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Angela Linger, MS, LPC “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”

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Presentation on theme: "Angela Linger, MS, LPC “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”"— Presentation transcript:

1 Angela Linger, MS, LPC “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”

2  Recognize setting goals leads to happier people.  Our thoughts and words effect our happiness.  The importance of staying focused on the goal of happiness.  Happy people are smarter and more creative.  Happy people have more stable and happy marriages.  Happy people make more money.  Happy people are healthier and live longer. “A MAN WHO WANTS SOMETHING WILL FIND A WAY; A MAN WHO DOESN’T WILL FIND AN EXCUSE.”

3  Suggested goal: 3 – 5 things you can try.  Use these tools yourself before you share them with clients.  Actively share and learn with others.  Talks to professional and lay groups.  See out newspaper interviews & articles related to happiness—stay focused on happiness.

4  Your hopes and dreams are within your reach.  If you dream it you can do it!  Invest in Good social relationships  Optimism. Self-Confidence.  Wait long enough, and people will surprise you and impress you.

5  Write a Life Lists  Randy Pausch, “The Last Lecture”  What were your childhood dreams/goals?  Rent and watch the “Bucket List” and “Last Holiday”  Pick up Caroline Adams Miller book “Creating Your Best Life”  Read or listen to biographies of people who are famous goal setters

6  Pausch then proceeded to the first part of his Pausch first explained his childhood, as well as his family life in the 1960s. Pausch stated that he had a "really good childhood", and, when going back through his family archive of photographs, had never found a picture of him not smiling.35 Some of these pictures were shown on the projection as slides, including one of him dreaming. He explained how he was inspired by the Apollo 11 lunar landing in 1969.36 Pausch then transitioned to a slide which contained a list of his childhood dreams, and explained them. His dreams were being in zero gravity, playing in the National Football League, being the author of a World Book Encyclopedia article, meeting and being Captain Kirk, being "one of the guys who won the big stuffed animals in the amusement park", and becoming a Disney Imagineer.37  First off, Pausch explained his dream of being in zero gravity. As a child, this had been a dream inspired by Apollo 11, and had stayed with him as an adult. When he was the computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon, he learned of a program that NASA has that allows college students to go up into the air in NASA's Vomit Comet, which uses parabolic arcs to simulate the feeling of weightlessness. Faculty members were not allowed to go (Pausch called this a "brick wall" he faced), so he had to present himself as a web journalist, because local media was allowed on.38 Pausch proceeded to begin talking about his second childhood dream, playing in the National Football League.39 Although Pausch was never a player in the National Football League, he spoke about his childhood experiences with Pop Warner Football and how they had affected his life and taught him lessons.40 Pausch then moved on to his dream of publishing an article in the World Book Encyclopedia. As a child, Pausch always kept and read a World Book Encyclopedia in his home. As he progressed into a career, he became one of the leading professors in the field of virtual reality. World Book then called Pausch, interested in him writing for the encyclopedia. Currently, the article "virtual reality" in the World Book Encyclopedia is the one authored by Pausch.41  Next, Pausch explained his dream of being like Captain Kirk from the Star Trek series, with the slide showing "Being like Meeting Captain Kirk".42 Pausch explained that he realized that there were some things he just could not do, and that was one of them. He eventually changed the goal into meeting William Shatner, the actor who played Captain Kirk.43 Shatner had written a book on the science of Star Trek, and had gone to Pausch for help with the virtual reality section of the book. Pausch met and worked with Shatner for this purpose.44 Pausch concluded the section with the story of his becoming an Imagineer at Disney,45 as well as his achieving the goal of "being one of those guys who wins stuffed animals", which was at a carnival with his wife and children.46

7  Randy Pausch was a professor of Computer Science, Human Computer Interaction, and Design at Carnegie Mellon University. From 1988 to 1997, he taught at the University of Virginia. He was an award-winning teacher and researcher, and worked with Adobe, Google, Electronic Arts (EA), and Walt Disney Imagineering, and pioneered the non-profit Alice project. (Alice is an innovative 3-D environment that teaches programming to young people via storytelling and interactive game- playing.) He also co-founded The Entertainment Technology Center at Carnegie Mellon with Don Marinelli. (ETC is the premier professional graduate program for interactive entertainment as it is applies across a variety of fields.) Randy lost his battle with pancreatic cancer on July 25th, 2008.


