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Happiness Articles


Change Your Mind And The Rest Will Follow

(category: Happiness, Word count: 825)
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"Progress is impossible without change, and those who

cannot change their minds cannot change anything."

- GEORGE BERNARD SHAW

Change has a very negative connotation for most people. On a deep emotional level we are creatures of comfort and we automatically seek out that which feels good in the moment. We long for comfort and this usually comes from that which we know; that which is familiar to us. Once we can comfortably deal with and "know" all the "unknowns" we can "relax" - because your nervous system and your mind is designed to find and attach a meaning(s) to everything and therefore something new is always a confrontation between that which is and that which will be in your mind.

The unknown is always something that your mind and your nervous system has to "unravel" afresh and this very process feels uncomfortable on many levels. When something becomes comfortable you get used to it as you remove all the "unknowns" and your automatic behaviour can take over again. Our nervous system works primarily by conditioning and by repetition we notice and assume patterns that are consistent. This system is really there to serve us in helping us being more efficient and to be able to do more, more efficiently. Your mind is designed to always look for the best way. Through repetition we learn certain orders and sequences in which things happen and we learn to recognize and respond according to these sequences. Every emotion you experience, for instance, is nothing but the result of a sequence of events and reactions triggered by your unconscious awareness that generates and creates the actual feeling which is nothing but a sensation in your nervous system.

To change anything you must first of all become aware of these patterns. You must become aware of what goes on under the surface of your conscious awareness. This is not difficult and everybody can do this. You need not understand everything about the human nervous system to use it. Simply be aware of the fact that there is a part of you that responds and acts "automatically" based on your past experiences and associations. The challenge is to go from one pattern, one that does not serve you, to one which does. You quite literally would have to change your mind in that you have to change the way you perceive yourself and your life. Doing things differently will feel uncomfortable at first, but you can rest assured that the "uncomfortable" will become "comfortable" as you start to form new associations and new patterns of association.

The process of making the "uncomfortable" comfortable or making the "unknown" known is the way we grow as human beings. What you are comfortable with represents your comfort zone which includes all the experiences that you can comfortably deal with. If you don't expand this "zone" then you simply won't expand yourself as a person. The need to grow and become more as a person, is a deep emotional need that all humans have. Without growth you simply won't be happy. All growth, although it feels uncomfortable in the moment always feels immensely fulfilling in the long term and it is this feeling that we all really crave for; the feeling that we call "good". You can do something that feels comfortable and "good" in the moment by staying with what you know, but true fulfilment comes from pushing beyond your comfort zone and creating a sense of pride in yourself. Growth means change and change involves risk and risk is the process of stepping from the known to the unknown.

The truth is that all of life is constantly in a process of change. Nothing ever stays the same. It is the nature of all of life, including you. Even if you do nothing life will still change. For you to progress, you have to decide to consciously initiate and create the change. You have to consciously put yourself in the uncomfortable place where you can grow and as you do this you progress. Progress is by choice while change is automatic. To be in control of your life you have to consciously choose to change and to keep changing yourself to become the person you want to be.

All change starts with a change of mind. You have to start by changing your thoughts about want you want to change. In changing the way you think about something you immediately change your perception and consequently the way you feel about it. When you change the way you feel you change your behaviour and that is how you progress. Constantly trying to change behaviour will rarely create long term and lasting change. Change your mind and the rest will follow! If you don't change then you simply won't grow and if you don't grow you are not really living.

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Managing My Resistance Learning To Flow With What Life Offers

(category: Happiness, Word count: 406)
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One of the things that interests me most about conflict is the tendency to resist it and the ways in which this resistance causes me to miss key moments, when I might respond with purpose and intention but do not. Resistance is a reactive habit. When I resist, I'm on automatic, and I fail to spot the opportunity to respond with the conscious engagement of being fully present.

Aikido - the martial art I practice and teach - suggests that resistance escalates conflict. When I push, the conflict pushes back. Aikido replaces resistance with alignment and redirection. I change my view from "this person is attacking me" to "this person is offering energy that I can use."

Aikido (pronounced eye-key-doe) is Japanese for "the way of blending with energy." Ki means universal energy or life force. Ki Moments are those in which we are fully aware of our life force and our ability to influence our environment.

