Contentment.

Sunday Inspiration.     Post by David Joel Miller.

Contentment

Contentment
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Contentment.

“If you look for perfection, you’ll never be content.”

― Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina

“When you are content to be simply yourself and don’t compare or compete, everyone will respect you.”

― Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching

“Good friends, good books, and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life.”

― Mark Twain

Wanted to share some inspirational quotes with you.  Today seemed like a good time to do this. If any of these quotes strike a chord with you, please share them.

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Contentment

Sunday Inspiration    Post By David Joel Miller.

Content

Content
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

“The greatest wealth is to live content with little.”

― Plato

Wanted to share some inspirational quotes with you.  Sunday seemed like a good time to do this. If any of these quotes strike a chord with you please share them.

Contentment

Sunday Inspiration      Post By David Joel Miller.

Contentment

Contentment
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

“Because one believes in oneself, one doesn’t try to convince others. Because one is content with oneself, one doesn’t need others’ approval. Because one accepts oneself, the whole world accepts him or her.”

― Lao Tzu

Wanted to share some inspirational quotes with you.  Sunday seemed like a good time to do this. If any of these quotes strike a chord with you please share them.

Feeding Your Happiness Diet

Are you ready for a high-happiness diet?

Happiness Diet

Happiness Diet
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

This time of year resolutions is almost gone. The plans to diet, exercise and self-improve are almost out of season now. Did you start out saying this was the year you went on a high happiness diet? How are you doing on creating that happy life? Many of the same things that make diets successful will make that happy life project work better also.

Make room for healthy, happy experiences but cutting out the junk stuff.

Cutting out junk food will improve your physical health. What are the junk things you are doing that are keeping you unhappy? Are there activities or people which you need to get out of your life to create a happier you?

If you don’t clean out the garbage in your house your living space becomes unhealthy. There are probably things in all our emotional lives that need tossing out. Get rid of excess anger and ruminations to make room for happy experiences.

You can’t eat all your happiness at one meal.

You need to eat every day. For a happy life take in some happiness each and every day. You need to eat a sensible diet every day. For the maximum happy life, you will need to incorporate small doses of happiness every day.

Do not think that one huge dose of happiness will satisfy you for the rest of your life. Watch for the small things that build your healthy happiness. That good job or new relationship may make you happy for a while but you will need to maintain that relationship and keep up a positive view of that job or soon those things that were supposed to make you happy will fade into extra weight around your emotional middle.

Avoid bingeing on negativity.

Binge eating is bad for your physical health. Bingeing on negative thoughts is bad for both your mental health and your physical health. You can’t load up on negativity and unhappy thinking all day and then expect one positive event to make your day happy.

To build a happy life you need to consume small snacks of happiness all day long. Don’t waste time on negativity. Solve the problems that can be solved and accept the things that are out of your control.

Watch for the little things in life that bring the smiles. Laugh a little at frequent intervals.

Practice healthy happiness skills.

There are those things that can pretend to make you happy, the happiness imposters. Drugs, alcohol, and lots of selfish pursuits try to pretend they will make you happy. Really happiness grows from using positive, safe coping tools each and every day.

If you run by those bursts of happy feelings you will miss them. Do things that make you happy. Appreciate those things. Repeat as needed.

Stay off the happiness scale.

Constant measuring, asking if you are happy enough, can impede the growth of real happiness. Focus on maximizing your happiness not measuring it. Do not dwell on what is missing in your life. Make plans to fill up those shortages and then focus on the journey.

Too much checking the map can keep you from making progress on the journey of life. Take those periodic inventories of your life, but day-to-day keep working on making progress on your goals.

Make being happy part of your daily routine.

Do not put off being happy till later. Spend a few minutes each morning telling yourself that some good things will happen today. Watch for the things that make your day better. Say nice things to yourself.

What things can you do for yourself each day that makes you happy? Pet the dog or cat and tell them that it is nice to see them.

Create happiness rituals.

Work small rituals and routines that increase your happiness into your day. Say an affirmation, make yourself a treat. Schedule time for a cute-cat-video to start your day.

Practice your religious or spiritual tradition. Say Hi to your higher power and expect that you will get a Hi and some love back. Prayers do not need to be long or complicated to keep you in touch with your source of strength and love.

What small thing could you do each day to get your day off to a great start?

To develop maximum happiness make friends with your emotions.

Do not let sad feelings, loneliness or depression take over control of your life. Do learn to listen to your feelings. If something is not making you happy ask yourself why? Is this about the thing, the job, the relationship, or is it about me.

