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Happiness: La Bella Vita

by Janet Jergins, MMFT

It is impossible to live a pleasant life without living wisely and well and justly. And it is impossible to live wisely and well and justly without living a pleasant life.

Authentic Happiness calls for balance. A pervasive feeling of well-being derives from a full spectrum of human endeavors. The good life consists of a balance of regularly experiencing pleasantness, (The Pleasant Life), engagement in satisfying activities and relationships, (The Engaged life), and experiencing a sense of connectedness to a greater whole, (The Meaningful Life). Here Dr. Martin Seligman can be seen explaining this idea in a TED Talk.

Practicing pleasant moments promotes happiness and balance. Pleasantness sometimes just happens, but may also be the result of intention.

Here are three Pleasant Life activities:

  1. Mindfulness – Depression can be enhanced by living in the pains and failures of the past. When one can choose to live in the moment, this is called Mindfulness. Mindfulness is mental state, characterized by calm awareness of one’s body functions, feelings, content of consciousness, or consciousness itself. Practicing Meditation or Prayer promotes mindfulness.
  2. Making and Marking Moments – Stop to smell the roses or appreciate the beautiful and lovely in life. Taste food, feel textures and notice beauty. Take photographs or prepare a meal as an event to share with loved ones. Keep a one sentence daily journal or take a picture a day of the events of your life.
  3. Savoring – Create a beautiful day and share the experience with whomever you choose. Record the moments and then linger over the memories of this experience.