9  Be good at something; it makes you valuable  Work hard… “what’s your secret?”  Find the best in everybody; no matter how long you have to wait for them to show it  Be prepared: “luck” is where preparation meets opportunity

10  “Appropriate goal pursuit is also one of the chief hallmarks of a happy person, so it is important for anyone who is making or pursuing life list goals to understand some of the research on wellbeing and why learning how to become even a little bit happier can have such a massive impact on your success.

11  Money spent on visits to the doctor’s office  Chronic Pain Syndrome  Job accidents and low worker productivity  Heart problems  Fewer and worse social relationships

12  Materialistically, we are twice as rich as those in the 1960s.  BUT: If you had fallen asleep in 1960 and awakened today, what would you find?

13 Doubled divorce rate. Tripled teen suicide rate. Quadrupled rate of reported violent crime. Quintupled prison population. Sextupled (no pun intended) percent of babies born to unmarried parents. Sevenfold increase in cohabitation (a predictor of future divorce). Soaring rate of depression—to ten times the pre-World War II level by one estimate. Myers, David G. (April 24, 2000) Wanting More in an Age of Plenty. Christianity Today Dr. David Myers Hope College

14  Lifetime prevalence: 17% - 25%  8 million new cases of depression / year  Antidepressants among most commonly prescribed drugs  Depression rapidly increasing worldwide (Cohort born 1925 had 4% lifetime prevalence) Bent & Masters, (registration required)

15  Each generation since 1900 has seen a higher incidence of depression.  1 /25 approximately 1900; 1/5 or greater approximately 2000.  Seen in all industrialized countries  Exceptions?: Maybe tightly knit non-industrial groups  Reason is unknown:  Possibly change in social values?  Change in diet  Depression as an inflammatory disease?  Unknown stressors? Klerman, G.L. & Weissman, M.M. (1989) Increasing rates of depression. Journal of the American Medical Association, 261, 2229-35.

16  17.2% are flourishing. As employees, spouses, and neighbors, they are the best.  56.6% are moderate; they are well but not great.  12.1% are languishing; they are not happy and not very productive.  14.1% are clearly depressed; they under- perform, are quite unhappy, over-use medical services, etc. Keyes, Corey L. M. (2002) Journal of Health and Social Behavior. 43(2), 207-222.

17 Anger: 5,584 Anxiety: 41,416 Depression: 54,040 Psychological Abstracts (1967-2000) Joy: 415 Happiness: 1,710 Life satisfaction: 2,582 Ratio: 21/1 Thanks to Tal Ben Shahar, Harvard U., for these numbers. Since 1998, an explosion of research.

18  Psychotherapy makes miserable people less miserable, but not happy.  Positive psychology makes ordinary people much happier.

19 Nearly all people are capable of much more happiness than they have. See their potential, help them see it. Create opportunities for them to invest in their own highest and best self.


