Tag Archive: relationships

Employee Respect: Who Gets It?

The approach the solution to employee engagement has been taking is misguided. Ask yourself why engagement numbers are down to 30% levels according to recent Gallup surveys. Harvard Business Review (HBR) recently surveyed 20,000 employees worldwide and half of them feel disrespected by their bosses.

If you’ve ever watched Criminal Minds or countless other shows, you know that it is not the intent of the communicator but the reception/perception of the receiver that determines the message that is communicated. Someone who feels disrespected frequently (by teachers, family, friends, society) will not feel respected because the boss is careful about how he or she communicates.  Often, these individuals do not respect themselves so they certainly don’t expect others to respect them. They want it–absolutely they want it. They want someone to come along and give them respect and magically make them feel better. They don’t know that they can’t feel respect until they respect and like themselves. They allow a negative string of self-doubt to tarnish their existence.

Until they respect themselves they can’t feel the respect others show them. Ask anyone you know who has made amazing progress in their life what made the difference for them. They will tell you that it was when they changed their perception about them self. People treat us as we expect to be treated. We give off clues and when we do not respect ourselves we might as well have a neon sign floating above our heads letting others know. It is obvious to anyone who does respect them self. It’s obvious because they know what they are willing to tolerate and what they are not willing to tolerate.

I had my own journey where I went from not feeling worthy and not thinking I was good enough. When I changed my own view of myself, the way everyone else treated me changed. I mean everyone. From bosses/employers, to significant others, my children, my parents, and even the clerk at the grocery store. It felt magical. When I changed me, the non-verbal clues I sent that others read (often unconsciously) changed.

Few people in our society truly feel worthy of self-respect. They have negative voices in their heads constantly criticizing themselves. Or maybe, like me, they were taught they had to earn respect but never given a way to calculate when that task was complete. If you have to “earn it” how do you know when you’ve done accomplished it? I had long since earned a lot of things before I began believing I had earned them. When I changed my belief from “I have to work hard and prove myself before I can have that (respect, executive promotion, six-figure salary, nice house, etc.) to I have earned this and I deserve this, it all came. In the space of two years my entire life changed and all those things I had been striving to prove myself worthy of came quickly and easily.

I’m not special. I’ve seen other people change their beliefs about their self and their life changes, too. I help people make this transition and I see the changes they experience as a result. No, I am not special, but I am worthy. Everyone else is worthy too, but so many just don’t know it.

You have to believe you deserve respect. So many don’t. I wish everyone could learn to respect themselves. You have friends who don’t, maybe you don’t either.

You know the friend, the one who is amazing and inspires you,yet when you compliment they wave your accolades aside as if their accomplishments are nothing or flawed. I’m not talking modesty here. You know him or her. The one who truly does not believe they are worthy of the praise you’ve giving them. That businesses continue attempting to make this about the manager and about changing the manager baffles me. It is the employee who needs to learn they are valuable and worthy of respect so they can actually receive it. Until they do, they have an energetic wall up that blocks them from perceiving the respect they are shown.

Helping employees value and respect themselves will enable them to receive the respect their boss feels toward them. It will also make the bosses respect more authentic because how you treat yourself is usually reflected in how others treat you.

It is possible to decide how you will treat others and treat them that well regardless of how they feel toward themselves but that takes a lot of work and few people consciously make that choice. I saw a video earlier today that reflects how few consciously make that choice. First, a disclaimer, I do not believe that clothes make the person, but in many cases the person who does not respect themselves does not dress well–it is an indicator of how the person perceives him or herself. It’s not always true–sometimes people dress especially well to cover up insecure feelings–but it is true often enough that many people will make assumptions about a person based on their attire. And sometimes, the very secure will dress for comfort because they are not seeking approval from others. Now, for the video:

It’s clear in the literature across the ages, from the greatest thinkers of all time to scientific literature being produced in the best Universities of the 21st Century. You have to respect yourself first.

Working on management has limited returns for employee engagement because it treats a symptom, not the root cause of the problem.

Give employees the knowledge and skills they need to increase their self-respect.

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Smart Employers Know . . .

Smart Employers Know the effect of chronic stress on the success of their employees and therefore, their business.

The smartest employers are implementing programs that teach employees psychological flexibility that considers the human drive for autonomy and reduces stress far more than any of the dose dependent stress reduction methods.¹ ²

Smart Employers Know that focusing their efforts on Primary Prevention which is designed to prevent problems from occurring, rather than waiting until after they occur to address them, will always be ahead of those whose strategy is reactive.

Smart Employers Know that the level of stress most employees experience in modern society is typically enough to be in the harmful level. Our society routinely tolerates far higher levels of stress than is healthy, often wearing the level of stress tolerated as a badge of honor. This tactic is completely ignorant of the facts that living with chronic stress:

  • Decreases the function of our immune system, leading to more illness and earlier deaths
  • Decreases cognitive function, leading to more unhealthy decisions and a lower ability to solve problems
  • Contributes significantly to the high percentage of GNP we spend on health care while receiving poor results
  • Increases the chance of addictions
  • Is the leading contributor to mental health issues from depression, anxiety to bipolar disorder and more
  • Increases the prevalence of chronic diseases that rob people of a high quality of life far too often and at young ages
  • Significantly reduces the quality of relationships of all types, from spouses and children to co-workers and neighbors
  • Is the # 1 factor that prevents good results in:
    • Employee Engagement
    • Turnover
    • Absenteeism
    • Creativity
  • The impact of stress begin almost instantaneously and compounds over time
  • The risk of preterm delivery of our offspring when we’ve endured chronic stress for years
  • The negative impact on physical, mental, and behavioral health of our children

Smart Employers Know that employees who have been trained in psychological flexibility experience significantly lower harmful stress under situations that produce harmful levels of stress in those who do not deliberately use their ability to be psychologically flexible to reduce stress.

What could your team do that it is not doing now?

Contact us today to learn how we can help your team develop winning mindsets and the psychological flexibility it takes to go the distance and arrive healthy.

(704) 25 one -51 five zero

¹ Kashdan, Todd B., Psychological Flexibility as a Fundamental Aspect of Health, Clin Psychol Rev. 2010 November 1; 30(7): 865–878., doi:  10.1016/j.cpr.2010.03.001,

² Gorin, Amy. A., Powers, Theodore A., Koestner, Richard, Wing, Rena R., Raynor, Hollie, Autonomy Support, Self-Regulation, and Weight Loss, Health Psychology, 2014, Vol. 33, No. 4, 332–339, http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0032586

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Are Erectile Dysfunction Commercials causing ED? Nocebo Effect.

[l2g name=”” id=”901″]The erectile dysfunction commercials are spreading misinformation that may be harming you.

I think most people are familiar with the term placebo. It is a beneficial effect from what the taker believes is a drug but is in reality a sugar pill. The placebo effect represents the mind-body influence from the belief that the pill is a drug and is beneficial.

The mind-body effect can be beneficial (placebo) or adverse (nocebo).

There are documented cases of the mind-body connection causing harm up to and including death. There have been a number of documented cases where someone was diagnosed as terminally ill with a short time to live and after the person died as expected, the autopsy showed the person had been misdiagnosed and did not have any physically determinable cause of death.

When Mom would kiss your boo-boo to make it better, that was a placebo effect.

There are literally books written documenting placebo and nocebo effect as well as research in the literature at many Universities.

I do not watch a lot of television but I do watch Blue Bloods. Tonight they had a commercial for an ED drug at least twice during the show during which they quoted a statistic that I believe is blatantly false and if not blatantly false, relayed in a very misleading way. The commercial states that half of men over age 40 have ED.

That sort of information can have a very negative effect if the man begin expecting problems with ED. There is a lot of research that shows that your expectations about age affect how you age. Individuals who perceive aging in a positive light, using words like experience, wisdom, etc. age better than those who associate words like decline, weakness, etc. with aging.

There are consistent reports in the research of negative expectation causing negative outcome as it relates to both health and aging in general.

I’ve seen other research that has indicated that intimacy in the 40’s, 50’s and beyond is better. Children are getting older (if they aren’t gone) so there is less risk they will interrupt and they are out of the house with greater frequency. Other research has talked about the benefit of no longer worrying about pregnancy at older ages.

I urge you to turn the volume off when these commercials come on. Or, if you happen to hear this message, immediately tell yourself you won’t be one of the ones that needs a little purple pill. If you believe you’ll need it, you probably will. Belief has a powerful influence over mind and body.

