the whole situation just weakens her immune system.

Intentional activities? She goes to the gym a few days a week, BUT, she has low blood pressure because of a heart condition she has had ever since she was a child and she gets tired easily. She goes out with with friends or shopping every once in a while. I even tried to talk her into having a steemit account and write about archaeology (that's what she studied), she was NEGATIVE and still is!

She realises that what she's doing to herself is bad, but she keeps to her chains and doen't let go. It is just sad. I hope she gets to feel satisfied with her life at some point and be grateful for the good things she already has without thinking of the unfair things that have happened to her at the same time!

Thank you very much for your reply! May you have a wonderful weekend! :D

I thank you also @abigail-dantes because of your helpful insights about psychology and issues on mental health. :)
I learned new things every time you post psychological related issues and because of your insights i am more inspired to pursue Guidance Counseling, so thank you. ^^)
By the way, my friend who have extreme bipolar condition who recently attempted suicide is now okay and is trying to fight her demons and i'm thankful that i was able to help her thanks to you. ^_^

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By the way, my friend who have extreme bipolar condition who recently attempted suicide is now okay and is trying to fight her demons and i'm thankful that i was able to help her thanks to you. ^_^

You have made my entire weekend! Right now, I am grateful to your words. :D

This is one of the kindest comments someone has ever left me.
Thank you my dear.

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you are welcome ma'am @abigail-dantes ^^)
you have done the community a great service just by educating us about mental issues and topics relating to psychology.

Since the issue of "Psychology" is very misunderstood to many parts of the world, that's why it is really helpful that people be aware of the definition of the terms. That it should be embrace and not something that you have to be afraid of. :)

Anyways, are you a Psychologist?

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A student :)

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Wow u seem pretty much like a very experienced psychologist to me..

But you are indeed experienced @abigail-dantes

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you're still a student? 😱😱😱
amazing. haha
you major in psychology?

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Yes, I am! :)
Your reply made me laugh really hard!
Ahahahahah

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unbelievable. hahaha
i really thought before when i started reading your blogs that your a Pyschologist already. haha
i'm just amazed. what year are you now!? 😱😱😱

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Still one year to go! 😅
Your words are very encouraging and humbling! Thank you :)

I have always been of the opinion that spending your life trying to be happy is actually not the best way to go. Something to do with focusing so much on being happy that it becomes counterproductive. Instead, taking responsibility and bringing your life in order will make you happier. This will also affect the people around you, like your family, friends, and significant other. What's your opinion on focusing specifically on being happy?

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Hi @altherion :)

Thank you so much for reesteming this post and also for taking the time to read and comment.

What's your opinion on focusing specifically on being happy?

I completely share your opinion; as I believe that when people actually focus on being happy, or chase that state of existence they often do through nurturing emotions that aren't necessarily positive. For example, people crave for things they don't have, become attached to what they do have, and grow afraid of suffering. All this, ultimately, builds a permanent state of anxiety. This is when, I think, like you said, it becomes a counterproductive endeavor.

All the best to you :)

Oh @abigail-dantes, you're right. If anything, we need these positive elements in our lives more than ever. George is a blessed man to be naturally positive... either that or his intentional effort to do so has become so ingrained that it's become his way of being. He is able to see the love around him and participate fully in it.

And, that "poor-in-spirit" lottery winner, could become a tragic cliche especially if she shops to fill a hole in her heart. I hope for her sake that she reads your post about George and becomes intentional to focus beyond herself so she can truly have joy.

BTW, thank you for all YOUR support and love too!

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Hello my dear @karencarrens :)

I just love your view and interpretation of George and the lottery winner's emotions. I do agree when you say " become so ingrained", this is precisely what happens in people who develop a certain pattern of thoughts that may actually entrap them in a depressed or anxious mental state. Taking action and being proactive with engaging in activities that prompt positive thinking and well-being is an excellent means to break such ingrained ways of seeing life.

Lots of love to you alwaysss.....
:D

It does seem to be that there is a level area for individuals happiness. That is to say, whatever factors went into creating their interpretation of what 'happiness' actually means, it was probably set either at early age by outside forces or genetic makeup or a mixture of both and that is the level they will return to whether they are voyaing back to it from a high or a low.

I am an introvert but am able, I say, to play at being an extrovert. I find the human animal interesting and often do enjoy occasionally mixing in company but find I am always asking about people and genuinely interested in their respones. To me their company is like a book come to life, with all the interesting fears and hopes they have. I find, however, that most people tend to not ask about you unless prompted and will rattle on and on about themselves. For me, this is fine, as I mostly like to hear about them, me being an introvert I've always been more one to talk over and deal with my own state of being with myself and prefer it, thus introvert.

I do find, that after playing at extrovert I need a few days of isolation from people for me to readjust to myself and possibly return to that state of happiness which I think you are talking about here.

I have often wondered if being a true extrovert would have served my life better, but then, being a true introvert, have a good sit down and 'talk' with myself and find it matters little as for whatever the reason my 'happiness' and my own company seemed to be the preferred result for me. I was the youngest of a large family so in essence was an only child, as my siblings were all out of the house when I was young and I had older doting parents who also let me be. My older siblings had children my age and so I would occasionly be with them in Summer holidays and it was like also being part of a large family with siblings my age. I think this combination made me an introvert with the ability to mix socially and play at extrovert. Who can know.

I have probably veered off topic here. Another introvert situation as there is no one to get me back on track as I follow all my thoughts down various rabbit holes ;)

Such an interesting and well written piece. Thank you for it.

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Hello @donnadavisart :) It is great to see you here and even better it was to read this beautiful comment!

there is no one to get me back on track as I follow all my thoughts down various rabbit holes ;)

Well, I just loved following you on this inner-journey. I am always fascinated by people equipped with self-awareness. Not only do you know what has constructed your set point levels of well-being, but you also know the intentional activities that increase your levels of satisfaction.

It is a beautiful quality being interested in people's responses, and it is also beautiful being able to spend time with oneself in a productive way as you said you seem to do "I need a few days of isolation from people for me to readjust to myself and possibly return to that state of happiness". I feel precisely like this from time to time :)

Thank you for taking the time to read my work! I wish you all the best.

Thank you, for your positive psychology, @abigail-dantes I can attest that it can change lives around, as it did/is doing to mine.

Done are my days of flirting with negative thinking, as a recovering Existentialist.

Thanks, too, for reminding our increasingly secular societies that “forgiveness, gratitude and acceptance [are] topics that have been around for thousands of years and have been highly nurtured in religious societies.”

Reading mystics of every stripe, especially Sufis (Muslim mystics) I sense that my entire soul is being rewritten and readied for fresh utterance.

Hard to translate this humbling rebirth into words but I think one way of putting it that everyone might understand is Love, only Love, all ways 🙏🏼

Happy Valentine’s Day, today, and every day ❤️

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Hello @yahialababidi :)

What a beautiful comment you left me here! I shall look into Sufis writings then :D

Lots of love to you too, today and everyday :)

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Bless your heart, for your generous response!

As a small introduction to the vast sea that is Sufism, I attach a link to a short Q&A that I was invited to have on the website of Sufi teacher, Idries Shah:

https://idriesshahfoundation.org/interview-with-yahia-lababidi/

I do hope it keeps you good company (& that I’m not trespassing on your kindness in sharing this).

