Is a Positive Person Happy all the time?

Posted on April 1, 2010
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A positive person is not happy all the time. But a positive person has either innate character traits and/or has learned techniques to help herself restore herself is she falls into some despair or lowered mood state. For example, a “positive” person realizes that things do not always go our way. However, even if she has a perfectly normal reaction of upset if something happens to her that is unsettling, she has ways of getting herself back to an optimistic position in terms of her moods and behaviors. Perhaps she learned this from her early family life and the messages she received. But perhaps she wasn’t so fortunate, and has intentionally practiced ways of cheering herself up, such as positive cognitive thoughts, exercise, proper nutrition, enough sleep, making friends, etc. I always say it takes work to be happy. However, the reverse is true also. It takes mental and physical work to be miserable also. Just think how heavy you feel when you sag your shoulders. Think how miserable you feel if you stay up all night worrying! So I think being happy is the better alternative for feeling good and a better use of our energies!

THE ENCHANTED SELF, That’s Each of Us!

Posted on March 18, 2010
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In my years as a psychologist, I have come to believe that most people seeking psychotherapy are unhappy. This is not only due to earlier hurts and traumas, as well as present frustrations and problems, but because they cannot access earlier happy moments often enough. The unfortunate result is not being able to experience enough positive states of well-being. It is these unique states of well being that I have come to label THE ENCHANTED SELF. Many scientists of human behavior recognize that we do not yet, and perhaps never can, fully understand human nature. I have become more and more convinced that we do not. What interests me, is that we do not fully understand some people, who have apparently fortunate lives but experience little joy, while others, apparently less fortunate, experience great joy. Perhaps we have tried too hard to understand pathology in our science of psychology, and have not tried hard enough to recognize and understand what I call ego-states, or happiness. When I first began to analyze the data from the women I interviewed, I kept trying to understand how their enchanted adult lives evolved from the childhoods they talked about. I found that although there seemed to be some clear connections, many others were not clear at all. The capacities of these women to reclaim positive aspects of their childhood, while discarding the dysfunction that was often also present, was astounding to me. It seemed as if a magic wand had been tapped on the women’s heads in their adult lives. For example, when Edith talked about her childhood, she at first remembered only its dysfunctional aspects: the fighting between her parents and their constant criticality. I suggested that we go back and look again at her childhood to identify times when, in spite of the pain of family life, she felt excited about her own life and about herself. With this encouragement, she could separate out positive memories of herself from dysfunctional family experiences. She started remembering some wonderful times: delightful family picnics, fishing with her grandfather, and more. An activity you can do to start on the positive road of Enchantment: What are some golden moments in your childhood when you felt particularly happy? These moments can be from any age, from your earliest memories through early adulthood. When you find a golden memory, enjoy it. See yourself at that age and experiment with letting different senses reconnect to that happy time. Can you remember the way your body felt? Can you remember what activity you were engaged in? Were there any aromas? What was the weather like? How did things look around you? What did your mood feel like? Take time to really enjoy this happy memory of yourself. I wish you a joyful journey. I hope that your life feels whole and that you find your past, whether beautiful or painful, a repertoire of talents and capabilities is that are uniquely yours. I hope that your talents, capacities and potential will give you a sense of well being as they thrust you into the world in meaningful ways.

Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein, discusses her positive psychology approach, THE ENCHANTED SELF and a great new book in positive psychology, WOMEN’S PATHS TO HAPPINESS, in which she is one of the authors.

Posted on January 21, 2010
Filed Under A Positive Therapy, Happiness | Comments Off on Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein, discusses her positive psychology approach, THE ENCHANTED SELF and a great new book in positive psychology, WOMEN’S PATHS TO HAPPINESS, in which she is one of the authors.

As the years have passed and I have become increasingly convinced that happiness is not an option. When you take away joy we immediately find ourselves in circumstances that seem to drain tire and weaken us. I developed The Enchanted Self as a positive psychology approach to work in the treatment room and outside of it. It is a means of self-renewal and self-regeneration that can be used again and again. Some of the techniques I teach involve an attitudinal shift. For example, I show people how to recognize what is right about themselves, rather than what is wrong. Other strategies involve helping us see the power in the stories and purposes of our individual lives. I also show people how to get to where they need to go, whether that means an attitudinal shift, further education or even learning how to rest and replenish. I believe and teach that each of us knows when we are on track, and we know where we are living a healthy lifestyle that fits with the integrity of our spirit.

I have been blessed to be able to join up with a group of women of similar intent. Like-minded and yet each so different, we have banded together to jointly write a great new book, Women’s Paths to Happiness. In this book each of us 12 women has been able to share the path that she inspires other women to walk along. I discuss The Enchanted Self’s Four Gateways to Happiness. I hope you will read our book. You can find it here.

Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein, Positive Psychologist Presents her paper, WRITING FOR PSYCHOLOGY, CASE BOOK, FICTION, WHAT’S NEXT? at Norwalk Community College.

Posted on July 29, 2009
Filed Under A Positive Therapy, The Enchanted Self | Comments Off on Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein, Positive Psychologist Presents her paper, WRITING FOR PSYCHOLOGY, CASE BOOK, FICTION, WHAT’S NEXT? at Norwalk Community College.

