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welcome to your unemotional side!

Your dictionary definition of:

 

unĚhapĚpy

  adj. unĚhapĚpiĚer, unĚhapĚpiĚest

  1. Not happy or joyful; sad or sorrowful: unhappy over his friend's departure.
  2. Not satisfied; displeased or discontented: unhappy with her raise.
  3. Not attended by or bringing good fortune; unlucky.
  4. Not suitable; inappropriate: an unhappy choice of words

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You Make Me Unhappy

 

This is the favorite accusation of millions. How convenient! I don't have to assume any responsibility for changing my unhappiness and I can blame you for all of it. An unpleasant fact I usually overlook is that change by you is most unlikely to happen upon my demand.

 

Therefore, I'm likely to live forever with this unhappiness. "And it's all your fault that I'm so stuck." Such is a common thought process of victims and of those who are blaming ethnic groups for their problems.

 

It's only recently that major segments of the women's movement and the African-American movement have challenged the notion of being perpetual victims. These people are now choosing to take more responsibility for their own happiness and for their own lives, instead of remaining stuck in the blame game.

 

There is a major difference between the responses of children and the responses of adults. As children, many of us were squelched in any number of ways. Back then we really were made unhappy by what happened to us, (though most of us learned to cover over our unhappiness & to put on a compliant happy face).

 

As children we usually had no real choice but to comply. If we believe this to be true today about our adult responses, then we are still letting others control our happiness, still acting the part of the helpless child. We have given our personal power away to others, most often to our most disliked others: white males, feminists, racists, sexists, homophobes and fundamentalists.

 

The major question is then, what about "real" victims, like you and me and the groups to which we belong? Our choice to see ourselves as victims violates a number of religious and spiritual beliefs (like "God's Will," the "inky finger of fate" & "karma").

 

If we deeply hold such spiritual beliefs, is it possible for any of us ever to be victims? No! While such spiritual beliefs are held by a majority of the world's population, they still represent only a minority in the USA, albeit a fast-growing group that's nearing majority status.

 

There's a choice to be made, believe in victimhood or believe in self-responsibility. The former guarantees unhappiness, whereas the latter permits a route out of unhappiness. Straddling these two beliefs is the most common USA choice today, believing in responsibility for some things but in victimization in other instances.

 

Unfortunately, straddling doesn't lead to happiness, though it presently seems to be the socially-correct view for millions of us.

 
Do you want to continue your straddling?

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An Unhappy Marriage: How to Know When It's Really Over

Larry Bilotta

It's a fact. There are a lot of people who feel unhappy in their marriage. But the real question many of them are asking themselves is, how do I know when my marriage is really over?

Is it when your spouse says, "I don't love you anymore?" Is it after an affair takes place? How do you REALLY know? Keep reading to find out how to identify the warning signs that often indicate your spouse has given up on your marriage.

First and Foremost: Has your spouse reached The Point of No Return?

What is the Point of No Return in a marriage? Is there such a thing? After working with couples for over 11 years, I've identified a specific "path" that couples travel on the way to divorce. And at the end of this path is what I call...The Point of No Return.

But I'm getting ahead of myself...let me back up for a second.

In most cases, your marriage is NOT over when:

- Your spouse moves out
- When your spouse says the infamous, "I love you, but I'm not in love with you anymore"
- When your spouse threatens you with divorce

And believe it or not, in some cases, your marriage is NOT even over when...your spouse files for divorce.

Your marriage is NOT over when your spouse begs, pleads, argues, screams, storms out of the house or turns the whole family against you.

Quite the contrary, The Point of No Return in a marriage IS confirmed when your spouse looks at you as if s/he were dead.

There is no life in your spouse's voice and no life in his/her eyes. Your spouse doesn't get angry with you. S/he simply tells you when the divorce papers are going to be served. S/he's already gone to the court house, found an attorney and has a service date set for the divorce proceedings.

Your marriage is most likely over when your spouse has made complete lists of assets and debts with your both of your names on them. Your spouse has already decided on the custody plan and cleaned out any bank accounts with their name and yours and closed all the credit cards that you share.

Your spouse has reached The Point of No Return when s/he already knows the courts require a 120 day waiting period and s/he has emotionally bolted him/herself in place for the long wait.

You've gone WAY beyond an "unhappy marriage" when your spouse has talked many times to the children about divorce and they are now either scared, angry, hurt, confused or emotionally shut down.

There's a good chance your marriage is over when your spouse doesn't care about how your children feel about it. S/he is only acting for his/her own survival at this point and s/he has repeatedly convinced him/herself that "The kids are good, they'll be fine." S/he may have even said that to friends and relatives.

This is the REAL Point of No Return. I've found that when your spouse has reached the Point of No Return, no one can save your marriage at this point. Not a priest, pastor or marriage counselor.

So How Did this Happen?

A marriage gets to this point because we live in a society that is convinced that once you are married, there is nothing you need to learn about marriage and nothing you need to practice.

All you need is love.

If you don't have love, then it's all your fault that your marriage failed. Because of this belief, you kept on doing exactly what you always did...your version of love.

You treated your spouse the same way your father treated your mother...or vice versa. You kept on doing the same thing and kept on getting the same results.

Your spouse could not help you to help him/her. No matter how many times s/he told you how to meet his/her needs, you couldn't hear...you just couldn't understand.

How do I know this?

I know it because every single divorce is built on the same system. When your emotional needs are not met in a marriage, anywhere from 1-3 of the situations listed below will begin to take place in your marriage.

Because you know virtually nothing about how to be married and how to support each other's needs, you have no way to stop these issues from happening:

- Affair
- Sex failure
- Communication break down
- No Loyalty
- In-Law problems
- Grew apart
- Fell out of love

- Blended family issues
- Abusive attitudes
- Depression
- Angry spouse
- No romance
- Ignores me
- Money problems
- Children problems
- Avoids me

If your spouse has not yet passed the Point of No Return, you can still save your marriage there is still hope for the two of you. But you need to do something TODAY to improve your unhappy marriage. Believe me, I get emails daily with stories about marriages that took a turn for the worst in a matter of WEEKS.