Cheers 🤗

This is a test comment, notify @kryzsec on discord if there are any errors please.


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Being A SteemStem Member

I like this post!
And I would also like to add something about happiness that I always try to keep in mind.
So, I think that it is important even when you feel truly happy to make sure that there are several things that make you happy. Someone might have great a dancing career that makes him happy (ofc not absolutely happy, but happy in general), while having no time for having a relationship and maintaining friendships. If that person has an accident and cannot continue his career, there is nothing else left to make that person happy, so he starts from the bottom when reconstructing his life. Or someone who has a great marriage but isnt fulfilled in other areas, if he loses that person, there is nothing else left again.
These examples are extreme, but what I want to say is that it is important to strategically organize our sources of happiness, so if one fails, we have the rest :D!

Have a nice weekend! :)

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You are a smart, smart girl @katarinamiliv. I love each comment you leave to us here more than the last! What you said here makes so much sense; as it is actually something I have seen many times.

Thank you :)
I wish you a great week!

Hello @abigail, briliant as ussual. I won't talk much, resteemed upvoted :) have a nice weekend :)

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Ahahahah Hello @ocupation :)

I trust you are fine! :)
Thank you for always stopping by.
All the best.

Dear @abigail-dantes how are you doing and hows the family?, its been a while. I just hope you are not over stressing yourself.

This is yet another very informative post, I really appreciate your effort and also the pains taken to put up quality contents.. Its just so wonderful and inspiring.

First of all, reading the 'relationship' part, the place where you said that heterosexual woman prefer being single than the male got my attention and I would love you to throw more light on that, maybe an experience.

Secondly, i have something to say about that the forgiveness part.

I am actually a forgiving person by nature but recently, well that was around early December last year, a girl took advantage of my friendliness and i got really angry with her.. She happens to be one of my closest friend back then but she acted so rudely to me one certain time and i couldnt bear it any longer.. To cut the long story short, i have forgiven her tho but i dont want to ever talk to her again, i hate when someone rubs me off my respect or takes my kindness for granted.

So pls, i would like to hear what you have to say on that.. I would have shared the whole story but my battery is really low.

Lastly @abigail-dantes i just wanna thank you deeply for all your efforts in enlightening many of us on this platform, you are really doing a great job. Keep it up!

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Hello my dear @happymichael.

I am fine (just feeling a little tired lately :)) and the family is also good. Thank you so much for asking. I trust you, your family and specially granny are doing well!

It always makes me smile to read your positive and motivating words about my posts. I could never thank you enough for always taking the time to stop by and give me encouragement! I truly appreciate your support.

Now, to your observations .... :)

the place where you said that heterosexual woman prefer being single than the male

Not prefer! :) The study states that they are 'better off' than man. And this is to do with general well-being. As it seems that married woman, particularly in relationships with children, have less time for themselves and stress more than single women. That makes sense right?

I am very proud to hear you are able to forgive the people who have hurt you. I am sorry to hear about the situation. But, I think that, in cases like this the best solution is really to part ways. You live your own life with no need to hold grudges or wish her anything bad. You have a good heart :)

I am sorry you haven't been able to find me on discord! I haven't had the time to spend a lot of time there lately! Oh God! :) But here it is my username: Abigail#0562. Just send me a friend request.

All the best to you always.
Take care my dear!

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Its actually nothing @abigail-dantes. And for my family, they are all okay and granny is doing well. Thks for asking, I really appreciate you for everything.

And yh yh it totally makes sense now.. Thanks so much for throwing more light on it tho.

About my situation, thanks for the solution. You are wonderful.

I understand about the situation of your work and how busy you always are. There is no p. But try not to over work yourself out pls.

I will send the request after this. I wish you the best too.

Finally, there is family, an element in life that can prompt both happiness and unhappiness from time to time.

Yeah. I concur. Family is everything, they say. However, part of it we have the good and bad actions they might have done intentionally or not.
Concerning forgiveness, recently I had someone that paid back good with bad, I felt very disappointed, heartbroken but not downcasted. However, I immediately waved it from my mind and relate with the person again on a more lower level than before anyways. Anytime that incident crosses my mind, I immediately diffuse it from my mind and focus on something else. I have forgiven the fellow and I am glad I did. Because I no longer harbour such grudges. Thank you for your wonderful post as always.

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Hello Dear @turpsy

I think the same could be said about close friends Turspy. But I haven't seen any research on that :P

I am sorry to hear you have been trough such disappointment really. Sometimes, it feels as if life doesn't give a break! But, I am truly glad to hear you have been able to manage your frustration towards the person in a healthy way. Also, thank you for sharing with us your strategy for dealing with it. Forgiving and focusing on something else, that is positive is a truly healthy practice for your mental well-being!

All the best to you my dear.
:)

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Thank you. Igualmente.

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Hi Abigail

Firstly, the level of quality in your work is off the scale here on the Steem Blockchain, and I thank you for raising the bar and giving us all something to aim for.

This is a really interesting piece and I found myself thinking 'ahh' and nodding in agreement with much of what is written.

It was enlightening to find out about the study that shows that single women find comfort and happiness when single due to the increased support level during these times.

I am wondering if the 'circumstances' percentage is larger for some people than others? I find that some people can be stopped in their tracks by large negative events, while others (after a short period of sadness) can pick themselves up quicker and get back on track, so to speak. Perhaps this 10% can be larger and eat into the ' 40% of intentional activities', which could indicate a more severe derailing if a major event occurred?

As always, following your articles, I am left with plenty of food for thought, and I shall take these thoughts to the beach today where I find it a good place to do some mulling. :)

A great piece, thank you!

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Hello @abh12345 :)

Firstly, the level of quality in your work is off the scale here on the Steem Blockchain, and I thank you for raising the bar and giving us all something to aim for.

This is a very kind thing for you to say. Thank you so much!

You have brought me a truly interesting question here :)

Perhaps this 10% can be larger and eat into the ' 40% of intentional activities', which could indicate a more severe derailing if a major event occurred?

In my opinion this is absolutely possible. Because, remember, following this model, the 40% is all about being proactive. So, yes, if one just remains within the pain without engaging with no intentional activity at all, the 40% becomes 'inactive' and 'overpowered' by the life circumstance (10%).

This is something I have seen a lot in people who have gone through break ups.

So, let say, woman A (real case) - Got divorced 9 years ago - life circumstance; but, unfortunately never engaged in any intentional activity to overcome this sad event. Instead, she has spent all this time bitter about her ex, his current wife and life style. A is fully functional, she has a job she likes, and her son is a good kid. But, she is totally entrapped by those ill-feelings, which has actually defined her and her life for the past decade.

Now, woman B (also real case) - Got divorced 6 years ago, grieved for nearly a year and then discovered she had to do something to stop thinking of past events. She started salsa lessons, she decided to 'transform' her garden etc... at one point she was taking so many different classes she was struggling to keep up with things. But then she found balance and continued with her gardening and Yoga lessons. Nowadays, she only really thinks of her ex because of her children.

The reason I feel comfortable comparing these two cases is because both women describe themselves as extraverts; and also, they both asked for a divorce for similar reasons. But you see how, as you point out, in one case then 10% 'ate' into the 40% share of the model?