21  “God started my life off well be bestowing upon me grace of inestimable value. The past year which I spent as a cadndate studying at Notre Dame has been a very happy one. Now I look forward with eager joy to receiving the Holy Habit of Our Lady and to a life of union with Love Divine” Celia O’Payne  “I was born on September 26, 19-9, the eldest of seven children, five girls and two boys. My candidate year was spent on the mother house, teaching chemistry and second year Latin at Notre Dame Institute. With God’s Grace I intend to do my best for our order, for the spread of religion and for my personal sanctification.” Marguerine Donnelly

22 The Nun Study (Danner et al., 2001) Only positive feelings predicted longevity Age 85:90% of most cheerful quartile alive; 34% of least cheerful quartile alive. Age 94: 54% of most cheerful quartile alive; 11% of least cheerful quartile alive

23  Use of Pronouns, adjectives, Exclamation Points  What we focus upon  Optimism—Belief in happy outcomes and resolutions.  Self-Confidence—High self regard and like themselves.  Extroversion—Thrive on energy of interacting with others  Self-Efficacy – My life is in my hands and I’m in control.

24  Take Seligman’s Optimism test for free


26  Praise others.  Give out compliments freely.  Recognize and talk about the good things around you.  Give someone a thank you.  Do something nice for someone and don’t tell them.

27  Erik Giltay in Holland followed 999 older men and women for ten years  The upper third in optimism had half the heart attacks of the bottom third! Giltay, E.J., Geleijnse, J.M., Aitman, F.G., Hoekstra, T., & Schouten, E.,G. (2004). Dispositional optimism and all- cause and cardiovascular mortality in an elderly cohort of Dutch men and women. Archives of General Psychiatry, 61, 1126-1135.

28  I expect much from life.  I do not look forward to what lies ahead for me in the years to come.  My days seem to be passing slowly.  I am full of plans.

29  Statement No. 1: Give yourself two points if you fully agree, one point if you partially agree or don't know, and no points if you disagree.  Statement No. 2: Give yourself no points if you fully agree, one point if you partially agree or don't know, and two points if you disagree.  Statement No. 3: Give yourself no points if you fully agree, one point if you partially agree or don't know, and two points if you disagree.  Statement No. 4: Give yourself two points if you fully agree, one point if you partially agree or don't know, and no points if you disagree. Seven or eight means you are optimistic.

30 Professor Anders Ekbom, from the Karolinska Institute, Sweden reported that men high in worry were 2.2 times more likely to develop type II diabetes when followed over ten years.

31  Optimism in women reduced the risk of breast cancer by 25%  622 women, between 25 and 45 years.  Optimists were 25% less likely  2 or more traumatic events raised risk of breast cancer by 62%.  "The mechanism in which the central nervous, hormonal and immune systems interact and how behaviour and external events modulate these three systems is not fully understood," Peled states. Peled, R. (2008) Breast Cancer, Psychological Distress and Life Events among Young Women. BMC Cancer (8:245)

32 Happy people have significantly better health. Invest in health by investing in happiness

33  Journaling  Expressing Gratitude  Exercise  Volunteering  Savoring Happy Memories  Surround yourself with 3 “P’s” Photos, Plants, and Pets  Forgiveness  Meditation Your brain grows like a muscle


35  Happier people cause happy marriages.  More likely to have a large circle of friends.  More attractive, independent of physical beauty.  More likely to marry & stay married.  Easier to feel passionately committed. Lynbomirsky, S. (2008) The How of Happiness. New York: Penguin, pp 138-146.

36 Invest in success by investing in happiness. Marriage success Work success Creativity and intelligence


38 Next we will talk about the role of pleasure in the good life. Does “having stuff” make us happier? (Materialism) Does having pleasure make us happier? (Hedonism) Does expanding our abilities and capacities make us happier? (Eudaimonia) HOW DO WE ACHIEVE HAPPINESS?

39  Pleasure: The pleasant life.  Small contribution to happiness.  Meaning: A life of significance  Social connection, service to others.  Very Large contribution to happiness.  Engagement: a life of involvement.  Expanding one’s gifts, doing interesting work.  Large contribution. Seligman, M. (2003) Authentic Happiness. New York: Nicholas Brealey

40  Moderate pleasure.  Savoring (antidote to habituation)  Social skills - be involved w/ people:  Wide range of acquaintances; Appreciate & enjoy others; Deep connection with spouse.  Optimism & Zest:  Expect good to multiply & bad to pass quickly.  A sense of mission (VIA assessment)  Do more of what you are good at.  Gratitude (the gratitude diary) & service  Reframing bad toward good.

