Achieving Happiness – Principles You Can Use

Achieving Happiness: Cultivating courage, compassion and connection – Achieving Happiness.

Here is a review of a book by Brene Brown called “Daring Greatly.” The article summarizes practices you can use to become happier. Recommendations include changing your thinking from:

  • dwelling other people’s judgments to being authentic.
  • perfectionistic ruminating to self-compassion.
  • wanting to numb their pain to pursuing solutions.
  • fearing not having enough to appreciating what they have.
  • needing certainty to cultivating faith in the future.
  • comparing themselves to others to being creative.
  • working long hours is a status symbol to playing is important.
  • worrying incessantly to creating calm.
  • feeling dissatisfied at work to engaging in meaningful activities.
  • needing to be in control to laughing and letting go.

Practice PERMA to Cultivate Well-Being and Happiness

We can create happiness in our lives more easily by practicing certain behaviors. These behaviors are summarized using the acronym PERMA:

Positive emotions – feeling good

Engagement – being completely absorbed in activities

Relationships – being authentically connected to others

Meaning – purposeful existence

Achievement – a sense of accomplishment and success

Get the details in this blog entry from

What is PERMA by Martin Seligman | GoStrengths!

Understanding Bipolar Disorders

Understanding bipolar can be challenging for those who have a bipolar disorder and for those around them. Understanding may be better (or worse?) now under the new classifications from DSM-5, as there are four types of bipolar disorder: bipolar I, bipolar II, cyclothymic disorder, and other specified disorder. Exploring the differences may help with diagnosis and treatment for yourself or others.

Here is an article that explains bipolar using the new DSM-5 classifications. The article can be found in this month’s edition of bp magazine.

Mindfulness Meditation as a Self Help Treatment for Anxiety and Depression

An update on mindfulness meditation as a self-help treatment for anxiety and depression.

Mindfulness meditation appears to help reduce depression and anxiety, though we need more formal research, according to this research article.

The article states that “research has also consistently demonstrated the effectiveness of mindfulness training on stress reduction and reducing negative mood states, as well as for improving the emotional well-being and quality of life of individuals dealing with chronic physical illness (e.g., hypertension, human immunodeficiency virus, depression secondary to pain).”

How does meditating help? According to the article, “meditation involves the intentional and repeated practice of intentionally activating the body’s relaxation response and has shown potential to improve one’s ability to manage stress, which has been shown to underlie various physical and psychological illnesses.”

What is Mindfulness? “Mindfulness refers to the process of intentionally bringing one’s attention, in a nonjudgmental manner, to the internal and external experiences that exist in the present moment. This may include awareness of sensations, thoughts, bodily states, consciousness, and the environment, while simultaneously encouraging openness, curiosity, and acceptance.”

How do you practice mindfulness? Check out this post to watch a video and learn more.


I had a black dog, his name was depression

“I had a black dog, his name was depression” is a short, gentle, and honest animated video about the experience of depression and the need to get help.

In the video, a big black dog represents depression. The video shows how the dog affects the narrator’s life. It will take less than 5 minutes to watch this well-made story, brought to us by the World Health Organization. If you enjoy it, please share it so others can see it too.

ULifeline: Mental health resources for college students

ULifeline: Mental health resources for college students.

Here is a resource you may find useful at any age, though it targets college students. It provides information on mental illnesses, as well as information on staying well. It provides articles that are clear and easy to  understand. It also has a search engine that finds resources for help on college campuses across the country. A self-evaluation tool identifies current issues as well as offering guidance on dealing with them. Jed Foundation provides the site.


VIDEO: Learn the top ten myths about mental illness

I am reblogging this from The Cynthia Breen Advocacy Foundation blog. The CBAF is a non-profit Minnesota foundation advocating for those affected by mental illness. The video is from the Douglas Institute in Canada. It is an excellent explanation of mental illness, its prevalence, and its impact on people and society. It is a great talk and well worth the 1-hour it takes to watch it.

Stop Mental Health Stigmas

Joseph Rochford, PhD, Director of Academic Affairs of the Research Centre, at the Douglas Institute, talks about the most recurrent preconceived ideas about mental illness in this 2009 Mini-Psych school lecture :

  • •Mental illness is a single, rare disorder
  • •the mentally ill are insane
  • •If you are diagnosed with a mental illness, kiss your chances of a brilliant career goodbye
  • •The mentally ill are more violent
  • •Mental illnesses are not true medical illnesses like heart disease and diabetes
  • •If mental illnesses are biological, then psychotherapy is useless
  • •If you have a gene that have been associated with a mental illness, you are condemned to experience it
  • •The mentally ill are weak or lazy
  • •People with a mental illness never get better

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