Valentine’s Day and Happiness in 59 Seconds

by John Zajaros on February 14, 2011

Are You Happy? 3 Paragraphs Will Put You on the Path to Happiness!

Happy Valentines Day to You and Your’s from The Zajaros Family!

I was reading a book this morning, something I try to do every day.

Yes, some of us still read!

While I don’t always succeed, my reading program is really about a commitment I made to myself in graduate school.

During my time as a lowly doctoral student, making my way through the hollowed halls of academia, I was required to read anywhere from 2-5 books a week. I was also required to read a staggering number of journal articles and miscellaneous technical readings, both as part of my course work and as needed to support my ongoing research. As I struggled to make sense of dense and often tedious material, I promised myself that if I survived higher education, I would read as much for enjoyment as for self-education for the rest of my days.

Believe it or not, I have been able to stay true to that pledge!

Interestingly, reading has remained both enjoyable and educational for me. Conversely, almost all of my students, male and female, would argue former and curse the latter. Sadly, many young people do not read at all, ever! When the youth of today (i.e., middle school and high school students) do read, they do so only when required to in order to complete their school assignments. Most students only read long enough to finish the assignment, feeling lucky to have survived the experience!

Back to the point of this article.

I know, I stray a lot!

This morning’s reading matched head-on with the celebration of St. Valentine’s Day, now abbreviated into the more generic, and more universally appealing, Valentine’s Day. The change is probably responsible for greater greeting card, flowers, and candy sales.

Cupid is probably a happy camper too!

Or am I being facetious?

Probably!

Anyway, I was reading from a book by Richard Wiseman entitled 59 Seconds: Think a Little, Change a Lot. Wiseman has taken happiness apart, exploring and analyzing it based on the work of academics around the world.

I know, I know…BORING!

Right?

Well, not really! In fact, it is an intriguing exercise that looks at the emotional and physiological responses to happiness based on certain practices and behaviors, usually performed on a regular basis. The most interesting thing about the findings cited in 59 Seconds, at least to another scientist?

It appears that the effects of many of the happiness strategies cited by Wiseman are powerful, long lasting, and replicable!

Meaning, not only do the various strategies and exercises work? They have a positive impact your overall health…and you can replicate them. Replication thus ensures lasting happiness and good health!

The Secret:

As long as you work at it, you can be as happy as a clam for as long as you want to be.

Happy as a clam has always been interesting to me!

Where in the world did that one come from?

As I was reading today, 3 exercises jumped off the page.

The happiness exercises seemed to apply specifically to the tone of the day, Valentine’s Day.

The tone?

Love!

Richard Wiseman talks about three types of writing:

1) Expressing gratitude
2) Thinking about a perfect future
3) Affectionate writing

Wiseman maintains that all three have been scientifically proven to work, and all that is required is a pen, a piece of paper, and a few moments of your time. (pg. 22)

While Wiseman introduces the three writing exercises separately, it does not take a rocket scientist to see how applying the three strategies, perhaps as part of a daily journal exercise, would have a lasting impact on one’s happiness.

Taking just a little time each day to write three short paragraphs:

One expressing gratitude, perhaps expressing gratitude for the people (and pets) you love.
The second envisioning a perfect future, a future together with those you love and care about.
Finally, the third dealing with those people most important to you, writing affectionately about friends and family (and pets!) you love.

See those people, and yes pets, you love each and every day as you journal and you will be happier and healthier than you have been in years…perhaps since childhood!

What do you have to lose?

Nothing!

What do you have to gain?

Everything!

What are you waiting for?

It works…I am living proof!

If you are at a loss for a Valentine’s Day gift, perhaps a Kindle copy of Richard Wiseman’s book 59 Seconds: Think a Little, Change a Lot and a Romance Refillable Leather Journal with an Embossed Heart? Talk about perfect! And don’t forget the Kindle! A Kindle Wireless Reading Device, Wi-Fi, Graphite, 6″ Display with New E Ink Pearl Technology would be perfect!

To You and Your’s, Happy Valentine’s Day!

The Zajaros Family

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