Happiness: 4 Simple Steps to Be Happy Here & Now - All You Need is Within You Now by Sam Hanson
Do you feel like you're getting depressed? Do you have bouts of "the blues"? Does your negative mindset keep you from achieving at work and school? Could you get more done if you felt better?
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Sure you could! And Sam Hanson knows that. Hence his book Feeling Good: Changing Your Mind in a Minute.
Sam Hanson starts Feeling Good with an explanation of cognitive behavioral therapy. Cognitive behavioral therapy is not psychoanalysis, but rather a logical assessment of one's thoughts. We state how we're feeling, and then we examine our thoughts for what in our thinking is irrational and false.
For example, I may be feeling like a failure as a parent because my child is struggling in math at school. However, when I logically examine my feelings, I can agree that it's not rational to think that any child won't have a subject he needs help with, and I can identify stop things we can do to help him (hire a tutor, for example). Therefore, I can conclude that thinking I'm failing as a mother is not rational.
Sam Hanson is careful to advise that Feeling Good is not for serious, clinical cases of depression. he does give methods for adapting the process of cognitive behavioral therapy at home so we can practice it ourselves.
Feeling Good also introduces readers to meditation as a method of mood management. Meditation focuses our thinking away from our stressors and teaches us to practice mindfulness, or focusing our thought energy into only this present moment, not the future or the past. It's a very effective treatment for worry and regret. It also has some physical benefits, like increasing our body's supply of serotonin and increasing our energy levels.
Sam Hanson's third pillar of improving mood is exercise. Exercise is an excellent mood enhancer, because exercise stimulates our bodies' production of endorphins. Endorphins are chemicals that increase our feelings of mental well-being and peacefulness.
Again, there are physical benefits to exercise as well, such as better quality sleep and weight loss, and these effects can make us feel better too. Feeling Good examines which exercises are the easiest for us to practice and give the mood mood-boosting bang for our time. He also gives pointers to fit exercise into your life without completely upending your current schedule.
Feeling Good's final pillar of mood management is visualization, a method relied upon by many successful people in business and professional sports. There are different forms of visualization, but they all work on the same premise: that taking a minute or two to envision success with an achievable goal.
While Sam Hanson outlines different types of professional avenues for visualization, he also adapts the practice for use right now by anyone. It starts in a similar manner as meditation, but then takes a different path. Instead of focusing on this present moment, visualization has you envision an achievable, positive situation related to your personal situation.
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