December 12, 2014
Forget the pasted on smiles. Here’s a practical way to add real happiness to your holidays.
Unlike Grandma’s fudge recipe, the first holidays post-split aren’t usually a recipe for happiness. More often than not, you’re trying to paste a smile on your face during the day and facing long nights of extreme sadness. Luckily, it doesn’t have to be like this.
A few years ago, Martin Seligman released his book Authentic Happiness, and in it he explained the Equation for Lasting Happiness. (An equation really appeals to my geeky side, but don’t worry if math isn’t your thing. I promise this is an easy equation to understand.)
The equation looks like this: H = S + C + V
H is Lasting Happiness
S is Inherited Happiness Set Point
C is Conditions of Living
V is Voluntary Actions or Daily Choices You Make
What this equation means is that to experience more lasting happiness, you can try to improve your inherited happiness set point, your conditions of living, and the daily choices you make.
Let's start with your inherited happiness set point, S. We all have one of these, and one set point isn't better than another. Your set point is just your set point. According to Seligman, adjusting S isn't so…
Read more: How to Add Some Happiness to Your Holidays
March 3, 2014
One of my clients recently asked me if it was weird for her to want to be friends with her ex-husband’s sister. I asked her for a few more details about the relationship to see if I could figure out why she was asking this question. She started squirming in her chair as she gave me the details. It turns out she was feeling weird about wanting to remain friends with her former sister-in-law because she thought she wasn’t supposed to.
The first special occasion I attended with my husband’s family was weird for me because his ex-wife was there and each of his siblings referred to her as their sister-in-law. I had all these thoughts about them sending me a message that I wasn’t welcome.
My client and I had both bought into the common belief that once you divorce, you’re expected to divorce the entire family and might even declare them enemies.
What I’ve come to realize and teach is that the common belief is WRONG. Each relationship you have is unique. Each relationship can grow, wither, and transform. Each relationship can do this independently of the others if you’re both willing to let it.
What all this means is that family occasions…
Read more: Special Occasions Can Still Be Special After You’re Divorced