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Therapeutic thinking - happy to be human.

A certain professor, whose task is to help us ordinary people understand and use principles of psychology, was chatting to a young woman about producing happiness. She was in a hurry, as most of us are today, and cut him short. 'I have only a minute' she said. 'Tell me what I can do.'  And so the book, '59 Seconds' written by Prof R Wiseman, was born. Very concise descriptions of well-proven ways to gather happiness. 

Here, then, are some of those well-proven ways of lifting your spirits and those of folk around you.

Gratitude Attitude
Think of three things which you are grateful for.
Happiness can last a month

Smiling induces happiness
'A sense of trust and social well-being rises and spreads outward, enveloping the other'. 
It is the food of love. Who better than Winkie to set us smiling. Click on him and read on.....

Have something green, and if possible, living, around your thinking place. 

Find a friend to walk beside you.
'When two share a vision, friendship is born'.

A light touch on the upper arm speaks volumes.
It gives a feeling of value to the recipient.

Keep a pet.
They need and love you.

Write a narrative of your life to give it meaning.

Keep a diary.
Reflect on your relationships.

Hang a mirror in your kitchen.
Your intake of unhealthy food will drop.

Praise effort rather than ability.

Ask yourself if anyone has slept more soundly because of you.
'The gentle relief of another's care.'

Thoughts taken from:

  • Prof Richard Wiseman:   '59 Seconds'.    
  • C S Lewis:  Various writings.
  • J Berger:   'Hold All Things Dear'.     
  • R W Emerson    'What is success?'
  • William Blake.

Angela Patmore in her book 'The Truth about Stress' makes it abundantly clear that we need to lift our spirits in any way we can rather than seek to take time to chill out. In a recent edition of Elle magazine there is an article advocating hard work rather than a head massage. 


Break your day up into little pieces of all that you need and plan to do. Have a shower, eat breakfast, wash dishes, call for the newspaper and so on. Have a goal for each activity, such as a clean and fresh body, healthy food for breakfast giving you energy, clean dishes and kitchen. Then plan how you are going to achieve each part. 

Use your own body to do as much as possible, thinking of all the parts you are moving and so keeping fitter and remaining younger. As you reach your goal you will receive the reward of a sense of pleasure and pride in what you have done, so valuing your body and caring for it in every way you can. You will be less inclined to abuse it with smoking and excessive eating and drinking. 

Following this path through the day brings meaning to everything you do and can revolutionise your lifestyle. It turns chores into choices and sets challenges each day. Thinking and planning will liven up your brain. There is more and more evidence that our bodies are continually renewing themselves, adding new cells and attacking disease. Work together with it and find a new purpose in life.

If you use your body for the well-being of others, so much the better. Seeing each personal contact as an opportunity to recognise and enhance that person's life is the secret of happiness for all. Valuing what they do gives both giver and taker richness even in the small moments of life.

Perhaps the greatest way we can contribute to improving both society and the economy, is to improve our lives and the lives of others. This is something open to all and will enable us to celebrate life in all its fulness. Changing your life-style will have a ripple effect on your family, your community and your country.

I hope these thoughts will encourage you to be happy to be human.

A life full of joy in small things is a life of fortitude in the difficult times.