Archives for Well-being

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Smile Through The Tears – Or Not

People are just as happy as they make up their minds to be. ― Abraham Lincoln

There are two ways to read this quote.

Lincoln might be telling us to “accentuate the positive.” That managing our emotions and deciding to be happy will make us feel happy. In which case,  this quote is kind of ironic, given that poor Abe struggled with depression. Seems like there's a little self-loathing mixed into the words.
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Anxiety

You’re An Earworm Away From Happiness

Don't get trouble in your mind.

“Don’t get trouble in your mind” is the cheery refrain of a bluegrass chestnut, performed in the video below by the Carolina Chocolate Drops.

I’d never heard the song until a friend posted this video on Facebook the other day, and it just hit me in a sweet spot. Since then, it’s been an earworm.

But unlike most earworms, this one could prove useful.
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Courage

To Tell (Yourself) The Truth

The truth will set you free. – John 8:32

I’m not one to quote chapter and verse often (ever), but this tidbit is too wise to ignore.

I am taking it entirely out of context here so if you want to tell me where it fits into Scripture, please feel free.

But aside from all that—yes, yes, yes.

And I’m not talking about that tangled web we weave when we lie to other people. That’s a whole other...
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Emotions

Don’t Fight The Feelings (Even When They Hurt)

Feel the fear and do it anyway. -- Susan J. Jeffers

This is the title of a self-help classic I read in 1987, when it first came out. I don’t remember much about the book, but the title stuck with me because it's such a useful concept.

Now I’m reading a helpful book called The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion by Christopher G. Germer that, at least what I’ve read so far, puts...
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General

Intimacy Is Good, But What Is Intimacy?

The opposite of loneliness is not togetherness, it's intimacy ― Richard Bach

I’ve never read Jonathan Livingston Seagull, and probably even mocked it back in the day, when it came out. It just sounded so silly. But here is a very wise quote from its author. Of course. Doesn’t everyone know the feeling of being lonely in a crowd? (Does everyone? Or is this more of an introvert thing?) You needn't be alone to...
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General

It’s Just a Bunch of Crap

If one’s bowels move, one is happy; and if they don't move, one is unhappy. That is all there is to it. -- Lin Yutang

Nice to hear the secret of life boiled down to crap, eh?

I don't know the quote's context except that it came from a book called The Importance of Living. And according to one review of the book, "Lin Yutang’s ideal is...
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Courage

The Extraordinary Power of Despair

Despair gives courage to a coward—Thomas Fuller

Similarly, a therapist once said to me, “Misery is a great motivator.”

And JK Rowling said, “Rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.”

Yep. There’s little more effective for lifting you out of misery than misery itself.

When things are so friggin’ awful that you can’t imagine them getting any more awful, doing things that were unimaginable suddenly seem imaginable.

Change is so difficult, you gotta really,...
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General

How To Live

I took pleasure when I could. I acted clearly and morally and without regret. -- Jeanne Calment

Jeanne Calment died in 1997 at the age of 122 years, 164 days. I haven’t found the original source for this oft-quoted quote, though one website claims she said it about living to be 120.

Whether or not living Calment’s way can help us live to an overripe old age, this quote makes me happy.

“I took pleasure when I...
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General

Does Happiness Live In A Quiet Room?

The sole cause of man's unhappiness is that he does not know how to stay quietly in his room. -- Pascal

This is a curious quote, and certainly counter to common wisdom, which tells us that connections and community are the road to bliss while solitude and silence lead to serial killing.

Of course, I’m being facetious. As an introvert, I’m all for staying quietly in one’s room, and I find solitude...
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Communication

In Defense of Denial


Live by the harmless untruths that make you brave and kind and healthy and happy. -- Kurt Vonnegut.
Ah yes, the little white lie. I'm all for it. You're haircut looks great! The party was a blast! No, I don't mind doing you a favor at all!

Life is indeed nicer with harmless untruths like those.

But this quote also makes an argument for what I think of as benign denial.

I grew...
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