These people simply waited too long and before they knew it, their spouse had reached the Point of No Return. So my message to you is DON'T WAIT. Do something for your marriage TODAY...before it's too late. You can start by getting the FREE marriage advice you can use to fix your marriage at the http://www.marriage-success-secrets.com website.

Note: This article is not legal advice. It is not meant to replace marriage counseling.

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Ten Steps for an Unhappy Marriage

1. Find as much as you can to get annoyed about on a daily basis.  Get angry about the annoyances so that you create an atmosphere of hostility in your home. If anyone suggests you need anger management,  be sure to cite all the annoyances that caused this, so they know it’s not your fault.

2. Use the marital resources on what you like to do and brush off or point out the absurdity of your partner’s preferences. If they try to do something for themselves, be sure to accuse them of selfishness and greed. Claim they always focus on money.

3. When you start an argument, make sure that you win it through intimidation and anger. If your partner suggests that you are manufacturing things to get angry about, make sure to accuse them of starting it or claim their behavior is what causes your outbursts. When you’ve made them mad enough to fight back, be sure to declare that they are, in fact, the one with the anger problem.

4. When you criticize, do it often and for every infraction you can think of - like windows up or down, turning lights off and on, how they load the dishwasher, where the thermostat is set, when to use the dryer - and make sure that if they do what you demanded the last time, this time it’s wrong.

5. Make certain your partner cannot easily express their own opinion. If it’s different from yours, let them know you consider this a betrayalIf your partner questions anything you do,  turn it into a challenge and them into the enemy. This way you have more things to be angry at and you can accuse them of creating the disharmony.

6. Don’t bother to connect with your partner.  Don’t give a damn about where they came from and never ask questions about what they think and feel; it might give you a clue as to what brings them joy. Do talk about yourself, your work, and your ideas. Just make sure you don’t reciprocate.

7. Make sure that if your partner wants to talk about things to improve the marriage that you have other things to do. All hobbies that don’t include them are good (pornography is better).  If you do listen, make sure to keep the TV on and/or roll your eyes letting them know you are playing the “communication” game but don’t intend to do anything about it. Should they suggest a counselor, agree that they need one.

8. Give your partner the cold treatment whenever they stand up for themselves and don’t give in to your demands. Better yet, find something immediately to blame them for so they never feel comfortable. It’s good to occasionally do something really considerate so you keep them off balance and you don’t lose your hostage.

9. When you have done something wrong, don’t admit it. In fact it works best if you twist the facts, ignore them, “forget,” and deny what really was said and done. Then quickly, without addressing the issue, point out something they might have done wrong, or accuse them of thinking of doing something wrong. Apologize once in a while when what you did was really blatant, so you can say  that you are honestly working on the marriage and you never get credit for it.

10. When things get really tough (which happens in all marriages) threaten to divorce them, move into motels, hire attorneys, and make things horrible - then beg forgiveness later and never admit the truth to anyone -lie that it was them that threatened divorce all the time and see how many people you can convince that you married a bitch or a bastard.

It takes two to make a marriage and only one to bring it down. The one who brings it down will refuse to see where they are at fault, seldom admit they are wrong, and constantly criticize the other person.  When the target of the disapproval points out the constant criticism, anger, and control issues, the one working on a unhappy marriage will claim that they are the victim and being blamed unjustly.  These are the perfect 10 steps to an unhappy marriage. Remember, it works if you work it!

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Unhappy Marriage Reflects Spouse's Depression

One Spouse's Mental Health Problems Can Cause Unhappy Marriage for Both

ByJeanie Lerche Davis
WebMD Health News

Oct. 11, 2004 -- When one spouse suffers from depression, both will have an unhappy marriage, new research shows.

There is a growing body of research indicating that mental health and unhappy marriages are closely entwined, writes lead researcher Mark A. Whisman, PhD, with the University of Colorado at Boulder. His paper appears in the October issue of the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology.

Being in a relationship with someone with mental health problems may lower the satisfaction for the partner, he writes. The burden of living with someone who has mental health problems takes a toll.

However, few researchers have investigated the effects of both partners' mental health on the relationship, Whisman writes.

Depression, Unhappy Marriage Linked

For their study, Whisman and his colleagues recruited 774 married couples from seven states. Each partner was tested for depression, anxiety, and whether they had a happy or unhappy marriage.

Researchers found that each spouse's level of anxiety and depression predicted an unhappy marriage for the depressed spouse and the other spouse as well.

The more anxious and/or depressed either spouse was, the more dissatisfied he or she was with the marriage. Depression - more than anxiety - affected whether a person considered themselves to be in a happy or unhappy marriage. The researchers found that there were no differences between the sexes in the magnitude of the effects.

A spouse's level of depression also predicted martial satisfaction, and other studies have shown a similar pattern, he writes.

There's a possible flaw in this study: If a spouse was depressed when completing questionnaires about his or her unhappy marriage, it might have affected how he or she responded.

When treating spouses with an unhappy marriage, therapists should closely evaluate each partners' mental health, he writes.

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4 Signs of an Unhappy Marriage
By Christine B. Fortune
 

There are certain signs of unhappy marriage. If you're in an unhappy marriage, you'll know immediately what these are. If you're looking at someone else's marriage, you can probably tell if there's an underlying tension between the spouses.

There are ways to avoid having an unhappy marriage, however. If you want your marriage to be strong and blissful, then there are four things you must never do.

1. Don't listen to anyone who isn't you, your spouse, or a trained counselor.

If you and your spouse are having problems, you'll no doubt be inundated by well-meaning advice from family and friends. However, their advice can do more harm than good in most cases. Be careful who you listen to regarding your marriage.

2. Don't Ignore Each Other

It's too easy to ignore your spouse. You live together every day, and it's natural to eventually start taking each other for granted. We think we've heard everything our spouse has to say, and so blow off his or her opinions and feelings as unimportant.

