Posts Tagged ‘happiness’

Matthew Ricard: Aversion

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Aversion is the negative side of attachment; we may have aversion to failure, loss, instability, or discomfort; and we usually believe that if the things toward which we feel aversion happen, we’ll surely be unhappy.

It can’t be emphasized enough that to experience genuine happiness we first have to recognize what blocks it.

This includes seeing our attachments, the things we believe will bring us happiness, but which actually do just the opposite.

We will continue to pursue the conditioned strategies of behavior that we hope will bring us happiness as long as we believe they are working.

And because they sometimes do bring us some degree of personal happiness, these behaviors can get reinforced for a long time.

That’s how people get caught on the treadmill of their attachments and routines for a lifetime without making any effort to change.

Paradoxically, we’re actually fortunate if life occasionally serves us a big dose of disappointment, because it forces us to question whether our attachments and strategies really serve us.”
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How can PTSD sufferers ignore their PTSD then choose to be happy?

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Yesterday during a conversation, a friend told me they choose to be happy.

I think I need to choose to be healed first. Which is easiest, to be healed or be happy?

That hit a nerve, I knew the implication was aimed at me, my PTSD.

Is our problem with PTSD the inability to choose happiness?

I can say the words, my PTSD pays no attention.

My symptoms come from a place where words can not reach.

How can PTSD sufferers ignore their PTSD then choose to be happy?

How do you accomplish this?

This means symptoms disappear, anxiety, unworthiness, fight or flight firing, depression, hypervigilance, and intrusive thoughts.

I know words do not heal PTSD.

From my vantage point, PTSD has to recede to a level few of us reach to be happy.

I would settle for being out of suffering.

Me, not healing, angers some of my friends.

They need easy solutions to all life problems.

I frustrate them.
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Many more stressors are happening

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I wonder how PTSDers navigated life during the Civil War or the great depression.

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It seems as if the world and America have come unglued.

Covid has changed everything, our political upheaval has such vitriol, and now Roe v. Wade will bring fervent protests and violence.

If you have a dedicated meditation practice, you realize we are on this journey in harmony not competition, our path is to give and help others less fortunate.

It’s inclusion, we are all equal human beings. What a novel concept we have forgotten. Let’s clear out the homeless, they are not real people.

The intensity of hate, racism, and violence saddens me.

Where are the peacemakers and true leaders?

One side hates the other side and vice versa, as an eye for an eye leaves us all blind and lost.

Do you see more happiness, kindness or more healing in this current climate?

If you have PTSD, this turmoil heightens your distrust and fear, life becomes narrower.
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Let it go to voicemail

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“When the past calls, let it go to voicemail, believe me, it has nothing new to say.”

– Unknown –

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My two cents: A motto to live by for PTSD sufferers.

The past holds suffering for us, it is the freeway of pain.

The present moment holds opportunity and freedom.

The past triggers me.
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Happiness versus Meaning


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“Still, some people are high in one and low in the other, and there are traits that are related to happiness but not to meaning, and vice versa.

Here are four differences.

  1. Health, feeling good, and making money are all related to happiness but have little or no relationship to meaning.
  2. The more people report thinking about the past and the future, the more meaning they say they have in their lives—and the less happy they are.
  3. Finding your life to be relatively easy is related to more happiness; finding your life to be difficult is related to less happiness and, though it is a small effect, more meaning. Do you consider your life a struggle? You’re likely to be less happy but more likely to see your life as more meaningful. Are you under stress? More meaning and less happiness. What about worrying? Again, more meaning and less happiness. These findings mesh with a study we’ll discuss in more detail later, in which those who reported the greatest amount of meaning in their jobs included social workers and members of the clergy—difficult jobs that don’t make much money and that involve dealing with complicated and stressful situations.
  4. The researchers asked, without any elaboration, this simple question: “Are you a giver or a taker?” The effects are small here, but there is a pattern: Givers have more meaning in their lives; takers have less. Takers have more happiness; givers have less.
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Happy Easter: A Kindness Post

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Photo by Adam Nemeroff on Unsplash

Kindness strengthens the brain: Study shows it helps boost the entire family’s cognitive health

By Jocelyn Solis-Moreira

Doing an act of kindness can make you feel good about yourself, and a new study suggests it also benefits the brains of everyone living under one roof. Researchers from The University of Texas at Dallas report that teaching and practicing kindness at home improved parents’ resilience and children’s empathy.

Because both resilience and empathy use different cognitive skills such as responding well to stressors or considering different perspectives, the researchers suggest kindness can improve a person’s cognition.

