Feel Happier Now–How the 3 P’s of Learned Optimism Can Increase Happiness So You Feel Better Fast

We are what we think.  So after a breakup, thinking “my life is awful”, “it’s all my fault”, and “this agony will never end and I’ll die alone and my cat will eat me” results in negative feelings. Luckily it’s possible to use learned optimism to change thinking patterns and feel better fast.

Psychologist and happiness expert Dr. Martin Seligman discovered that positive thinking patterns can increase healing and recovery from adversity, and they also increase well-being and happiness.  Seligman recommends using the Three P’s of Learned Optimism:  (1) Personalization, (2) Pervasiveness, and (3) Permanence to gain perspective when you’re feeling bad. This learned optimism changes pessimistic thinking patterns to positive and this gets easier with practice.

But why bother thinking positive when negative things keep happening? Seligman reports that pessimists get depressed more easily, underperform at work, school, and sports, have less stable relationships, and experience worse health than optimists. In contrast, optimists succeed better at school, work, and leisure activities. They have more robust social networks, experience better health and may live longer. Bad things happen to everyone and choosing how to react changes how we feel. Use the 3 P’s to change thinking patterns from negative to positive.

After a breakup, start by examining personalization. Your breakup isn’t 100% your fault, so think of other contributing factors that may have contributed.  Maybe your ex’s mother didn’t like your cat, maybe job challenges stressed your relationship, or maybe single friends tempted your ex to play too often.  So, maybe you could change “this is entirely my fault” to “job stress made my ex grouchy and that didn’t help our relationship”.  Understanding personalization leads to optimistic thinking and this reduces blame and self-criticism.

Next, consider pervasiveness, which means understanding that not all areas of your life are affected by your breakup.  Breakups are difficult but focusing on non-romantic activities or relationships can make you feel better.  For instance, choose a flow activity, like learning how to play a musical instrument, writing or painting; or volunteer, or grow friend or family relationships, these activities are proven to increase happiness according to Seligman’s research.  Also, your dog or a friend’s dog will always love you no matter what.  

Finally, permanence means realizing that intense breakup pain is temporary.  Breakups can follow the grief stages discovered by psychiatrist Elizabeth Kubler-Ross:  denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.  You may move up and down through the grief stages, or not experience all of them.  You will feel better with time as you process your emotions and move towards acceptance.  For now, remember that intense pain isn’t permanent.  So if you tell yourself “My life is awful, will always be awful and I’m going to die alone and my cat will eat me” or “I’m going crazy” you’ll feel worse.  Instead, thinking “I’ll feel better with time” or “feeling sad after a breakup is normal” can help you feel better. 

Recovery Is Possible After Intense Grief

In her book Option B:  Facing Adversity, Building Resilience and Finding Joy, Cheryl Sandberg, Facebook COO, applied the three P’s to her life after her husband’s sudden death from a heart attack.  Upon reflection, Sandberg realized that her husband’s death was not her fault, some areas of her life weren’t terrible (for instance, birthday parties with her kids), and her crushing grief wouldn’t last forever.

Sandberg’s painfully honest self-reflection inspired me to use the three P’s to recover after my divorce.  I needed help stopping PTSD-like symptoms caused by ruminating about what I did wrong during my marriage and also whenever I saw my ex-husband, which was necessary during my kids’ soccer and lacrosse games.  I knew my rapid heartbeat, sweating, and difficulty breathing were harmful to me but I couldn’t stop negative thoughts. 

When thinking through the three P lens, I realized my divorce wasn’t wholly my fault.  For instance, my ex-husband’s challenges were not in my control, I hadn’t caused them, and couldn’t fix them. Further, I realized that distress from my divorce no longer impacts most of my life, and the pain from my marriage is decreasing every day.

As my guilt and self-blame lessened I felt better about my self and my future. Also, I noticed the Three P’s had calmed my stress response. For the first time when thinking about my breakup, my breathing and heartbeat felt normal, and I wasn’t sweating.  A deep sense of relief and gratitude towards Dr. Seligman and his research swelled in my heart.

Optimistic thinking also helps adolescents.  In one study, participants ages 10-15, with low to moderate hopelessness, utilized cognitive behavioral therapy, including the three P’s, to improve depression, anxiety, hopelessness, and coping (Gillham et al., 2012).  I could identify with the study participants, as I had experienced hopelessness while married.  Indeed, the three P’s can help us gain insight leading to success both at school and at home.

Also, this knowledge helps defeat passivity, which is the default response to shock caused by adversity, and we must work to overcome this to increase wellbeing.  Learning how to control thoughts and behaviors can overcome passivity.