This is a mistake, and can break a marriage apart. Love is nurtured through active listening and valuing what each other says.

3. Don't Yell at Each Other

This does no good. Yelling accomplishes nothing but cultivating bad feelings. Greater vocal volume will not help you solve your problems, but will increase your anger with each other.

4. Don't Throw Things at Each Other

Believe it or not, lots of married couples do this during arguments. There seems to be some kind of need for release when tensions are high, and throwing objects in the heat of the moment relieves this tension.

However, it's not productive, and only creates a violent atmosphere between you. This will ultimately be very destructive to your marriage.

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How to Be Happy in an Unhappy Marriage
Leslie Vernick

After two failed marriages, Janice decided to try one more time for the relationship she dreamed of. Yet, just one year later, her marriage to Hank was crumbling. Defeated and confused, Janice cried out to God for some answers. "In that moment," she says, "I began to realize that there is no perpetual honeymoon to any marriage. Sometimes it's just plain hard work. It was then and there that God told me I could not depend on my husband to make me happy, I would only find my true happiness in God."

Even as Christians, many of us have grown up with unrealistic expectations of marriage. Hollywood and Harlequin have taught us that we must find our perfect match - our soul mates - to be happy. When difficulties occur in our marriage, we may wonder, like Janice did, whether we have found the right person or may even think we have made a terrible mistake. After twenty-six years of marriage and over two decades of counseling couples I have learned that God created marriage to mature us and for us to enjoy, but it was never intended to fulfill us or make us happy.

Marriage is God's great idea, but in every marriage there are seasons of difficulty and times of dryness where one or both partners may feel dissatisfied with the marital relationship. As we work to improve our marriage, sometimes our efforts don't produce the changes we want. During these times, the question we need to ask ourselves is not, "Should I leave my spouse so I can find another person who will make me happy?" but rather, "Can I learn to find contentment and joy while in the midst of an unhappy marriage? And if so, how?"

Change Your Focus

Everyone I know wants to feel good inside but few know the secret to lasting happiness or even what happiness is. Is happiness a feeling of emotional ecstasy? Intense pleasure with life's circumstances? An internal state of well-being or contentment? Happiness can comprise all of these things.

Several years ago my husband surprised me with a beautiful pearl necklace I had admired. I felt really happy - for about three days - until I began longing for some earrings to go with it. We all search for something to fulfill us and make us happy, whether it is people, objects, or positions of status. When we get what we desire, we feel a certain emotion we call happiness. This feeling, however, is always short-lived and, like Solomon with his 700 wives and me with my pearl necklace, we begin longing for the next thing we desire that will bring us more satisfaction.

While on a trip to Walt Disney World, I was struck by the number of cranky youngsters and frustrated parents. My children, like many others, were caught up in the excitement and wanted everything they saw. They felt elated whenever they got what they wanted but their happiness didn't last. When the next thing they desired was denied, the thrill they felt just minutes before quickly deteriorated and they became miserable.

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Soon after my Disney experience, I traveled overseas to do some speaking and teaching in the Philippines. I observed barefoot children merrily swinging on old tires, living in houses constructed from cardboard boxes. These children didn't need lots of stuff to make them happy. Though maybe just for the moment, they were enjoying what they had.

Many of us feel dissatisfied in life because we are not content with what God has given us. We want more. How does this apply to our marriage?

Jesus tells us that where our treasure is, there our hearts will be also (Matt. 6:21). If our treasure, or deepest desire, is in having a great marriage or a fat bank account or certain other things we deem essential to our well-being, then we will feel unhappy when we don't get what we want. For whatever has our heart, has us.

No one is more concerned with our happiness than Jesus is. He just tells us a different way of obtaining it than the world does. He tells us that happiness is never found by pursuing happiness or pleasure or people, but only found by pursuing him. He says, "Blessed (or happy) are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness for they shall be filled" (Matthew 5:6).

Too many of us hunger and thirst after happiness (or a good marriage or a big house), instead of hungering and thirsting after God. We forget that Jesus is the only one who can deeply satisfy our soul. Everyone desires unfailing love (Prov. 19:22); it's just that we will never receive that kind of love continually from our spouses.

Created in his image, God designed us to experience happiness when something brings us great delight. For example, God is delighted when we find our greatest pleasure in him. But often it is not God that brings us our greatest joy but what he gives us. We desire his gifts but we don't realize that our greatest gift is God himself.

Oswald Chambers explains:

"The great enemy of the life of faith in God is not sin, but the good which is not good enough. The good is always the enemy of the best."

We want and pursue good things, but often neglect the best thing. The Psalmist reminds us where lasting happiness is found. He writes, "You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand" (Psalm 16:11). God's love is the only love that never fails (Jer. 31:3).

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Guard Your Heart

To find any joy in an unhappy or difficult marriage, we must learn to guard our hearts (Prov. 4:23). Many individuals who struggle in marriage get very good at guarding their hearts, but the walls they build to protect themselves are against their spouses instead of against their real enemy. In the midst of an unhappy marriage, our spouse may feel like the enemy, but God tells us that our real enemy is Satan and the Bible warns us that he is out to devour us (1 Pet. 5:8).

Satan's goal has always been to get us to question God's goodness and to doubt that what God says is true. Jesus tells us that Satan is a liar (John 8:44) and his strategy is to take something that seems true and twist it ever so slightly. In a difficult marriage, Satan may whisper lies like, "Why should you be the only one trying in the marriage? It's not fair. Find someone else who will make you happy." Or, "Don't forgive, she doesn't deserve it. You're entitled to feel this way after what she did to you." Or, "He will never be the person you want. You made a terrible mistake marrying him and God doesn't want you to spend the rest of your life unhappily married to this person."

Satan wants us to believe that God is not good and that he does not know what is in our best interest. Remember, he is not interested in our well-being or our happiness. He wants to destroy us and our families.

