From Maesk Counseling in Fort Lauderdale - Lower your stress

1. Turn off the TV news.  Instead, light candles and put on music.

2. Notice even the smallest of your daily accomplishments instead of what you DIDN’T get done. Keep a “success list!” 

3. Remember that we get what we focus on in life. Focusing on good points in yourself and others will bring MORE of them.

4. Take a “senses walk” for 20 minutes, 4 times a week. Notice the breath in your lungs, the smell of the air, the change of the seasons. Outdoor light and exercise both stimulate serotonin production, lifting mood.

5. Take a few minutes daily to “hibernate.” Close your door, remove your shoes, dim the lights, and focus on what makes you happy.

6. Breathe in to the slow count of four. Hold it four slow counts. Release in four slow counts. Repeat until you feel the muscles relax all over!

7. Stay aware of your thoughts. 

8. Don’t take on another person’s bad mood. Guard yourself, removing yourself from their company if necessary.

9. Find freedom by letting go of criticizing and complaining about yourself or someone else.

 10. If you need to make changes, act NOW. Don’t put off health or happiness! 

From Maesk Counseling in Fort Lauderdale - From Depression to Happiness!

Here is a great article on "How to Become Happier in a Month."  (It was originally written by by Marcel Schwantes / Inc and published at

Yes, Fort Lauderdale and Broward County can be a great place to live, but we can always improve ourselves and, by extension, the lives of others.  So, whether you suffer from depression, anxiety, or you want to cultivate empathy, or something else, you'll find some interesting ideas here.  Check it out:  

Your 31-Day Personal Development Plan
Day 1: Do something for someone else.
Do a “five-minute favor” for someone. Five-minute favors are selfless giving acts, without asking for anything in return from the people that you help. Examples of five-minute favors include: sharing knowledge, making an introduction, serving as a reference for a person, product, or service, or recommending someone on LinkedIn, Yelp, or another social place.

Day 2: Share your positive experiences with friends and family and watch your joy increase.
Studies published in BPS Research have found that sharing the good things that happen in your life is the way to happiness. In one study, participants that journaled and shared positive experiences with another person at least twice a week were more satisfied with life.

Day 3: Stop striving to achieve.
We all have a tendency to work too much, lose our balance, and, ultimately, our joy in life. It’s the unhealthy feeling that if we don’t do something productive every day, we’ve somehow failed. So allow your perfectionism to rest. Slow down, and know that life is OK the way it is, right at this minute. As you eliminate the need to strive and be perfect, surrender to the universe. You’ll begin to appreciate and focus on other, neglected priorities that bring you joy.

Day 4: Put yourself in someone else’s shoes.
Empathy and compassion are things you can develop, and it starts with thinking about other people’s circumstances, understanding their pains and frustrations, and knowing that those emotions are every bit as real as our own. This helps you develop perspective, and opens you up to helping others, which also enhances your sense of gratitude.

Day 5: Discover your purpose and enjoy the journey.
Remind yourself frequently that the purpose of your life is not to work 10 hours per day, five days per week for 30 years, then retire to a golf course in Florida. Your true purpose should be to discover your calling in life, basking in the joy of the journey along the way, one step at a time. In the end, your legacy is left to these two questions:

· What impact did I make on the lives of others?

· Who did I serve and make better?

Day 6: Stop getting the attention and focus it on other people.
There’s something magical that happens when we let other people have the glory. Reading this may bruise your ego, but when we shine the spotlight on someone else and let that person be seen, heard, respected, and considered special–it becomes enjoyable to do so, and gives us a peaceful and quiet confidence.

Read more: How Mindfulness Meditation Can Improve Your Life in Just 3 Minutes a Day

Day 7: Give thanks. Your situation could be a lot worse.
I don’t care what religion you come from, start your day by thanking your higher power for the things you take for granted. As it turns out, if you make more than $30,000, you earn more than 53.2 percent of Americans. If you make more than $50,000, you earn more than 73.4 percent of Americans. Feeling grateful now? Say a little prayer and give thanks, and then pray for the other 73.4 percent.

Day 8: Exercise more of the P word.
Patience is a virtue I wish more people practiced. It helps you relax and rethink when things are snowballing out of control. Did that guy cut you off on the highway? Relax, take a deep breath, and consider that perhaps he’s rushing to the hospital with his wife in labor in the backseat. Patience helps you see the innocence in other people during those really frustrating moments when you’d like fist to meet wall.