41  Negative emotions are behaviorally predictive:  Anger: fight, hurt, defeat, kill.  Fear: run, avoid, prevent harm.  Despair: freeze, play dead, survive by passivity.  Positive emotions are not predictive:  Interest and Curiosity?  Joy?  Contentment?

42  Negative emotions (fear, anger, despair) are for SURVIVAL  Positive emotions (curiosity, delight, interest, joy, etc) are for GROWTH

43 ED DIENER’S SUBJECTIVE WELL BEING SCALE: On the next slide are five statements that you may agree or disagree with. Using the 1 - 7 scale below indicate your agreement with each item by placing the appropriate number on the line preceding that item. Please be open and honest in your responding. * 7 - Strongly agree * 6 - Agree * 5 - Slightly agree * 4 - Neither agree nor disagree * 3 - Slightly disagree * 2 - Disagree * 1 - Strongly disagree Pavot and Diener, 1993, Psychological Assessment. Dr. Ed Diener

44 ____ In most ways my life is close to my ideal. ____ The conditions of my life are excellent. ____ I am satisfied with my life. ____ So far I have gotten the important things I want in life. ____ If I could live my life over, I would change almost nothing. - 31 - 35 Extremely satisfied - 26 - 30 Satisfied (most common response range) - 21 - 25 Slightly satisfied - 20 Neutral - 15 - 19 Slightly dissatisfied - 10 - 14 Dissatisfied - 5 - 9 Extremely dissatisfied


46 Michael B. Frisch (Baylor U): Quality of Life Therapy Concept: Assess QOL in 16 areas, including Health, Self esteem, Spiritual goals & values, Money/standard of living, etc (Quality of Life Inventory: order from Interventions: Change one of these: C: Circumstances; A: Attitudes; S: Standards; I: Importance or values; O: Other areas. Brainstorm ways to improve the most important of the 16 areas

47  Seligman et al.: The Optimistic Child (1995)  Twelve week school based course, at-risk 5 th & 6 th grade children: Bad things are temporary/ good permanent Bad things are not my fault / good my “fault” Social skills training  Results: at 6 months & 2 years, reduced depression by half (100% lower at 2 years; 22% vs. 44% depressed) fewer behavior problems; treatment group gained in resiliency (optimistic explanations).

48 Genetics ~ 50% Circumstances ~ 10% Under own control ~ 40% Lynbomirsky, S. (2008) The How of Happiness. New York: Penguin.

49  Several PP interventions are equal to or better than:  Treatment as usual (CBT)  Medication  Combined medication and TAU  Gratitude diary; gratitude visit, Using personal strengths. Seligman, M.E.P., Steen, T.A., Park, N., Peterson, C. (2005) Positive Psychology Progress: Empirical validation of interventions. American Psychologist 60, 410-421 Seligman, M.E.P., Rashid, T., & Parks, A.C. (2006) Positive Psychotherapy. American Psychologist, 61, 774-788.


51 SAMPLE phrases: My right arm is heavy... My left arm is heavy... My arms are heavy... My right leg is heavy... My left leg is heavy.. My legs are heavy. My arms and legs are heavy and relaxed. My right hand is warm... My left hand is warm... Warmth flows into my hands. My hands are warm... My right foot is warm... (and so on) My breathing is calm and regular... My heartbeat is calm and regular... I am at peace... There is nothing to bother or disturb... Relaxation Techniques

52  Mindfulness has been shown to increase happiness.  Autogenic training is helpful for 90%.  My preferred method  Contemplation of compassion has raised happiness.

53  In Richard Davidson’s lab at the U. Wisconsin Madison:  Students who contemplated “compassion” significantly raise the energy level in the left frontal lobe (happiness center).  Depressed people taught Autogenic Training prevented relapse over the next year.  Buddhist meditators are the happiest people that Davidson has studied in his lab.

