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Showing posts from December, 2010

10 Items Or Less -- Shedding And Keeping

Archetypes For The Turning Of The Year

For some people, New Years Day means the Rose Bowl.  For others, black-eyed peas.  For my mother, that was the day we were required to organize our clothes drawers.

Where did that come from?  You got me.  But it must be an archetypal response to the turning of the year.  Right now advertising is crowded with sales on organizational supplies.  If you don't know how to organize your sock drawer, surely there is one of those Dummies book to tell you how.

I just looked it up on Amazon.com.  Sure enough, here it is.

Responding, I suppose, to that archetypal imperative, I am currently recycling meeting agendas, staff reports, conference handouts and class notes, things I no longer need since I have become unemployed.

You know me.  Overboard is my middle name.  At 100.4 pounds and still shedding -- make that shredding now -- old checks with my social security number on them, I am well on the way to my goal for the week: to shed my weight in discarded …

Holiday Shopping for Loonies and Normals Alike

Last year I got an earlier start with my efforts to help you purchase the perfect Chanukah/Kwanzaa/Christmas present.  Here are the links, one for your favorite loonie, the other your favorite normal.  The first is even diagnosis specific.  The most popular pick turned out to be a bluetooth phone for the one who talks back to his/her voices, but is trying to pass.

This year, regular readers know that I have been living and breathing gingerbread.  So this post, like my own shopping, comes late in the season -- Chanukah has passed us by.

Internet.  God bless the internet.

And what with last week's post on happiness fresh in my mind, this year's holiday shopping picks combine the two issues -- where to get what makes for true happiness on the internet.  No, really!

The Sources Of Happiness

Martin Seligman's Authentic Happiness identifies three major sources of happiness, pleasure, engagement and meaningfulness.  So here are suggestions to enhance all three for your favorite lo…

Happiness in a Gingerbread House

How To Be Happy

How to be happy yields approximately 450,000,000 results in a Google search.  At that number, they don't bother to be precise.  Amazon.com gets you 2914 hits in the book department.

Nevertheless, I betcha I get my own share, as I explore the specific application of gingerbread houses to research reported in The New Science of Happinessby Claudia Wallis.

Research On Happiness

Martin Seligman, former president of the American Psychological Association, started off a flurry of happiness research when he picked happiness and oddly enough, mental health as the theme of his tenure, a decade ago.  His own contribution is Authentic Happiness: Using the New Positive Psychology to Realize Your Potential for Lasting Fulfillment.  More on Seligman below.

Moment-Based Happiness

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happinessresearch focuses on the immediate.  What are you doing right now?  And how much are you enjoying it?  Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (no kidding) spent money …

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy -- Mindfulness

Last Week's Cognitive Therapy Technique -- Distraction

I can't stop thinking about... [some traumatizing thought.]

So think about something else instead.

Distraction is abasic Cognitive Therapy tool.  Personally, I think it's stupid on the face of it.  The point is, I can't stop thinking about what I am already thinking about.  I am stuck on this horror movie, and somebody stole the channel changer.

Except I can change the channel.  You can, too.  You can think about something else instead.

That diagnosable gingerbread house of mine worked just fine.  It changed my channel.  How weird is that?

Here's the deal.  I think it worked is because, just like that other channel, it was all-consuming.  I had to pay exquisite attention to those cans supporting those fragile walls, whether the walls would meet, whether the pretzels would break...

Mindfulness -- Another Cognitive Therapy Technique

There was no room for a wandering mind on this construction site.  Gingerbread was my …