Guarding my heart not only requires me to be aware of Satan's schemes, but to draw close to God and listen to truth. Don't let Satan deceive you into believing that any lasting happiness can be found apart from God.

Live for the Eternal

In the midst of hardship, our natural response is to look for the nearest exit. That's true of difficult marriages as well. Whether we exit in big ways like divorce or adultery or in small ways by shutting down and withdrawing emotionally, we want out. Yet the Bible tells us in James 1 that it is in the midst of difficulties that we have the opportunity to develop one of the most important disciplines we need live life well - perseverance. Without this quality we will tend to live for what brings us relief or pleasure in the short-run.

I love to eat, especially sweets. I love tasting warm, gooey chocolate in my mouth, and I could be happy eating chocolate for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Yet when I over-indulge, I'm plagued with other emotions like guilt and regret.

I'm angry that I've sabotaged the bigger goal I have of gaining self-control and maintaining good eating habits. I've also discovered that when I succeed in saying no to the chocolate temptation, I actually feel happier with myself.

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We only understand what makes us truly happy when we have a long-term perspective on life. Living for the moment can fool us into thinking that temporal pleasures bring happiness. The writer of Proverbs warns us, "At the end of your life you will groan, when your flesh and body are spent. You will say, 'How I hated discipline! How my heart spurned correction!'" (Prov. 5:3,11,12). Many have discovered only too late, that what brought joy in the moment caused hardship and grief in the long run.

The apostle Paul reminds us that it was only when he kept the eternal lens fixed tightly to his spiritual eyes was he kept from utter despair in times of great difficulty (see ). Looking at the big picture gives us perspective in the moment and helps us see that God is good and is doing something good in us, even in the midst of a difficult marriage (Rom. 8:28, 29).

Knowing that you can find some joy the midst of an unhappy marriage will give you enough staying power to persevere until things change. You can experience a sense of well-being as you learn the secret of being content in whatever situation God allows in your life. When we take the high road in the midst of marital troubles it leads to growth and spiritual maturity.

In addition to that, our children will watch an example of what it means to walk with God and to trust him in all things. And while enjoying these blessings you may discover that your marriage improves. However, the greatest happiness in all of life will come when we hear the words, "Well done, good and faithful servant." And in the end, that is all that counts.

Leslie Vernick is the director of Christ Centered Counseling for Individual and Families and the author of How To Act Right When Your Spouse Acts Wrong (WaterBrook). She and her husband, Howard, live in Orefield, Pennsylvania.

If your marriage consists of physical or emotional abuse, you may also need to take measures to protect yourself and your children in ways that are beyond the scope of this article. Please consult with your pastor or Christian counselor to find ways to deal with this situation.

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How to Be Happy During Unhappy Times
By Judith Alexander

Okay, I admit it - there is a lot to be unhappy about.

Gasoline costs are going crazy!!! I never thought they would this get this high. I remember buying gas and being given reward stamps. Do you remember that? There were Blue Chip Stamps and Green Stamps. Those were the days - right? Weren't we happy all the time because gas prices were so low? We weren't? Oh no, I thought it was the gas prices that were making us miserable.

OK, it must be the price of food - it is ridiculous. I remember growing up with the overstocked pantry, refrigerator stuffed and the full size freezer that held enough food for the entire block. It was the time of the overflowing shopping cart. No one went hungry. We were all happy - right - weren't we delirious with happiness? We weren't? Oh no, I thought it was the cost of food that was making us so unhappy.

OK, I know. It is the terrible downturn in the housing market. People are turning over the keys to their home to the bank. Times are awful!!! I remember in the 1970's when everyone was buying a new home and the market was great - jobs were plentiful - oh, wait - no they weren't. Ahhh, wait, now I remember, our house foreclosed because we didn't have the money to pay the mortgage, we had a new baby and my husband had lost his job. I remember that every other house on the street and in the housing track was on the market. Oh, since we made it through that - this can't be the reason we are all so miserable.

OK - now I have it. It is the elections. No wait - it is the lack of jobs. No wait - it is the war in Iraq. No wait, ahhh, no wait, no wait it must be...

The point of this is to see that history is full of times that are rough - but we make it through. Our ancestors sure as heck made it through or we wouldn't be here. This is just part of life - of living. What is that saying? It is darkest before the dawn. This is not just a saying - it is true.

Life is like a pendulum it swings one way and than the other. It always has to go far in one direction (let's call this the good times) and then it swings way over the other direction (the bad time - which is what I guess we are in now.) The good thing is - if things are really bad now - that means the pendulum only has one other way to swing. That's right - to the good side - and I promise you - it is coming. The sun always rises. There is always darkness as the day ends - as the world closes its eyes on the past - and then the light appears - the sun rises - a new day begins.

So, the question is, how can you make today a better day? How can you make it through the dark times until the light appears?

Following are 12 ways of surviving unhappy times.

12 Steps to Being Happy During Miserable, Horrible, Unhappy Times

1. Take time to be miserable. That's right - if you need the time to be miserable take it. Being unhappy is a natural state. I have yet to find someone who is happy all the time. So, it is OK to be unhappy, miserable, and depressed. Of course, if it lasts for too long, then you may need medical help, but being unhappy - it is just part of life.

2. So, if you are feeling blue, go to your room, lock the door, grab your pillow, and scream inside to the world, "I am miserable!!!" Cry, scream, let it all out and get it all out. It worked great when we were kids - when did we get too big to go to our room and cry? Our room is safe; we aren't hurting ourselves or anyone else. It is the perfect "safe place" to let our emotions hang out all over. When you are done you will feel much better. Trying to constantly "buck up" when you feel like crying can wear you down. Let it out!

3. If you have a trusted friend you can call whom you can vent all your pain to - do it. Just make sure they know in advance that you just want 5, 10, 15 or however many minutes of their time to vent your frustration. Once you get their approval, go for it. Be sure to let them know that you do not want advice, suggestions, interruptions, or help - you just want to vent. This can be a great way to verbalize all your frustrations. Once it is out - you can then talk to your friend about other things - not what you just vented about, that is done and over with - but about the kids, a new plant you just bought - whatever. The venting is done.

