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 6

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."


Take a negative self-statement and re-word it to create a positive affirmation or at least a more neutral statement. Our brains are hard-wired to look for the negative because being aware of danger is what allowed our ancestors to survive. We still need that ability to some extent, but we have attained a higher level of development which allows us to focus more on satisfaction and contentment in life rather than survival.

Therefore, we need to over-ride that hard-wiring to look more at the positive aspects of ourselves and of life. One way to fight this tendency is to deliberately develop positive self-statements or affirmations. Once you have done so, you want to review these affirmations frequently to help your brain focus in a more positive and effective direction.

The "Happiness Journal" included in the Happy Habits app helps you to develop these affirmations based upon a number of different areas of life experience. If you have particular difficulty with self-esteem and need to develop affirmations directed at the self-concept, you can use Excel At Life's Self-Esteem Blackboard app which will help you with the steps of the affirmation development.


A common obstacle to happiness for many people is the tendency to worry or catastrophize about future events. The problem with worry is that it is making a negative assumption that something will have a bad outcome when you may not actually know that to be true. As a result, it creates stress and other negative symptoms.

Worry is a thinking style that can be changed like any of the thinking styles. If this is an obstacle for you, download the "Worry Box--Anxiety Self-Help" app by Excel At Life to learn the methods to control worry. The app helps you to identify whether a worry is important and controllable and how to handle it by putting it away in your Worry Box. It has additional audios and articles to learn how to manage worry. The articles and audios are also available on this website.


Even light activity can be effective to help you focus positively on your health. Engaging in healthy physical behaviors adds to the opportunity to create happiness. Without physical activity your body becomes more sluggish and with lack of use is likely to deteriorate. This leads to additional physical stress on the body to function which becomes an obstacle to happiness.

Taking a walk can help you focus in a positive way and is a healthy behavior. The more you take care of your body, the more you create the conditions for happiness. Any amount of walking is okay even if you don't feel able to do much. The important thing is to create healthy behaviors and routines. In addition, taking a walk provides an opportunity to experience other pleasant events such as enjoying the scenery or speaking to a neighbor.


Focus on simple behaviors that can help improve your health. It may seem like a trivial suggestion to eat a piece of fruit. However, it means much more. Too often people don't focus on self-care. They are too busy or distracted to do simple things that are physically healthy.

Eating a piece of fruit represents doing something simple that is healthy for you. As you focus on doing something healthy for yourself, you are changing your thinking. You are thinking that it is a high priority to take care of yourself and you are taking a reasonable step in the right direction rather than demanding too much of yourself.


Social contact has been shown to contribute to overall happiness. Happiness is highly associated with affiliation. Therefore, contacting a friend can help for several reasons. One is that you are engaging in an activity which has potential to provide you with a degree of enjoyment. Another is that social contact stimulates different areas of the brain.

In addition, you are distracting yourself from potential negative thoughts and more likely to replace them with something positive. Also, social support is helpful when you are experiencing problems. It can be helpful to get someone else's perspective or just enjoy a pleasurable activity with someone.

Keep in mind that calling a friend means actual contact. Texting or emailing doesn't provide the same type of interaction or the same benefit. READ MORE: page 7