There is nothing wrong with help if you need it, but there is no reason to let yourself fall into their attempts to make you believe it is inevitable.

Also, do not allow a single incident convince you that you have a problem. Many factors beyond age can impact function including stress, illness, alcohol, drugs, fatigue, and relationship discord. You will be better served by attributing it to a temporary issue. If your immediate reaction is that your glory days are over you’ll probably need the purple pill.

The absolute best foreplay is appreciating your partner.

This is not the only commercial I’ve heard that plants seeds of weeds in the mind. It is easy to prevent its growth if you do it right away and refute the applicability of their message to you. If you wait until it has developed roots it will be more difficult to convince yourself that it was a temporary problem.

What you believe matters. Do your best to believe what will give you the best possible life.

For techniques on defusing stressful thoughts so you can relax and enjoy life more, try one of my books or programs. Also watch for a book focused on optional aspects of aging and not taking those options. It may be late 2015 or 2016 before that one is out but it will address this issue in more detail.

I really appreciate that you are reading my post and hope it provided value to you. On LinkedIn, I regularly write about Happiness, Stress Reduction, Human Thriving, Primary Prevention, Health and Wellness, and more. If you would like to read my regular posts then please click ‘Follow’ (at the top of the page) and feel free to also connect with me via Twitter, Facebook and Goodreads. Please consider sharing this information with your network. If you found it valuable, they may also find value in what I have written.

Here are other posts I have written for LinkedIn Pulse:

I wish for you many blissings. (Blissings = blissful blessings)

About : Jeanine Joy Jeanine Joy is an inspiring and life-changing author, speaker, and scholar. The purpose of her life is to seek out knowledge that increases human thriving, create explanations and processes that provide practical ways for individuals adopt strategies that enhance their lives. Her programs, books, and speeches empower people to fulfill their dreams and enjoy more loving, happy, and successful lives. Her ultimate goal is to help create a better world for everyone on Earth.

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Wherever You Go, There You Are. Who do you Choose to Be?

Do you leave one employer because you are dissatisfied only to find yourself just as unhappy at the new job after a short “honeymoon” period?

Do you leave one relationship in search of a better one only to find the next one just as dissatisfying?

Do you try a new vacation destination hoping to find one that gives you more of what you want only to find it to have as many shortcomings as the last one?

Do you move your home because you’re unhappy with something about the current one only to find the new one has as many problems as the one you left?

The common denominator is you.

Your Choice

Eventually you may realize that it is you that has to change before your life will be better.Einstein said, “Insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results.”

You’ve heard this before, but did you understand what about you has to change so that your life gets better?

Did you think it was you had to look better, work harder, go back to school, or ?

Or did you understand that while dieting, increased persistence, and more education can change your life they do not change its foundation. What is the foundation of your life? Why do things turn out the way they do? Why does everyone seem to have more of the same even when they attempt to change?

It is because what needs to change is not the outer you. It is your inner landscape that must change before your world will change.

You do not perceive an actual reality. You perceive a filtered reality. Your brain does not receive all the information your senses receive in any given moment. Your brain is not designed to handle that much information consciously. Your brain does not receive all the potential accurate perceptions of any given circumstance. There aremillions of accurate ways to perceive most situations. It is not that there is one accurate way to perceive anything and the rest are wrong. There are many accurate ways to perceive everything. The one you perceive depends on the way yoursubconscious filters the information and determines what information will be passed to your conscious awareness.

The inner work that changes everything and can make your life infinitely better is focused on changing the filters your subconscious mind uses.

Researchers say most of our filters are established by around age 6. That means that if you have not deliberately adjusted your filters your life is being determined by decisions you made before 2nd grade. If every area of your life is fantastic, do not change a thing. If there are areas of your life that are not the way you would prefer them to be, changing the setting of your filters will improve that area of your life.

When you change your filters the person who shows up is literally different, a new, improved version–a version who is fulfilling more of the available potential.

Your Choice…

How many times are you willing to walk away from a job, a relationship, a home or enjoy a vacation less than you could before you will decide to change the thing that matters?

Four filters that make a tremendous difference are explained in along with techniques that you can use to adjust your filters to better settings. If you’re not into do-it-yourself, we provide classes that explain each step and help you adjust your filters so they will serve your highest good.

The end result? A less stressful life, increased happiness, better health and relationships and more success. Individuals and employers both benefit significantly from the outcome.

What are you waiting for? If not now, when?

You’re making a choice right now. Is it a good one?


Blue Bloods: The Truth About Lying

Blue Bloods
Last night’s episode of Blue Bloods on CBS (8/29/2014) The Truth About Lying, has some lessons that can make your own life better. There were two scenario’s that demonstrated how our brains do not show us an actual fixed reality and one that highlighted that the more stressed we are, the less accurate the reality we perceive becomes.
SPOILER ALERT:
In one case, a mentally challenged man unsuccessfully tried to stop a teenage girl from committing suicide and was caught on video, where his actions were initially perceived as pushing her to her death. It would have been so easy for him to be convicted of murder for his attempted good deed because the viewers of the video initially perceived him as a killer. Their brains interpreted the video in line with their expectations, even after being told he was not the type of person to ever do that sort of thing.
The second scenario involved a young cop whose report of her first felony arrest differed slightly from a video a citizen sent in. There was nothing wrong with the arrest, no excessive force, etc. But when she filed her report there was a factual error about where stolen property was recovered from that differed from the video. I won’t tell you how Frank (Tom Selleck) got the DA’s office to agree not to fire her and come over to his viewpoint by demonstrating that the brain’s recollection of events may not be 100% accurate, especially when a life or death situation is involved,  but I thought it was brilliant.
I loved that the show brought this aspect of our brain’s into the show–the inaccurate ways we perceive reality. Researchers have long shown that eyewitness reports are the least reliable type of evidence but most people assume this is because of dishonesty on the part of witnesses with ulterior motives, but the truth is that our brains are not designed to show us “reality.” They show us a filtered reality and the filters determine how we perceive every given situation. It is not just tense moments when our brains filter reality. Our perception is filtered in every moment. The filters can be adjusted and how they are set can make the difference between a good life and a crummy life.
I teach people about these filters and how to adjust them so they can thrive more but the biggest hurdle most people face is they believe their brains show them reality so I am delighted to see the fallacy of this demonstrated so well on Blue Bloods.
I also love this show. I turned my TV off in 1995 and did not watch TV again until 2013. I still watch very little but this show draws me back again and again. I love how strong the family is even when they disagree with one another. I love Tom Selleck in this roll. I wish I could talk to the detective because I know I could help him (I realize he is just a character, but his war wounds represent a lot who are suffering today.) I also love that they show the Sunday dinners every week because that is one of the things that makes the family so strong and connected with one another.

​I also like that it looks like there is romance in the air for Frank.

What can you do to make your life better?

The next time you’re disagreeing with someone consider whether you are each standing your ground based on your perceived reality (you are). Then consider whether the conversation can be taken to a deeper level where those perceptions can be less important. Look to your goals–not to “be right” because you’re both right based on your own perceptions, but to why you care about the topic and what you want. You can also check out our classes or my books and learn more about the filters that distort your reality and how to make them serve your highest good. Unless your life is the best you can imagine it being in every area, there are settings that are not serving you well in your filters. Everyone’s filters are set by default around age 6 and then they live life based on those unexamined settings. There is a much better way to live.
Wishing you the best,
Jeanine Joy

Corporate Wellness: Is Yours Missing a Critical Ingredient?

Corporate wellness

The Current State of Corporate Wellness Programs

Workplace wellness programs are missing the key ingredient to true prevention. They focus on early diagnosis, symptom and lifestyle management while ignoring the elephant in the room–the one common factor at the root of everything.

While meeting with a representative of a large regional health system’s workplace wellness division, I asked him what their solution was for addressing stress. He mentioned their EAP (employee assistance program) offered counseling but said that was all they had. He also said many employers recognize that stress has both a negative effect on worker’s health and on their contributions at work. He was excited by our program but when he took the information back to his employer they said they had all the knowledge they needed in-house. If that is true, why are they excluding stress management skills training from their workplace wellness program?

The research about stress is clear. Workplace wellness programs tend to focus on the same areas and stress management skills would help improve the results in every one of them.

Smoking cessation.

Stress plays a role in the ability of individuals to quit smoking and maintain their status as non-smokers. Anxious individuals find it the most difficult to quit. Anxiety and smoking behavior are highly correlated.