4. If you don't have a friend - journal your miserable self out. Write in your journal everything that is wrong in your life. It's OK; your journal can take it. Scribble, write huge, swear, write murderous words - then when you have it all out - you are done.

5. When you don't think you can take it any longer - go away - far, far away. Take a walk, take a hike, go to the ocean. Take time to breath in fresh air. Remember who you are inside. Get back to nature - she is a great reminder of who we really are.

6. Go to the cemetery. That's right - the cemetery is a great place to walk and feel. It is generally pretty quiet there. You can read the love that friends and family put on gravestones and markers. It might be a good time to contemplate what you want said on your tombstone - do you want it to say you were an angry, miserable, self-absorbed person? Probably not!

7. Go to the movies, a play, rent a DVD. These can be funny or sad. Either you can laugh all your cares away or cry out all your frustration and pain. Either works. Emotions out - means less emotions in.

8. Appreciate someone or something. Not fake appreciation - I mean really find someone you find admirable in their behavior or the work they do. Or go to an art store and appreciate the artist for the work he or she created. See beyond yourself and what is happening in your world. No, this doesn't mean that your problems are not worthy - I am just suggesting that you take time away from yourself. We spend so much time thinking about our pain, our life, our problems that we forget to check out the roses growing right outside our window.

9. Go to the store and purchase crayons or watercolor paint and paper. Put on some really good music- jazz, blues, classical, rock, new age - something that works your soul, and be a kid. Paint or color a picture. Don't concern yourself if it is beautiful or perfect - close your eyes, feel the music, and let the artist in you have fun. I guarantee that your problems will not feel as big. Just for the night - hang up your artwork to remind you of the beauty that is inside of you. It's OK to be a kid! You can take it down before your mom or friends come over for a visit.

10. Eat something good. Chocolate is a great mood elevator especially really good dark chocolate. Of course avoid doing this too much or you won't be able to fit into your favorite chocolate store (mine is Moonstruck Chocolate in Portland Oregon). You can also eat some protein. Protein will often lift your mood and remove the anxiety that comes with being unhappy, miserable, etc. I would avoid plain sugars, corn sweeteners, etc as those really tend to depress our mood. They provide only a very temporary lift.

11. Call a dear friend and take your inner child out to play. I did this once. I was unhappy, crying, really full of my miserable self. I called my friend Betsy and told her my inner child really needed to go out and have ice cream - real ice cream with whipped cream and a cherry on top. It was 10PM on a weeknight, but Betsy knew I was in need. So, she popped over and we went for ice cream. We not only wanted ice cream we wanted the paper mats they give to kids with crayons. We played all the games on them, got the mouse to cheese, and colored totally out of the lines. I will never forget that evening and what my friend Betsy gave me. I needed my child right then and it worked. We left the restaurant laughing. Everyone thought we were nuts, but that's OK - there were nuts on our sundae as well.

12. Go get a massage, get a pedicure, get a facial, go swing on a swing at the park, take the pet cat out for a walk (that should be interesting), take a bike ride, write in your gratitude journal, make funny faces in the mirror, sing an opera (with the windows closed please), go to a hill and start singing "The hills are alive with the sound of music" (you may be arrested, but you will feel great.)

Go to Goodwill and buy a totally bizarre outfit. The thing is, there is a lot you can do besides staying unhappy, miserable, horrible and awful. You can choose to have fun instead.

The main thing is to realize that it is OK to be unhappy. Be OK with being unhappy. It is part of being you - and right now you are unhappy. If someone says to you, "Buck up - don't be unhappy, sad, blue or whatever," it is OK to say - "No, right now I am choosing to be sad, miserable or unhappy." The point is know that it is a choice. That is the key! Once you realize it is a choice you are empowered. If you feel as if the mood has control over you - the situation has control over you - then you have disempowered yourself. Then you must take your power back. Decide to be the one in charge. The situation does not have custody over you - rather you are in control of it. Make it a choice.

What is also important is that you don't want to go around and dribble your miserable self on everyone else - not the store clerk, not the neighbor, not your co-workers, not the kids, and definitely not your spouse or loved ones. Take yourself away from others (unless it is someone whom you ask permission to dribble your bad mood on so they can protect themselves). Bad moods spread. If you drop your bad mood on an unsuspecting someone, they are then infected and will dribble it on someone else, and the virus spreads. Avoid being a virus spreader of unhappiness.

I hope some of these methods work for you. Remember, there is always the option of just going to bed and pulling the covers over your head.

Live with joy!!!

Judith Alexander is a prolific writing who enjoys writing articles and books using humor and fun while inspiring and educating. Judith has her Masters Degree in Education, she is a Certified Life Coach with her own business, Wise Heart Coaching which focuses on boomers. Her slogan is "Helping Boomers to Live Healthy Lives Filled with Joy!" Judith is a published author. She is also a crisis counselor, peer counselor, and cognitive rehab therapist. Judith lives with in Portland Oregon where she enjoys each day with enthusiasm. Judith is available for facilitating workshops, speaking, and individual or group coaching.

Article Source: http://ezinearticles.com/?How-to-Be-Happy-During-Unhappy-Times&id=1330310

Why One Remains Unhappy
by Mark Zimmerman

 

To overcome unhappiness one must understand why one remains unhappy.

 

Why does one remain and maintain unhappiness?

 

One remains unhappy because of a lack of knowledge of the self.

 

One remains unhappy because of a lack of knowledge of unhappiness.

 

One remains unhappy because of a lack of knowledge of satisfaction.

 

One remains unhappy because of a lack of knowledge of happiness.

 

One remains unhappy because of a lack of knowledge of nirvana.

 

One remains unhappy because of a lack of knowledge of parinirvana.

 

One remains unhappy because of a lack of a path.

 

One remains unhappy because of a lack of choosing a path.

 

One remains unhappy because of a lack of following a path.

 

One remains unhappy because of a lack of following the self.

 

One remains unhappy because of a lack of taking responsibility for unhappiness.

 

One remains unhappy because of a lack of teaching one's self.

 

One remains unhappy because of a lack of a teacher.

 

One remains unhappy because of a lack of knowledge.

 

One remains unhappy because of a lack of the word of God.

 

One remains unhappy because of a lack of truth.

 

One remains unhappy because of a lack of faith.

 

One remains unhappy because of a lack of discrimination.

 

One remains unhappy because of a lack of desire.

 

One remains unhappy because of a lack of the growth of the self.

 

One remains unhappy because of a lack of education.

 

One remains unhappy because of a lack of study.

 

One remains unhappy because of a lack of forgiveness.

 

One remains unhappy because of a lack of fortitude.

 

One remains unhappy because of a lack of patience.

 

One remains unhappy because of a lack of renunciation.

 

One remains unhappy because of a lack of solitude.

 

One remains unhappy because of a lack of prayer.

 

One remains unhappy because of a lack of spiritual discipline.

 

One remains unhappy because of a lack of religion.

 

One remains unhappy because of a lack of psychology.

 

One remains unhappy because of a lack of science.

 

One remains unhappy because of a lack of literature.

 

One remains unhappy because of a lack of practice.

 

One remains unhappy because of a lack of music.

 
One remains unhappy because of a lack of the realization of the realities of the self

How One Became Unhappy
by Mark Zimmerman

 

To overcome unhappiness it is important for one to realize how one became unhappy.

 

Unhappiness is born in the spirits of those growing up in an unhappy environment. If parents, family, friends and the society of a child's environment is unhappiness, than children growing up in an unhappy environment will grow and become unhappy.

 

Why are one's parents, family, friends and society unhappy? They are unhappy because mankind's forefathers were unhappy.

 

Unhappiness is a state of being which is passed down from generation to generation, not by means of genetics, but through the influences of unhappiness which children receive from their environment.

 

One becomes unhappy by receiving and creating the unhappiness of one's environment within one's self.

 

One becomes unhappy by receiving and creating the growth of unhappiness of one's environment within one's self.

 

One becomes unhappy by receiving and creating the state of unhappiness of one's environment within one's self.

 

One becomes unhappy by receiving and creating the relationships of unhappiness of one's environment within one's self.

 

One becomes unhappy by receiving and creating the influences of unhappiness of one's environment within one's self.

 

One becomes unhappy by receiving and creating the formation of unhappiness of one's environment within one's self.

 

One becomes unhappy by receiving and creating the forms of unhappiness of one's environment within one's self.

 

One becomes unhappy by receiving and creating the limitations of one's environment within one's self.

 

One becomes unhappy by receiving and creating the emotional responses of unhappiness of one's environment within one's self.

 

One becomes unhappy by receiving and creating the desires of unhappiness of one's environment within one's self.

 

One becomes unhappy by receiving and creating the confusion of one's environment within one's self.

 

One becomes unhappy by receiving and creating the depression of one's environment within one's self.

 

One becomes unhappy by receiving and creating the pain of one's environment within one's self.

 

One becomes unhappy by receiving and creating deception of one's environment within one's self.

 

One becomes unhappy by receiving and creating the unattainable goals of one's environment within one's self.

 

One becomes unhappy by receiving and creating the unrealistic dreams of one's environment within one's self.

 

One becomes unhappy by receiving and creating the doubts of one's environment within one's self.

 

One becomes unhappy by receiving and creating the bitterness of one's environment within one's self.

 

One becomes unhappy by receiving and creating the behaviors of unhappiness of one's environment within one's self.

 

One becomes unhappy by receiving and creating the apathy of one's environment within one's self.

 

One becomes unhappy by receiving and creating the guilt of one's environment within one's self.

 

One becomes unhappy by receiving and creating the arrogance of one's environment within one's self.

 

One becomes unhappy by receiving and creating the jealousy of one's environment within one's self.

 

One becomes unhappy by receiving and creating the frustration of one's environment within one's self.

 

One becomes unhappy by receiving and creating the anger of one's environment within one's self.

 

One becomes unhappy by receiving and creating the despair of one's environment within one's self.

 

One becomes unhappy by receiving and creating the passiveness of one's environment within one's self.

 

One becomes unhappy by receiving and creating the selfishness of one's environment within one's self.

 

One becomes unhappy by receiving and creating the fear of one's environment within one's self.

 

One becomes unhappy by receiving and creating the hate of one's environment within one's self.

 

One becomes unhappy by receiving and creating the cycle of unhappiness of one's environment within one's self.

 

One becomes unhappy by receiving and creating the continuance of unhappiness of one's environment within one's self.

 

One becomes unhappy by receiving and creating the reprieve of one's environment within one's self.

 

One becomes unhappy by receiving and creating the knowledge of unhappiness of one's environment within one's self.

 
For more information on how one became unhappy see the chapter titled The Growth of Unhappiness in my book titled Knowledge of Unhappiness.

Using Unhappiness As Motivation

 

We fear obesity and rejection in order to motivate ourselves to diet. We scare ourselves with thoughts of lung cancer and emphysema, visualizing ourselves in hospitals on respirators to get ourselves to stop smoking.

 

We visualize our lovers leaving us so we'll be nicer to them. We became anxious about unemployment to get ourselves to work harder. We feel guilty to make ourselves do what we think we should. On and on it goes, using unhappiness to get ourselves to do or not do, be or not be.

 

Why do we use unhappiness to motivate ourselves? Perhaps we believe that our desires aren't enough. If our happiness isn't dependent on it, maybe we won't be motivated enough to change and pursue what we want. So we turn our “wanting” into “needingbelieving it will somehow make our desires more powerful and our actions more purposeful.