In aikido, the attack is inevitable, a part of life. We can influence the outcome of the attack by the way in which we engage and direct it. Will I resist and create a contest, ensuring a win-lose outcome? Or will I practice aikido and transform the attack into a gift of energy? How do I make these choices when I am feeling attacked?

To begin:

Have a positive and useful purpose. Without a purpose to guide us in the conflict, we end up falling back on habitual patterns of reaction. Refocusing on purpose answers the question "What am I really going for here?" and directs the conflict toward a useful outcome.

Practice skills and techniques that move us toward our purpose. We have reactive habits that - in the heat of the moment - take us away from the goal. Changing our conflict "habits" requires skill building, practice and persistent application.

My work focuses on bringing aikido principles to life in "off the mat" scenarios - the life "attacks" that we experience in the workplace, in our relationships, and in difficult life events that can occur at any time. How can we turn daily conflicts into life teachers? Just by asking the question, we begin to transform conflict moments into ki moments and attacks into energy we can use to build the kinds of home, work, and community environments we want to live in.

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Life Is A Gift Open And Enjoy It

(category: Happiness, Word count: 813)
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There is a bottle of perfume sitting on my dresser that I was given when I was ten years old! As you can tell I have pack rat tendencies! For me that pattern started as a young child. I could never bear to throw things away. There was more to it than not wanting to throw things away. I loved the feeling I had when I would receive something new, and would not want to spoil it by using it unless it was for something special. I would want to save it for a special occasion. A new dress would sit in the closet, until a special event to wear it. Perfume would sit on my dresser, not to be used for everyday, but for a special 'something'. This was a pattern in my life for many years.

Recently though I've realized that this is not the best perspective to live life. I don't want to be like that woman on the Titanic, who when was being lowered into the lifeboat said..."If I'd known this was going to happen I would have had that Chocolate Mousse dessert." This reflects a view of life that speaks a lie. It is a false belief that if I enjoy something now, I won't be able to look forward to anything good like that in the future. This belief steals the joy from living in the present, and also lies to me about what the future might hold. Often it takes sad or traumatic situation to cause a person to stop and take stock their life's perspective and lifestyle. For example, let me tell you how it happened for Ruth.

One day, out of the blue, Ruth got one of those devastating 'phone calls' that we all dread receiving. Her sister Jane had passed away unexpectedly. Ruth went over to the home to help her brother in law with the sad task of preparation for the funeral. They were in the bedroom deciding on clothes Jane would wear as she was laid to rest. He pulled out of the drawer some beautiful lingerie wrapped in tissue. Ruth gasped as she saw the astronomical cost on the price tag. "Jane bought this in Paris 8 or 9 years ago. She never wore it. She was saving it for a special occasion. I guess this is it." he said. It was exquisitely, handmade in silk, with a delicate cobweb of lace .As he slammed the drawer shut he said something that changed Ruth's life for ever. "Don't ever save anything for a special occasion. Every day you're alive is a special occasion!

After the funeral, Ruth began to evaluate her life from a different perspective. She began to see life as something to be enjoyed not endured. Ruth started to make changes, although small at first, for Ruth they had great significance. She sat in the garden more and didn't worry about the weeds. She wore expensive perfume on ordinary days, after all co workers and cashiers have noses that function just as well as party goers! She lit that candle that had been sitting as a centre piece on the dining room table collecting dust. She got that cracked window fixed, that she'd been meaning to do for years. She invited those friends round for dinner that she'd seen at the last sixteen weddings, and said we must get together.

Ruth determined that she would live each day as if it was her last. Now every morning when Ruth opens her eyes, she tells herself that this day is special. Every day, every breath, every minute of her life is truly a gift from God.

Your life perspective changes when you start living each day as if it was your last. You start to look at all the things that you want to accomplish in life and actually get started!! You stop watching everyone else doing it. Have the courage to start thinking "It's my turn now" and do what is in your heart.

Grandma Moses began a painting career at age seventy six. Golda Meir was elected Prime Minister of Israel in 1969 at age seventy one.

I recently met a lady in her eighties who, in the last two years, had been white-water rafting, and hiking in the Himalayas. She was excitedly planning her next trip!