Unhappy people are unhappy everywhere no matter what happens. Happy people grow that happiness and weed out the things that are sapping the strength from their life.

Develop the skill of being happy.

Being happy is not a result of chance. People win the lottery and still many are not happy. Love comes and it goes. Wherever you go, you are there. Learn the skill of seeing the best in the situation you are in while working towards having the life you want.

Happiness is not a destination; it is a lifetime journey.

Want to sign up for my mailing list?

Get the latest updates on my books, due out later this year by signing up for my newsletter. Newsletter subscribers will also be notified about live training opportunities and free or discounted books. Sign up here – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse and Co-occurring disorders see the about the author page. For information about my other writing work beyond this blog check out my Google+ page or the Facebook author’s page, up under David Joel Miller. Posts to the “books, trainings and classes” category will tell you about those activities. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books

How will you feel when you feel better?

By David Joel Miller.

You feel bad – you want to feel better – but how do you know when you get there.

Feeling Better

Feeling Better

We all know what it is like to feel bad. When we start feeling bad most of us instinctively want to feel better. But how do you get from bad to feeling better. And if you head off in a direction how will you know if this is taking you where you want to be.

Not everyone feels the same when they feel “bad” so the solution to changing how you feel may be different for each of us.

What is the feeling that you need more of in your life to move from feeling bad to feeling better?

Too much excitement becomes stress. Too much relaxation can turn into boredom. If you are feeling badly there just might be a lack of one of these other feelings in your life.

1. Contentment.

Contentment is the ability to enjoy where you are and what you have, now in the present. It is easy to spend your whole life running after more of this and less of that when what really matters, you, is always there.

Practice the art of contentment and you will feel less of a need for something else to make you feel “good.”

The stress created by chasing something, something else, to make us happy is the very thing that gets in our way. So rather than going after more of this or that consider stopping to enjoy what you have. Contentment, one way of understanding it anyway, is to stand still and enjoy where you are. Life will keep moving on and you will never be the same you that is there right now.

2. Relaxed.

Few people in western society are able to feel relaxed. Relaxing is something you can do any time and any place if you learn the skill. Being relaxed is not the same feeling as being drugged out, drunk or unconscious.

Relaxed is a combined state where both the mind and the body come together to release the stress and the worries that become such heavy burdens.

It does not help if while we are doing throughout our day we are always rushing to get somewhere where we will be able to relax. Work on being able to relax any time and any place.

3. Excited.

Ever watch little children play? They can become excited at the smallest things. If we restrict our focus, the things that bring us pleasure and excitement, to a few items, there will never be enough.

Work on getting excited whenever you do whatever it is you do.

4. Loving.

Practice the art of loving. Love yourself first and foremost. If you don’t like you no amount of love from anyone else will fill up that leaking container.

Love works better as a verb. Love and be loved. Try to make it a noun, I have love, I want more love and you may never get enough. Practice loving were you are, who you are with, the things you do and especially yourself.

If you are not able to love, let it go. You can’t do enough to get others to love you. They either do or don’t. Be the best person you can be and love yourself in the process.

That does not mean being selfish. Giving can make you happy also. Just make sure you are not giving yourself away. Being loved should not have a price. If you try to buy love, that is another thing.

5. Caring.

Want to feel good, care a lot. Care about yourself, do self-care whatever that means to you. Don’t know how to do “self-care?” Make that a top priority. Love yourself enough to take care of yourself.

Care about others around you. Care about life and living a good one. If you find yourself no longer caring. Work on finding something to care about

Saying “I don’t care” most often means you do care but are afraid to let yourself do so because you may be disappointed. Let yourself care but accept that the way things are is the way they are.

Remember that old prayer. Change what you can and accept what you can’t. The task of living is to learn the difference.

Want to sign up for my mailing list?

Get the latest updates on my books, due out later this year by signing up for my newsletter. Newsletter subscribers will also be notified about live training opportunities and free or discounted books. Sign up here – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse and Co-occurring disorders see the about the author page. For information about my other writing work beyond this blog check out my Google+ page or the Facebook author’s page, up under David Joel Miller. Posts to the “books, trainings and classes” category will tell you about those activities. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended books.

More on how to be happy

By David Joel Miller.

What does happy look like?

Happy is one of those things we talk about, we all say we want it, but when it comes down to the directions on getting from here to happy, we are all  fuzzy on just how you get there.