Weight Management/Obesity/Anorexia/Bulimia

Researchers have demonstrated that the old paradigm of weight management is too simplistic because it ignores the impact of stress on the digestive system. The digestive system does not function as well when an individual is stressed and chronic stress contributes significantly to the development of diabetes. Stress also results in unhealthy food choices. Food is the number one anxiety drug.

Eating disorders often have their roots in low self-esteem. The design of our program leads to increases in self-esteem, which could provide relief for those who have eating disorders and prevent their development by those who are at risk of developing an eating disorder.

Diabetes Disease Management

The impact of stress on the digestive function has been linked to the development of diabetes. In 2007, the direct cost of diabetes in the United States was 174 billion. Indirect costs included 2.6 billion for absenteeism, 20 billion reduced productivity during work for the employed population, 7.9 billion unemployment from disease-related disability, and 26.9 billion lost productive capacity because of early mortality. Stress also has a direct impact on adherence to recommended treatments.

Physical Inactivity

Stress levels affect whether or not an individual will be active and choose to engage in physical activities. Highly stressed individuals who do not have an ingrained habit of physical activity are unlikely to develop the habit while they are stressed. Despite the fact that physical activity/exercise is often recommended as a dose dependent stress reduction method, such increases in physical activity do not consistently help stressed individuals because they do not feel sufficiently motivated.

Depression

By the time depression has developed, the individuals has typically been suffering from chronic stress for a sustained period of time. We need to educate employees (and the entire population) that tolerating stress is not the appropriate response. Coping until we’re depressed is a strategy that has made depression an epidemic with 10% of the US population suffering from it, according to the CDC.

Why are they not recommending early intervention to address stress? Because they think it requires expensive one-on-one treatment and because of the ridiculous stigma’s associated with mental health. Stress Management skills are simple to understand and implement. They are simple enough that kindergartners can understand the basics. Adults are a little more difficult and take a little longer to teach because they have developed a lot of false premises throughout their life that hinder their ability to adopt strategies that come quickly and easily to younger children. But it is still far from something that requires expensive one-on-one treatment. I can teach auditoriums full of people how to manage stress in meaningful ways that have a positive impact on their work and home lives right away and continue to increase as the techniques are applied.

Even individuals who suffered from repeated bouts of depression have now reported that they have been free of depressive episodes since learning these skills.

Poor Diet/Nutrition

Stress and happiness are opposite ends of the same continuum. Researchers have linked happiness with better food choices. Individuals in the top 25% of optimism scores ate more fresh vegetables, salads, berries, fruit and low fat cheese that other subjects in a research report comparing optimism to dietary habits. A meta-analysis done by researchers at Harvard and published in 2012 concluded that positivity and optimism led to better food choices and better choices about risky behaviors. Our stress management program increases happiness, positivity, and optimism.

Chronic Stress

The common recommendations for managing stress are all dose dependent. That would be fine if there wasn’t a better way, but there is. Dose dependent stress management is the same as taking a prescription pill to manage the symptoms–it does nothing to affect the underlying cause. Dose dependent means you have to do it in order to receive the positive results and if you don’t do it, you don’t get any results.

Because our program helps individuals change the root cause of the stress, it functions more like a cure. It does not prevent bad things from happening, but the response is more resilient, emotional intelligent, and less stressful than it would have been before they learned to use the skills we teach. The way the individual responds to the same stimulus that may have once made him or her highly stressed may not be at all stressful once the techniques have been applied for a while.

We all know that everyone reacts differently to circumstances. What stresses one person out may be fun to another person. I’ve studied what makes humans thrive for two decades and then developed programs that teach individuals how to develop the habits of thought that help them thrive.

The frequently recommended dose dependent stress reduction methods include exercise, going out in nature, helping someone else, petting your cat or dog, meditation, yoga, tai chi, and massage. While these methods are a good “pill,” they do not provide long-term benefits with the exception of a consistent meditation practice. But even consistent meditation does not address stress at the root cause.

Some recommendations can be counter-productive. One commonly recommended stress reduction method is to discuss the problem with a friend. The outcome of that discussion can go either way. I definitely have friends who would make it worse by focusing on the worse aspects of the situation and reminding me of other bad situations like the current one. I also have friends who would be beneficial to talk to but I’ve never seen this type of recommendation come with recommended parameters for the discussion.

Employee Engagement

This is not a typical focus of Corporate Wellness Programs although the hope is that the program will be perceived in a positive light. Our program also helps engagement in a variety of ways. The first is that it helps create a more inclusive and positively focused employee base. Working with people who are energetic, focused, and optimistic creates synergy and an environment that makes being at work enjoyable. The way any individual views his employer or any other aspect of his life reflects how he views everything in life. Someone who is generally dissatisfied with life is generally dissatisfied with her work. The reason for this is because our habits of thought play a tremendous role in the aspects we focus on in every area of our lives. If we focus on the aspects that we don’t like, we’re not engaged. If we focus on aspects that we find exciting, our engagement increases.

The inherent nature of our program increases the likelihood that employees will focus on aspects of their jobs and the company that they like.

Turnover/Retention

One of the most frequently cited reasons for turnover is not liking the people. A working environment where relationships are harmonious, where workplace conflict is unusual, where conversations are fruitful, and others are supportive would be very difficult to leave. The techniques I teach can accomplish this type of shift in corporate culture. Individuals who understand how to use the skills can even ignore outright attempts to upset their equilibrium without feeling stressed or a need to retaliate. The techniques provide individuals with tremendous stability and equilibrium in their chosen emotional stance.

There is a song by Pharrell Williams that describes the steady emotional state:

“Here come bad news talking this and that, yeah,Workplace Wellness: missing Ingredient
Well, give me all you got, and don’t hold it back, yeah,
Well, I should probably warn you I’ll be just fine, yeah,
No offense to you, don’t waste your time
Here’s why

Because I’m Happy”

I know, that to someone who is not generally happy the thought of being around a bunch of happy people is not very appealing but when everyone understands they can be happy and most are, the whole dynamic changes. Those who need a bit of help find it everywhere they look because one of the most natural and frequent behaviors those who learn to be happier demonstrate is a desire to help others do the same.

Research shows that positively focused people are kinder and demonstrate better corporate citizenship.

Cognitive Ability

Stress diminishes our cognitive abilities. The same person is smarter when happy than he is when stresssed. Do you want your employees to make better decisions? Teach them how to reduce the stress in their lives. You can keep the same employees and gain a smarter workforce.

Absenteeism

Immune function decreases as stress increases. Research has shown that the severity of colds and flu are directly tied to positivity, wth the most positively focused experiencing the fewest symptoms and duration of illness. The most positively focused have sometimes not developed an illness at all, even after being deliberately exposed to the virus. The symptoms are not just self-reports. One study in particular actually measured symptoms, going as far as to weigh used tissues so that the results would not be slanted by the more pessimistic attitude. The pessimists reported more symptoms but they also had more symptoms.

Productivity/Presenteeism

The level of productivity is important to employers. In all except the most mindless, repetitive occupations repeated research has shown that optimists produce more than pessimists.

Although you may believe optimism and pessimism are inborn traits, they aren’t. They are habits of thought and individuals can change their habits of thought to make their life feel better.

Optimists are more successful than pessimists in study after study.

Sales

There is very solid evidence that even less qualified optimists outperform more qualified pessimists based on traditional measures of qualification. If optimism is not one of the considerations for hiring your sales staff you are leaving a lot of untapped potential on the table. Teaching your sales staff our stress management techniques would improve sales.

Ethics/Morality

The research is very clear that ethical behavior improves as positivity increases. Think about it. When the economy dips, white collar crime increases. The same stress that reduces cognitive ability leads individuals to faulty conclusions that result in them deciding to commit a crime.

Education Components

There are a number of false premises that hinder individuals from becoming happier and less stressed. One of them is that they should just be strong when they are faced with stressful situations. But the advice, such as think positive and decrease the stress in your life, is worthless without teaching them how.

