Psychological Self-Help

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1179
Seeking to be happy is such a complex process that science is
decades away from objectively assessing the effectiveness of all the
steps involved. Being happy is a worthy goal (if it involves facing life
as it really is), however. Shared experiences and science will help us. I
don't know of any dangers from trying to be happy, as long as we face
reality and are responsible. 
Suggested reading
Mikulas, W. L. (1983). Skills of living. New York: University
Press of America. 
 
Gaining peace of mind; centering
Many people believe there is a peaceful place inside us, called "the
center." From that place, you can see things clearly without
distortions; you can think straight without confusion; you can relax
without tension. 
The crux of this idea is to think of "the center" as being an internal
place from which you are aware of all the other parts but you can
remain detached or apart from all the other parts of yourself.
Examples: from the center, you are aware of your body and its
feelings, but you are not your body. You (the centered observer)
recognize your emotions, but you are not your emotions. You are not
your behaviors or your thoughts; you are an objective observer.
Indeed, the centered self may decide to change any of these parts--
your body, feelings, actions, and mind. But, when you are "centered,"
you can not be hurt, you are not vulnerable. You can observe your
behavior and see that you are messing up, but the centered self does
not emotionally react. You observe the agitation of the mind, the pain
of the body, and the hurt emotions, but the centered self remains calm
and at peace, just observing in a clear, calm way. This method could
clearly be placed in chapter 14, also. 
Purposes
To develop a safe "observation station" from which you can see
all your conscious parts. 
To become able to escape the stress of external pressures or
intense emotions. 
Steps
STEP ONE: Gradually develop the capacity to be "centered."
The "center" or the "centered self" has to be built through
conscious effort. We have to learn to go there and "center" or calm
ourselves. How can we do this? Through efforts to relax and detach
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