Excel At Life--Dedicated to the Pursuit of Excellence in Life, Relationships, Sports and Career
Excel At Life logo

Excel At Life



Cognitive Diary Examples

Passive-Aggressive Q&A







Goal Setting








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

20 Steps to Better Self-Esteem

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

What to Do When Your Jealousy Threatens to Destroy Your Marriage

Happiness is An Attitude

Guide to How to Set Achieveable Goals

Catastrophe? Or Inconvenience?

Popular Audios

Panic Assistance

Motivational Audios

Mindfulness Training

Rational Thinking

Relaxation for Children

Loving Kindness Meditation

Self-Esteem Exercise

Lies You Were Told

Choosing Happiness

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

Happy Habits: 50 Suggestions--page 3

by Monica A. Frank, Ph.D.
"Happiness is not something you achieve. In fact, the more you try to find happiness, the less likely you will be happy. Happiness occurs by how you live your life."


One of the common obstacles to happiness is irrational thinking styles that contribute to emotional instability, conflict in relationships, and addictions.

Learn about recognizing and changing this thinking.

By using CBT to identify irrational thinking styles that can impact happiness, you can learn how to challenge and change the thinking. You may be thinking "How does therapy help with happiness? I just need to have what I want and I'll be happy." The best way to understand this is to understand that cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a very specific type of therapy and may not be the type that comes to mind for most people.

CBT is about solutions. Although past events may be discussed at times, CBT is about how to overcome those influences and live your life to the best of your ability now, in the present. CBT is about examining the obstacles to achieving your goals and learning the necessary skills to overcome these obstacles. Developing greater happiness in your life means creating the proper conditions by engaging in healthy lifestyle practices.

Happiness is the simplest thing in the world and the most difficult thing as well. The reason it is the most difficult is because you need to let go of ingrained ways of thinking about happiness and quit seeking it in the wrong way. The reason it is the simplest is because once you let go of these ways of thinking, happiness can simply be. You realize you don't need to seek it.

This website has many articles to help you understand unhealthy thinking styles and how you can change them. In addition, the Cognitive Styles Test helps you understand what thinking styles are problematic for you and the Cognitive Diary CBT Self-Help app provides the tools for changing the thinking.


Not only do relaxation methods help to reduce the experience of stress, deep relaxation can change the chemical balance. Read more about how deep relaxation methods can help you improve mood at a chemical level.

Reading the article Why Are Meditative Relaxation and Mindfulness Important? about relaxation and mindfulness can help you understand the mindful approach to life. Mindfulness doesn't always mean that you will just experience pleasurable emotions. It means that you can fully experience and use all emotions in the present to help you navigate the complexities of life.

Relaxation can be a pleasant state that is created by changing our neurochemistry. Deep relaxation releases norepinephrine, a neurotransmitter (chemical) in the brain that creates calmness and is the opposite of adrenalin which causes agitation and tension. So, regular deep relaxation can increase norepinephrine which counter-acts the effects of adrenalin.

However, relaxation does not create happiness; it only helps to make us more receptive to happiness due to better management of our emotions. In fact, for some people relaxation by itself can be an artificial means of trying to achieve happiness and can be just as addicting and destructive as other artificial means such as drugs. However, combined with a mindful approach to life relaxation can further contribute to positive life experiences and setting the stage for happiness.


Regularly using the deep relaxation methods can help improve your resistance to stress and generally improve your mood which can increase overall happiness. If you read the article about meditative relaxation, you understand that the more you engage in deep relaxation, the more it helps with reducing negative symptoms and improving mood. Generally, research has shown that happy people have less chronic tension.

The relaxation audios on this website are one method of achieving deep relaxation. If you are new to doing relaxation, you may find at first that your mind wanders and it is difficult to focus. It is okay if that occurs because if you continue listening, overtime you will find yourself more able to relax. As with any skill, relaxation improves with practice. However, don't try to force yourself to relax because that only increases tension. Just listen to the audio and gently bring your attention back to the audio when your mind wanders.

Also, you might prefer other relaxation audios you find elsewhere. That's okay, too. Use whatever works best for you. READ MORE: page 4