Psychological Self-Help

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3. Act like a happy person—smile, greet people, be outgoing and
optimistic, even if you are a little down (Fleeson, Malanos & Achille,
2002). Acting sour and unhappy keeps you feeling that way. 
4. Find respected tasks to do that use your talents and challenge
you to do your best…flow! 
5. Every day do exercises you enjoy to the point of “working out.” 
6. Learn to thoroughly rest. Get plenty of sound sleep. An alert,
relaxed body feels good. 
7. Attend to friends, loved ones, and the people you are privileged
to serve. 
8. Also, empathize with and respond with help to strangers in
need. Happy people are sensitive and giving. 
9. Take time each day to remember people and institutions who
have helped you. Count your blessings. Express your gratitude. 
10. Join caring groups that support your being your best self and
give you hope. 
Sad to say, we can’t suggest how to be happy much better today
than Aristotle did 2300 years ago: 
“The good of man is the active exercise of his soul’s facilities in
conformity with excellence or virtue—this activity must occupy a
lifetime…one day or a brief period of happiness does not make a man
supremely blessed and happy.” 
There are hundreds of Pop (not Positive) Psychology books and
Web sites about getting happy. They will help some people but there is
little research to back them up. There are a couple of research-
oriented psychologists who seem to be paralleling Seligman: Baker
(2003) and Niven (2000). Stevens (1998) also has a book and a Web
ad for the book but it does offer selected sections for free. Another
Web site is for kids, How To Be Happy
Theories about the Causes of Depression
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