The three P’s are a powerful thought tool we can apply to all areas in our lives.  So, like Sandberg’s recovery after her husband’s death, the students overcoming hopelessness, and me changing negative thinking to positive, the three P’s increased my happiness and well-being. I hope you’ll use them to do the same for you.

Want more happiness and to track your happiness trends?  Join HappySpree

About the author(s)

 

Kendeyl Johansen

Kendeyl Johansen is a tech geek creating inspirational multimedia content to increase happiness and health for individuals and organizations.

 

Want some addicting listening fun? 7 Great Podcasts To Enjoy and Spice Up Chores and Boring Tasks

little girl listening to headphones

Want some addicting fun this weekend? These great podcasts will make spring cleaning, gardening, or organizing fly by, and getting chores done can increase your happiness and well-being. 🤣 Watch out for your fingernails though, many of these award-winning podcasts are 5-star suspenseful. You might find yourself cleaning more than you planned.

1) Carrier

A new truck driver struggles to deliver the mysterious cargo locked in her truck.

2) Blackout

A DJ struggles to protect his loved ones amidst a world-wide blackout and apocalypse.

3) Alice Isn’t Dead

A truck diver searches America for the wife she thought was dead.

4) The Edge of Sleep

Could you stay awake if your life depended upon it? Everyone that fell asleep last night is dead so survivors struggle to solve a global pandemic before they fall asleep.

5) Imagined Life: you share a mysterious celebrities roller-coaster journey to fame while trying to guess who “you” are.

6) Revisionist History

Malcolm Gladwell reinterprets past events through a modern lens.

7) Joe Exotic

Tiger King: enter the bizarro world of exotic animal zoos and arch nemesis rivalries. Did Carol feed her husband to the tigers? What will happen to Joe?

Podcasts a fun option for entertainment while finishing tasks that are repetitive or boring, or maybe you just want to close your eyes in the sunshine and listen to something interesting. I go through podcasts quickly, lol and always need more. I have tons of yard work I need to do this summer, so what are some of your favorite podcasts?

About the author(s)

Kendeyl Johansen

Kendeyl Johansen is a tech geek creating inspirational multimedia content to increase happiness and health for individuals and organizations.

Decide who you want to be and be that person

Now is a time of thoughtfulness and change. Decide who you want to be and be that person 👈❣️

So take a few minutes to fill in the blanks:

I am a (adj.) _____, ______, ______, (noun) _____.

Here’s mine:

I am a passionate, smart, inspirational creator of happiness, wellbeing and health.

So repeat your sentence out loud when feeling fear, anxiety or worry and then use your vision to find a solution and feel better.

Thanks Nick Unsworth, and Bryan Dulaney for providing the fill-in-the-blanks to clarify my vision.

👉What’s your vision? 👈

Want more happiness and to track your happiness trends?  Join HappySpree

About the author(s)

Kendeyl Johansen

Kendeyl Johansen is a tech geek creating inspirational multimedia content to increase happiness and health for individuals and organizations.

How to Avoid CoronaVirus and Stop Living With Fear

Dr. David Price, from Weill Medical Center, says his facility handles 20% of NYC’s coronavirus patients, and he and his colleagues have avoided getting sick despite serving the sickest patients, those likely to need a ventilator. Dr. Price was choked up with happy tears that he could stop fearing contracting coronavirus when following the four steps below.

Here’s his video:

https://vimeo.com/399733860?fbclid=IwAR0XbdX8duWM9ek8fNz-fmm7F_gOTpdJ_BqogL-9NVySCuAVk_yzE5JmeVQ

If you have time for the 1-hour video I highly recommend it! If not here’s the gist:

1) 99% of infections are from sustained contact with an infected person, 30+ mins, NOT incidental contact.

This disease spreads by droplets. People touch something with a droplet on it and then infect themselves by touching their face.

2) It’s ok to touch things but sanitize your hands after. Sanitize, sanatize, sanitize.

3) Avoid touching your face. You only need a medical mask if in close contact with an infected person. Wear a regular mask to protect yourself from touching your face. No formal mask needed, a BANDANA works great. Leave the medical masks for professionals that need them because they work directly with sick patients.

4) Practice social distancing of 3-6 feet.

Good news: if you practice these steps you won’t get coronavirus, just like Dr. Price and his team are avoiding this sickness.

Dr. Price’s Q & A

• Pregnant women are not more impacted by coronavirus than anyone else. Those that have contracted the disease recovered without a negative impact on their baby.

