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IBorn Happy Editor’s note: This is a guest post from bestselling author and Psychology Professor Sonja Lyubomirsky.

“To change one’s life, start immediately, do it flamboyantly, no exceptions.”
– William James, “father” of psychology

I have two friends, Mark and Brian, and one of them is a lot happier than the other.   Read more >>

Respect Some people are always listened to. What they say matter, and everyone pays attention whenever they speak.

Why is that so? There’s an air of authority about their every words and actions, which helps them in getting their point across, when others would not even be heard.

In short, they are who you and I would call “Natural Leaders.”

I am not one of those people – I wasn’t born super-confident – so I took some time to study man and women who naturally command respect, in order to learn their secrets and get the results I wanted in my own life.

The experiment has worked well: today my behavior has changed - though I’m still me - and I have finally been offered the job I had been wanting for the last three years.

I should come clean with you – I haven’t discovered any secrets… – only well known habits which increase their effectiveness exponentially when applied all together.

If you are not a “Natural Leader”, the good news is that a confident behavior can be learned: read the tips below and start immediately to practice those which feel ok with you. Results will soon follow...   Read more >>

Fake Breasts I have never met a woman who was entirely satisfied with her breasts.

"Too small!"
"They are way too big."
"The left one is much bigger than the right one, can’t you see?"

And I could never see. What I saw instead was an attractive woman comparing herself to an impossible standard of beauty.

Dove campaign-for-real-beauty get this message across very well: electronically touched-up images of models are presented as genuine, becoming ideals of a “beauty” which simply does not exist.   Read more >>

Happy people Super happy people: there are so very few of them!

You certainly don't see them on TV, and even if you were to, it wouldn't help much: you’ve got to meet them to understand what they are about.

I met the first one when I was 20. Before that time, I never knew that someone could be so deeply content about himself, so powerfully active in the world, and yet thoroughly enjoying each and every moment of his life.

Who was this happiness superhero? Neither a lottery winner, nor the product of genetic engineering! He was a normal person, like you and I, who had learned some pretty important lessons. Simple stuff, superficially, but enormously potent when you deeply believe it...   Read more >>

How to cut down drinking and stay popular Please, not another toast! That’s what you are thinking whilst a friend is pouring you another drink after a long night of booze. Tomorrow I am going to be sick all day… So why don’t you just say no? It’s not that easy… Don’t tell me, I know, and here’s what you can do about it:   Read more >>

girl tanning "Sometimes I feel the solution is right there, and yet I just can’t see it". Transactional Analysis calls it discounting, or unawarely ignoring information relevant to the solution of a problem.

In other words, usually we can’t find a way forward because we are ignoring useful information without even realizing it.

Now think of your problem for a moment, then read the following story, and answer the questions in Italic: good ideas will come up.   Read more >>

Some of us have always thought that a compliment which we ask for is never worth receiving. Maybe we think that if we ask for it, then it must be insincere. Is that always the case?   Read more >>

Man's eyes A few years ago, I thought that emphatic listening meant nodding every once in a while and emitting occasional grunts of approval!

What is Empathy instead? Empathy means seeing the world through the eyes of someone else and being able to communicate such experience. In order to do that, you need to suspend your judgment for a while, and temporarily adopt the cultural, moral, and religious background of the person you seek to understand. Finally, reflect back what you have seen, felt and heard: one way to do that is rephrasing and summarizing what the other person has just said.

What are the benefits of being empathic? Empathy breaks the barrier which separates us from other individuals and creates a warm sense of intimacy. Practice empathy and you’ll never feel alone again.

Flow I hated doing the washing up!

Meet Marco: he is 13 years old, now is 4 PM, and his best friend has just called him because he has free tickets for the most awaited soccer match of the year. The match starts at 5 PM. Unfortunately, Marco has a lot of dishes to clean before his mum allows him to go out. Anger is mounting by the minute “Mum is Evil!!”, then an idea struck him: “ I could do the washing up faster, If I use more hot water and I move my hands quickly, I should be able to clean up everything in time for the match. Let’s get started!” [Washing up takes place…]. “I made it! It was not that bad after all; actually I even enjoyed it a bit…”   Read more >>

Child CHANGE IS NOT ALWAYS EASY. We might decide to stop smoking, we think we should really quit, we ought to do it for our own sake, and in the end nothing changes: it felt heavy, it was too much work, and something within ourselves rebelled against it.

How could that happen? When we impose limitations on our behavior, we often place ourselves on the side of our inner Parent, giving orders, saying DON’T, asking for obedience in a way which might be resented: most children would be pretty angry if you forbid them to play their favorite game!

In Transactional Analysis Counseling we have a saying: “Get the Child on your side”. Let’s say I want to stop smoking, how do I “Get the Child on my side”? Playfully, lightly, maybe deciding that “when I feel like smoking a cigarette, I’ll have a sexual fantasy instead!” or “with the money I save from cigarettes, I’ll buy myself a little present everyday!”. Focus on saying yes to something healthier, rather than just saying no. Teach your Child a brand new game, he will soon get bored to play the same old one.

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