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There is power in positive thinking. Positive emotions are linked with better health, longer life, and greater well-being. On the other hand, chronic anger, worry, and hostility increase the risk of developing heart disease.
For some people, being happy comes naturally and easily. Others need to work at it. How does one go about becoming happier? That's where positive psychology comes in. This relatively new field of research has been exploring how people and institutions can support the quest for increased satisfaction and meaning. It has uncovered several routes to happiness:
- Feeling good: seeking pleasurable emotions and sensations
- Engaging fully: pursuing goals and activities that engage you fully
- Doing good: searching for meaning outside yourself
- Gratitude: expressing appreciation for what you have in your life
- Savoring pleasure: placing your attention on pleasure as it occurs and consciously enjoying the experience as it unfolds
- Being mindful: focusing your attention on what is happening at the moment and accepting it without judgment
- Self-compassion: consoling yourself as needed, taking the time to nurture yourself, and building the motivation to try again.
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