Don't wait years, or until something traumatic happens to get your attention. Start now to reflect on your life's perspective and begin living without regrets.

I love this quote by Peter Sage, speaker and entrepreneur :

Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, "Wow - What a Ride!"

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20 Ways To Make Someone Smile

(category: Happiness, Word count: 380)
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Do you want to put a smile on someone's face today? Maybe make their day a little better. It won't cost you a single penny or much time to do just that. And because smiling is contagious, it probably won't just be one person you make smile today.

Here are 20 ways to turn that frown upside down.

1. Send some flowers to your partner at work.

2. Compliment a friend or work colleague on their appearance.

3. Donate something to charity.

4. Take a friend out to lunch.

5. Let someone know you miss them.

6. Make a surprise telephone call to your partner at work, just to say hi.

7. Hold a door open for someone walking behind you.

8. Hug your partner for no reason.

9. Leave a joke on a friends answer machine.

10. Send a card to a friend letting them know what a good friend they are.

11. Give up your seat on the train to someone when there aren't any left.

12. Share your umbrella on a rainy day.

13. Ask a friend if they need anything while you're out shopping.

14. When it's raining, plan an indoor picnic with your children.

15. Leave a love letter somewhere where your partner will find it.

16. Send someone an unusual and unexpected gift like chocolate, flowers or sex toys.

17. Tell your child you're proud of them.

18. Tell someone you thought about them the other day.

19. Cook a surprise meal for your partner one night, especially if they normally do the cooking.

20. Tell your partner you love them.

Did you know it takes only 17 muscles to smile, but 43 to frown. Why waste all that energy frowning when you could just smile.

Here are 5 more facts about smiling.

1. Women smile more than men.

2. Smiling releases endorphins that make us feel better.

3. We are all born with the ability to smile, it's not something we learn from others.

4. A smile is a universal expression of happiness.

5. A smiling person is thought to be a more pleasant, attractive, sociable, sincere and competent than a non-smiling person.

Just remember, smiling is the easiest and cheapest way of improving your looks.

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Money Can Not Buy You Happiness

(category: Happiness, Word count: 501)
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I am sure there will be many people who read this article and will think I am rather mad. Quite frankly I do not care. In this article I write about what in my humble opinion are the most importants things in life, health and happiness.

All that most of my friends talk about is money:

What car do you drive?

How much is your house worth?

How much do you earn?

How much did your suit cost?

Where are you going on holiday this year?

I find all of this very boring and think that they are rather sad. They seem to be in some sort of competition and they are basically obsessed about money.

I will give you an example of one such friend, his name is John. He never seems to talk about anything else and is always looking into get rich quick schemes. He is also in a lottery syndicate, of which there are about fifty members. Each member pays around ten pounds in per week. John likes to go out socialising on a Saturday night, however soon gets itchy feet at the time of the lottery draw. A few minutes later he will go to the toilet where he will then phone his girlfriend. He takes with him to the toilet a piece of paper with his numbers on and a little pen. After his girlfriend has told him which numbers were drawn, John will then then spend around twenty minutes checking his numbers, and then re-checking to see if he has any winning lines.

Eventually he returns to the group who seem very keen (apart from me) to find out how much he has won/lost. To date he has only won small amounts, however is convinced that one day he will become a millionaire. He will then start talking about the lottery, asking other people what they would buy if they were lucky enough to ever win. At this point I become very bored and start to wish I had stayed at home and watched the football.

For me the two most important things in life are health and happiness. These are two things which money can not buy. A few years ago, my dad was taken ill. He was in a real bad way and had to spend around five months in hospital. Him being ill was a huge shock to me as he was only fifty-seven. I feared the worst, even though I was trying my hardest to think and stay positive. I remember thinking, if I gave those doctors everything I own in the world, it still would not help him. I felt powerless and at that moment realised that money is only paper.

Happiness is the same, I remember at the age of twenty-one having lots of money and had been surprised that I was depressed at the same time. At other times I have had next to no money and have been extremely happy.

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A Gold Medal In Love

(category: Happiness, Word count: 1328)
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Five-time gold medal-winning figure skater, Jenny Kilmer, has won the women's Olympics since she was 16. At 36, she is attempting to win her sixth straight gold medal. Kilmer has been blessed to have such fame and fortune with sporting equipment endorsements and TV contracts. She has gotten everything that he has set out to get, except for one thing: love.