54 Krampen, G (1999) Long-term evaluation of the effectiveness of additional autogenic training in the psychotherapy of depressive disorders. European Psychologist. 4(1), 11-18.

55 Metyrapone (inhibits cortisol production) apparently helps pharmacotherapy of depression: 30% reduction/ HAM50% reduction/ HAM (response, not recovery) Schick, et al., 2004. Metyrapone as Additive Treatment in Major Depression: A Double-Blind and Placebo- Controlled Trial. Archives of General Psychiatry, 61 (12) : 1235-1244; see also (registration required)

56 A proven method of raising personal resiliency and happiness In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity. Albert Einstein

57  Permanent: bad doesn’t last, good does.  Pervasive: good affects everything; bad is localized and doesn’t affect other parts of life.  Personal: Good = my fault; bad = random  We can teach ourselves and our children to think optimistically. Seligman, M. E. P. (1992) Learned Optimism. New York: Pocket.

58  Cognitive-behavioral: Diary of automatic thoughts  About events: Permanent? Personally caused? Pervasive? Good: Permanent, personally caused, pervasive. Bad: Temporary, random, local.  ABCD homework Adverse event, Belief, Consequence of that belief, and Disputation. Lyubomirsky, S (2008) The How of Happiness. New York: Penguin.

59  Writing: Describe in detail the answer to the Miracle Question.  How would things be if your problems were miraculously transformed into solutions?  What would you do? What would others see you doing? How would others know the miracle had occurred, without you telling them.  Keep that as part of your diary, once a week or so.

60 A validated intervention for depression

61 Learning to be Grateful “You say grace before meals. All right. But I say grace before the concert and the opera, and grace before the play and pantomime, and grace before I open a book, and grace before sketching, painting, swimming, fencing, boxing, walking, playing, dancing, and grace before I dip the pen in the ink.” “Gratitude produced the most purely joyful moments that have been known to man.” G. K. Chesterton

62  Each day, write 3 – 5 things that you liked.  What happened to me?  What did I do right?  Then write one thing that you didn’t like  Ask yourself: “And how is it also good, a blessing in disguise?”  Find two or three ways it helps you.

63  Who has helped you? Write a letter of appreciation  Laminate it.  Take it to that person, read the letter, and leave it.

64 Emmons, R.A. & Sheldon, C.M. (2002) Gratitude and the science of positive psychology. In Snyder, C.R. & Lopez S.J. (eds.) Handbook of Positive Psychology (pp 459-71) Oxford: Oxford University Press. Emmons, R.A. (2007) THANKS! How the New Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier. New York: Houghton Mifflin.

65 Key to Engagement and Meaning

66  Created by Chris Peterson & Marty Seligman to “diagnose” strengths.  Cross cultural  Six major areas  Twenty-four specific areas  Several studies show emphasizing strengths increases happiness.

67  Wisdom & Knowledge  Courage, firmness  Love, warmth  Justice / fairness  Temperance  Transcendence

68 KNOWLEDGE & WISDOM 1. Creativity 2. Curiosity 3. Love of learning 4. Wisdom / perspective 5. Open-mindedness COURAGE & FIRMNESS 6. Bravery 7. Persistence 8. Integrity 9. Vitality HUMANITY & LOVE 10. Give & receive love 11. Kindness 12. Social intelligence JUSTICE & FAIRNESS 13. Citizenship 14. Fairness 15. Leadership TEMPERANCE 16. Forgiveness / mercy 17. Modesty / humility 18. Prudence 19. Self-regulation TRANSCENDENCE / SPIRITUAL 20. Appreciation of excellence and beauty 21. Gratitude 22. Hope 23. Humor 24 Spirituality

69 Assignment: Consciously increase the amount of time and energy you give to your top strengths.

70  Process:  Focus intently on the region of your own heart.  Now recall a positive experience and relive that experience for a minute.  Ask yourself for insight and wisdom.  Write down 5 goals that you have accomplished in your life.

