I was so happy to see all the research going on by Dr. Veenhoven that is really international research on happiness. In fact, I was so stirred that I answered as you can read below. As you know, my emphasis is on Happiness for Women, and of course Girls. Happiness is often just the same for women as for anyone else, but at other it can be very different. That is because we are part of history, and as part of history we have absorbed messages for thousands of years about ourselves. Not all those messages are to our advantage. For example, to be perceived up less than 100 years ago in this country, as not worthy of casting a vote for the president of the United States, was not a healthy message. It did not build up the egos and self-esteem of women. In fact, how could a women perceive herself as having the potential to run for President of Vice-President, if she couldn’t even vote! So every part of a women’s happiness is a reflection in part of the world she lives in. With that said, here are the comments I left on The Happy Blog.
Thanks to David Pollay for interviewing Dr. Veenhoven. As a positive psychologist, dedicated to helping to increase the experience of happiness in the lives of women and girls, I am thrilled to read this interview. Having an international date bank on Happiness is a great contribution to the world. I am a clinician and have utilized case study methods in determining what women most need to experience a sense of well-being in mind, body and spirit, which we can define as ‘happiness’. In my first book, The Enchanted Self, A Positive Therapy I shared the results of my case study material and my treatment room case notes. What I discovered is how much the community at large and women themselves dismiss their needs for happiness and the actual recognition of what makes them happy. Societal pressures as major caretakers, etc. also block women’s capacities to insist on the resources in society and the personal recognition by family and themselves that it takes to build in the time, energy and wisdom to create enough windows of happiness in a woman’s life. Since my first book I have developed the Seven Gateways to Happiness which give women an easy to start to value themselves and take the steps necessary to build in happiness. Of course self-esteem and a personal wisdom as to what a particular woman needs for happiness are built into these steps which can be found on www.enchantedself.com. My latest effort is a book for girls and moms, The Truth, I’m a girl, I’m smart and I know everything. Positive Psychology ficiton in the form of a diary is my instrument this time to help girls value themselves and hold on to their talents, strengths and potential as they grow up. Let’s keep the work and effort going worldwide on Happiness! We all need lots of it.
Thank you again, Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein