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How to be Happy? It's simple!

I was recently working with a client (let's call him Jim) who was deeply entrenched in his thinking. As a result, he was deeply depressed and anxious. Every day, all day, he felt this way. Some days were a little better, but not much. He wasn't getting far with several things we'd tried in his therapy. I guided him in a mindfulness exercise to bring him fully to the present moment. He struggled with this. Jim was unable to let go of hangups - even hypothetically - for a span of only 2 seconds. He told me, "I don't think my mind works that way." As I described what to do, he looked bewildered and said, "that seems too simple." This would have been a breakthrough statement, had he understood.

Taking Mindfulness to the Next Level

What is Mindfulness, Really? I define mindfulness as "nonjudgmental, focused attention." Often, people are taught mindfulness by focusing on the present, such as the sensations of drinking a cup of tea: the smell, the taste, the warmth. Mindfulness focused on the breath is a common practice. Because this is so relaxing, it can become a method of escape. But notice: when you use mindfulness to escape your feelings, you are judging! You are deciding it is bad to experience unpleasant feelings. Mindfulness on Unpleasant Feelings While no one enjoys unpleasant feelings, learning to sit with them mindfully is one of the most powerful skills you can learn to further your emotional life. Start smal

Fear of NOT ENOUGH

Fear of NOT ENOUGH ... invades our lives. We worry about there being not enough money although we've always managed to survive in the past. We've eaten enough not to starve. We've had shelter enough not to freeze. We've had company enough not to go mad from isolation. And perhaps most of all, we fear not having enough love and approval. The FEAR invades our lives, causing us to lose sight of what we have. Does Gratitude Help? Some suggest writing a gratitude list, trying to focus on the positives. It might help, or it might feel unsatisfying. The belief that we need MORE destroys gratitude. It undermines our awareness that we've always had enough. Fear versus Joy Fear of the future being wo

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