a boots-on-the-ground view of the change that's a-foot

by Tao Oliveto, Carrboro, NC

How are you feeling about the New Year? Resolutions may be a cliche, but it is one small way we try to align ourselves with the cycles and opportunities of the natural world. And our resolutions are usually about finding more ways to be happy. But, are we barking up the wrong tree when it comes to Happiness?

Studies show that genetics play a role in our personalities – and the ability to be happy – but only to the tune of about 50%. That gives us a lot to work with. And, finding happiness is about working at it. Happiness is not something we “have” or reach, but has more to do with how we behave and think, rather than our circumstances. It is both a process and a resource.

One of the reasons we lose perspective in this process is our evolved human tendency to become adapted to (and therefore, immune to) all things positive, novel or thrilling. This can include beautiful sunsets, healthy or delicious food, material possessions, as well as relationships. Fortunately, we can counteract this response to a great degree by reminding ourselves to want we have and have what we want.

Human nature also reacts more strongly to loss than to gain, so negative emotions sometimes feel bigger than they are.

Most of us realize that happiness is more related to giving than to taking, so the simple act of kindness can increase positive emotions.

Observe your feelings and thoughts in every moment so you can short-circuit reactions that stifle the happiness available to you. For more on Happiness, Myths and Truths, visit here.


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One Response to “”

  1. phyllisdiehl Says:

    welcome back, TAO, i agree happiness is how we relate to others, loved ones, friends, people at work ect….i went to a meeting, once, and the speaker had us close our eyes, and think of happy thoughts, when we shared everyone had thoughts that were pretty simple, ice-cream and a walk with their dad, sharing a project with their mother, winning a competition, that they worked on hard, ect, you get the picture, it was never the material things, so, your blog is an important reminder, that giving of ourselves brings happines not only to the person you are giving but to yourself, a toast to happiness

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