We just need to understand that no one else is responsible for our own mental and subjective well-being :)

All the best to you.
Thank you so much for your kind words and for taking the time to read and comment!
:)

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It's my pleasure to try and make a valuable comment on your posts, they deserve as much!

.. following this model, the 40% is all about being proactive. So, yes, if one just remains within the pain without engaging with no intentional activity at all, the 40% becomes 'inactive' and 'overpowered' by the life circumstance (10%).

This helps me understand that the 40% in the model can be flexible and vary for person to person, and I've certainly felt this is the case looking at the people around me.

We just need to understand that no one else is responsible for our own , mental and subjective well-being :)

Responsible, no, but perhaps some (myself included) seems to let others have an impact on it more than others?

Thanks again for motivating our brains to think!

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Responsible, no, but perhaps some (myself included) seems to let others have an impact on it more than others?

Yet another good point here, which I agree with. And this is when factors such as personality come into play! :)

Subjectively, that's right, at least for me happiness does not mean being in a couple and extraversion does not guarantee happiness, I knew that in a harsh way. Actually now I am happier being single and it is precisely because of something that you comment, now I receive more support from my family and they are the most important to me.

I, in particular, see happiness as a decision, as something that we achieve depending on ourselves.

and I hope everyone will do those practices, so they can live in peace and without stress I know many people who live with hatred and thoughts of revenge and are not happy at all, they are consuming themselves.

I like very much that you share these subjects and as I have already told you it is a pleasure for me to read you, people in these times need to read productive things like these, that bring out all the good that we have inside.

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Oh, @cthkrn ... I can see you are the sort of person who has so much kindness in your heart! Your comments are always so positive and insightful. They are also very smart and add important points to whatever discussion we are having here.

Today, you have touched on something that I find particularly important. You said:

Actually now I am happier being single

People, sometimes, feel so pressured to be in a relationship that they forget that having a boyfriend or girlfriend is not the solution for everything. Like you said, achieving happiness, in many cases, can indeed be a decision we make! And now we even have scientific evidence to support this claim :)

Isn't that just simply wonderful and empowerful?

All the best to you always!

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Thank you very much for what you have said, I really think the same about you.

And yes, happiness itself should never depend on someone else, sometimes those people in search of a solution only bring many problems to their lives, because they are not prepared for a relationship, because when you have not learned to love yourself and value yourself , how do you do it with others?

And those are the words .. WONDERFUL AND POWERFUL!

The best for you and yours, have a nice and blessed weekend.

@abigail-dantes, thank you for this well-researched, well thought-out article. I've read several articles and blog posts online recently that describe the practice of gratitude and forgiveness as releasing the same brain chemicals that Prozac and Wellbutrin attempt to access.

Whether certain members of the scientific community choose to recognize anecdotal evidence or not, the fact remains that anyone can try this and notice a change. I'm sure there are outliers, and people who actively resist feeling better, but shifting one's focus can quickly shift one's sense of well being, in my experience.

Weaving in the real life example of George in between the scientific findings is a great way to tell a story. We remember stories more than facts, and I hope I'll remember what you said about George.

I used to have a game I played with my children that if they were complaining too much, I would stop and ask them to tell me 5 things that make them grateful in life. I think I'm going to have to start this again after reading your post. Thank you again.

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Oh @hollyup! Thank you for this most beautiful comment. I truly appreciate you taking the time to write down what you found valuable about my work. This is truly motivating! Your children are very lucky for having a dad that promotes such important practices and values in a such fun way! This is something that will only benefit them in the long term future as they most likely will enjoy high levels of subjective well-being :)

I wish you and your family all the best!
Have a great week ahead!

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Thank you for the compliment as well! I've followed you, and am looking forward to reading more of your work.

very good post for its content @abigail dantes. He taught me to see things that many people suffer daily for different facts and we do not realize that they are routine circumstances in people; From my point of view, happiness is something that all human beings want to be happy in marriage, in work, in economics among others, these are the aspects for a well-being and happiness with happiness; But the moment some of these factors fail, we tend to cause an imbalance in
Our life and we have to have the courage like Geoge because despite a situation so difficult for which he was spending the strength to maintain his happiness and move forward with his family.
Like I think that gratitude is also an important factor, we do not realize that we have to be grateful and above all with GOD, because it could be worse,
I have known people who have suffered accidents as in the case of Geoge and instead of recovering from this bad ciscurtance they have given themselves up to the pain they have died,
I think that before an accident we have to go through the period of mourning, but then we have to recover and give thanks for another opportunity in life and that is what positive psychology is about since it helps us see the positive aspects of life .

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Hello @urbano579 :)

Yes, I do agree as well with the process of grieving after either an accident or a loss. And I know for so some people overcoming that state is not an easy thing. However, both situations like that of George's and studies such as this shows us that is is possible to live a life of happiness and satisfaction even after life-changing circumstances. But, we need to be proactive about it!

Thank you for once again contributing to our debates with your insightful comments.
I wish you all the best!

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thanks to you abigail-dantes for your post that help us learn new things about psychology

That was a very interesting topic and once again i don't know where to start! hmm let's start with George. I believe that George as you mentioned in your previous post above everything accepted his ''problem'' and tried overcoming it not only for his sake and happiness but for his families and friends too. That's really amazing i think, because through this we can see and understand as you say too that family and in general relationships plays a very important role in overall happiness. Probably if he was alone in the world, the whole case would have been totally different!

Gratitude is another thing that can bring us closer and closer to happiness. If we just start appreciating the little things that happen and exist around us like having a healthy life, the nature, having kids,eating your favorite food,sleeping in your bed covered with your favorite warm blanket, go out for a coffee with your friends (the list goes on) our self happiness will improve as well as the feeling of joy that others will see around us. the whole concept is so simple but yet so hard to achieve and also haha i can relate with the experiment that after a while looked like an exercise!

Forgiveness at least for me is the hardest part. Although i can forgive a lot of things, when something is concerning my family,friends or have to do with big lies i can't forgive that person. I won't have hate as it will harm me too but i just consider that person like it doesn't exist in the world. The self-forgiveness part is whole other talk!

Where is today's excercise? :P

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Oh @filotasriza3, I am grateful for your invaluable and consistent support! You are amazing :) But, then again, look at how easy the good things in your life come to you (you have a good heart)! There is something you said here, that I found particularly beautiful:

sleeping in your bed covered with your favorite warm blanket

isN'T this something for us to be truly grateful for?

But, like you said, despite the simplicity of it all, it is not something easy to achieve. I suppose this is why we have to be proactive to embrace this sort of practice in our lives.

Forgiveness, of course, is a tricky one; especially, like you said when it is concerning someone else we love and big lies. Still, it is important to keep in mind that by simply not nurturing negative feelings is already a good step towards forgiveness. The way I personally see this is that, through forgiving,I am the main beneficiary! Both, mentally and physically speaking :)

As for today's homework. Well, I decided to give you guys a break. Ahahahahah

All the best to you my dear.
Have a wonderful weekend!
:)

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is this something for us to be truly grateful for?

I think i get how you mean this but i bear in mind that life is unfair when i am thinking it. I know that some simple things like that must be granted to everyone and we shouldn't just be thankful that we have such simple things that we all deserve. But thinking that life is unfair and one day without my fault i can lose everything, i grew to be grateful for those small things. you know how i mean it right?

And as always thanks for the reply!