71  Helpful & unhelpful thoughts  Detachment from own thoughts.  Judge thoughts based on the emotion they produce: Good thoughts produce peace, energy, happiness. Unhelpful thoughts produce anger, fear, despair.  Drop the unhelpful thoughts.  Handout: Helpful & Unhelpful Thoughts

72  Emotions can be “red light,” “yellow light” or “green light.”  Red light: fear or anger: “Stop and calm. We don’t think clearly when angry / fearful.” Take a long, slow breath and let it out slowly.  Yellow light: think of what is best! “What is the smartest thing to do now?”  Green light: Do your plan! Take turns talking and listening. Find a way for all to win.  Feelings are all OK, no wrong feelings, but some help us think more clearly.  Children exposed to excessive levles of stress before age 12, are shown to have a 30% higher chance of developing cancer in adulthood. * *Dr. Caroline Leaf, Who Switched Off My Brain.


74 Marital status and happiness (In spite of the high rate of divorce, traditional marriage is protective). Myers, David: The Pursuit of Happiness

75  Sonja Lyubomirsky investigated very happy and not happy people:  Whom did they compare themselves with? Unhappy people compared themselves with more successful people. Very happy people didn’t compare themselves at all. They were puzzled by the concept.  Happy people are glad for others when they succeed, not envious, concerned for others when things go badly. Lyubomirsky, S (2008) The How of Happiness. New York: Penguin.





80 Appreciative Inquiry vs Critical Analysis

81  An automatic response, but a dangerous one.  Balance criticism about 5:1 with gratitude & appreciation.  Try to reframe your complaints before you voice them (how is it a blessing in disguise?). Gottman, J. M. & Silver, N. (2004) The Seven Principles for Making A Marriage Work

82  What do you like and appreciate?  Based on that, what would life be like if you were able to have more?  What can you do to increase the good things that you appreciate?

83  As a goal, try to secretly serve someone each day.  Write an anonymous thank you note to someone you admire.  Pick up trash along a trail or road.  Look for a chance to serve in a group.  Write about your service in your diary.

84  Many studies demonstrate that people who smile more are better liked.  Practice giving sincere compliments as you smile.  Put a pencil in your teeth and keep your lips from touching it, then watch a “comedy” that isn’t really funny ( e.g., Friends).  It will seem much funnier to you.


86  Focus on the sensory impressions in a moment-to-moment fashion.  Food  Activity (walking, running, sports)  Conversations  Friends  Recall & nostalgia

87 Bryant, F.B. & Veroff, J. (2007) Savoring: A New Model of Positive Experiencing. New York: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. New book with a comprehensive review of research and practice.


89  REACH (Everett Worthington)  Recall the hurt  Empathize with the perpetrator  Altruistic gift of forgiveness  Certify you forgive  Hold on to the forgiveness  Use wisdom and discretion:  Typically you do NOT tell the perpetrator that you have forgiven him/her. *Movie: Diary of a Mad Black Woman, written & directed by Tyler Perry.

90 Luskin, F. (2003) Forgive for Good. New York: Harper Collins. McCullough, M.E., Thoresen, C.E. & Pargament, K.I. (2000). Forgiveness, Theory, Research and Practice. New York: Guilford.

91  “Enjoy Life, Healing With Happiness: How to Harness Positive Moods to Raise Your Energy, Effectiveness, and Joy”, Lynn D. Johnson, Ph.D.  “Creating Your Best Life, The Ultimate Life List Guide”, Caroline Adams Miller  “Who Switched Off My Brain, Controlling toxic thoughts and Emotions”, Dr. Caroline Leaf  MAPP—Master’s in Applied Positive Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania One semester study.

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