Jennifer Johnston-Jones, Ph.D.
How to have a happy attitude
What are some ways to have a happy attitude? How do you be happier? That’s my favorite question in the whole world. I consider myself a happiness scientist. That’s actually my mission in life. People often go to religion to answer this question. That’s great. People often go to prayer, to meditation, to psychotherapy. Ultimately, what it’s really about is coming here and learning who you are and slowing down, finding your joy, finding your passion and living it.
One of the things that you can do—this is very counter-American culture—is to stop buying, to stop spending your money, and learn to be happy with what you have. Stop trying to keep up with the Joneses. Stop trying to look at the grass that is greener. Consumerism does not lead to happiness; we know that scientifically. In fact, in the United States, even though we are the biggest spender in the world and have the most options for spending, we are one of the least happy in the world. In fact, we’re only average in our happiness.
Let’s just learn from that. Look around; there are very few things that we actually need to be happy and to survive. If you do that you’ll be able to have more free time. When you have more free time, what do you do with your free time to increase your happiness? Here is the big thing for me. As adults we grew up and we forgot how to play, we forgot how to be joyful. I am looking on this myself every day. It’s essential. It’s part of human nature. It’s part of our DNA. We need to tease and play and laugh. If we get too focused on the external or on our needs or on what we don’t have, we forget how fun life is and forget to just laugh and enjoy.
Laughter is just like your libido. Your sense of humor is like your libido. The more you exercise it the more you’ll be able to use it. Even if it feels unnatural at first, force yourself to laugh a little more. At first it will be maybe a little bit in-congruent or unnatural, but the more you laugh, the more you will laugh. The same thing goes for smiling, of course. Immediately when we smile, it decreases the amount of cortisone on our brain, which is a stress hormone. Smiling, whether you are forcing a smile or not, still sends the same messages to your brain.
Of course, if you look at a young baby and if you see their natural smile, you’ll realize that’s where we need to get back to. But what do babies need to be happy? None of the stuff we need. It’s a gift that we humans are born with, the right to happiness, but we get so distracted.
The last thing I want to say is intimacy. Developing intimacy is so important for happiness. That’s why Twoology is so essential. What we need as we live a fulfilling life is true intimacy, and what that means is being vulnerable, connecting whoever you want to have intimacy with, whether it be your spouse or partner or friends. You’re really putting your insecurities out there, and that’s one of the easiest ways to develop true intimacy.
Copyright – 2013-14 – Tunomi Unlimited Incorporated (Twoology)