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No, no, no @filotasriza3
PLEASE! That was a truly terrible typo! This is what I meant:

isn't this something for us to be truly grateful for?

Having a warm bed IS something I am grateful for and I hope everyone is too! For the very reasons you said, life is so unfair, and it is a good thing that you are grateful for the small things! I actually consider this a gift! GOSH that was the worst grammar mistake I could have possibly made! I am glad it was with you though, because I know now you will just laugh at me :P Ai, ai, ai

Lots of love to you my dear!

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hahaha let's pretend as it never happened :p

I think that in order to achieve sustainable happiness and psychological well-being, we must begin by working with ourselves, knowing ourselves, knowing that your life is going somewhere, that is, having a meaning, and the perception that personal growth is taking place. On the other hand we set out to enhance the taste of life, that is, to be present in your life, to pay attention to the extraordinary, through techniques that help us focus attention and our perception, as the theme of your life. previous, the MINDFULNESS.
Happiness is in our hands!

Thank you for sharing about this topic, it is good to follow people as wise as you, this content feeds and helps in great quantity, regards, dear Abigail! Have an incredible weekend ....

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Hello @karinavb :)

Well, thank you for always contributing to our debates with such meaningful words. I like how you said here:

we must begin working with ourselves

Absolutely, we are responsible for our own well-being and as such we must be proactive!

Thank you also for your warm wishes. I wish you a great weekend too :)
All the best!

Mrs. Abigail, it is really wonderful to read about these topics, several topics of which you have touched, they brought to my mind many people, especially in the part where you mention the family, I have seen with great sadness how everything is lost when the children. And the forgiveness that costs so much to some, and they live with thinking how to hurt those who hurt them, to live like that is really horrible, those people are never happy ...

I wish everyone could practice gratitude in their lives, see things in a positive way, everything is in ourselves.

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and they live with thinking how to hurt those who hurt them, to live like that is really horrible, those people are never happy ...

When I was writing this post I thought of someone in particular; now, reading your comment, that person came to my mind yet again! She is a wonderful woman and has done many good things in life. However, over the past 20 years she has lived resenting and angry with her ex-husband. She is just stuck in there and often blames him for her unhappiness.

She has consecutively failed to realize that she can be happy once again. Because like you said 'everything is inside us'!

All the best to you always :)

Excelente post @abigail-dantes, este articulo es de mucha importancia porque nos hace reflexionar sobre que estamos haciendo para hacernos responsable de nuestro bienestar emocional que nos lleva a la felicidad, al leerlo no podemos evitar hacer una revisión de nuestra vida, de nuestras actitudes, de qué manera reaccionaríamos ante ciertas situaciones no dejando de lado nuestros valores como aceptación, gratitud y el perdón. Saludos desde Venezuela.

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This feedback is wonderful @livia28. Thank you so much! :)

Forgiveness and letting grudges go is certainly something I need to work on. Other than that imo happiness is something you need to first find withinyourself. If you asked me, a serious health problem is one of the excuses I would accept from someone to not be happy. People like George are always an example I use to cheer up friends - in Vail - when they are down. If a wheelchair bound guy or someone with no limbs can be happy we have no excuse to let anything take us down.

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Even more so when we know we can improve our levels of subjective well-being by being proactive! I just find this a most empowering notion, and there are so many Georges out there to prove this right :)

I suppose that as long as you know there is still room for improvement, you are on the right way! I feel the same too; I sometimes find difficult to let things go.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment @trumpman
Lots of love to you :)

hello dear @abigail-dantes I hope you find yourself well, another very interesting and instructive post for all. in my case to have a quality relationship for me means having respect, economic stability, good communication and above all love. which results in a strong family that will overcome all obstacles and obtain full happiness. It should be noted that all this will also depend on our personality and attitude that we demonstrate with other people in our environment and mainly with ourselves.
The activities you mention as gratitude and forgiveness are the ones that make me a better person and feel good about myself because I know I am doing the right thing and it gives me an unequaled peace that I would not change. Greetings and may God bless you always!!!

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Hello Dear @rosnely

I am well and I trust you are too! :) You are such an enlightened person who always manages to bring a realistic, personal perspective to our discussions :) I just thing that there is nothing that people who have the ability to forgive and be grateful in this life cannot achieve. And this is because of all the positive feelings and emotions that fulfill their lives, which enables them to enjoy an overall stable mental-health!

All the best to you and your family always my dear.
Have a great weekend, filled with joy and peace.
:)

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thank you very much @abigail-dantes I hope you also spend a happy weekend, here in Venezuela from this Saturday until Tuesday are holiday days for the carnival, but even so our country is not for parties with all this bad situation in which we are living.

Being an extrovert leads to enhanced social relationships through networking, which leads to a satisfaction that can be equated with happiness. However, the opposite may not always be true - that introverts may have a degree of unhappiness due to being less social(or not social at all). Introverts may like solitude and that too brings about happiness in many individuals.

Another significant determinant of subjective well-being is work satisfaction, and this is not directly related with the pay-check; it is rather related with work content and healthy relationship with colleagues.

You're so right about this! A person may feel ecstatic after a promotion or a hefty pay raise but the happiness goes back to the base level - which is correlated with work satisfaction and the environment at the workplace.

I was reading a book, The How of Happiness by Sonja Lyubomirsky, in which she also writes that the set point cannot be changed but the happiness levels can be altered with the help of several induced factors. There are quite a few of them but you've summed it up with details quite well.

Further, in positive psychology, forgiveness is not solely about that person who has hurt you. It is also about forgiving yourself for a past wrongdoing.

This is so important, sometimes even more important than forgiving others, especially if a person holds himself/herself responsible for something serious.

This exercise asks participants to, just before they go to sleep, recall their day and pinpoint three things that went well for them, or that they felt grateful for.

I can fully attest to the benefits of this exercise - I have been doing it for the past two months(using an app on my smartphone, which has a reminder to make me do it!) and it has made me feel much better.

But, if you notice it is partly because, in their new life, they have embraced a cause, became charitable, and even don’t take things for granted anymore.

True that. I'll add to it and say that a person with a giving nature will feel much more happiness than others.

The naysayers of positive psychology are very harsh indeed.

The sceptics and naysayers, I think, are non-believers who need to read this article a few times more than others!

As usual, a great post! Keep them coming!! :-)

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I can fully attest to the benefits of this exercise - I have been doing it for the past two months(using an app on my smartphone, which has a reminder to make me do it!) and it has made me feel much better.

Oh my! How smart!! :) In one of your posts you told us about the app Calm. Is this the same one? I just find so incredible the way you bring technology and well-being together @maxabit!

Your last statement made my lauugh! Ahahah ...

All the best to you my dear :)

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Calm is an app used to help in meditation - but I don't need to use an app for it because I can do it naturally most of the time. For this exercise, I use an app called Coach.me which has this feature of setting reminders, and that helps in case I forget.

There are apps for just about everything now so it is only fair that I link technology with wellness.

You have very sharp memory indeed because I wrote that post a while ago!

I also appreciate the way you respond to every comment in such detail - you're a role model for Steemit users. When I want to coach newbies on how to go about acknowledging comments, especially when they have quite a few, I will point them to your blog. :-)

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OH! Thank you @maxabit!! You are awesome :))

Mi buena amiga @abigail-dantes, Dios todo poderoso la bendiga!
En mi caso particular es muy cierto cuando mencionó que el PERDÓN

En pocas palabras, el perdón es "dejar ir", y para muchos no es algo fácil de lograr.