Day 9: Be the first to reach out after an argument.
The tendency for so many of us is to let resentment fester after an argument or misunderstanding, and then cut off the person from our lives until he or she reaches out to us with an apology. It’s convenient. But it’s also just plain dumb. You lose a friendship, a family relationship, or great work connection because your ego has to have its way. Instead, be the first to reach out to make amends, even if you’re the one that has to apologize. That humble act will do wonders; the other person will soften, apologize, and allow you back into his or her life.

Day 10: Just. Say. No.
Truly happy people live a simple life. They have a simple schedule. They don’t take on more than they can handle. They live according to their values and purpose. They have strong boundaries around what comes into their life. And they have no problem saying no. If it doesn’t serve you, if it has little value, and if it doesn’t make you better tomorrow than you are today–just … say … no.

Day 11: React to good news with genuine enthusiasm.
Researchers call it active constructive responsiveness (ACR). If a friend or colleague shares good news (say, a promotion), there are many ways in which you could respond to this news. An ACR response might be, “That’s fantastic! I had no doubts the leadership team would recognize your hard work. Let’s celebrate and get some pizza and beer tonight.” An ACR response shares in people’s joy and excitement, and shows interest and curiosity. By doing so, you’ll maintain strong personal relationships and feel more positive.

Day 12: Be diligent.
Ever looked at an ant farm in action? Every single ant has amazing ambition and self-discipline. They are diligent! If you’re wondering, “Why do I slack off so much?” it may be time to take a long, hard look in the mirror. What’s keeping you from being diligent? Usually the first step of motivation is exactly that–just focus on the first step. Then, it’s one step at a time after that. But whatever you do, get off the couch, stop Snapchatting, and choose to be diligent today.

Day 13: Soak up the wisdom of another person.
If you’re a smart person (and I trust that you are since you’re reading this list), you want to view yourself as a small fish in the great big pond of life–seeking out connections to learn from. So who are the people of influence in your life? Invite one of them to coffee, and learn something new from this person. It will make you better, and he or she will appreciate the chance to pay it forward.

Day 14: Journal about three new things you are grateful for.
Psychologist Shawn Achor told Oprah that you train your brain to be optimistic if you do this for 21 days in a row: Each day, write down three new things you are grateful for.

Read more: How to Be Happy: 10 Science-Backed Ways to Become a Happier Person

Day 15: And while you’re at it, journal about one positive experience today.
Achor also told Oprah that if you spend two minutes daily journaling about one positive experience in the past 24 hours, it allows your brain to relive it, and teaches your brain that the behavior matters.

Day 16: Exercise for 15 minutes.
Achor also told Oprah that if you hate exercise, all it takes is 15 minutes of fun cardio activity, which is the equivalent of taking an antidepressant, but with a 30 percent lower relapse rate.

Day 17: Focus on your breathing.
Stop what you’re doing. Now breathe, and watch your breath go in and out for two minutes. Do this every day. This allows your brain to focus on one thing at a time. In Achor’s study, he says it will “raise accuracy rates, improve levels of happiness, and drop stress levels.”

Day 18. Express kindness through a text or email.
Take two minutes each day to write a positive email or text praising or thanking someone you know. And do it for a different person each day. Achor says people who do this become known as positive leaders with strong social connections–the greatest predictor of long-term happiness.

Day 19: Find something or someone that will make you laugh.
Humor helps you think more broadly and creatively. Psychologists had students solve puzzles after watching a clip of Robin Williams doing standup. Twenty percent more puzzles were solved by sudden insight from students who had watched comedy compared with students who had watched scary or boring videos beforehand. There are other benefits: Laughter releases endorphins into the body–a chemical 10 times more powerful than morphine–with the same exhilarating effect as an intense workout at the gym.

Day 20: Deal with a problem you’ve been neglecting.
So you’ve been putting off handling a difficult person or putting closure to something. By facing conflict and going through the eye of the storm, you’ll build resilience to deal with future problems seamlessly. Choosing to deal with the situation today will teach you to be more honest with yourself and others, give you the strength and openness to deal with problems quickly, and help you avoid procrastination.

Day 21: Do something fun.
Now that you’ve dealt with resolving a conflict, reward yourself with something fun. Science has found that people who have fun on the job are more creative and productive, make better decisions, and get along better with colleagues. Another study discovered that to unlock your creative potential, “go out and play” to lift your mood, and then come back to the problem.