The Children’s Kindness Network is an online kindness training program that enrolled 38 mothers and their 3- to 5- year old children. The program included “Kind Minds With Moozie” with five modules featuring a digital cow who explained creative exercises parents can use with their kids to learn about kindness.

“We aim to encourage parents to engage in practical, brain-healthy interactions with their children that aid in a better understanding of one another, especially during times of stress,” says Maria Johnson, MA, director of Youth & Family Innovations and coauthor of the study in a media release. “Research shows that kindness is a strong potentiator of vibrant social engagement, which in turn is a critical component of overall brain health.”

The team studied the impact on the program and children’s empathy. Parents filled out a survey on their own resilience and their kids’ empathy before and after the training program. Results showed that after the program, parents reported being more resilient and preschool-aged children were more empathetic. 

One surprising finding was that children’s empathy levels were below average despite showing improvements after training. The team explains this is likely because of COVID-19 restrictions and lockdowns that limited children’s social and emotional development.

“In times of stress, taking a moment to practice kindness for yourself and model it for your children can boost your own resilience and improve your child’s prosocial behaviors,” says Julie Fratantoni, PhD, cognitive neuroscientist and head of operations for The BrainHealth Project. “Do not underestimate the power of kindness, because it can ultimately change and shape brain health.”

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Achievement and successes only dull the demons momentarily.

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After a decade plus of serious meditation, My inner world exploration, some deep healing and certain brain patterns become apparent.

My brain thinks failure can happen today, at 70, it is my brain’s default.

This happens before thought, it is how my brain is wired, I spot danger, possible failure before all else.

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It is a curse.

It’s not PTSD, it is the way my brain wired around abuse, fear was always present as a kid without a chance of escape.

My PTSD part thinks something can happen today that could make my life a total failure.

My self-worth was built on a foundation of quicksand, lack of attachment as a child.

How do you fix my brain wiring at 70?

I have 60 years of practicing living in fear.

It is gratifying to understand myself, my behavior, my personally and specifics.

I strived for achievement, temporary worthiness all my life, its glow dulled in weeks, all successes were temporary, returning inside the void (unworthiness) in my chest.

I find joy in serving others, my grandkids.

Inside me joy is absent, worthiness is a stranger, fear is a companion, life is brutal, and suffering is a toxic friend.
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Observing: no judgments

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Matthew Ricard from “Happiness”

“Observe what arises in your experience without imposing anything on it, without letting yourself be either drawn to it or put off by it.”

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My two cents: We would be healed if thoughts were treated as neutral, harmless appendages.

Oh yes, appendages, thoughts and emotions are not part of our core, our true self, they are appendages, attached to the periphery of our being.

Emotions are ephemeral, fleeting, and ever-changing, thoughts are invisible unless grasped firmly.

PYSD would die if we did not impose judgment on our thoughts and emotions!

Think of that.

As Ricard says, “Feel the freshness of this present moment.”
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It takes action, practice, hard work and guts to heal

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First class menu

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“Meditation is a matter not of theory but of practice, just as it does not satisfy your hunger to read a restaurant menu if you are not going to eat something from it.”

Matthew Ricard from “Happiness”

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My two cents: Healing is not a spectators sport, reading heals nothing, it takes daily action.

We PTSDers avoid and isolate, go numb and sedentary.

Taking action in the face of fear and anxiety is a necessity.

It takes great desire, focus and persistence, besides courage to heal.

It is a moment-to-moment battle with our thoughts, anxiety, and fear.

Know the playing field, be prepared, have an attack plan, and finally develop your tools.

Healing is not for the faint of heart, victims find it difficult if not nearly impossible to take action.

We must prepare and accept PTSD’s suffering, then take healing action in the face of this fear.

We start with small actions and small incremental gains with daily work.

Sedentary is closer to death, action closer to life.

Your decision, your life.

happy Healing!


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Third class menu not so elegant!

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Sunday: Week in Review

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It has been a stellar week, PTSD has receded back into the cracks of darkness.

Less symptom activity, more letting go is happening, a big break in the action with neutral and positive emotions flowing.

I am still guarded but optimistic.

Mornings are happier, life has opportunities and some joy at times.

I see this more as PTSD receding, opportunity is always there just covered up by active trauma.

PTSD is a dark cloud that follows us, our personal bad weather machine.

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PTSD is abstract, confusing but powerfully charged with partial control of our nervous system (defense mechanism).

Healing happens at optimum rates when we can stay calm over longer periods.

Being triggered, full of cortisol and adrenaline, this upset confuses and damages our chances of well-being.

The ability to dissipate cortisol and adrenaline becomes a soothing skill for recovery.

Learn to use your breath to calm the nervous system.

I hope this period of relief holds.

Happy Healing!
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