Cosa que es muy cierta, yo pude sentir paz una vez que me perdone a mi misma ya que sentía ira u odio por la muerte de mi hermano, muchas veces pensaba si siendo el tan bueno, porque morir el y no las personas que hacían tanto daño, cuando tuve mi acercamiento con Dios pude entender muchas de estas cosas donde perdone en muchas ocasiones y pedí perdón por mi misma, haciendo recordar que tenia mucha familia a mi alrededor que me aman y me necesitaban, entrando aquí la GRATITUD, de ver todo lo que tenia a mi alrededor entre ellos el amor de mi madre y mi amado hijo y por supuesto la misericordia de Dios permitiéndome gozar de la bendición de una familia, entrando aquí a mi vida la aceptación de lo sucedido.

Muy gratificante su contenido me hace sentir que son los pasos que debía seguir y que hasta ahora lo he podido hacer adecuadamente. Un fuerte abrazo desde Venezuela mi querida @abigail-dantes.

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Dearest @jayoxaju

Thank you once more for your constant support and encouraging words!

haciendo recordar que tenia mucha familia a mi alrededor que me aman y me necesitaban, entrando aquí la GRATITUD, de ver todo lo que tenia a mi alrededor

This is so true! And it always makes me feel happy when I hear something like this. It is easy to just get buried in anger and resentment. Specially when something like the death of your dear brother happens. But, like you said, there are still so many things left in life that can makes us smile and feel privileged. The important thing is to not forget about them! After all your brother would not like to see you, or any member of your family, nurturing sad feelings and emotions.

Despite all difficulties, we have so much in life to be thankful for !

All the best to you and your beautiful family.
:)

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CIERTAMENTE, no estaba bien alimentar estos tipos de sentimientos que no solo me estaban afectando a mi sino también a mis familiares inmediato en este caso mamá e hijo, pero creo que es parte del duelo. Hoy pedo decir que estoy agradecida con Dios por todos los momentos ya sean tristes, alegres, buenos o malos tengo mucho que agradecer. Quizás ha escuchado en muchas oportunidades que sus escritos son buenos, quizás hasta incomparables pero de verdad le puedo decir ayudan mucho al alma y al espíritu.

Thanks @ abigail-dantes this post is very beautiful. Most of the time we look for happiness in vain things like money, but I do not think that is what gives us happiness, in the particular I think that happiness we provide it by being satisfied and feeling good about ourselves, in what way? well I think that forgiveness is one of the main ways.When we do bad things, that affects us greatly and sometimes we do not replenish ourselves but we continue to feed our souls with bad feelings, resentments and it is true we even think of revenge towards those who hurt us and we believe that in that way we are hurting them those who have offended or hurt us, we do not realize that we are the ones who hurt ourselves by getting sick spiritually and mentally, for this reason we live poorly, prisoners of unhappiness, hatred and other harmful feelings for our personal growth, it is best to forgive, so we liberate ourselves and also release the other, we have to learn to let go of situations, accepting what we step and recovering from them. I think that from the bad things that happen to us in this life we ​​can also get something good, bad experiences can also leave us a good teaching.Also be grateful with everything we have and with those around us

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Hello dear @mili2088 :)

You have provided a very insightful explanation of the feelings one nurtures when one finds difficult to forget. You are so right about you said here:

we even think of revenge towards those who hurt us and we believe that in that way we are hurting them those who have offended or hurt us, we do not realize that we are the ones who hurt ourselves by getting sick spiritually and mentally,

It would be good if one could channel the time and energy spent on nurturing such ill-feelings on making the effort to let go of certain things! Well, it is one of those things that is easier said that done.

Thank you for taking the time to stop by and contribute to our debates once more.
All the best to you :)

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Thanks @ abigail-dantes it's true it's easier to say than to do it, but we must get ahead in life for more than it hurts.

There's a lot more to happiness than fun, success and money, yes. Thanks for pointing that out and supplying so much valuable (and applicable) information!

Your story with the lottery winner reminded my of that scientifical study where they surveyed the connection between income and happyness, and they found that up to a years wage of somewhere around 60k dollars, people really got happier, as they had to worry less about daily needs. After that point, however, there was no connection whatsoever between income and happyness (I think to remember it even slightly decrease in average for the very rich, but I might be mistaken here).
This demonstrates that often, we set wrong goals and expectations that bar us from becoming happy.

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This demonstrates that often, we set wrong goals and expectations that bar us from becoming happy.

So true!

Thank you for taking the time to read and comment @sco :)

hi miss abigail , good evening from here, how are you today? i really got a lot of point in your new post

i think i can relate to what you mentioned that couple with small kids experience decline in relationship, i think that might be true for me. i got two little ones now our eldest is 10 already. and i am not sure why i think it does affect our relationship, maybe because we are more focus on the kids? but still we're in good terms i can say , but not really like what we are before.
And yes , i did remember your post about resilience before , like it's how we can adjust or accept or adapt difficulties in life?if i remembered it correctly hehe. I also want to say that i think my partner now maybe still have grudges from his past , and haven't totally done forgiveness , i believe forgiveness for himself , that's why we are so opposite , i actually tend to forgive very easy , and i would agree on your statement to, as myself as a proof, being forgiving makes me happier and healthier too, i just smile on problems and pray as well. and i am more like outspoken and he's not , i am not really sure if he prays too , hehe, me, i am always grateful to even small things happening to me everyday .And i also believe that happiness is innate, sometimes some people just need somebody to find it in him . I am amaze with how George accepeted what happened to him , move on in his life for the good of his family too, and how he is satisfied with what he has right now , and i can say that maybe George is happier than those who don't have wheelchair but still dont know how to accept , to be grateful to have true happiness .

I always live to read your post miss @abigail-dantes, and i wanna take this opportunity to thank you for always appreciating my post and the mini's , we love you and will always be thankful for that , it's big thing for homesteader mom like me , God bless you more eveeyday 😘❤️❤️❤️

PS : oh! almost forgot miss abi , my sister already arrived in the platform , the one i am telling you with thesame bame as yours, her account is @avhyaceulip

Stay awesome miss @abigail-dantes , me and the @mini-zephalexia and my sister @avhyaceulip loveyou and will support you always 👍👏❤️❤️❤️

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Hello Dear @zephalexia,

Good evening from here too :) I have had a busy, but good day. Thank you so much for asking you are very thoughtful!

and i am not sure why i think it does affect our relationship, maybe because we are more focus on the kids?

You are a smart young woman @zephalexia, this is indeed one of the reasons in the decline of the quality in marriage for some couples; but, with young children. Those who reported the same situation but have teenager kids the issue was more related with how the mother and the father disagreed about punishments, letting kids do or not do things etc...

Maybe your partner could reach some level of forgiveness through imagining it! He would feel so much better :) I am sure. And yes, George is indeed an amazing man. This is why I decided to share his example with you all here.

Thank you very much for your constant support! It means A LOT to me :)
ps: I will check your sister's blog when I have some free time!