Love is what has been eluding her. She has had many relationships, but none that have transpired into anything beyond just a relationship. Her latest relationship with Scott seemed to be destined to the same scenario.

Since two years old, Jenny's life has been all about skating. Her intensive training has obviously paid off professionally because of her gold medals, but personally, even her trainer, Yon, cannot stand to be around her. It was five days until the Women's Olympic medal competition.

Yon asked her, "Do you think that you're gonna find that special guy like that girl did in that movie, 'The Cutting Edge?'" he said in his Russian accent. "You are ten times the spoiled brat that she was." "Absolutely," said Jen. "I'm Jenny Kilmer. America's Sweetheart. Every man wants me." "Until they get to know you," Yon retorted. "But they get together in the end." "Actors get together in the end, not skaters!" "Whatever, Yon." "You know I am right. Scott is on to you like the others. You don't need anybody. No one is gonna tell the great Jenny Kilmer what to do! What has it cost you?" "Allright, allright, Yon." "Have you not learned anything about love since we've been working together? Since you were 16? When it comes to love, you still talk like a 16-year old. Your mother and your father are at their rope's end with you. Your agents put up with you because you make them money." "Why are you still here, Yon? You can coach anyone you want. You've got your five gold's with me. What's keeping you here?" "I want to see you come full circle. You've got nothing more to prove in skaing. The pressure is totally off of you in this Olympics. I am partly to blame for you being the way that you are. I have pushed you too much for too long." "So, what are you saying?" "I have made my dreams into your dreams and I am sorry. I want you to win the Gold Medal...in love." "But, why are you saying this now? After all this time?" "Scott loves you with all of his heart. Do you remember when you broke your ankle two years ago at the Nationals when you tried the quadruple lutz? He went on to the ice and carried you off. He doesn't care about your skating. He cares about you! He cancelled a multimillion-dollar building project to be with you for two weeks after your injury. He lost dollars after dollars for his company, got demoted and risked getting fired for you. He slept in the chair in your hospital room for two weeks! That's love! Scott is one of the greatest things to ever happen to you and you cannot see this. You are headed to becoming a bitter old maid! You've got another half-hour till practice is over. Skating- it's what you're best at. Go on!"

For one of the first times in her 36 years, Jen Kilmer was silenced, but not without tears of sadness and despair. She could not stop crying...even after practice ended.

The next day, Kilmer fell time after time attempting to do a quadruple lutz. Very few skaters have ever successfully done the quad lutz.

Yon coached Kilmer, "You are not falling because you don't know how to do the quad lutz. You are falling because Scott has not called in a week." "What else am I gonna do, Yon?" Kilmer asked. "Call him again and apologize to him - for real this time. At least you'll know you've tried. If you don't see him again, so be it."

The day of the Women's medal event arrived. Several of Kilmer's competitors had subpar performances, which eased the pressure even more for her. Still...her pressure was not on the ice. She could probably do a very safe program and still win the gold.

Jenny and Yon were in the locker room. Kilmer was stretching as part of her warmup routine. She spoke apathetically to Yon. "Scott's not gonna show, Yon. I've pushed him away like all the other guys before him. I've been the biggest bitch to him. He put up with so much of my crap. I won't be able to show any of my children my gold medals because there won't be any husband to start a family," she said confessingly as she started to cry. " I AM gonna be a bitter old skating commentator for some TV network and I'll smile my typical smile and show to the world that Jen Kilmer is the happiest woman in the world. I'm such a phony."

Kilmer's name was announced on the public address, which meant that it was time for her two-minute warmup before her program.

Kilmer skated gracefully and confidently as usual. She was a skating legend. In her mind, she was just going through the motions. She nailed some practice double and triple lutzes, which she could do in her sleep.

As she skated toward her coach, she formed a puzzled look on her face. Yon was smiling and laughing next to a man who had his back turned to her. Jenny braked and as the man who was laughing with Yon turned around.

