Psychological Self-Help

Navigation bar
  Home Print document View PDF document Start Previous page
 27 of 179 
Next page End Contents 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32  

children. They believe that a child with lots of positive experiences and
emotions will inquisitively explore the world and, as a result, learn to
master problem situations and develop their strengths. He offers eight
techniques for rearing happy children: 1. Sleep with the baby. 2. Give
them a sense of mastery through games and play. 3. Say no seldom
and yes a lot. 4. Praise worthy accomplishments, not easy ones. Avoid
punishment. 5. Avoid sibling rivalry by giving each lots of attention. 6.
Focus bedtime rituals on positive experiences—“my best time today”
or priming for a pleasant dream. 7. Offer future rewards for self-
improvements. 8. Make New Year’s resolutions about adding desired
behaviors, not about stopping bad habits. There are hundreds of books
Overall, Authentic Happiness is theoretically well grounded in
Positive Psychology principles. Sometimes his practical advice seems
inadequate to meet the challenge. This is especially so if the child or
parent has depressed/pessimistic genes…what do we do then?
Seligman acknowledges the power of the genes and then seems to
disregard their presence. See Optimism and Pessimism by Ed Chang
(2002). Yet, Seligman delves into so many aspects of happiness and
optimism that the final result of reading his book may be fairly
effective in increasing many individual's happiness. The tenor of the
sweeping Positive Psychology movement has a little bit of the same
feel as the Self-Esteem movement. It goes without saying, of course,
that the chapters of the book as well as the whole movement should
be empirically evaluated to see how well it increases happiness and/or
decreases depression. In general, Seligman's suggestions are as good
as we can make today. 
OK, so winning lots of money only lifts your spirit for a couple of
years. Contrary to the “jolly fat people” notion, getting fat doesn’t
make most of us jolly. Reportedly, women with breast implants have a
higher suicide rate than other women, so perhaps having a nice body
won’t remove our psychological troubles. Getting into religion may
help but the research data isn’t entirely clear on that. Is anything a
good bet to bring us more happiness? Well, there are a few ideas but
they aren’t easy to create for yourself and not sure fire even after
much effort: (1) Become able to manage your own life doing
meaningful things that interest you. (2) Learn to feel truly competent
in your major activities. 3. Develop close, meaningful, mutually
satisfying relationships. 4. Come to feel good about yourself and the
life you have built for yourself. 
Finally, David Myers (1993) (
summarizes several ways to seek a happy life: 
1. Don’t make the mistake of believing that being a big success will
automatically make you happy. Being a genuinely caring person with
good friends is a much better way. 
2. Learn to control your time and your behavior. Have a Daily-To-
Do List. 
Previous page Top Next page

« Back