I wish you & your family a lovely weekend filled with peace and happiness.
All the best to you always.
:)

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thanks ms. @abigail- dantes for your response, but you know he's just different on how he treat me now haha, not like when we were just boyfriends and girlfriends , but he's very good father, he play a lot and very cheerful to the kiddos , but his family told me that this is the normal him haha, because i tell some of our stories to his mom and sisters sometimes , when i am so anhry with him haha.

Happy weekend miss abi , stay beautiful and awesome .

PS : haha ,by the way , if you don't mind me asking , what is your nationality?

that was an amazing read! I send much grace to you and yours. never heard of the hedonic adaptation theory until now . I'm grateful for the info received !

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Thank you for taking the time to read and comment @wolfnworbeikood :)

Yes, the hedonic adaptation theory is a fascinating concept!

Best!

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Hey@abigail-dantes, thank you again for a thought-provoking and well written post! I was thinking about 'subjective well-being', I would think it is just that, subjective! George used as an example for 'sustainable happiness' in my humble opinion I get, however life teaches us that we are not indestructible, but rather total destruction of the old life is required to live a fulfilled life of purpose regardless of events that takes us there.

In other words, his disability has not stopped him from living a purposeful life of gratitude and where I'm sure happiness has replaced thoughts he may have had before his accident. Peace.

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Definitely agree with you on this. I had a conversation with a lady who owns our local pizza place about this topic. They lost everything they owned, including their house, due to massive fires we had some months ago. She has made peace with it, and it shows. It is truly beautiful when people find meaning in their own tragedies. They are realizations which redefine everything, for the better. Painful process but worth it.

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Yes, worth it, a necessary process indeed. Peace.

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Hello @fiercewarrior :) Well, another thought-provoking comment! I have come across many people who have this sort of attitude towards life - the 'I am indestructible!' one. There is a sense of entitlement and lack of humility in these people that truly bothers me!

Thank you for stopping by once again my dear.
I wish you all the best always :)

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I am honoured @abigail-dantes, thank you for your generosity. I agree with you, 'entitlement and lack of humility' suggests a lack of love for humanity -total SELF destruction. Peace.

Hi @abigail-dantes your ever supporting fan here. i promised that I will again pass by your blog and here I am. I'm in a state of euphoria right now. Like literally,because we are actually inspired by the same concept in Psychology which is Positive Psychology.

I would like to emphasize these wonderful words here that you gave magic:

But as the world becomes more of a secular place and values such as those seem to get diluted in the medium of modern life; positive psychology may just have come in time to rescue practices that will keep compassion alive among us.

I am always a believer in positivity. A promoter of genuine happiness and an advocate of well-being. I am fascinated with how you delivered this statement. It is definitely true that this world that we are living in is fixated with keeping up with the modern times and we tend to forget whats important... happiness and positivity. Good day @abigail-dantes 😀 Sending my love and gratitude from Philippines to Portugal.

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I send lots of love and immense gratitude back to you my dear @sakura1012
Have a wonderful evening and a great weekend!
:)

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Indeed it is! Congratulations for creating another remarkable post. 😀

Fantastic post.

Gratitude is very important. In modern life people critically compare themselves to others. Especially what others have and we lack. Envy cripples gratitude because it nullifies everything we have going for us. Envy becomes a vicious cycle and leads to a lot of negative thought patterns. Gratitude, on the other hand, is not just about being thankful for what you have. It's realizing and keeping track of things which others do not. Thus the focus shifts from the external to the internal. Gratitude also motivates us to be better and do better.

In addiction addicts are encouraged to practice gratitude. It entails a mental shift from blaming, being a victim and holding grudges (forgiveness?) to focussing on the positives. Although very simply put, it's difficult to completely word how freeing gratitude can be. It becomes easier to practise "intentional activities" when applying a grateful attitude because you feel that you're inherently worth investing in.

Forgiveness, wow, where does one start? Forgiveness means letting go and moving on. I've always thought about it this way: when you don't forgive, a part of you holds onto whatever the situation was and subsequently stagnates, or even 'rots'. A part of your identity is created through whatever grudge you hold and that part of, essentially, is founded on a lie. Let me use sexual abuse as an example: you cannot forgive a parental figure for the latter (which happened when you were a child) thus some part of you believes there was a 'truth' or 'meaning' attached to the event. In other words, you weren't worthy of love and protection (instead of just seeing the situation objectively). This lie somehow attaches to who you are, although it can be very subtle. Forgiving is a way to redefine events of the past and to see them for what they really were.

I like the part on intentional activities: once again (and you'll remember this) I like behaviourism in that it essentially revolves around empowering people. Intentional activities strives to do the latter. We are responsible for our own joy.

I always suspected something like hedonic adaptation existed though I've never come across a term to define the idea. This is fascinating and I believe in it, fully. Although your post touches on this, I would love to explore how we can increase this baseline over time so that the support level for hedonic adaptation, when we eventually drop down again, is always higher than the last time.

Thanks for the amazing post. I don't know much about Positive Psychology but most of it really rings true to me. I look forward to learning more from your work in Positive Psych.

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you cannot forgive a parental figure for the latter (which happened when you were a child) thus some part of you believes there was a 'truth' or 'meaning' attached to the event.

I was going to say this reminds me so much of behaviourism; and then, in the following paragraph you said 'I like behaviourism' :) (me too!).

how we can increase this baseline over time so that the support level for hedonic adaptation, when we eventually drop down again, is always higher than the last time.

Based on this study this can be achieved trough continuously engaging with intentional activities; the believers of this model go as far as to say that this provides 'chronic happiness'.

This is a very beautiful comment @rionpistorius :)
Thank you so much for taking the time to share your thoughts on this. I feel that tere is so much that can be learnt through what you have to tell us.

All the best!

Once again your post never ceases to educate. Balance is indeed needed if we must live a fulfilling life. Most times people think that money will make them happy, but it only ends up making them miserable, but this doesn't mean that money is not important but we have to keep money in its place. In the case of George i guess acceptance is one of the main reasons why he is able to move on from the incident that happened to him.

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Dear @leczy :)

Thank you for taking the time and once again delivering such motivating, kind words!

I do agree with you. Money is indeed important and this is something that was reflected on the study conducted on the married couples. Financial stability was on the top of their list of factors that determine satisfaction. Some people feel uncomfortable with this sort of statement; but I just see it as realistic, really!

Yes, you are right! I also thing acceptance is a huge element when practicing forgiveness :)

I wish you a wonderful weekend my dear!
I hope you are healthy and fine :)

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thank you, yes i am fine, hope you are doing good as well. please keep posting articles like this, they are a source of encouragement

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Hola mi estimada Doctora @abigail-dantes! Su articulo aclaro ciertas dudas al respecto, como por ejemplo de como priorizamos la felicidad el hombre y la mujer, en mi caso para mantener la felicidad mi prioridad es la económica, por que con ello puedo mantener otros aspectos en el ámbito matrimonial, tales como: la alimentación, la salud, la vestimenta, es decir estabilidad en el hogar, usted me preguntará aja y la emocional y la sexual? bueno! para priorizar mi felicidad y la de mi conyugue en esos aspectos, tengo que estar psicológicamente tranquilo en el aspecto económico, es decir no tener estrés pensando en asuntos financieros para poder entregarme en los deberes conyugales.
Ahora bien en el caso de mi esposa es distinto, para que yo me tranquilice por asuntos económicos, ella prioriza la felicidad en estos dos aspectos en lo emocional y sexual! que tremendo es todo esto, quede totalmente sorprendido y entendí el porque esta actitud!
Con respecto al caso de George me identifico mucho con el, porque por causa de un accidente padezco de epilepsia, pero eso no me ha limitado en ninguna de mis capacidades físicas y mentales, tampoco las personas a mi al rededor me tienen por menos, todos saben mi condición, mis capacidades y limites.
Ahora hablando del perdón, cabe destacar que soy el culpable de mi propio accidente al columpiarme en una litera a la edad de 8 años, hace mucho tiempo decidí perdonarme y vivir con ello, porque imagínese se me aislara en una depresión por tal causa? aun me gustan los columpios y disfruto con mis sobrinos en un parque, así como en su post pasado la Aceptación, Conciencia y Estar Presente, forman un todo también para la felicidad plena y sostenible.
Un placer para mi volverla a leer y aprender con sus conocimientos, con cariño si amigo @javisem.