Day 22: Build up your faith.
I don’t speak of religion. I speak of a faith—whatever your belief system—that comes from a deep spiritual connection with a power greater than yours. A power that extends you grace, forgiveness, love. It’s this faith that strengthens you and makes you endure your trials. A faith that helps you realize it’s no longer about you.

Day 23: Have lunch with someone, and listen to that person selflessly.
Give someone your full, undivided attention, and listen to his or her story. The best listeners, as I’ve written about before, have an uncanny ability to listen intuitively to the other person before responding. They listen with one modus operandi: How can I help the other person?

Day 24: Pursue an activity that brings you peace.
Get involved in an activity that’s enjoyable; something that will bring back that bounce in your step. What is it that you love to do? What brings you peace? Hint: Think hobbies, nature, friends, or exercise. I often take the lunch hour to swim, as it releases endorphins. What’s going to bring you peace?

Day 25: Look at people in the eye, smile, and say hello.
We live in such a fear-driven and insulated culture that we don’t even look people in the eye when we’re walking down the street, sitting in subway trains, or even when making our way through office hallways. Just for today, think of strangers as being a little more like you, and treat them with the kindness and respect they deserve: Look them softly in the eye, smile, and give a warm greeting.

Day 26: Take some quiet time alone to reflect.
For 30 to 60 minutes, remove yourself from the noise, clutter, distractions, screaming kids, and busyness of life. It helps to do it first thing after you wake up. Go out into the stillness of the morning, sit on a dock, under a large tree, or on a swing bench and meditate on the good things of life. Close your eyes, breathe through your stomach, and center yourself. Setting aside this little ritual makes the rest of your day seem manageable. You’ll notice a difference and a weight off your shoulders.

Day 27: Look at a situation by taking in the whole picture.
We call it self-awareness. It’s choosing to see two sides of an issue by tapping into our feelings and those of others for a different outcome. It helps us to respond instead of react to people. By redirecting negative thoughts and emphasizing positive ones, you can be the real you and enjoy interpersonal relationships much better.

Day 28: Reframe!
Do you ever hear that voice inside your head tell you things like, “I screwed up again. I’m worthless.” Or “I can’t do this. I’ve never been able to do it; it’s not going to work now.” This is negative self-talk and it can be toxic, as it reinforces irrational thoughts. Catch yourself in the act of using negative words or phrases and identify the triggers. Are demands at work piling up? Are things at home not so peachy? Stop your thought midstream by saying to yourself (or in your head), “Stop!” Then dig deep down inside yourself and reframe your assumptions. Are you assuming something is a negative event when it isn’t necessarily? Stop and reframe, and see if you can come up with a neutral or positive replacement.

Read more: 7 Simple and Powerful Ways to Motivate Yourself, According to Science

Day 29: Readjust the strict rules you impose on yourself.
Are you a perfectionist? Identify one personal rule you live by that’s rigid, unfair or unhelpful. Then reword it to be more helpful, flexible, and forgiving. Then put your new rule into practice!

Day 30: Relax and be more spontaneous.
Doing both are really necessary for healthy living. So if you’re at work, take regular breaks: Stretch, do breathing exercises, go for a walk outside, take a 15-minute nap, play a game, or just enjoy yourself. Add spontaneity to your life by going on a date with your spouse to a new restaurant, stopping afterward to watch the sunset. And next week, think about picking up a new hobby. Surprise yourself!

Day 31: Spend some quality time with an elderly person.
Elderly people have a rich and long history full of stories, experiences and perspectives you’ve never thought of from simpler days gone by. There are many wins for you: It teaches you to be a better listener (day 23), builds up your patience (day 8) since elderly people typically speak slower, and you acquire new wisdom (day 13). They benefit from your attention (day 6), and kindness (day 18, 25).
Closing Thoughts
What would your life look like if you practiced some of these things every day, extending this plan beyond a 31-day cycle? It just might help you live the life you’ve always wanted rather than settling for whatever comes your way.
What will you do to live a more intentional life?

From Maesk Group Counseling in Fort Lauderdale - The Stress Free Life

This article originally was published by Captain Paul Watson on his Facebook page.  You may remember him from the TV show "Whale Wars."  He is a truly inspirational man who has lived his life consistent with his beliefs and values.  In short, he has made a difference.  His article on the stress-free life is one of the best I have read on stress, enjoyment of life and mindfulness.  Enjoy.