Stress adversely affects every system in the body fairly quickly. It is something that should be dealt with as soon after it is experienced as possible. I’ll give you an example. Jealousy creates stress in the body. I am almost never jealous of anyone about anything. I recognize that feeling jealous is my seeing someone else experience something that I want but am perceiving I can’t be, do, or have. Earlier today I learned a friend was at a lecture at Harvard on psychoneuroimmunology and I felt jealous. I told my partner to tell our friend I was jealous (he was going to see him before I did). But I manage my emotional state to a really good place. I had not felt jealousy in a very long time. It did not feel good. Within less than five minutes I realized what I was doing and said, “Why am I feeling jealous? Why do I think that is something I can’t do?” Very quickly my jealous was gone, replaced by an attitude of being delighted that I have friends who attend those types of lectures and can intelligently discuss such subjects. I also affirmed that there was no reason I could not also attend a lecture like that. My jealousy is completely gone and I am now excited about the next time I’ll see my friend. I’m looking forward to hearing what he learned and comparing ideas. I can even ramp my emotional state up even higher. I know this man’s heart wants to help a lot of people, especially those who are the last to receive help, whether here in the USA or abroad. I can think about what he might have learned that will help him do that and feel even more positive emotions. I’ll stop there but the process could keep going. I’ve already shifted from jealousy to a bit of a natural high just by changing my perception but I have not begun to tap the potential positive emotions I could milk from this situation.

Do, however, notice that the circumstances did not change. He is still the one who attended the lecture. The only thing that changed was the only thing I could change, my perspective about it. My emotions improved as I assumed a more empowered perspective. My body no longer feels stress from assuming an unhealthy perspective.

I’ve been using these methods for years but it is not much more difficult for a novice to shift perspective and gain similar advantages.

We need to change our tolerance of stress. We need to help everyone understand that they should do what they can as soon as they can. It makes all the difference.

There are other false premises that interfere with optimal health that our program identifies and changes.

Attracting Quality

Attracting quality employees is critical to the success of your business. The iconic work cultures of our era will not have anything on a company that has incorporated the techniques in our program. You’ll have your pick of the best of the best–provided you provide a healthy work environment with opportunities to advance. Our program won’t change what your company does, only how it does it. There is another benefit I have not yet mentioned, that can help create an irresistible work environment.

Creativity

Creativity is just like cognitive ability as it related to stress. Creativity increases as happiness increases and decreases as stress increases. Ideas flow more readily to individuals who are positively focused. There is a second advantage that comes from our program that relates to this area. Many good ideas are wasted because the person who thinks them is afraid of how others will perceive the idea. Our program increases self-confidence and also the ability to feel good even if someone does not agree with us. The impediments that cause many good ideas to die before they are born is eliminated.

Diversity

Even diversity is positively impacted by our program. Research shows that positively focused individuals are naturally more inclusive. We have the ability to take your diversity initiatives to a higher level.

Resilience

We spend a lot of time planning for business continuity in the event of problems from busted water lines to epidemics and wars. But we tend to ignore the fact that people are required to execute those plans. In the disaster planning milieu, we assume people who are not directly taken out by the disaster will be functioning in their assigned roles. We forget that different people respond to stress in different ways and that the stress of a disaster could take out people who are not affected by the direct cause.

The best disaster plan you can create is worthless if your employees lack the resilience to persist during a disaster. Can they fulfill their duties in the midst of so much uncertainty?

I would far rather have resilient people and a mediocre plan than a great plan and staff with mediocre resilience levels. The resilient individual will retain the ability to think in dire circumstances that will be lost to someone who is less resilient. The best planning cannot predict all the variables. The resilient individual will be able to respond in the moment–when it counts. Those hero’s we love to watch on TV, who come through when bullets and bombs are all around? They’re resilient. Whether you adore MacGyver or Jack, it is their resilience that makes them able to persevere. My Dad tells me, Jeanine you could fall into an outhouse and you’d come out with a diamond ring. He has seen me repeatedly respond to circumstances that would devastate less resilient individuals in ways that make the outcome better than if the adversity had never happened.

Our program increases individual resilience, the ability to bounce back will be improved. It won’t matter if the strife is at work or personal, it will not drag them down as long as it would have without our training.

Sleep

Stress can adversely affect the ability to get a good night’s sleep in a number of ways. Stress can cause individuals to stay awake worrying about problems and it can cause them to wake up too early and be unable to go back to sleep. The stress of too many competing priorities can result in individuals simply not giving themselves enough time for adequate rest.

This is a significant concern to employers. Sleep deprivation can lead to more mistakes, including accidents. Inadequate sleep increases the risk of an automobile accident by three times.

Stress management skills reduce stress, allowing individuals to benefit from a better night’s sleep.

Emotional Intelligence (EQ)

Our program increases EQ in three of the four key areas because of the way the program is designed.

Final Question

Does your corporate wellness program offer a stress management solution that satisfies your needs? Does it address stress at the root cause? Why not?

Contact us today to learn more about how Happiness 1st Institute can help your company achieve a lot more of its potential.

corporate wellness


We Cannot See Reality

Does reality seem confusing?

Reality is fluid

We do not see reality. We see a filtered reality. Until this is understood, the rest of what we teach to help you thrive will not be accepted. We are taught that we see reality. We are taught that what we see is the same as what others see. Both of these are wrong. We each see our own unique reality. We merely assume others see the same reality we do.

If your response to this statement is disbelief, it would serve you well to loosen your belief that you perceive reality. This video will help you see that there are instances when you know your perception is not revealing the actual reality to you. The key is to realize that this is always true–it just is not usually as obvious.

Note: Despite the cover picture, this video is suitable for all audiences

After watching the video, ask yourself what other aspects of reality might not be as they seem. Ask yourself if you know the answer. Ask yourself if knowing the truth might help your life be more as you would like it to be.

There are filters that act below the level of conscious thought that greatly effect how your life plays out. They have immediate impacts on your health, relationships, success, and overall well-being. Your life can easily be much better than it is. Improvements come quickly when you learn how to adjust your filters, but they also build over time and continue even after your life is exceeding your current beliefs about what is possible for you. The better it gets, the better it gets.

If you would like information on our programs, please contact us for a list of upcoming programs or checkout the offerings or one of our founders books.

 


Children Can Thrive. Help Them. Learn How.

Children Can Thrive

Let’s focus on the solutions

  It is interesting to note the arguments back and forth about why some students do not thrive.

 Some stating it is the teachers fault if a student does not thrive.

 Some stating it is the lack of an interested adult in the home.

 Let’s get to the root of it. Either could make a huge beneficial difference.

 The true reason many students do not thrive is that they have developed beliefs that they cannot, or that their actions do not matter “Learned Helplessness”, or they have been told often enough that they are ‘dumb’ or ‘stupid’ or other lies. They have been labeled and are living up to the expectations put upon them. They have been judged as lacking and are living up to those expectations.

 Going backwards and trying to uncover where it originated is a waste of time and effort.

 Where time and effort belongs is in helping students understand that their actions do matter – that their life is not determined by their current circumstances.

 That others opinions do not have to be their own opinion. Henry Ford said “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, either way you are right”. Unfortunately we have ill informed parents and others who will label children and then the child begins to believe the label and perform to that standard.

 Society also does not understand that the happier you are the more intelligent you are. I know many are going to scoff at this statement but read further. Have you, or someone you know, ever been so stressed that you literally could not think?  Perhaps you put your head in your hands and said “Give me a moment, I can’t think”?  There is an example of an individual at a low emotional place not being as intelligent. Intelligence, creativity, and resilience exist along a continuum and increase in step with increases in happiness, positive emotions, optimism and positive expectation. There is a great deal of science behind this statement. Barbara L. Fredrickson, Ph.D.’s (UNC – Chapel Hill) book, Positivity, is probably the easiest read on the topic.

 Much of the world views happiness as a fluffy topic and as something that will come after a goal is achieved or as a transitory thing that feels good for a day.

 The happiness I am describing is defined as that deep sense of inner stability, peace, well-being, and vitality that is consistent and sustainable. It is not dependent upon circumstances but upon beliefs, expectations, emotions, and focus. Mindset is powerful.

 Not only does happiness contribute beneficially to the ability to learn but to health, relationships, and success. There are even studies showing that it has a positive impact on reducing crime, alcohol and drug abuse and even teen pregnancy.

 Right now the research on this topic is scattered across many silo’d fields including positive psychology, neuroscience, behavioral theory, sociology, quantum physics, resilience, emotional intelligence and more.

 I have a passion for the topic and have been researching it for years. I have never cared which field had relevant research which has resulted in a connection of the dots in a way that brings the knowledge being gained in many fields together.

 Using techniques to empower students, to help them achieve a positive expectation and focus and ensuring they have skills to bring themselves back to that point if they get a bit off path would make such a tremendous positive impact on their lives and future potential.


Hiding after Heartbreak?

Living with a heart behind walls, bars, moats, and under lock and key is not really living.