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Aren't we (men and women) so different from each other? It is incredible!

para priorizar mi felicidad y la de mi conyugue en esos aspectos, tengo que estar psicológicamente tranquilo en el aspecto económico, es decir no tener estrés pensando en asuntos financieros para poder entregarme en los deberes conyugales.

Your priorities however, are totally in line with Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs

1024px-Maslow's_Hierarchy_of_Needs.svg.png

Our priorities in order to achieve self-actualization should be met from bottom to top. You see, how security (of resources) comes before love? ;) Just, don't tell your wife I told you this! :D

I just think there is something really special about people like you and George, Javier. There is nothing someone who can forgive, who is mindful or who is grateful in life cannot achieve. But, the greatest achievement that someone like you and George can get to in inner peace. And that is just wonderful!

All the best to you always :))

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EL secreto esta bien guardado, esta publicación me emocionó mucho me he visto en un espejo y he visto en un espejo a mi esposa, puedo estar tranquilo y decir que todo esta bajo los parámetros naturales de conducta de acuerdo a la situación, un placer interactuar nuevamente con usted, me declaro su paciente número 1 y gracias una vez mas por su apoyo en mis publicaciones. Saludos cordiales siempre esta usted en las oraciones de @jayoxaju y en las mías. :*

There are so many gifts to be grateful for. What if Western Culture could collectively pay attention to all of the gifts we take for granted on a daily basis? Naming three things you are grateful for in your immediate environment is a great daily practice for everyone - the more obscure/granular the better. This practice will reflexively induce an increase in social awareness as well. @abigail-dantes

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Thank you @advocate4autism :)
Yes, isn't it interesting how we need to be informed and almost 'pushed' to be grateful? I just sometimes ask myself why these positive practices don't come naturally to most of us. But, it may be because of societal values.

Thank your for taking part in this debate :)
Best.

Without knowing George, I could tell he is the type of man I like. He is a strong man who knows the best way to move forward from a mishap is to move forward. It is like an incident I witnessed when I was little. A boy was sent to buy a crate of egg, he tripped on the dirt road and broke all the eggs. He quietly picked up the empty carte of egg and went home.

A man that saw what happened went and reported him to the dad. He said the boy is callous and didn't show any emotion on the broken eggs.

I did not understand what the man wants the boy to do. I think the boy acknowledged the loss in his way and decided to move on. Crying or showing other forms of grief will not bring back the eggs.

But some just love to dwell so much on past event they forget to live their lives.

Thanks so much for your insightful post. It just made the Friday traffic worthwhile as I am typing this on a bus on my way home :)

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Ooohhhhh and this is what I call positive psycholoy: turning traffic hours into something worthwhile! Beautiful, Green 😊
The story of the boy and the eggs is so touching! And I just hoped from the bottom of my heart his dad understood his way of dealing with that difficulty.

Thank you for your beautiful support always my dear.
I wish you a wonderful weekend ❤️

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I'd say you helped make an otherwise agonising hour not so agonising. Thank you too and do have a wonderful weekend too.

Very interesting, as always. I've been a life-long introvert - extremely introverted, that is, until I met someone and became involved in a quality relationship. Once that happened I would say my level of happiness did increase and also, oddly enough in light of your post, my level of extroversion increased, too! Abigail, I love your posts! Thanks for another good one!

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Ha! Incredible what you just said here about the shift in your personality traits @geke! Like with every other thing in psyhcology there are those who believe that personality is fixed and those who don’t. I don’t! And now, your comment just demostrates a little more evidence towards that! Wonderful 😃. I love your comments Geke!! Thank you for your invaluable support always! ❤️

From this post is sounds like emulating Ned Flanders is the way to go :) Still, its nice to know that focusing on the positive may be a viable solution to dealing with trauma or disability. Thanks for posting!

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Ahahahaha Ahahahah

Thank you for stopping by once again and taking the time comment @tking77798

All the best to you :)

Hello @abigail-dantes, it is really wonderful to read about these topics, several topics that you have touched, made me think of many people. When I was writing this publication, I was thinking about someone in particular; Now, reading your publication Most of the time we seek happiness in vain things like money, but I do not think that is what gives us happiness. Thank you for your poss. We are filled with wisdom to all thanks.

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Thank you for stopping by once more and providing your feedback on my work @darwin-a. Your words are always very kind and encouraging and I thank you for that!
Best :)

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You're welcome @abigail-danteses a pleasure to visit and read your excellent publications.

Interesting post, something to think about. I once read an article about the winners of lotteries, they usually end badly, especially for those, who won large sums. Of course, there are exceptions to every rule.
I agree, that my level of happiness is least affected by life circumstances. Although for some, unexpected material benefits can be an impetus for a new life.

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Hello @naditinkoff

Thank you for your insightful comment and for sharing the information about the lottery winners. I am not saying money is not important, or even essential, in our lives; but I just think that in general people are looking for happiness in the wrong things 'beauty', 'material goods', 'partying' ... I just something ask myself if this will ever change!

I wish you all the best :)

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Thanks for the reply! I agree with you! After all, many people think, that they will get an inheritance or win the lottery and things will change. But it is not. The inner state, the perception of the world must change. With best regards)

I've never tried to really practise gratitude, so I can't say anything about it, but I can absolutely relate to the aspect of forgiveness.
Being angry all the time about something, which happened ages ago, will not change anything. You only feel miserable all the time and prevent any possibility of repairing the damage done. In almost every situation it's probably better to step back a bit, breathe and regain some focus.

Fun fact: Most people are quite annoyed by this way of dealing with dispute - they are expecting you to be angry and hateful, but instead you are just smiling and stay calm.

Additionally, I'd like to point out, that regular exercise seems like another way of improving your overall mental well-being. I've read some studies about its effectiveness, where it improved the mood of people suffering from major depression even more than a medical treatment. Seems to be an easy way of increasing ones own happiness :)

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Hello @egotheist :) How nice to see your insightful and also informative comment here!

Yes! I totally agree with the info you brought too us here about exercising! Among psychologists it is sometimes even regarded as a 'natural anti-depressant'. I think this is something I should write about sooner than later here.

I enjoyed reading your fun fact! It is so true. I also find very important what you said here about being angry:

will not change anything. You only feel miserable all the time and prevent any possibility of repairing the damage done.

will not change anything. You only feel miserable all the time and prevent any possibility of repairing the damage done.

