Happiness Information


Getting Connected


"The foolish man seeks happiness in the distance, the wise grows it under his feet." -James Oppenheim

Today is very special. Besides being your "un-birthday", it's the first day of the rest of your life.

We've all heard that one. We acknowledge the wisdom and move on --- checking our watches and calendars to see how long before the "good stuff" starts happening.

Our impatience and anxiety prevent us from focusing our awareness on "now". As a result we never discover it's full potential or give ourselves permission to enjoy it.

We recognize many important holidays on the calendar; Christmas, New Years etc...and these are the times when we have permission to celebrate.

Surprisingly, many people report having "depression" around the holidays. Could it be that our enjoyment muscles have grown flabby or that we've been driving ourselves nuts to get there.

Just as we don't have permission to enjoy "now", we also don't have permission to enjoy "here". We can't wait to go on vacations to visit the "good places"

We're certainly not allowed to enjoy our jobs. We want to move on so that we get to be with the "smart people".

Within any given day, certain places and times are more important than others: --- getting to work --- and once we're there --- getting home. Meal times are "biggies" --- important events. Is it any wonder that many of us have weight problems.

Where am I going with this? We shouldn't go to work? We shouldn't eat?

No. Go ahead and do all those things. You'll do them much better when you learn to slow down and connect. The difference is that you'll feel better about things.

Connect to what?

To "here" and "now": Our immediate experience separated from what the Zen masters call "the monkey mind" --- our obsessive conceptualizing and labeling of things.

The ability to practice "non-thinking" and focus on immediate experience is called "mindfulness". In other words, when you're washing the dishes, you're washing the dishes.

Non-thinking is not easy. It's a habit which has to be learned. The key is attention to our breathing. It provides something on which to focus.

Starting your day with a daily "non-thinking" exercise or meditation is the best thing you can do if you want to connect. It provides a fresh image of what it feels like to relax. You can accomplish this in as little as ten minutes or even less once you're used to it.

Just find a comfortable spot and relax. Clear your mind of all thoughts --- even the one's you think are important. Pay attention to your breathing. Don't force it. Your body knows how to breathe without you telling it to. Just go along for the ride. But, breathe through you nose. For some reason it helps. If thoughts intrude (and they will!), simply redirect your attention to your breathing.

If you're unsure about how long you should do this, just set an egg timer for ten or fifteen minutes.

If you'd like more detailed instructions and some good tips, try Christopher Calder's excellent site, The Meditation Handbook.

Many schools of thought hold that what you are connecting to when you meditate is much, much, more than just relaxation. I tend to agree. But, expectations can be very distracting when you're getting started. It's important that while you're meditating you feel whatever it is you feel. Not, what someone tells you you're going to feel.

Once you get the hang of it, you'll have a wonderful way to start your day. You'll also learn eventually how to "re-connect" throughout your day --- take little "vacations" --- any time you want. They won't cost a dime and you'll feel better about things.

Bob Steinman (AKA 'Feelbetterman') resides in Orlando, Fl. with his wife, 13 year old son, and a totally spoiled female Shih-Tzu. He is retired following consecutive careers in academics and human services. Presently he aspires to write a definitive self-help book which will present his unique perspective on how to live in harmony with ourselves and our life situations. His web site,Feel Better about Things provides a means to fine-tune his writing and also communicate with those who have interest in his work.


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The Independent

Brits would be happier if they were paid an extra £508 per month, study finds
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A poll of 2,000 adults revealed money really can buy you happiness - but in contrary to common belief we don't need millions to put a smile on our faces. More than three quarters of those who took part said they would be happier if they had more money ...
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The Good Men Project (blog)

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I created the brand to help people define their finish line, which is a lifestyle filled with happiness. Happiness is subjective. If you do not believe me, ask someone living in a different part of the world. Last month, I had an appointment with the ...



CNBC

How to 'unfollow' your way to success and happiness, according to guru Gabby Bernstein
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Though she's a guru who with a cult following who has been featured on Oprah and The Dr. Oz Show, Gabby Bernstein says she still suffers from judging others. That bad habit has made one of the most prominent self-help gurus in America right now unhappy ...



Third Class can't hide happiness on new album
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Third Class may be evolving as a band, but its music remains as personal and poetic as ever. The melodic Youngstown-based rockers consistently turn out beguiling collections of songs, and its new album, “Poem Idea,” is no different. The new release is ...



Nigeria Today

Six weeks after, Imo Ministry of Happiness has no office, staff
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Barely six weeks after Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State established the Ministry of Happiness and Purpose Fulfillment headed by his sister, Ogechi Ololo, the ministry is yet to secure an office. Similarly, Ololo is yet to get additional staff ...
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BBC News

Happiness Scrapbook: International journey to happiness - BBC News
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One young man's quest to find the answer to eternal happiness takes him on a journey.

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Salt Lake Tribune

Elizabeth Smart tells siblings rescued from Calif. home: 'There is happiness in the future'
KSL.com
"I would want them to know that they survived, they did it, and that life is not as dark and as terrible as it has been probably for their entire life," Smart said. "There is happiness in the future and they can go on to have wonderful lives. This does ...
Elizabeth Smart to California children allegedly kept prisoners by parents: 'There is happiness in the future'Salt Lake Tribune

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Ladders

Happiness hack: One ritual that made me much happier
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Since 1938, researchers have been following 724 men, tracking their physical health as well as social habits. Robert Waldinger, the study's current director, said in his recent TED Talk, “The clearest message that we get from this 75-year study is this ...



New York Post

The secret to happiness is shockingly mundane
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The ingredients to a happy life are something people spend their entire lives searching for, but new research reveals that they might be easier to find than previously thought. According to a new study, only one in four people would classify themselves ...



Marketing Interactive

Fortune Pharmacal rolls out 'happiness currency' to highlight the greatest wealth
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Hong Kong pharmaceutical company Fortune Pharmacal (幸福醫藥) has coined “happiness currency” (幸福多拿) to encourage people to submit and share their happy stories in a bid to rediscover the true meaning of “fortune” – and before you ask: no, it's not ...


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