You may feel that you are not strong enough to withstand another heartbreak and see no other alternative.

That, too, is natural.

You were never built to endure heartbreak and strong negative emotions for long periods of time. None of us were.

At the core of who you are you understand this.

There is a path that allows you to love as openly and freely as a young, trusting child without fear of pain or heart ache.

This path gives you the control over how you feel. No one else can hurt you or make you unhappy for more than a few minutes ever again when you understand this path and how to travel this beautiful path.

The control ill be yours and you will have tools to manage your own level of not only happiness but joy.

When you truly understand how this path works you will be able to love more openly and freely than most of the people on the planet. When you love you are lovable. Everyone from the grocery clerk to the staff at your dentists office to your mate will love interacting with you.

Break out of your self-imposed prison and live life as it was meant to be, full of love and fun and connection with others.

Class will teach you the keys to Golden Relationships, relationships with a partner that will last joyfully to the Golden (5oth) anniversary and beyond. Although the focus is on love relationships the class provides information that is key to good relationships of all types. Healing of past wounds and avoiding new wounds (but not from withdrawing from life) becomes far easier than you ever imagined with the knowledge and skills taught in our course.

Even relationships with someone who is out of your life can be healed, regardless of whether they are still breathing or not. Their presence is not required in order for you to heal.

Join us for a journey that will help you enjoy life in all its glory once more.

Classes are offered in person and on-line.

Contact us at Information@Happiness1st.com for information on upcoming classes.

For more information on the benefits of increased happiness and positivity see our website. Happiness1st.com


Overcome heartbreak. Love again.

Dreams can come true

Has life caused you to put your heart behind bars?  Do you “protect yourself” from pain by keeping your heart closed away?

Untrusting?

Holding back your love?

Resisting good feeling emotions?

Full of fear?

Are you lonely and unsatisfied as a result?  Do you want a way out but not know the way?

Do you envy those with loving relationships?

Are you jealous when someone is able to be open enough to allow love into their life?

Do you feel anger and resentment towards those who “made you” this way?

What would you do if you found an easy way to feel the fullness of life again?

Would you like a way to protect yourself from heartbreak that allows you to love freely again?

There is a way.

It is natural.

It is easy when you understand it.

It is healthy.

It is fulfilling.


Are You Passionate About the Well-being of Your Family?

Are you passionate about the well-being of your family?

If you are you will want to know about the research results that are slowly (too slowly in my opinion based on their importance) making their way out of the scientific research facilities and into the knowledge bank of both scientists and non-scientists in other fields.

The new research points the way to improved health, well-being, relationships, emotional intelligence, creativity, cognitive ability, decision-making, resilience, immune system function, depression. as well as reductions in racism, substance abuse, crime, teen pregnancy, and other social concerns.

One thing that can improve your relationships, your health, and your success?

One would think this information would be shouted from the rooftops.

The science is very solid. The proof is in.

Why isn’t it being talked about on every channel?  I don’t know.

Science, I have learned, typically progresses slowly in adopting new ideas and beliefs.

Although they don’t tend to chop off their heads for radical new ideas these days the fear instilled about moving too far away from the norm is not far from that which a potential separation from ones head would invoke. New research in one field often takes years to reach professionals in other fields. There is a saying “Science progresses one funeral at a time.” — Max Planck

Many people are under the misconception that current scientific theories come to prominence in science because the new discoveries changed the minds of the old guard through proofs and experimentation. Closer to the truth is that, proof and experimentation changed the minds of younger scientists, and only when old guards die off, the new theories rise to take their place and make prominent the new theory. This is true even when the old beliefs are proven clearly false. Much of the progress we see (for example, advances in medical advances), comes not from science but from business building on science.

When actions can affect human well-being or change the world, that pace is entirely too slow. The information that has come to light can literally improve health and well-being significantly,  reduce crime, reduce racism, reduce substance abuse, reduce teen pregnancy and, it is my belief that it is the path to peace.

When evidence from different scientific disciplines is combined the science is solid and compelling.

Positive emotions, optimism, and happiness provide these benefits and much more.

The absence of negative emotions is not the same as the presence of positive emotions.

Science has even shown that pessimists can become more optimistic and our own level of positive emotions is within our control.

All it takes is a little knowledge and a few skills to manage your emotions to a place where you can benefit from increased positive emotions, optimism, and happiness.

New research from Harvard even shows us why the benefits of positivity are so great. Our bodies were not designed to tolerate negative emotions for long periods of time. We were designed to respond to negative emotions the way we respond to other sensory input, by making changes to make things more comfortable for us. We do not leave our hands on a burning stove and ignore the pain. Neither should we ignore negative emotions. We are supposed to feel good most of the time. The research is available at www.emotionalsentience.com.

In addition to the typical flight and fight responses we all know about there is something called a “Right Response” (RR) described in this scientific paper that is most appropriate to most situations humans encounter in their day-to-day lives. Learning how to use RRs provides a level of self-mastery over ones emotions that is followed by thriving.

Positivity has a better impact on longevity than whether an individual smokes or not. How passionate are you about making sure your children do not take up this habit?  If you put that much passion into helping them develop skill at RRs you will benefit them far more and they are more likely to make good decisions including the decision not to take up that habit.

Classes that teach Right Responses are available. See our website for details.

© Jeanine Joy, 2012-2014

President, Happiness 1st Institute


The Power of Appreciation

Is Happiness Wrong?

The Power of Appreciation

At this time of the year I often wonder if putting aside a single day a year for Thanksgiving serves us. I find that a life where I look for things to appreciate every day is so much richer and fuller than when I used to focus on that activity only on the 4th Thursday in November when Thanksgiving is practiced in the USA.

When we focus on things to appreciate each day many factors aid us in their discovery. The very way our brain is structured ensures that we see more of what we look for. This means that when we look for things to appreciate we see them – in our families, in our friends, in our communities, in our world and in ourselves. This one act, appreciation, is a very high emotional state that enriches the life of anyone who makes it a habit. Love and appreciation are so close emotionally they are hardly discernable one from another. A conscious decision to appreciate can lead to a life that is more wonderful than can be imagined by someone who has not done so.

While it is lovely to have a day that is focused on thanksgiving, to enjoy family, friends, and feasting; it is far more wonderful to appreciate each and every day.

What can be appreciated?  There is so much. It is everywhere. Right now I can hear the birds singing outside. Their song is lovely. That takes me to thoughts of appreciation that I live somewhere that allows me to hear the sounds of nature. Right now my daughter’s puppy is nestled against my legs enjoying just being close to me – something she demonstrates daily. That brings me to thoughts about how her puppy wakes each day with enthusiasm and joy. She reminds me to awaken with that same amount of enthusiasm and eagerness for the day ahead.

My thoughts of appreciation turn to those closest to me, my partner, my children and my closest friends. There are so many aspects of them to appreciate. The warmth and comfort of my home is something I appreciate each day especially like now, when the sunshine is flowing through the windows.

Thoughts of appreciation invariably bring me to a conversation with a bank president I was coaching a few years ago and when I suggested a practice of consciously appreciating three things every day he asked (in the midst of the financial downturn), “Can I start with just one?  It is rather hard to find three things to appreciate right now.”  I responded by asking him if he had food on his table when he sat down to dinner the previous night. Of course, the answer was yes. Then I asked if he had a table that his plate sat upon. It becomes obvious that we are surrounded by things we can appreciate if we make that choice.

Our society has been trained to appreciate the “big” things. Things like our team winning the championship when there are so many things to appreciate on the way to the championship. Every game there is new knowledge gained, encouragement and supportive words are offered to one another. Skills are honed. Lessons are learned. Life goes on in the background of the game – babies born, relationships beginning or deepening; all of these have aspects to appreciate.

What exists in your life that you can appreciate?  Make a decision to deliberately find at least three things to appreciate every day between now and the end of 2012 and see how different (better) your life feels. See how your relationships deepen and every day seems to hold more blessings.

This is not about wearing rose colored glasses. It is not that you won’t see something that is not as you desire it to be. It is seeing with eyes that look for the good instead of eyes that look for the flaws. Both realities exist and are accurate. It is the stance of the perceiver that makes the difference.

Some say it is not realistic to have a positive focus but let’s be real about that. If there is something, say a relationship, where 99% of it is working perfectly, brilliantly and beautifully but 1% is out of whack – is it realistic to look at 1% and assert that the whole is broken?  Or is it more realistic to look at the 99% that is working wonderfully and believe that the 1% is something that can be addressed and does not ruin the 99% that is working.