I uploaded a very short video in which I discuss some of the core concepts of The Enchanted Self. The video excerpt is part of a lecture that took place at Norwalk Community College, November 2008 at the annual Writer’s Conference. The full title of my presentation was: Writing for Psychology, Case Book, Fiction, What’s Next? To read a summary of my talk, which appeared as an article in the APA journal for Division 42, Independent Practice. To watch the video go to: The Enchanted Self

DR. BARBARA BECKER HOLSTEIN SHARES HOW OUR MOODS AND REACTIONS AFFECT EACH OTHER

Posted on June 3, 2009
Filed Under A Positive Therapy, Happiness, The Enchanted Self | 1 Comment

We may be in a wonderful mood only to enter the workplace or home and be met by a scowl, a frown, or negative remark from a coworker or family member. How quickly one’s positive state of well being can dissipate. For example, if I walk into the house in a good mood and my mother, or my wife, or my husband, immediately barrages me with a list of things that I didn’t take care of, or criticizes me for chores I didn’t accomplish to their satisfaction, I will find the experience a clear interruption of my positive state of being. However, if someone were to gently say, “Can you give me a few minutes? I want to go over some of the chores we had agreed to split,” or “I want to check with you as to what has been done or what has not been done,” then I may be able to maintain not only my state of well being, but be in a good enough mood to help improve the other person.

A speaker once compared giving constructive criticism to that of a sandwich. The first slice of bread is telling the person something honest and positive about that person. The filling consists of gently leading into a suggestion or sharing ones’ feelings about how something is being done. The second slice of bread again finishes with positive reaction or remark to that person. How desperately most of us need to practice the art of positive criticism.

Blessings Make The World Go Round! Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein, Positive Psychologist comments.

Posted on May 12, 2009
Filed Under A Positive Therapy, Happiness, Positive psychology for women | Comments Off on Blessings Make The World Go Round! Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein, Positive Psychologist comments.

 Hi Ladies,  I hope you are having a beautiful day today.  Don’t we all need to!  Do you feel better when someone has blessed you?  I sure to.  It makes me feel cared about in a special way when I know someone has blessed me.   I’d like to know how you feel about blessings?  Did you ever have a really special ‘blessed’ day after someone blessed you?  A blessing can be as simple as “Take care”.  Or it can be much more such as the blessings I have listed below from my e-mail blessings that I send out once a week.  By the way you can sign up for my blessings by going to the front page of www.enchantedself.com .  

Enjoy these four blessings and please send me a blessing by giving me the blessing of your response!  Write to me here on this blog or at drbarbara@enchantedself.com 

 “May the wonders of technology always be a boon to your life and may you have the courage to not let these wonders ‘bust’ your integrity, time or need for genuine privacy and intimate connection that can not be had by turning on an electrical current.”  


“May all that befalls you be delicious and filled with delight even if at first you are puzzled or dismayed! ” 

 

“May you always be pleased with freedom, both inside and outside of yourself! ”  

 

“May you be blessed with a disposition that is just as sunny in the rain as in the sun.”  

 

Interview with Loretta Kensley, author and expert in the Sacred Feminine

Posted on March 25, 2009
Filed Under A Positive Therapy, Happiness, Positive psychology for women, Published Articles | 1 Comment

I thought you would enjoy hearing Martha Trowbridge, my co-host on Happiness for Women Only! interview Loretta Kensley, author and expert in the Sacred Feminine and the originator of the website, www.moondance.org They are discussing a critical subject for women, finding happiness through creativity.

June 2, 2008

Download the Mp3

 

Writing for Positive Psychology, Case Book, Fiction for Girls, What’s Next is the question for Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein

Posted on February 10, 2009
Filed Under A Positive Therapy, In The News | 1 Comment

I am thrilled to share with you some of the article that is now appearing in the Winter edtion of the American Psychological Association’s Independent Practitioner Journal. The article appears on p.17 and soon it will be on line. I will post the on line connection when I have it. “The famous novelist, Proust stated, “The real voyage for discovery is not in seeking new landscapes, but having new eyes.” In the 1990’s as a psychologist, I sought new landscapes, and was blessed instead with new eyes to see past the disease model, to the world of human potential that was right in front of me all the time. I had been researching, via case study methods, women outside of my practice to see how women handle childhood messages carried inside ourselves, such as, “You’re dumb but beautiful” or “Make sure you get married before your beauty fades. These are discouraging, judgemental messages,… (I’ll be back with more of this article soon.)

We all need to take Vacations, at least vacations of the Mind!

Posted on January 11, 2009
Filed Under A Positive Therapy, Happiness, Positive psychology for women, The Enchanted Self | Comments Off on We all need to take Vacations, at least vacations of the Mind!

Recently, in a women’s therapy group that I run, the desire for fun and a change of pace over took me. I suggested that we deviate from some of our typical work and instead go around the room imagining a vacation treat designed to suit each woman’s desires.

It was fascinating to see how many marvelous vacation ideas quickly emerged. One woman wished to go to Mexico and South America to view the ruins and lie on the sun in beautiful beaches. Another woman wished to go to Greece and see the ancient ruins there and then slowly make her way through Europe. This could take a leisurely period of time, perhaps even a year. Another also wanted to go to Europe but to do other things, such as take gourmet cooking classes in the South of France and become somewhat fluent in several languages. Another woman opted for spas and other experiences to bring vitality to her body and ultimately her spirit. One person was in reality making plans to go to several meditative retreats over the next few months.

I was fascinated as each woman spoke and realized two things. First, I would have been a happy companion on any of the presented vacations. Each one sounded fulfilling, energizing and provided a change that would be good for me, as well as the person who thought of it.

Secondly, I realized how much each woman, no matter what her background or problems, yearned for change, adventure, getting to know strangers and other places, no matter how burdened by daily problems of relationships, children, money, employment.

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