 

Needing something implies that there will be a negative consequence if we don't get it. We need food and water to live, or we'll die. We need to breath, or we'll die. But do we really need to be thinner? Have that new car? Get that raise? Unfortunately, the unhappiness (fear, anxiety, nervousness) resulting from turning this want into a need take lots of our emotional energy and leaves little left to actually use towards creating what you want.

 

What if our happiness wasn’t based on getting what we wanted? Would we still have motivation to pursue your desires? From personal experience, I can tell you the answer is a resounding YES.

 

"When we use desire for our motivation, the difference between wanting and attachment becomes clear. Wanting is moving toward. Attachment includes the experience of need and often, fear of our very survival. We use attachment to connect our selves to the object of desire with our fear, our sorrow, our guilt, our experience of need, as if that draws the object of desire to us. But it doesn’t work."

 

"To believe that I need something requires, by definition, that I also believe that I can't be okay without that something. It may be an object or an experience that I desire. In this view of reality, if I don’t get it, that very not-getting threatens my well-being, my hopes for happiness, my ability to be okay.

 

When I use unhappiness in order to help myself get what I want, or to get you to give me what I want, I live in that need. That experience is self-extinguishing - it's the state of non-being. The very thing I do to help myself cripples me, choking my life force and my ability to create."

 

"The experience of desire is self-fulfilling. It allows happiness now. It permits a sense of well-being, of okay-ness. It simply acknowledges, "more would be welcome. This is the more that I welcome."

 

Emotional Options, Mandy Evans

 

We also use unhappiness as a gauge to measure the intensity of our desires. The more miserable we are when we don’t get what we want, the more we believe we wanted it. We fear that if we're perfectly satisfied with our present conditions, that we might not move towards changing them or taking advantage of new opportunities. This simply isn't the case.

 

Let your desire and wanting be your motivation. Focus on the imagination, inspiration, creativity and anticipation that desire creates. Let that feeling be your guide.

 

Unhappiness To Motivate Others

 

We get hurt to try and make our spouses take notice and to get them to change. We get irritated with our children to make them move quicker. We get angry at the sales clerk so they’ll treat us with respect. We get angry at our employees to make them work faster. All in the attempt to get others to behave as we want or expect them to. For more information on how we motivate others with our unhappiness, see the relationship section.

Unhappiness To Show Our Sensitivity

 

We become visibly sad when someone we love is unhappy to show them we care about them. Believing it would be callous and insensitive if we weren't unhappy when they were unhappy. We even have cultural set guidelines for determining how long a spouse should mourn the death of their partner.

 

God forbid a man dates shortly after the death of his wife. That would surely mean he didn’t really care for his now deceased wife, right? This is another one of those beliefs we’ve passed on from generation to generation. We as a society then reinforce that belief.

 

Contrary to conventional wisdom, psychologists from the University of California in Berkeley and Catholic University in Washington, D.C., say laughter is the best way to get over grief when a loved one dies. In the past, it was thought that a person had to "work through" the stages of anger, sadness and depression after a death.

 

"It may be that focusing on the negative aspects of bereavement is not the best idea because people who distanced themselves by laughing were actually doing better years later," one of the researchers said. "We found the more people focus on the negative, the worse off they seem later." (UPI)

 

I specifically remember an incident in High School where my fellow team members tried to teach me that “unhappiness is a sign of caring”.

 

Our senior women’s basketball team was in the state finals. It was the last game of the tournament and if we won, we would be state champions. We lost. The scene was in the women’s locker room after the game. I was sitting in front of my locker, head down, thinking of all the mistakes we had made, what I could have done differently, and feeling very disappointed.

 

There were a few girls quietly crying in the corners, being consoled by other team members. There was no laughter and no discussions. The environment was a very somber, much like a funeral.

 

I distinctly remember thinking to myself... “hey, wait a minute, the game is OVER. There’s nothing I can do to change that. What’s the point of feeling miserable about it?” And I started thinking about all the things I had to look forward to.

 

My mood changed almost instantly. I felt happy and ready to go on with my life. I stood up, started changing out of my uniform, and began joking with some of the other girls, hoping to help them “feel better”.

 

The reaction I got was remarkable. The dirty looks, the exasperated sighs, and one of the more assertive girls angrily said to me, “God Jen, don’t you even care that we lost? You obviously didn’t have your heart in the game.”

 

That’s when I learned that I had to be unhappy to show I cared.

 

Actually, I decided I COULD be happy and still care, but that it just wasn’t a good idea to let others see my happiness in the face of what some saw as a traumatic and difficult situation. If I wanted others to view me as a sensitive and caring person, I would have to hide my happiness.

Why Memories Haunt Us

Whether Happy or Painful, Emotional Memories Resist Forgetting
By Daniel J. DeNoon
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

"I have done it," says my memory. "I cannot have done it," says my pride, refusing to budge. In the end, my memory yields.

-- Friedrich Nietzsche

In memory everything seems to happen to music.

-- Tennessee Williams

Aug. 17, 2007 - Why do we remember things we'd rather forget? Emotion is the culprit, researchers find.

There are some things - perhaps many things - each of us would just as soon forget. Psychologists have proven that it's possible to intentionally forget things. So why can't we forget these things?

That's the question explored by University of North Carolina psychologists B. Keith Payne, PhD, and Elizabeth Corrigan.

You really can't simply erase memories from your mind, Payne and Corrigan note. But you can keep yourself from remembering things - some things - by using two simple strategies. First, you isolate the thing you want to forget from other memories. And then, if the memory tries to emerge, you block it.

That's very helpful when you want to keep the memory of where you parked yesterday from interfering with the memory of where you parked today. It might also be helpful if it worked to forget a painful or embarrassing event. But for some reason, that almost never works.

Exactly what makes such memories hard to forget? Emotion, theorized Payne and Corrigan. To prove it, they had 218 college students study two sets of pictures. There were 32 emotionally stirring pictures - half pleasant and half unpleasant - and 32 emotionally neutral pictures.

Students were told to study the first set of pictures. Half of the students were then told to forget the first set, and remember just the second set. The other students were told to remember both sets of pictures. Then both groups were asked to recall all of the pictures, regardless of what they'd been told before.

In earlier studies using word lists, researchers showed that people easily forgot the first list of items. And when they did, they were better at remembering the second list of items than those who tried to remember both lists. This is because the "forgetters" minds were less cluttered by the first list.

Payne and Corrigan found that their students were good at forgetting neutral pictures. But they did not manage to forget the emotionally stirring pictures, regardless of whether they were pleasant or unpleasant.

"Emotional memories were persistent, loitering even when they were asked to leave," Payne and Corrigan conclude. "The painful or unhappy memories people would most like to leave behind may be the ones that are most difficult to dislodge."

The researchers suggest that emotion makes intentional forgetting much more difficult. It's hard to isolate emotionally charged memories from other memories. And it's hard to suppress memories that are bright with emotion.

"Even a relatively mild emotional reaction can undermine intentional forgetting," Payne and Corrigan conclude.

The study appears in the September issue of the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology.

source site: WebMd

For families and friends of alcoholics, holidays aren’t happy
By Anonymous
For News USA

Holidays can bring out the best and the worst in people. The holiday season means family gatherings, special dinners, gifts and lots of celebrating. But along with the fun and festivities, many family members and friends of alcoholics also experience drunken scenes, unhappy memories, hopelessness, despair and loneliness.

When we arrive at our first Al-Anon meeting, the words of the Al-Anon suggested welcome tell us that we are not alone: "We who live, or have lived, with the problem of alcoholism understand as perhaps few others can. We, too, were lonely and frustrated …"

In a perfect world, holidays are idyllic, full of love, family and friends gathering together.

In a perfect world, we celebrate, laugh and share with each other, worship together, and have no worries. Anyone out there ever have a "perfect" holiday?

In the real world, few holidays are perfect. In an alcoholic family, most likely none are. Often there will be too much celebrating, including drinking. There may be fights and drunken scenes. There can be unhappy memories.

I remember a holiday dinner followed by a game of charades, highlighted by my drunken mother staggering through her turn to play and everyone pretending that this was normal. Shame, embarrassment, futility and powerlessness were familiar feelings.

Those of us who have found the Al-Anon program have learned a different way to live. Our problems will not disappear, but we are provided with a wealth of tools to help us cope.

As one member told me, "Thankfully someone directed me to Al-Anon. I’ve had a whole new set of holiday experiences since the program came into my life. The disease of alcoholism is still around me, but I am getting better. Troubles continue, but I am learning to meet them one at a time. Things are not perfect today, but there is a sense of perspective and serenity."

Al-Anon gives the family members and friends of alcoholics the gift of hope. There are Al-Anon and Alateen meetings in our communities with wonderful members there to reach out to those suffering during these holiday times.

"I know if the bad times come again, I have the tools and support to survive," said another Al-Anon member. "It is amazing how life can change because of meetings, books, slogans, sponsors and friends who share their experience, strength and hope with me. They put the joy back into my holidays."

In 2001, Al-Anon celebrates 50 years of helping families and friends of alcoholics recover from the effects of living with the problem drinking of a relative or friend. Similarly, Alateen is the recovery program for young people affected by an alcoholic.

There are nearly 30,000 Al-Anon and Alateen groups in 112 countries.

To find a meeting in your area, visit www.al-anon.alateen.org or call (888) 4AL-ANON.

source site: click here

Karma and the Fine Art of Remapping Our Memories

By ANIL K RAJVANSHI

Each one of us is born with a unique genetic make-up, which provides a basic template for our general behaviour. This behaviour is further modified by our surroundings. These interactions, especially in early life, imprint powerful memories in our brain. Our mind is the total sum of our memories which govern our actions. Our actions then reinforce our memories in a feedback looptype mechanism. Memories or sanskars, as Patanjali calls them in his Yoga Darshan, are the genesis of karma.

    Karma is action embracing the whole meaning of living. We are because of our karma. Our karma or actions, good and bad, decide our future in this or the next life. The law of karma is central to Indian philosophy.

    Some say that the law of karma is deterministic:
 
you are born according to your karma, things happen to you because of your past karmas, so it is not possible for one to change one’s present life.
 
This, however, negates the whole basis of yoga which claims that one can change memories and hence one’s life. All four systems of yoga: jnana, raja, bhakti and karma, teach us to live positively in thought, word and deed. This helps produce positive memories and hence good karma.

    Every individual has the power to change his destiny and memories by his actions in this life. Our actions change the neural pathways in the brain and hence the mind, which guides us to our future course of action. We can change our memories through yogic process and cultivation of deep thought, and change our karma.
 
Deep thought on any subject for a long time is the essence of yoga, the sanyam in Patanjali yoga. Sanyam allows memory removal or sublimation of existing memories into new ones. Thinking deeply about a subject for a long time requires tremendous processing capability of the brain and it can only be achieved if the mind gets rid of some existing memories.

    Brain research show that the brain is pliable, capable of developing new neurons, neural pathways and hence memories. The intensity of an experience dictates the quality of memory formation. Deep thought allows a very intense experience. When we think continuously and deeply about a particular thought tremendous processing takes place in the mind, since the brain is evaluating millions of alternatives. This processing can be thought of as a cyclonic activity, which embraces other thoughts in its wake to produce the energy to focus on a single item. This process, when continued, helps in memory sublimation.

    Why are we interested in getting rid of our memories? Our lives are full of happy and sad events. They produce happy and sad memories. Unhappy memories lead to violence, hatred and unhappiness. Wilfully removing unhappy memories helps us live a more fruitful and happy life, liberating us from the cycle of birth and death.

    To remove unhappy memories we can think continuously about happy events so that this process ultimately dissolves unhappy memories. This is much superior to merely suppressing unhappy memories, for then, negative things become irrelevant, not suppressed. If we try to suppress negative feelings and memories they only come back with much greater force.

    http://spirituality.indiatimes.com

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