Excel At Life logo
×



Contents

PsychArticles button PsychNotes button PsychApps button PsychAudios button PsychTests button About button
Support Excel At Life's Mission!
Follow
Help Translate
Spread the Word
Make Contribution
Become a fan on Facebook! Follow on twitter for site updates! Follow on Google+ for site updates!
Excel At Life--Dedicated to the Pursuit of Excellence in Life, Relationships, Sports and Career





CBT

Jealousy

Depression

Relationships

Conflict

Self-efficacy

Happiness

Goal-setting

Motivation

Wellness

Sport Psych



POPULAR ARTICLES

Crazy-Makers: Dealing with Passive-Aggressive People

Why Are People Mean? Don't Take It Personally!

When You Have Been Betrayed

Struggling to Forgive: An Inability to Grieve

Happy Habits: 50 Suggestions

The Secret of Happiness: Let It Find You (But Make the Effort)

Excellence vs. Perfection

Depression is Not Sadness

Conflict in the Workplace

Motivation: Intrinsic vs. Extrinsic

20 Steps to Better Self-Esteem

7 Rules and 8 Methods for Responding to Passive-aggressive People

Promoting Healthy Behavior Change

10 Common Errors in CBT

What to Do When Your Jealousy Threatens to Destroy Your Marriage

Rejection Sensitivity, Irrational Jealousy and Impact on Relationships

For Women Only: How to Have the Relationship of Your Dreams

What to Do When Your Partner's Jealousy Threatens to Destroy Your Relationship

Making Attributions for a Healthier Attitude

Happiness is An Attitude

Thinking Your Way to a Healthy Weight

Guide to How to Set Achieveable Goals

The Effectiveness of Cognitive-Behavioral Treatment for Anxiety Disorders

Co-Dependency: An Issue of Control

The Pillars of the Self-Concept: Self-Esteem and Self-Efficacy

Catastrophe? Or Inconvenience?

POPULAR AUDIOS

Panic Assistance

Motivational Audios

Mindfulness Training

Rational Thinking

Relaxation for Children

Change Yourself--Don't Wait for the World to Change

Loving Kindness Meditation

Self-Esteem Exercise

Meadow Relaxation

Rainy Autumn Morning

Energizing Audios

Quick Stress Relief

Thinking Your Way to a Healthy Weight

Lies You Were Told

Choosing Happiness

Lotus Flower Relaxation

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

All Audio Articles





Kindle Books by Dr. Monica Frank





RECENT ARTICLES

Why You Get Anxious When You Don't Want To

Why People Feel Grief at the Loss of an Abusive Spouse or Parent

“Are You Depressed?”: Understanding Diagnosis and Treatment

15 Coping Statements for Panic and Anxiety

Beyond Tolerating Emotions: Becoming Comfortable with Discomfort

Emotion Training: What is it and How Does it Work?

How You Can Be More Resistant to Workplace Bullying

Are You Passive Aggressive and Want to Change?

When Your Loved One Refuses Help

The Porcupine Effect: Pushing Others Away When You Want to Connect

What if You Considered Other Peoples' Views?

5 Common Microaggressions Against Those With Mental Illness

What to Expect from Mindfulness-based Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (MCBT) When You Have Depression and Anxiety

Does Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy Lack Compassion? It Depends Upon the Therapist

When Needs Come Into Conflict

What to Do When Anger Hurts Those You Love

A Brief Primer On the Biology of Stress and How CBT Can Help

50 Tools for Panic and Anxiety

Coping With Change: Psychological Flexibility

Breaking Up is Hard to Do: Ending a Bad Relationship

I'm Depressed. I'm Overwhelmed. Where Do I Start?



NEW AUDIOS

Building Blocks Emotion Training

Hot Springs Relaxation

5 Methods to Managing Anger

Panic Assistance While Driving

Autogenic Relaxation Training

Rainbow Sandbox Mindfulness

Mindfulness Training

Riding a Horse Across the Plains

Cityscape Mindfulness

Change Yourself--Don't Wait for the World to Change

The Great Desert Mindfulness

Tropical Garden Mindfulness

Thinking Your Way to a Healthy Weight

Lies You Were Told

Probability and OCD

Choosing Happiness

Magic Bubbles for Children

Lotus Flower Relaxation

Cloud Castles for Children

Hot Air Balloon Motivation

All Audio Articles

HAPPINESS IS AN ATTITUDE

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."

HOW IS THE ATTITUDE OF HAPPINESS A CHOICE?

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."

SADNESS IS A STATE OF HAPPINESS

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




Become a fan on Facebook! Follow on twitter for site updates! Follow on Google+ for site updates!