This is such an obvious thing; but, some people will just remain so entrapped within the walls of those sort of negative feelings that they just cannot see the obvious.

All the best.
I wish you a wonderful weekend :)

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You are welcome :)

Yes! I totally agree with the info you brought too us here about exercising! Among psychologists it is sometimes even regarded as a 'natural anti-depressant'. I think this is something I should write about sooner than later here.

I used some of the studies as references in one of my articles - if you need some additional material, just write me on Discord :)

Btw: Reading your articles, I somehow start to regret, not finishing my psychology studies :D

Wish you an amazing weekend as well!

I think the subject is very interesting, and my opinion is that extroverted people just because they are the way they are, are not afraid to say what they feel and get something personal, without fear of being reprimanded, they are fearless people who do not have it. Fear of expressing and offering their feelings and emotions, are people who generally reach their fixed goals due to their way of being and who can have many friends easily due to their ease of communication. It seems to me that everyone should be like that and be a better world without falsehood and resentment. Greetings and I look forward to your next publicatio and you have my vote.

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Thank you for taking the time to read and comment @antoniodpz.

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Thanks to you for giving something to the community and I hope you continue like this, if you have time, I invite you to see some of my publications and comment on them. Regards.
https://steemit.com/biology/@antoniodpz/harmful-or-beneficial-microorganisms

Thanks @abigail-dantes for this informative and highly professional article. As I have some difficulties processing the concept of satisfaction set point, I have a couple of questions here:

1- Are people clueless about 50% of their happiness?
2- Could this "set point"be an indication of something else? Like, how someone relates to his core values or how he used to perceive himself in the first place?

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Hello @alignment :)

Thank you for commenting and discussing this topic further!

Let's see if I can answer your questions in a satisfactory way:

1- I believe most people are not aware of the fact that we have an innate pre-disposition to feeling happy, which actually is the starting point of our well-being.

2- Please note that the set point in this study refers to genetics. I other words, biological mechanisms within our bodies that helps us experience high or low levels of well-being. For example, more or less activities in the pre-frontal cortex, or even hormonal activities.

So, what you mentioned about self-perception is more of a social aspect and would rather fit under the 'life circumstance' portion of the chart!

I hope I have helped to clarify this for you :)

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Could this be a reason why some people keep complaining and never feel satisfied whatever they get. And this means we can’t blame them for never feeling good enough.

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This is a good question @alignment! This could be a reason, yes; but, for not feeling entirely satisfied. As for complaining, my personal view is, that it can be a quite bad habit to have. I know a couple of people like this! Ahaha

Also, personally, I don't don't blame people for never feeling good. But, I must admit that I do get frustrated with people who just won't even try to do things to make them feel better! One needs to be proactive about one's own well-being.

Otherwise, who else will be?

:)

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You know!! even if this idea of satisfaction set point is true, people shouldn't be told about it. think of those feel bad and believe that it is their innate biology will be very hopeless. Those who are used to blame circumstances will never find something to blame better than their set point. it is something like death sentence.

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The purpose of this study is precisely the opposite. As it has found that despite what our biology has predetermined for us, we can still be proactive and be in charge of our subjective well-being through our life circumstances and intentional activities! May I ask you why you have chosen to look at only one half of the chart and not the whole picture? :)

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The chart indicates 10% circumstances, 40% intention and 50% set point which is genetically predetermined. which for my understanding means we have no control over that 50%.

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Oh no! Please, can you be so kind as to read this part of the post again :)

Does that mean they are determined to live a life of low subjective well-being that is 10% dictated by life circumstances and 50% by genetics? Well, not according to this model, which leaves us with 40% of intentional activities. And this is where we can become proactive and take responsibility for our own well-being. This refers to us engaging, and committing to practices in life that will result in improved levels of happiness and mental-health. It counterbalances hedonic adaptation and delivers the means for us to change our levels of overall satisfaction beyond what is pre-set biologically and imposed by circumstances in life.

Hopefully this will help to change your understanding towards the positive message this study has brought :)

hello miss @abigail-dantes , you were introduced to me by my sister @zephalexia , she always feel good when she tells me about you because like what she told you , we got same name , abigail , and the fun side is i have a crush on Pinoy celebrity , dingdong dantes , so my sister is teasing me like i am abigail dantes , and i keep telling her yea that's me . i am just so happy that my sister also found a virtual sister like you in here

Regarding your post miss abigail , in my own life , i got a lot of things to be grateful for , my original family , my husband and my one and only son . And yes our well being would depend on different aspects of life and would also depend on how a person will take matters into hand . Happiness is just there inside us , all we need to do is accept whatever status we are right now, be contented and happiness will follow

this post is so motivational and informative too. God bless miss @abigail-dantes 😊

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Hello Abigail! :D

It is a pleasure to finally meet you :), @zephalexia has told me you had joined the platform! I am very grateful for your very positive comment! Thank you :) I am also glad you found the post useful!

All the best to you, your husband and son :)
Hope to see some spicy food recipes on your blog! I love spicy food too. But not too spicy, though :P

George is a really strong man, he didn't let the accident deter him from pursuing things he is interested in. That is the kind of spirit I want to develop, not to let unforeseen events paralyse my activities.

A friend of mine, named Nosa faces a much more sad event in his life. About two weeks ago, armed robbers attacked his home. While trying to check who was banging the gate, his mum was shot. His dad proceeded to check through their burglary proof what made the sound, he was shot too. My friend and his younger siblings had to hide in their rooms. After the armed robbers left the house, they raised alarm and rushed both parents to the hospital. His dad had already died before they got to the hospital, his mum is still receiving treatment in the hospital.

I was really surprised to see Nosa resume school on monday, he still does his normal daily routine. He does not feel sad around me, so I try not to bring the issue of his parents up (though I try to ask stylishly). Some days ago, he also resumed activities on his Steemit account (I introduced him to Steemit some time last year).

As a psychologist, how can you suggest I help him emotionally during this period? He is a really good friend of mine, I have known him for over 10 years.

Thanks for what you do. Your articles are always really educative, I learn from them every time. I would be anticipating your reply.

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Oh my @jaff8, I have no words to express how sorry I feel for your friend. But, I find comfort in knowing he has you as a friend, who I know, will be there for him. On a post I wrote not long ago, about depression, I mentioned how important it is to just let people be for a while. Especially after traumatic events such as this.

In my humble opinion you are already adopting the right approach to help him, through giving him space but also showing your concern for him. It is a good thing that he is still managing to keep his activities going, and I am sure he knows you will be there for him whenever he needs extra support. You are already helping him Jaff!

May your friend and you find peace in the midst of this situation.
Thank you for stopping by :)

my friend as always is a pleasure to enjoy his post that gives us a teaching every time we read it. all these factors that expressed in the subject are in agreement with the moment and the circumstance that it has had to live, some manage to recover after an event as tragic as it happened to George.
everything plays a fundamental role in the architecture of happiness for example in my case when my children were born that increased the quality in my relationship totally different to how it happened in the research that you put in your post that decreased your relationship.
to end the forgiveness I am one of those who thinks that every human being to live in peace and follow their path must forgive and forget in order to release the anger and as you say alleviate the feelings.
Greetings @abigail-dantes to you and your family God bless you