Deliberately deciding to be in a state of appreciation does not mean you ignore and do not deal with things that need tending. It does mean you do not color your whole life with the outlook that because there is one thing wrong everything is wrong.

The 1%/99% can be applied to any area of life – health, relationships, career, home, body, vacations, etc.

We can enjoy the journey even when the road is bumpy and rutted if we make a decision to look for things that are good during the journey.

Many have been trained to see life in ways that make the journey far less enjoyable than it could be. The same journey can be heaven for one and hell for another – their perspective makes the difference.

Our programs are designed to make the journey not only more enjoyable but understandable. The journey to a better-feeling life can be easier than you’ve ever imagined.

Contact Us  for information on upcoming programs or to be the first to learn the details of our new portable CD programs coming soon.

You can have the life of your dreams.

Please consider sharing this with your friends and family. You never know who you may help by passing it on. It is a random act of kindness that will ripple outward.

Comments are welcome.


How much damage is your unhappy relationship doing to your child? Do you know?

How much damage is your unhappy relationship doing to your child?  Do you know?

Do you know that negative emotions compromise the immune system?  Yours and your child’s.

Do you know that the way you perceive things will be picked up by your child?  If you are quick to anger your child will become quick to anger.

If you are suspicious your child will develop trust issues that may interfere with the very thing you want most for your child, his health and happiness.

If you attempt to cover up your real emotions your child will learn to not trust you because your words and vibe do not match.

If you demonstrate behaviors that lead to unhappy relationships those are the behaviors your child will learn from you.

If you learn how to be more emotionally intelligent, how to get to the root cause of relationship issues (where they can be solved) your child will learn how to do this and have better relationships throughout his or her life.

There is a solution. No matter how bad it may seem you can change the environment in which your child learns.

Your relationships can improve and the example your child learns from can be healthy and positive. But you probably cannot get there on your own if you are having relationship issues.

Do you sometimes think that although the faces change the same problems come up in your relationships?

Fighting with your spouse, regardless of whether your child experiences yelling or worse, or just the body language that goes with anger, can negatively affect your child in many ways.

If you re ready for a change contact us for more information.

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Golden Relationships

This course is designed to increase the knowledge and skills that will help you enjoy a life long loving relationship.

The course name represents the Golden wedding anniversary because we believe this class can contribute greatly to the ability of couples to enjoy 50 or more years together. All are welcome in the course. It is not necessary to come as a couple or to be married. This class will help individuals prepare for great relationships or enjoy the one they already have.

The same skills and knowledge can help you improve all your relationships.

The class is a great wedding or anniversary gift.

If you are ‘in love’ you will know how to keep that loving feeling and if you do find yourself veering off course, you will have skills that can be used to get back on track before you’re in a ditch.

If your relationship has evolved to where you feel more friendship than passionate loving feelings you can use the knowledge and skills to bring back the ‘in love’ feelings.

If the stress of life has made it feel more like your mate is your business partner, figuring out  schedules and budgets, it can help you feel more ‘in love’ even in the midst of chaos.

If your relationship is struggling to survive the knowledge and skills may be able to bring it back to that loving feeling.

If your relationship has ended the knowledge and skills can help you make the next one the one you’ve been dreaming about.

Its goal is to increase happiness, optimism, emotional intelligence, resilience, self mastery, and well-being and improve relationships.

You will feel more empowered and feel more confident in your ability to sustain a loving relationship with your mate. Many of the same skills can be utilized to improve other relationships.

We design the time and location of this class to make it easy to have a date night after class so that couples attending together can enjoy one another and have time to talk about any insights they experienced as a result of the class.

The benefits of increased happiness are tremendous. You will learn why relationships are easier when you are happy.

Happiness also provides health benefits including 50% risk reduction for heart disease, reduced risk for some cancers, reduced risk of diabetes and Alzheimer’s, improved immune function, fewer colds and flu and so much more. See our website for more information on the scientifically proven benefits.

Taking this class is a wise decision. . Your life will be better because of it.

The terms we use to refer to areas the class will benefit are defined differently by different people. This is especially true of happiness. Our meanings are reflected below.

Happiness is a deep sense of inner stability, well-being, peace and vitality that is consistent and reliable.

Resilience is an individual’s ability to cope with stress and adversity. Increased resilience helps individuals recover from setbacks (illness, depression, adversity, etc. ) faster than they would without the coping strategies that our course strengthens.

Emotional Intelligence is the ability to effectively understand oneself and others which impacts the ability to relate well to people and higher EQ levels help individuals be more successful in meeting the demands and pressures of life.

Optimism is an inclination to project a positive point of view upon actions and events and to anticipate favorable outcomes. Optimists tend to be much more successful than pessimists and to experience better health throughout life.

Self Mastery is the ability to be aware of your emotions and rule them rather than have them rule you. Self mastery is the ability to make the most out of your physical, mental, and spiritual health, to be the best you can be.

Well-Being ~ high levels of well-being mean that we are more able to respond to difficult circumstances, to innovate and constructively engage with other people and the world around us. As well as representing a highly effective way of bringing about good outcomes in many different areas our lives, there is also a strong case for regarding well-being as an ultimate goal of human endeavor. It contributes to the individual ability to realize his or her own potential, to cope with the normal stresses of life, to work productively and fruitfully, and the ability to make a contribution to her or his community.

 

 


Go Confidently in the Direction of your Future

Go Confidently in the direction of your future

Live the life of your dreams

Learn how in this course, designed to increase resilience, self mastery, optimism, happiness, emotional intelligence, and well-being.

The same skills and knowledge can help you improve all your relationships.

You will feel more empowered and feel more confident in your ability to succeed in anything you set your mind to.

Young adults face many challenges. You are making decisions about your future both when you choose a college and when you decide whether or not to participate in particular activities.

For some, peer pressure exerts undue influence and leads them away from their real goals. This class will help you feel more confident about where you really want to go and what you want to do. The tools provided are effective, even in the moment, to help you stay on track.

Science has demonstrated that increasing happiness literally makes you smarter. You will do better on examinations, including the SAT, when you are happy than when you are not happy.

Your decisions about exercise, nutrition, getting adequate sleep and even crime and substance abuse will be healthier when you experience generally positive emotions.

Depression is at epidemic levels around the world and the rates are especially high for teens and young adults. The good news is that you live at the perfect time. Many branches of science have been exploring happiness and resilience. We have taken the best of that leading edge science and used that knowledge to develop our courses. We believe this class will equip you with skills and tools to greatly reduce your risk of depression and which would shorten the duration of depression should it still occur.

It has been shown that depression during pregnancy has many adverse impacts on the baby including sleep and behavior problems, depression and asthma. These scientific findings point to the importance of learning these skills. In fact, depression has been shown to be a risk factor for teen pregnancy.

The benefits provided by this class have been shown to increase many life skills that make the difference between a mediocre life where dreams are put aside and one where thriving is the order of the day.

We want you to thrive. We know you can. All you need is some knowledge and skills.

Almost every other course you have ever taken has been focused on providing you with knowledge that it has been determined will help you please others. This course is focused on empowering you, giving you the tools and knowledge you need to be successful. Some would say this is selfishly oriented. We (and science) disagree. When you are capable of managing your own life you require fewer resources from others and science has shown that when individuals are happy they are far more likely to help others. The bottom line is that science has shown that an individuals happiness does not just benefit that individual but also his or her family, friends, co-workers and community.

Your very capacity for kindness and ability to love will increase.

The benefits of increased happiness are tremendous. You will learn why relationships are easier when you are happy.

Happiness also provides health benefits including 50% risk reduction for heart disease, reduced risk for some cancers, reduced risk of diabetes and Alzheimer’s, improved immune function, fewer colds and flu and so much more. See our website for more information on the scientifically proven benefits.

Many will tell you to be more positive. We do not just tell you, we show you how.

 

We have over 50 skills and techniques that can be used to increase your happiness in the moment and to become happier naturally for the long-term. Some of the techniques can also be applied to improve your results in sports.

Taking this class is a wise decision. Your life will be better because of it.

Please click on our program tab for additional course information and  to register for this life changing program.

The terms we use to refer to areas the class will benefit are defined differently by different people. This is especially true of happiness. Our meanings are reflected below.

Happiness is a deep sense of inner stability, well-being, peace and vitality that is consistent and reliable.