Does this look like happy?

Happy Life

Happy Life.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

It may well that you can’t get there from here. Maybe you need to first go somewhere else, like contentment and then you turn right or is it left? And yes happy is right around the corner from contentment.

Happy may well be the last street after acceptance and serenity.

Since happy is so hard to describe we might do better when we see it.

Here are a few photos that could start you on the road to becoming an expert on happy. Knowing what to look for couldn’t hurt. We all used to know what happy looked like once, even if we never actually felt that way.

Happy cat

Happy cat

 

Happy Cat. Maybe, this is a Zen master cat and has mastered no attachment, or maybe this cat just doesn’t care.

Not sure how we would know if a cat were happy. Maybe by the purring?

I asked my cat but she is ignoring me.

 

Happy child

Happy child
Photo courtesy of Flickr (Ben.Millett)

Happy child, yes that looks like happy.

There we have it. A Happy we can tell when we see it.

Children don’t try to hide happy the way some adults do. They haven’t forgotten what happy feels like yet.

 

Some people say they never feel happy.

Never feeling happy, that is some form of depression, somewhere between Persistent Depressive Disorder (The old dysthymia) and Major Depressive Disorder. It is the result of something that actually happened then that could be a stress issue, as in Adjustment Disorder with Depressed Mood.

We professionals have all sorts of descriptions for unhappy but nowhere, that I see, is the clinical descriptors for “too happy.”

We will just have to take the risk and try one more picture. Maybe that will help us recognize happy the next time it crops up.

Happy dog

Happy dog.
Photo courtesy of Flickr

Picture of Happy dog.

 

There do you have it? Can you recognize happy the next time it greets you?

Want to sign up for my mailing list?

Get the latest updates on my books, due out later this year by signing up for my newsletter. Newsletter subscribers will also be notified about live training opportunities and free or discounted books. Sign up here – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse and Co-occurring disorders see the about the author page. For information about my other writing work beyond this blog check out my Google+ page or the Facebook author’s page, up under David Joel Miller. Posts to the “books, trainings and classes” category will tell you about those activities. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books

 

Anger and Depression beat Contentment and Serenity.

By David Joel Miller.

Anger and Depression beat Contentment and Serenity

How fast do you have to drive to reach Serenity?

The advertisers’ version of contentment and happiness is a car, preferably a convertible, and a supper model of your preferred sex, driving down the highway going as fast as you can. Despite repeated efforts, most of us find no matter how fast we go we never make it to happiness or contentment.

We don’t start to look for positive emotions like contentment, serenity or happiness until we are overwhelmed by all those negative emotions. Swamped with anger and disappointment we realize we can’t run or drive fast enough to reach contentment.

What if we started the other way around?

Is it possible that the really happy person is sitting in their car in the driveway, not having anywhere they have to be? Better yet, is true happiness sitting on the grass under the tree, not having to make the payment on that new car?

Until we become so busy that we can’t do it all, we do not recognize the benefits to be had from sitting quietly and enjoying our ease.

It is only when we experience the pain of negative emotions that we are able to realize the value of those less charged positive emotions like serenity or contentment.

In the collective, we mostly say we want world peace.  But inside ourselves, whether we admit it or not, most of us are hoping for some excitement, even if it comes at the price of more stress and emotional costs.

Try running a web search for “Contentment classes” and then compare those results to “Anger Management Classes.” You will find that few people are looking for contentment, but many are looking for ways to control their anger.

Is it possible that less doing and more being could have relieved this imbalance?

People who value serenity will tell you that they found their inner peace not by more searching but by sitting still and learning to appreciate where they were and what they had.

One of the great illusions of depressions is that there is something we need to find to make us happy. More things, another person in our lives, may be nice, but that sort of happiness does not last. Learning to be content by yourself, in the situation you find yourself, leads to an inner peace that may not resemble that car ad but will be a lot more valuable in the long run.

Sad to say but it appears that everyone is motivated to flee depression, anger and anxiety, but not many people are willing to sit still and experience contentment and serenity.

Want to sign up for my mailing list?

Get the latest updates on my books, due out later this year by signing up for my newsletter. Newsletter subscribers will also be notified about live training opportunities and free or discounted books. Sign up here – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse and Co-occurring disorders see the about the author page. For information about my other writing work beyond this blog check out my Google+ page or the Facebook author’s page, up under David Joel Miller. Posts to the “books, trainings and classes” category will tell you about those activities. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books

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