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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review

Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

By Frank Clayton


CREDIT: Shutterstock



When attempting to be happier, most people are putting their efforts in the wrong place. You need not be among them


JewishWorldReview.com | The American Dream does not work. We are taught to succeed, then we will be happy. Science has proven that it works in exactly the opposite way. Happy people are more productive, resilient and have greater success. They are not only better at getting jobs, but keeping them, as well. Happier people are healthier and have stronger friendships.

Positive Psychology is redefining the American Dream: If we are happy, then we will succeed. As a therapist, positive psychologist and teacher of Happiness 101 for the past five years, I have seen many, many people struggle to be happier. Most of these people are applying their efforts in the wrong place. They chase the carrot and even when they get it, they are not satisfied. Bewildered, they just set up a new goal. Like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, their ability to be happier has laid at their feet the whole time.

If you really want to be successful, work to be happy now, and success will follow. But how? Positive Psychology pioneers Barbara Fredrickson and Sonja Lyubomirsky offer 20 scientifically proven happiness activities in their books, Positivity and The Hows of Happiness. Some of these suggestions have an almost child-like quality to them. In fact, these activities may be effective for encouraging happy children, as well.

1. Be open. Develop a curiosity and appreciation for all events and find the good.

2. Find nearby nature. Find solace in our beautiful land.

3. Use your strengths. Instead of wishing you were better in some area, discover your strengths and use what you have.

4. Dispute negative thinking. "This won't work!" Yes, it will. They have proven it scientifically.

5. Develop distractions. This works very well to get through tough times.

6. Create high quality connections. "There are no happy hermits." Ed Diener.

7. Practice spirituality. Feeling connected to a higher power can comfort, inspire and bring peace and serenity.

8. Flow activities. Doing something that sweeps you away to lose all track of time creates happiness and helps to cope with pain.

9. Meditate mindfully. It calms, centers and develops mindfulness.

10. Meditate on loving kindness. An easy, powerful meditation to love yourself and others.


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11. Exercise. Exercise releases eight different feel good chemicals into the body.

12. Cultivate kindness. Scientists have proven that kindness spreads like a virus. Get infected!

13. Savor life's joys. If you can enjoy the little things, you will have reason to be happy every day.

14. Ritualize gratitude. When you make gratitude a habit, what you appreciate, appreciates.

15. Avoid social comparisons. Sometimes it can inspire us, but mostly it depresses and deflates us.

16. Visualize your future. Go ahead, dream. It is brighter and better than you may think.

17. Forgive. They say to forgive is divine but no one taught us how - until now.

18. Cultivate optimism. Think people are born optimists? It can be learned and is easy when you know how.

19. Work toward goals. Enjoy, not just crossing the finish line but the journey along the way.

20. Learn to cope. Feel reassured with your personal emotional emergency preparedness kit.

How can you know which happiness activities are right for you? Lyubomirsky offers a self-test to answer the question, but most people can use their gut feeling as to which activities seem like a good fit for them. Ask yourself if the activity is something that comes natural to you, that you enjoy and is something you value. If the activity is something you would only do out of guilt, or because someone else expected you to do it, it is probably not right for you.

Even if you discovered exactly which happiness activity is right for you, if you did it all the time, it would lose its appeal. Like eating your favorite food morning, noon and night, you would soon become sick of it. Try several differnt activities to keep your happiness fresh and vibrant.

We all want to be happy. We have moments of it but cannot seem to hold onto it. Even defining it is tricky. But you can be happier by figuring out what happiness is to you and applying the right effort in the right place with the right timing. To do this, wake up. Be mindful of what is working for you and what is not. Learn to be happy now and go after the American Dream.

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Frank Clayton is a licensed professional counselor specializing in happiness.









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