"Scott," Jenny said straining to say his name. She was finally able to get her breath. "Why? Why are you here? I thought I lost you." "That's what Yon thought too until I called him," said Scott. "You called Yon, but you didn't call me?" "Don't push it." I love you, Scott," she said. "Thank you for being with me after I broke my ankle. You've always been there for me and I've treated you like crap. Like I told you on your message-phone, I am so sorry." "All is forgiven, my dear. You can thank Yon for it." Kilmer smiled at her coach. "I'm doing the quad lutz. And I'm gonna nail it!" "Are you insane? If you wanna win a sixth gold, don't go for the quadruple lutz! You were lucky four years ago, but remember what you did last year in the Nationals? You fell flat on your ass!" Yon reminded her. "I'm gonna have fun this time, Yon. For the first time in the Olympics, I'm gonna have fun because I finally got everything that I've wanted. This is it. After this skate, I'm done. I've won the gold this year." Yon nodded his head with approval and a slight smile. Scott had a puzzled look on his face. "You haven't skated yet." "Oh yes I DO HAVE the gold," she took Scott in her arms. "He's right here and I'm never gonna let him go," she sniffled. "I have five gold medals. Now I want some babies. Will you marry me?" "Yes!" said Scott surprised. "I love you, Jen with every bone in my body."

Scott and Jenny kissed passionately as a couple of Olympic officials walked up to Yon to let him know that his skater was next. When they were done kissing, Yon tapped Jen on the shoulder. "Well then," said Yon, "You've got one more skating duty. As you said, have fun." He smiled widely. As her named was announced, Kilmer skated onto the ice with the biggest grin she ever had on her face. The crowd's applause had never been louder for America's Sweetheart. Kilmer could not hold back the tears of joy. She knew it was her last skate. Jenny Kilmer had won the gold even before her program. She won the gold medal in love.

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Abundance Is A Feeling

(category: Happiness, Word count: 677)
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This question and answer interview was done by Kathy Smith, one of Michael's loyal Virtual Assistants. Visit her website.

Q: Michael, many times during your teleclasses and seminars, you say "abundance is a feeling." Can you elaborate on that statement - what do you mean it's a feeling?

First one of the important things that we've come to learn with the Law of Attraction is that we can duplicate feelings. In other words, just through the words I use I can stimulate somebody or discourage them. In short, we can create feelings within ourselves and within others by what we say and what we think.

Abundance is a feeling. Do you ever notice how excited you feel when you know you have a check coming or when you know you're getting an income tax refund? The excitement you're experiencing is the feeling of abundance. We feel abundant knowing that it's coming, even before we put it in the bank. So a question to ask is, "Do I feel abundant knowing that I'm receiving some money or do I feel abundant only when I put it in my bank account?" For most people, they feel abundant knowing that it's coming. It has nothing to do with whether that have it or not.

So because abundance is a feeling, and the Law of Attraction responds to feelings (vibrations), what if we were able to duplicate the vibration of abundance deliberately? (This is what's called Deliberate Attraction). We've come to understand that this powerful force called the Law of Attraction is constantly checking to find a vibration that we're sending and duplicates it by giving us more of the same. So what if when the Law of Attraction is checking at every moment, that in that moment, we are offering the vibration of abundance? Given the formula, the Law of Attraction would duplicate that vibration and bring us more of the same. That's why it's called the Law.

Q: How do you teach people to attract more abundance?

The Law of Attraction does not care why you are offering a vibration. In other words, it does not care whether you are remembering, pretending, complaining, creating, day-dreaming or observing your reality. It obediently duplicates that vibration. So ideally, we would find something that makes us feel abundant and include it more often in our daily vibration. There are a number of tools that people can use to duplicate the vibration of abundance. I'll give you one of them today.

Q: How do you record abundance in your own life?

On my fridge, I have 15 - 2 dollar winning lottery tickets. So I can clearly and truthfully say I won the lottery 15 times last month. I'm a winner. Look how many times I've won! It's worth 30 dollars to me in the bank and it's worth much more to me vibrationally.

You know when people buy those lottery scratch tickets? Most would celebrate the win for 21 seconds. So for 21 seconds, you are offering the vibration of abundance by saying things like, "Hey I just won 2 dollars! I love it when I win scractch tickets!" And after the short offering of abundance vibration, most people cash the ticket in again and again until they lose. And now they catch themselves saying, "I just wasted money on this lottery again. I only ever win 2 dollars. Easy come, easy go." Now they're in a place of offering a negative vibration.

