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Audio Version of Article: Crazy-Makers: Passive-Aggressive People

Audio Version of Article: Why Are People Mean? Don't Take It Personally!

Audio Version of Article: Happiness Is An Attitude

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by Monica A. Frank, Ph.D.
Tap to Listen to Article
"One of the most salient aspects I've noticed about unhappy people is that they are desperately trying to avoid negative emotions and in the process they feel miserable."


So, what I learned was that even though all of these people had a similar life-changing event occur, it wasn't the event that contributed to their happiness or misery, it was their reaction to the event that caused them to be happy or miserable. And, based on the comments they made, I noticed that those who were happy made a clear choice to be happy. They could often describe the precise moment or the words that they said to themselves.

Not long after this experience, I started to ask my husband "When are things going to get better?" But before he could answer "Another six months" I said, "Wait. I get it. This is life isn't it?" He just smiled and said "Yes." Then I think I might have slugged him saying "You could have let me in on the secret a little sooner!" Now, every once in awhile when we are particularly stressed, we just turn to one another and say "Another six months" which gives us a laugh and allows us to put things in perspective.

Now on kindle! Tap to purchase Dr. Frank's articles from Amazon for $2.99. Text-to-speech enabled.
Since then, even though we have had much more significant stressors in our lives, I'm no longer waiting to be happy because I recognize that happiness is a choice that we make every day. Happiness is not due to the things that happen or don't happen to us. Happiness isn't due to how much money we have or the house we live in or how successful we or our children are. Happiness is present every day we choose for it to be present. Happiness is an attitude. READ MORE: page 3

How can we be happy when bad things happen?--page 1

How is the attitude of happiness a choice?--page 2

How is the attitude of happiness different from positive thinking?--page 3

"Sadness is a state of happiness because it is an emotion and emotions allow us to solve problems and solving problems allows us to live as fully as we are capable."


by Monica A. Frank, Ph.D.
One day when I was seven–years–old my father allowed me to choose our Sunday family activity. He said we could either take a drive across the Mississippi River or ride on the last streetcar in St. Louis. At that time of my life I had never seen an ocean or even a great lake and I was awed by the vastness of the Mississippi River. It never occurred to me that the river would always be there and the streetcars might not. I chose the river. Of course, driving across the river took all of fifteen seconds. Immediately after we crossed the bridge I regretted my decision. My regret at the time was that the streetcar excursion would have been lengthier. My regret later was that I never again had the opportunity to ride a streetcar in St. Louis.

My father could have protected me from my regret and sadness. He could have taken me on a streetcar anyway or have convinced me that I had made the wrong decision. However, he allowed the decision to stand and allowed me to deal with the consequential emotions. I don't know what he intended, but I do believe that he was trying to be a good father that day.

I learned a great deal from that decision. I didn't learn it all at once but over time I came to realize the value of this single incident. I learned that I could tolerate the outcome of a decision even if I didn't prefer such an outcome. I learned that I didn't have to be protected from emotions. And I learned that things aren't all good or all bad. In particular, I realized that my father with his many limitations could teach me a valuable lesson and that I could love that part of him even though I couldn't accept the rest. READ MORE: page 2

Intro  to sadness is a state of happiness--page 1

Why is protection from emotions harmful?--page 2

What is happiness?--page 3

Why are all emotions valuable?--page 4

How do we find happiness?--page 5

How do "fixed desires" prevent happiness?--page 6

What is the value of sadness?--page 7

Kindle Books by
Dr. Monica Frank

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