The Pursuit of Happiness Can Push It out of Reach

I’m slowly reading this great book called Resilient: How to Grow an Unshakable Core of Calm, Strength, and Happiness, by Forrest Hanson and Rick Hanson. I wanted to share these awesome bullet points about gratitude. I need to remember these!

  • We seek to feel good in the future, but this is often stressful in the present. Poignantly, the pursuit of happiness can push it out of reach. With gratitude, we feel good already.
  • Giving thanks for what is beneficial does not prevent us from seeing what is harmful. In fact, the ways that thankfulness supports physical and mental health make us more resilient and more able to deal with challenges.
  • Pleasure is easy to dismiss, but it is a rapid way to lower stress or to disengage from an upset. Wholesome pleasures crowd out unwholesome ones. The more you feel already full of pleasure, the less you’ll strain for it outside yourself.
  • Because of the negativity bias, we notice when we fail to reach a goal while missing the fact that meanwhile we’re succeeding at hundreds of other goals. Look for opportunities to feel successful many times each day. Take in these experiences and use them to compensate for and heal feelings of failure or inadequacy.
  • If you can be happy about the happiness of others, you can find a lasting happiness.

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