So here's how to take advantage of the 2 dollar winning lottery ticket. Don't cash it. Keep it in your wallet. Put it on your fridge. And as you look at it each time, it will be a brief reminder that you won 2 dollars. Now you can tell yourself, I won the lottery! I won money this week! And now, for more than 21 seconds, you are offering the vibration of abundance over and over and over again. Your 2 dollar winning lottery ticket is worth more to you vibrationally than the 2 dollars.

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Anger And Hurt Another Lonely Place

(category: Happiness, Word count: 720)
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Being human can really be challenging, to say the least. We feel emotions with every breath we take, every move we make. Some emotions are so sweet that we never want to lose that feeling. Other emotions cause us so much anger and hurt that we are paralyzed with pain.

Our minds use anger as a memory of a hurt that we have experienced. The memory is usually due to the fact that we neglected to express our hurt at the time for one reason or another. We tend to not show our anger or hurt because we do not want to cause a conflict or hurt another's feelings or ever admit those feelings. We also hang onto it because once we actually show we are angered, we are showing we are not perfect and that in fact we are human and can feel pain.

But if we continue to push away our feelings to protect our perfect selves, we become less real and less connected to people in our lives, without even realizing how far we are pushing them away.

Protecting another person from our hurts or anger is only imprisoning ourselves, so that they will never be able to reach us. If we do this long enough we cannot find happiness anywhere. When we are questioned why we are upset, we can not even find the beginning to the hurt we have hidden. The longer we hide our hurts and anger the more confusing they become. Things get all tangled up and if we dare try to explain, we are totally speaking another language.

Have you ever been hurt by someone and then they make it impossible for you to explain why you are angered? Those people can do a lot of damage, they are controllers. When you can identify that type of person, only then can you fight back and tell them, "please just shut up and listen". If you want to be unhappy then keep hanging onto that hurt. It will definitely drag your self-esteem to the bottom.

Hurt is a pain of the moment and it is happening right now. Its reason is right there in front of you. You must deal with it or you will only hide it and end up alone in your prison of loneliness. The longer you hold back, the more angry you become with you, for not acting out. That's when guilt moves right on in and takes over, making you want to get even with that person. Your negative thoughts are seeded now and nothing feels good. Is this a good thing? NOT!!!

It is definitely not easy to risk being called oversensitive, or told that you are just causing a fight, or they just laugh you off like you are a child. You may even find that this person doesn`t really care about you. Better to find that out asap, don`t you think?

These FEELINGS of hurt and anger have a way of taking over our lives. Is it not better to let it out now than to live in an unhappy life of silence? Tell someone how you feel, when you feel it, or you will only lock those FEELINGS up inside you and trust me, you will lose yourself.

You may even hurt the one you love, but honesty is the best way. I believe that with a true love you should be able to tell that person anything and yes even if you feel hurt or angered by them.

Love conquers anger and hurt. It battles jealousy and helps lift you to a higher self-esteem!

To be truly happy and not endure the prisons of negative emotions, we need to be heard. We need to be understood. We need to be forgiven. We also need to be loved and cared for.

And my sweet readers, on that note, I will leave you with another tip to strengthen

your courage to keep climbing that mountain to a better you!

Take responsibility for your life.

You have the power to make things better.

And most importantly, you have a choice!

Dorothy Lafrinere

Owner/Operator

Website- http://www.womensselfesteem.com

Weblog- http://www.justblogme.com/Dorothy

email- dorothy@womensselfesteem.com

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The Root Cause And Permanent Solution For An Alcohol Or Drug Addiction

(category: Happiness, Word count: 1034)
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The alcohol and drug problem in this country is huge and most of the standard addiction recovery and treatment programs aren't working. Consider the following