Resilience is an individual’s ability to cope with stress and adversity. Increased resilience helps individuals recover from setbacks (illness, depression, adversity, etc. ) faster than they would without the coping strategies that our course strengthens.

Emotional Intelligence is the ability to effectively understand oneself and others which impacts the ability to relate well to people and higher EQ levels help individuals be more successful in meeting the demands and pressures of life.

Optimism is an inclination to project a positive point of view upon actions and events and to anticipate favorable outcomes. Optimists tend to be much more successful than pessimists and to experience better health throughout life.

Self Mastery is the ability to be aware of your emotions and rule them rather than have them rule you. Self mastery is the ability to make the most out of your physical, mental, and spiritual health, to be the best you can be.

Well-Being ~ high levels of well-being mean that we are more able to respond to difficult circumstances, to innovate and constructively engage with other people and the world around us. As well as representing a highly effective way of bringing about good outcomes in many different areas our lives, there is also a strong case for regarding well-being as an ultimate goal of human endeavor. It contributes to the individual ability to realize his or her own potential, to cope with the normal stresses of life, to work productively and fruitfully, and the ability to make a contribution to her or his community.


A Happier You

A Happier You

 ~ Benefits everyone in your life ~

Your increased happiness benefits your family, your friends,

your community, your health, well-being, and success.

This course is designed to increase resilience, self mastery, optimism, happiness, emotional intelligence, well-being and improve relationships.See the programs tab to check out the course offerings and register to make your life better.

You will understand and be able to implement the keys to sustainable happiness.

You will feel more empowered and feel more confident in your ability to succeed in anything you set your mind to.

The benefits provided by this class have been shown to increase many life skills that make the difference between a mediocre life where dreams are put aside and one where thriving is the order of the day.

We want you to thrive. We know you can. All you need is some knowledge and skills.

Some would say increasing your happiness is selfishly oriented. We (and science) disagree. When you are capable of managing your own life you require fewer resources from others and science has shown that when individuals are happy they are far more likely to help others. The bottom line is that science has shown that an individuals happiness does not just benefit that individual but also his or her family, friends, co-workers and community.

Your very capacity for kindness and ability to love will increase.

The benefits of increased happiness are tremendous. You will learn why relationships are easier when you are happy.

Happiness also provides health benefits including 50% risk reduction for heart disease, reduced risk for some cancers, reduced risk of diabetes and Alzheimer’s, improved immune function, fewer colds and flu and so much more. See our website for more information on the scientifically proven benefits.

It has been shown that depression during pregnancy has many adverse impacts on the baby including sleep and behavior problems, depression, and asthma. These scientific findings point to the importance of learning these skills.

Many will tell you to be more positive. We do not just tell you, we show you how.

You’re made a wise decision. Your life will be better because of it.

Click on the Programs tab for course and registration information.

The terms we use to refer to areas the class will benefit are defined differently by different people. This is especially true of happiness. Our meanings are reflected below.

Happiness is a deep sense of inner stability, well-being, peace and vitality that is consistent and reliable.

Resilience is an individual’s ability to cope with stress and adversity. Increased resilience helps individuals recover from setbacks (illness, depression, adversity, etc. ) faster than they would without the coping strategies that our course strengthens.

Emotional Intelligence is the ability to effectively understand oneself and others which impacts the ability to relate well to people and higher EQ levels help individuals be more successful in meeting the demands and pressures of life.

Optimism is an inclination to project a positive point of view upon actions and events and to anticipate favorable outcomes. Optimists tend to be much more successful than pessimists and to experience better health throughout life.

Self Mastery is the ability to be aware of your emotions and rule them rather than have them rule you. Self mastery is the ability to make the most out of your physical, mental, and spiritual health, to be the best you can be.

Well-Being ~ high levels of well-being mean that we are more able to respond to difficult circumstances, to innovate and constructively engage with other people and the world around us. As well as representing a highly effective way of bringing about good outcomes in many different areas our lives, there is also a strong case for regarding well-being as an ultimate goal of human endeavor. It contributes to the individual ability to realize his or her own potential, to cope with the normal stresses of life, to work productively and fruitfully, and the ability to make a contribution to her or his community.


Is Your Child Happy?

An Open Letter to Parents Regarding the Happiness of Their Children

Does your child’s happiness matter? As parents we want the best for our children. We willingly make many sacrifices to ensure they have not only what they need but opportunities we want them to have.

Why do we do this?  In the final analysis, whether it is good grades, a college education, a car, being on a winning team or a wide circle of friends the reason is that we believe they will be happier in the having of the experience, education or thing. We want our children to be healthy, happy, and productive.

In our opinion every parent would benefit from being aware of the new research on happiness.

I will share some of the relative details of that research including:

  •      Happy children have better relationships
  •      Happy children do better in school
  •      Happy children do better on examinations including the SAT
  •      Happy children are healthier
  •      Happy children are more likely to accomplish their goals
  •      Happy children are less likely to become addicted to drugs and alcohol
  •      Happy children are less like to get pregnant
  •      Happy children are less likely to commit crimes

Happy children do better in school and on examinations including SAT examinations. Scientists have actually demonstrated that happiness increases our level of both intelligence and creativity. The same individual is not an intelligent or creative when they are in a negative state of mind as they are when they are in a positive state of mind.

Don’t worry. I am not about to suggest that you give in to every whim your child has in order to ‘keep him or her happy’. In fact, happiness does not work that way. It is not about ‘getting your way’ but about how you respond to the circumstances of your life. It is what I call the ‘back-story’ you tell yourself.

For example, take two children who want the same thing and their parent tells them they cannot have it. A negatively focused child might, in their own mind, explain your unwillingness to allow them to have the desired thing by telling themselves things such as “Mom/Dad would let me have this thing I want if they loved me; they must not love me” or “I must be a disappointment to Mom/Dad; if they were proud of me they would let me have this thing I want” and so on. You can see where those thoughts lead. They lead to low self esteem and associated problems including depression.

On the other hand, the positively focused child might, in their own mind, explain your unwillingness to allow them to have the desired thing by telling themselves things such as “Mom/Dad would let me have this if they thought it was best for me; maybe I can help them see the benefits of my having this thing”, or “Even though they said no today they may change their mind” or “Maybe Grandma or Grandpa will get this thing I want for my birthday”, or “Maybe I could earn the money and get this thing I want myself”.

As you read the types of thoughts a negatively focused child might have and imagine others along those same lines also think about the drama and anxiety that might be associated with the thoughts.

The negatively focused child, if they have tied how much their parent loves them to the outcome of getting this thing or not will experience the parents’ unwillingness to provide the thing as a severe emotional blow (and rightly so considering what they have tied to the outcome).

The positively focused child feels secure in being loved, would never think to tie being loved or not to a question of receiving something. These feelings really have little or nothing to do with the parents’ behaviors but with the back story the child tells him or herself. An average parent with a child that has developed this type of back story cannot change their behavior enough to make the child feel more love. The child has to change the back story in order to feel the love that is already there.

The interesting thing about back stories is that we all create them to explain things that happen in our world. There are as many different back stories to every situation as there are people.

Listen to your own thoughts as you move through your day. If someone is rude to you how do you explain it to yourself in the privacy of your own mind?  Do you see the world as full of rude people or do  you shrug it off as that person having a bad day and taking it out on someone who just happens to be handy?

If you receive a promotion was it luck, your hard work, your education, who you know, right place and right time or something else?

Everyone creates back stories for events in their life. It is something we usually do unconsciously. Most of us do not say to ourselves “What sort of back story am I going to tell myself about this situation?” and then create one that makes us feel good. We could do this but most of us do not. Then we begin believing the back-story we tell ourselves and will staunchly defend the truth of our back story which is just something we made up to make sense of something and then thought about repeatedly.

Another interesting thing is that most of us do not talk about our back stories as such. We do not have conversations that are that deep into the privacy of our own minds.

When we are more consciously aware that we are creating back stories we have the opportunity to question them before they become rooted as beliefs. For example, the child who first ties being loved to receipt of some ‘thing’ could, if the child understood back stories, ask the parent or another trusted source if that back story that feels so awful is true and avoid thoughts that would fester and create trouble in the future.

That is enough about back stories for now. They are just one aspect of how a negatively focused individual experiences the same situation so differently than a positively focused person experiences the same circumstances.

Let’s return to the fact that happy people (children and adults) do better in school and on examinations than those who are not. So, if one of your dominant desires for your child is to do well in school so they will be happy would you not want to help them learn to be happy now so they can do better in school?