• Infants and newborns are not getting coronavirus. There is near zero incidences for ages 0-14.

• To avoid overwhelming our healthcare system, stay at home if you have coronavirus. If you have fever, aches, and feel crappy, stay home. These symptoms will pass for most people. Go to the hospital only if you have shortness of breath.

Only 10% of people will need to go to the hospital for evaluation. Of those, 1-3% will need a medical ventilator. The majority of people will come off the ventilator after 7-10 days and recover.

• If you get coronavirus isolate yourself in one room for 14 days if possible, and if possible, dedicate a bathroom for just your use. If in shared living space, use common sense to stay away from people 3-6 feet, use a regular mask, sanitize everything you touch. Try and find an alternative living arrangement if living with an immunocompromised person.

• If you think you have a cold self-isolate for a few days to keep others safe in case coronavirus symptoms develop.

• It’s fine to outside to exercise and get fresh air just keep 3-6 feet away from others.

• Herd immunity spread for coronavirus is a bad idea for our world. Allowing quick infection of as many people as possible will overwhelm our medical systems and countless people will die. Better to limit exposure so that the virus spreads slower in a way medical systems can handle so less people die.

Thank you, Dr. Price, for taking time to share your knowledge. Finally, I can breathe easy knowing how to avoid this disease. I wish everyone good health as we fight this disease together.

Want more happiness and to track your happiness trends?  Join HappySpree

About the author(s)

Kendeyl Johansen

Kendeyl Johansen is a tech geek creating inspirational multimedia content to increase happiness and health for individuals and organizations.

Who Else Has CoronaBinge-itis? 🤣

While stuck in quarantine we entertained ourselves by making chateaubriand, tiramisu and more but this resulted in a bad moment with my scale. 😬😱😭

So this weekend is devoted to exercise. 🏃‍♀️🚲🏔 Working out boosts our mood increases happiness, and hopefully will result in a better experience with my scale on Monday. 👈

Wishing everyone a happy and healthy weekend!🙌🏼

Want more happiness and to track your happiness trends?  Join HappySpree

About the author(s)

Kendeyl Johansen

Kendeyl Johansen is a tech geek creating inspirational multimedia content to increase happiness and health for individuals and organizations.

.A Rebirth Out of Adversity Causes Us To Become New Creatures — James E. Faust

A rebirth out of adversity causes us to become new creatures

— James E. Faust

Why does change feel uncomfortable?

It often stems from fear. 👈

We fear changing our familiar routines because of preconceived beliefs about ourselves. Yet when we stop underestimating ourselves and let go of fear, change can help us grow. 🌱 🦋

This Easter, and on other days of reflection let’s take a few minutes to think about how a change might be positive. Wishing everyone a healthy and happy holiday! 🐣

Want more happiness and to track your happiness trends?  Join HappySpree

About the author(s)

Kendeyl Johansen

Kendeyl Johansen is a tech geek creating inspirational multimedia content to increase happiness and health for individuals and organizations.

.Wishing You Sunny Weather For Your Trip To Puerto Backyarda. I’m Getting Tired of El Sofa

How is everyone coping with this pandemic? 😧🦠😷

I was doing well until I woke up this morning to another week of Groundhog Day, stormy weather, and tears in my eyes from morning headlines. 👈

From my positive psychology studies, I realize it’s ok to have challenging days. 😳 Life hurts sometimes.

Tomorrow is another day

— Scarlett O’Hara

Success consists of getting up just one more time than you fall.

— Oliver Goldman

Want more happiness and to track your happiness trends?  Join HappySpree

About the author(s)

Kendeyl Johansen

Kendeyl Johansen is a tech geek creating inspirational multimedia content to increase happiness and health for individuals and organizations.

.When Your Voice Call Suddenly Gets Changed To Video

When Your Voice Call Suddenly Gets Changed To Video

“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”

— Mahatma Gandhi

Many healthcare and essential workers have changed to work extra hours to keep us safe and meet our most dire needs, like breathing and eating.

Many thanks! 🙌🏼🙏💕

Want more happiness and to track your happiness trends?  Join HappySpree

About the author(s)

Kendeyl Johansen

Kendeyl Johansen is a tech geek creating inspirational multimedia content to increase happiness and health for individuals and organizations.

5-Minute Chocolate, Candy, or Fruit Meditation – Feed Your Soul, Yum!

Meditation improves mental and physical health, and it also boosts happiness.  If you’ve never tried meditation this Candy or Fruit Meditation provides an easy introduction and it only takes 5 minutes.  Or, if you’re a meditation pro, you already know taking time for meditation makes you feel great.