CRIME: 25% of all prison inmates are there for drug related crimes. 16.4% are in prison for committing crimes to get money for drugs. 47% of crimes were committed while a person was on drugs or alcohol.SEX: A lot of the sex outside of marriage wouldn't happen if it weren't for alcohol or drugs being used to try to drown out guilt and fear (which are nature's feedback to try to stop us from doing something against its perfect order). And nature does other harsh things to try to stop sex outside of marriage. USA Today reported that shockingly, 1/2 of everyone under 25 years old in the United States has had an STD (Sexually Transmitted Disease). The U.S. Dept. of Health reports that there are 1.1 million current cases of AIDS/HIV in the United States. (So obviously, it needs to be recognized that nature is hostile towards sex outside of a monogamous, heterosexual marriage, which is the only sexual setting that nature doesn't try to stop via harsh consequences). 80 percent of unmarried teen mothers end up on welfare, costing this country $7 billion annually. And a University of Georgia study reports that of those individuals who experienced unwanted sexual intercourse in the last year, 92.1% had been under the influence of alcohol or drugs.ACCIDENTS: Alcohol is involved in 50% of all driving fatalities. In the United States, every 30 minutes someone is killed in an alcohol or alcoholism related traffic accident. That amounted to 17,488 people last year alone.MENTAL ILLNESS: Fifty percent of the mentally ill population has a substance abuse problem. In fact, 22 million Americans suffer from substance dependence or abuse due to drugs, alcohol or both, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.EMOTIONAL HEALTH: The general emotional health of the public is very poor, as is evidenced by the high divorce rate and a teen suicide rate that is higher than the other 26 industrialized nations combined. Other indicators of the general state of the heart of America come from its entertainment industries: the shocking and harsh experiences in the movies, the rampant dysfunction on television, and the high percent of bad feelings (and the big void of good feelings) that come out of the music industry.Now that's the bad news. The good news is that there is a solution to all of this. That solution starts with understanding what the basic problem is. The basic problem behind alcoholism and drug abuse is that people aren't finding happiness and fulfillment naturally. So then they attempt to achieve happiness and fulfillment (or escape their unhappiness and emptiness) by using alcohol or drugs. But those bandaids usually end up leading to a lot more unhappiness, health problems, financial problems, relationship breakups, legal problems, etc. A lot of hidden damage is done while in a stolen euphoria. But obviously those risks aren't enough to outweigh the problems in a person's emotional state or the lacking in their life that cause them to overlook the risks and dangers of alcohol and drug use.So then, WHY are people so unhappy or unfulfilled that they would make that choice? The answer is simple: they are not operating in harmony with the natural design of their being. It starts with the fact that if a person has his or her natural drives unsatisfied for more than a normal period of time while searching for satisfaction, over time the frustration and lack of hope from this can cause them to become more dulled and depressed and even sleepy and prone to drugs to try to make his or her self feel good and not feel bad.But, the good news is that the continual unnaturalness that led to this bad state can be reversed. And the process that will awaken them, enliven them and make them even feel good and excited about their life. The reason is that they are given hope that there is a real solution for their problems...and then they actually get satisfaction by carrying out that solution.Teaching a person how to be happy naturally and in harmony with the real design, meaning and purpose of their life is the key to how they get the strength, joy and deep fulfillment that is necessary for them to have no inclination for alcohol or drugs. But, that's easier said than done, and can only happen within THE natural design of how we were made to be. That means first knowing what that design is. That can be a difficult thing to do in this world because there is a great amount of debate and disagreement as to what that design really is. But 'the world' in general, obviously has it wrong if there exists such a huge drug and alcohol problem and poor social statistics.

Having been in the top echelons of the music business as a former member of Sly & The Family Stone and The Elvin Bishop Group, I know alcohol and drug abuse well. But after experimenting with 22 approaches to lifestyle and personal growth, I became free from alcohol and drugs 24 years ago (after 18 years of use). I finally realized that fighting nature is not a battle that anyone can win and be happy. Therefore why even try? Understanding and flowing with the natural order is how to make inner, outer and social life work at their best. But like I said, that is a task that is easier said than done, given that the mainstream culture in general is not in harmony with the natural order and is tolerant of a lot of dysfunction. Therefore, if a person wants to be free from a weakness for alcohol or drugs, they will have to go through a re-orientation of how the mind, heart and body are designed to function, and they will have to know how to have the strength and vision to transform into that design. My self-help Addiction Free Forever program shows how to do all of those things.

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