Depression has reached epidemic levels in America with 1 in 10 individuals experiencing depression[1] and depression being rampant among those in the 18 – 24[2] year range.

Learning how to be more optimistic has been demonstrated to both help alleviate depression and prevent depression. There is a separate letter in the Benefits section of our website which is focused on depression that you may wish to read.

Good relationships are very important to a life that feels good. Science has also shown that happier individuals have better relationships including family, friends, co-workers and other loved ones. There are too many factors that impact relationships to cover them here but if you consider the ‘back-story’ example above you can clearly see how the negatively focused individual is not feeling the love even if it is there. Many people suffer from feeling unloved when they are very loved. It is their back-stories that interfere with being able to feel loved. Happier individuals are also more likeable and tend to be able to maintain friendships and other relationships in healthier and more satisfying states.

Finally, the benefits of happiness on health are tremendous. In one study, which I am very glad I did not participate in, positively focused and negatively focused individuals were deliberately infected with the same cold virus. They were also kept in an isolated floor of a hotel for monitoring throughout the experiment. The results were astounding.

All the negatively focused individuals became ill. Some of the positively focused individuals did not become ill.

The positively focused individuals who did become ill suffered fewer symptoms and a shorter duration illness than the negatively focused individuals. Because they had isolated the participants they were even able to measure true symptoms (not just reported symptoms).

This and other studies have shown a direct correlation between immune system function and level of positivity.

Other studies have shown that individuals in like circumstances who are more positively focused can live as much as 10 years longer than those who are negatively focused even when family history is considered. Additionally, those who were positively focused were more likely to remain fully functioning until much closer to death than those who were negatively focused. The chronic and debilitating illnesses tended to impact those who were negatively focused.

Other research has shown that the risk of ailments such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, depression, and Alzheimer’s are reduced with increased levels of happiness.

Regardless of whether your desire for your child is just not missing class due to illness as much or a longer and healthier life increasing happiness now can have positive impacts on all of these things.

The positive impact of increased happiness on an individual is tremendous. It will improve their relationships, their results in school and their health and general well-being.

Our classes are available for individuals age 16 and up and mature 14 year olds are welcome to attend classes with their parent(s) if both/all are enrolled.

Please consider giving your child the gift of happiness. Your child’s happiness matters.

See our programs tab for information on classes. We are also available for programs in schools.

Closing with a sincere wish for a happy life and all that entails for you and your child.

Sincerely,

 

 

Jeannine Joy, President

Happiness 1st Institute

For Younger Children

Please Note:  In the future classes for younger children will be developed. If you are interested in classes for younger children please let us know as demand can influence the resources we put towards development of the course. We would also be interested in hearing about your experiences with younger children, what worked and what did not, to help us develop effective tools and techniques to help them.

For now the best we can do for younger children is recommend some reading material.

For the parent:

Martin Seligman’s “The Optimistic Child” as reading material to parents of younger children.

For the child:

We like:

S. M. Mawe’s “Dandelion: The Extraordinary Life of a Misfit”

“The Little Engine That Could” – Any age appropriate version should be good

 

[1] Healthline, What is Depression, Retrieved on December 8, 2011, from http://www. healthline. com/health/depression-overview

[2] Tartakovsky, M. (2008). Depression and Anxiety Among College Students. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 8, 2011, from http://psychcentral. com/lib/2008/depression-and-anxiety-among-college-students/


An Open Letter about Relationships and Happiness

An Open Letter about Relationships and Happiness

Many individuals seek a relationship because they want to be happy.

Many individuals blame their lack of happiness on the behavior of individuals with whom they have relationships including parents, siblings, friends, children, significant others, friends, and even co workers and neighbors.

‘If only “_________” would be different then I would be happy’ is a common lament.

I can’t be happy because “so and so is doing or won’t do” is another common assertion.

The common element in the above examples is that you have absolutely no control over the behavior of others. When you make your own happiness dependent upon something over which you have no control your happiness becomes an impossible dream.

Others, no matter how much they love us, will not follow our dictates in order to make us happy consistently. They can’t. They have their own desires and goals which may conflict with what we want them to do. They also have other people in their lives who may want them to behave differently than we want them to behave. Making everyone with expectations of your behavior happy is an impossible task if there is more than one other person in your life. It is also a huge burden to put upon your loved ones. It causes stress and conflict for the individual(s) you intend to love when their desires conflict with your expectations. It is conditional love and that does not serve you or them very well.

As a result of the way many people think about relationships they end up with one unsatisfying relationship after another. Often they seem to have the same relationship with a series of different people (same issues, different faces).

There are ways, within your control, that will allow you to have better relationships in your life.

Your happiness level has a great impact on the quality of the relationships in your life.

Your happiness level has a significant impact on how you perceive the actions of others. When you are happy there are many things that others can do that won’t bother you at all that you would find very bothersome when you are not happy. Your level of happiness actually impacts how you perceive your relationships.

Likewise, the happiness level of those with whom you have relationships impacts how they perceive you. If you are in a relationship with someone who is generally unhappy they are very likely finding fault with you.

One of the good things that scientists have discovered about happiness is that it tends to be contagious.

We can teach you how to be happier and then your increased happiness can have a positive influence on others in your life.

Happy people also have better relationships. In our class you’ll understand why it works this way.

When you are unhappy it is often difficult to think clearly. It is scientifically proven that the same person is smarter when happy than when unhappy.

The Keys to Happiness class offered by Happiness 1st Institute will pay dividends throughout your life. Your increased happiness will help you develop better relationships in all areas of life.

Better relationships will make life more fun.

There are many benefits to increased happiness including improved health, and well being, increased emotional intelligence, increased intelligence, increased creativity, higher levels of success, and improved immune system functioning.

Make an investment in your life. Make a commitment to become happier and use that happiness to nurture your relationships. See our website for upcoming classes and additional information. You can learn to take your relationships to new levels right along with your happiness.

Click on the Programs tab to see our class offerings.

You can do it. Anyone can.

Warm Regards,

 

Jeanine Joy, President

Happiness 1st Institute

 


An Open Letter About Optimism

An open letter about Optimism

Is the glass half full or half empty?

For many years we have just taken our ‘seemingly’ natural slant toward optimism or pessimism as a fact of life, as something that is an intrinsic part of ourselves, unchangeable.

Those with a pessimistic attitude have not fought against or resisted their ‘seemingly’ natural state, believing it unchangeable and probably not all that important.

Science has now shown us that we do have control over whether we are optimistic or pessimistic. If we decide to change ourselves we can do so. Both outlooks are merely habitual patterns of thought.

Science has also shown us that there are many benefits to being more optimistic than pessimistic. These benefits, in general, include:

Optimists are healthier

Optimists live longer

Optimists are better salespeople

Optimists are more successful in most endeavors

Optimists are not as susceptible to depression

Optimists have better relationships

The saying “Blondes have more fun” might be more accurately stated as “Optimists have more fun”.

So, what can you do about it?

You can  take our Keys to Happiness course which not only increases happiness but optimism, emotional intelligence and resilience. The course is fun and easy and will give you all the skills and knowledge necessary to shift your focus from being pessimistic to optimistic.

Does your pessimism serve you in your profession?  One of the other benefits of our course is that you can choose to be flexible. You can focus upon becoming more optimistic in your personal life while retaining your professional skepticism. The two can cohabitate successfully when you consciously choose this path. Even if your pessimism serves you in some aspects of your profession it is not benefiting your relationships with co workers, bosses and employees. You can fine tune your optimism/pessimism switch so that the attitude that is most beneficial to you in the moment is the one you apply.

Pessimists may have difficulty believing they can change or that this course will be helpful. Feel free to check out our Science section where citations from many studies are provided. You can use the citations to locate and read the studies. You will also be able to see for yourself as students answer a questionnaire about optimism and pessimism at the beginning and end of the course to determine their progress.

Deciding to take the course is a small investment of time and money that has the potential to improve your life experience in countless ways.

If you would like to be happier, if you would like to feel less trepidation, fear, anxiety, worry and concern take the class.

If you tend to focus on the negative aspects of your family and friends take the class.

If you have dreams and goals that you believe are impossible to reach take the class.

You will be happy you did.

Best Wishes for a happy life,

Jeanine Joy, President

Happiness 1st Institute

www. happiness1st. com

PS:  Recent findings show that optimism is a trait associated with a 50% risk reduction in the nation’s # 1 cause of death, cardiovascular disease.