8 Tips for Happiness and Optimism

8 Tips for Happiness and Optimism
By Bob Murray, PhD and Alicia Fortinberry, MS

Connecting is the key to happiness and personal fulfillment.

If your relationships are supportive and fulfilling you can be healthy and happy, you can free yourself from depression and become optimistic. If your relationships are anything less, then the reverse happens: you become ill, happiness is impossible and you can sink into profound pessimism. Your goals remain out of reach.

In their book Creating Optimism Bob Murray and Alicia Fortinberry reveal the fundamentals of happiness and 8 things you can do today to create happiness and optimism.

Connection to Others “…at the very heart of your being.”
Make a list of friends you haven't contacted in a while but would like to, and call them.

Autonomy “…a feeling of independence and a sense of being in control…”
Go to as many local establishments rather than chains as possible and strike up a conversation with the proprietor or service people.

Self-Esteem “…a function of how you perceive others view you.”
Catch yourself every time you make a self-deprecating comment.

Competence “…relates to how effective you feel you are.”
Ask the people in your life to tell you when they think you've done something well.

Purpose “…fulfillment and meaning throughout your life.”
Ask your friends and acquaintances to describe what they see as their purpose beyond making money or caring for others.

Connection to Your Body “...vital to our complete sense of self...”
Throw out all your magazines that feature impossibly perfect-looking men or women on the covers.

Connection to Nature “…its permanence, its beauty and power…”
Walk in a park or other natural area for twenty minutes each day. Pat at least one dog and talk to its owner.

Spirituality “…a powerful weapon against depression...”
Make a list of all the things you believe in that give you comfort.