So, give your soul a treat.  Grab a piece of candy or fruit and try our yummy 5-Minute Candy or Fruit Meditation.  Click on the video below or scroll down to read how this meditation works.

5 Minute Chocolate Candy or Fruit Meditation

💕Treat yourself to a Valentine's present.Grab some candy, or fruit, and dedicate 5 minutes to lower stress, increase happiness and rewire your brain with this fun and easy mindfulness treat …

Posted by HappySpree Breakup Recovery Challenge on Friday, February 14, 2020

Chocolate, Soft Candy or Fruit Meditation Experience

Did you ever gulp down a meal and not notice how it tasted? We all get busy sometimes, and often I eat without enjoying my food, or even tasting it. If you want to try meditation and develop a new appreciate for food, take three minutes for this Taste Meditation.

I selected chocolate for my taste meditation and the chocolaty deliciousness amazed me. Next, I had to try it with a caramel, then pomegranate seeds and finally a barbecue potato chip (my favorite indulgence). I wanted to skip the meditation and gobble up the whole bag of chips, but I made myself behave.

Taste meditation made me realize how much I missed when gulping food.

You can record the meditation script (below) using your phone or computer and play it back so you can enjoy the experience by yourself. Alternately, have a friend or family member read the script while you do the meditation, then trade places.

Easy Meditation Script

Select a piece of soft candy, like a chocolate, a caramel, a jellybean; or alternately, a piece of fruit. Bring your item to a comfortable sitting location. Choose a chair or cushion or somewhere comfortable to sit.

As you sit unwrap your item, if needed. Hold your candy or fruit loosely in your hand and allow your body to relax. Feel the support of the earth on your body.

Close your eyes. Bring your attention inward and focus on your breath. Breathe slowly in and out, in and out, in and out. Allow your body to relax more with each breath.

Now, bring your attention to your candy or fruit. Feel the weight in your hand. Is it smooth or textured? Soft or firm?

Open your eyes and notice your item’s shape and color. Are there any markings or textures?

You may feel tempted to devour your item but resist this urge. Slowly bring your item up to your nose. Is there a smell? If there is an aroma, sit for a few moments and appreciate it. This may increase your cravings but you’re strong.

Bring the candy or fruit to your mouth and take a small bite, but don’t swallow. What flavor do you taste? Explore the item with your tongue.

Let your item melt in your mouth or chew it. Does the taste change as your item moves around in your mouth? How do you feel? What other sensations are there?

Notice any memories this experience brings up in your mind. Take a moment to appreciate them.

Swallow the item and notice any new sensations. Next, place the remaining candy or fruit in your mouth. Appreciate the tastes and sensations as you explore it.

When you’re ready, swallow the food. Notice any lingering tastes and any feelings you might have.

Next, bring your attention back to your breath. Do you feel different than when you began the meditation?

Slowly bring your awareness back to the room. Notice any sounds you might hear. Feel your body sitting, and notice the support of the earth underneath you.

When you feel ready, open your eyes.

(End of script)

Meditation Gets a New Fan

Skeptical me had thought meditation too “woo-woo”, but I wanted to experience a variety of happiness practices. Taste meditation sounded interesting and easy with only a 5-minute time commitment so I didn’t have much to lose. Plus, how could I go wrong with eating chocolate?

It surprised me how much I enjoyed my taste meditation experience. Slowing down the eating process intensified my enjoyment of chocolate and I noticed more sensations than when I gobbled down food.  When my teenage daughter tried his meditation with a piece of fruit she said, “Mom, that was the yummiest grape I ever had!”

Many food items seemed to taste better after this meditation because I was slowing down to savor foods. I started closing my eyes to savor special tastes and intensified the taste. I appreciate and enjoy my food more.

I loved my taste of meditation and this made me curious. I tried other meditations, and I confess … I enjoyed them all — even my group meditation session. I had thought we would meditate for a few minutes and spend most of the hour talking about our experience.

Wrong!

When the moderator announced we would be meditating for 40 minutes I thought I might die.

How would fidgety me survive sitting still for that long? Surprise … I loved it.

So if a jaded, moldy-oldie like me loves meditation, you might too. I wrote this script in hopes of tempting people interested in trying meditation or skeptical but open about trying meditation, or for anyone needing a relaxing break, wanting to savor life more, or people interested in increasing happiness. If any or all apply to you try this tasty experiment.

About the author(s)

Kendeyl Johansen

Kendeyl Johansen is a tech geek creating inspirational multimedia content to increase happiness and health for individuals and organizations.

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