Talking About Happiness

Many problems we face with our health, jobs and relationships are never what we think they are. Gail Glanville’s columns shine a light on the real problem and provide holistic solutions to bring about healthy change and resolution from the inside out.
In 1998, the new field of Positive Psychology took off and grew in exciting new directions. Essentially therapists, practitioners and researchers stopped asking “What’s wrong with you?” and started asking “What makes you happy? What helps you thrive?”
These aren’t idle questions. Increasing numbers of research studies back them up. Now 17 years later, we’re learning more every day about what makes people happy, what makes life worth living and what we can do to increase personal resilience.
Until recently scientists and medical professionals believed that the genes we were born with remained unchanged throughout our lifetime and that our DNA was fixed at birth, that our DNA ruled our life and health.
Now we know that genes can be changed. DNA does not rule. It’s actually our thoughts and emotions, even our perceptions that create change at the genetic and cellular levels. As cell biologist Bruce Lipton writes in The Biology of Belief: “Genes are not destiny!”
For example, some people are born with genes that predispose them to suffering from depression. Others are born with genes that orient them towards happiness.
Fortunately that’s not the end of the story. Depression genes can be reoriented towards more happiness. And happiness genes can be increased, because every cell in our body responds to our thoughts and our environment, not our genetic code.
That’s why positive thoughts, affirmations and attitudes have become so popular. It’s why meditation, gratitude, laughter and family warmth are proven over and over again to create health and happiness. They all form a positive environment that our cells and psyche read as healthy “grow” messages.
The people around us benefit too. As Gretchen Rubin writes: “One of the best ways to make yourself happy is to make others happy. One of the best ways to make others happy is to be happy yourself.”
As Positive Psychology expands, so do emerging new paths. One new path to deeper happiness is to discover your “Character Strengths.” These are the personal qualities you get the most pleasure out of using. They are important to know because as Rubin also writes: “You can choose what you do but you can’t choose what you like to do.”
To find your Character Strengths, go to www.viacharacter.org for a free evaluation.
Lasting happiness comes when you know what you like to do and knowingly put these character strengths to use every day.
Happy Thanksgiving!
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Gail Glanville provides natural remedies that help people end emotional eating, lift depression and bring more love, trust and intimacy into their lives. She is a 10,000+ hour Certified Practitioner of Energy Kinesiology/Resonance Repatterning. She is the author of 2 E-books; Food Repatterning: End Emotional Eating and The Goldilocks Principle: Turn ‘Not Good Enough’ into ‘Just Right.’ She co-authored the book “Quantum Change Made Easy” with the founder of Resonance Repatterning and is the 2012 inductee into the Repatterning Practitioner’s Association Hall of Fame. Gail lives in Estate Elizabeth on St. Thomas, VI. Visit her website at www.changebistro.com.
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