Stress kills Mindfulness. Here are Ten Things you can do to avoid it.

Observations and Advice by Captain Paul Watson

"We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time."
– T.S. Elliot

I am often asked how I deal with stress considering I’m wanted by Japan and Costa Rica, I have a price on my head from the shark fin mafia of Costa Rica, we have numerous ships on the sea in dangerous campaigns, I am being sued, threatened and harassed continuously and I have a lot of enemies, critics and people who wish me harm.

The answer to this is simple. I don’t deal with stress, because I do not suffer from stress. And these are ten primary reasons why, and for anyone suffering from anxiety, worry or stress, I would like to offer this advice.  The ten primary reasons why I don't suffer from stress:

  1. It is what it is. Whatever the issue, whatever the threat, whatever the circumstances it simply is what it is. Stressing will not change the situation. All problems can be dealt with or ignored.
  2. “It’s always something.” I say this all the time to my crews whenever a problem arises. “It’s always something and if it’s not something, it’s something else, but it is always something.” This means that life comes with obstacles, challenges and problems. Problems should not be unexpected. They are inevitable. All problems can be dealt with by dealing with them, delegating someone else to deal with them, or ignoring them. One thing for sure, on a ship, it is definitely always something.
  3. Stay calm. There really is nothing worth getting upset about. For example, if I drop a bottle of wine or tomato sauce and it shatters, my reaction is, “hmmm okay, that needs cleaning up.” If I lose my phone, wallet or keys, my reaction is “I better replace what I lost and take measures to cancel my cards etc. More seriously when my regulator jammed once at 30 meters, I calmly signaled my partner to indicate my situation. Fretting about it will not recover the object. Panicking will not save your life. Anger emanates from stress. Without stress there can be no anger. Without stress there is no panic.
  4. Nothing material is permanent and thus objects are not worth stressing about. Your car is damaged, something you own is stolen, or you lost your investments etc. It is really not important. Material objects and comforts are nice but they should not be anchors keeping you attached to stress. Move on.
  5. Friends are friends or they are not. A true friend will never betray you and if a “friend” does betray you than he/she is simply not a friend. Always walk away from betrayal and do not stress about it. True and loyal friends are rare treasures and should be treated as such. Loyalty returns loyalty. Compassion returns compassion. Courage returns courage. However you control only your own loyalty, compassion and courage, not that of others. And if they prove disloyal or they betray you, the treasure is no longer a treasure but merely a bauble to be tossed aside. Never stress about betrayal or loss. It is what it is. And if you’ve been betrayed once by someone, do not allow yourself to be betrayed again by that same person.
  6. Loneliness is an opportunity. It is an opportunity to discover yourself. You can’t find someone to love you if you don’t love yourself, and the secret to finding the right person is to not look for that person. Love should blossom from the ground like a lovely wild flower. It cannot be cultivated until after it is realized. Do not seek the seed but let the flower reveal an opportunity to you to grow and learn.
  7. Relationships are like streams, constantly flowing and as they flow they meet obstacles. Some are minor and others major but a relationship either flows around the obstacle or it is blocked, and if permanently blocked, it ends. This is not cause for stress or angry, resentment or jealously. It is what it is. Move on with appreciation and without bitterness for the relationship that is no more, and open your heart to other possibilities that life presents. The most important factor in maintaining a meaningful relationship with lovers, family or friends is simply acceptance. You need to accept them for who they are and they need to accept you for who you are. If you cannot accept another person for who they are, you need to stop inflicting stress on that person and to walk away. And if another person does not accept you for who you are, you need to walk away no matter the nature of the relationship. Stress kills and living with a person who does not accept you for who you are is like living with a person who is slowly killing you.
  8. Fear is a poison that seeps into the soul and paralyzes our senses generating paranoia, insecurity and anger. Never let fear enter your life. There is really nothing to fear because things are what they are and will be what they will be. Remember you are the captain of your fate and the master of your soul and body. Who you are and what you wish to be depends on you and you alone. A person free of fear can accomplish far more than a person shackled to fear.
  9. Oscar Wilde once said that the only thing worst than being talked about was not being talked about. People talk, they gossip, they make false accusations, some enjoy insulting and belittling others. They are easily dealt with by ignoring them. Responding to them is what they want, so don’t respond. Reacting to them is what they want, so don’t react. Such people are not worthy of causing stress to you. They come from a place of insecurity, jealously and fear. It is their stress, and their stress is their problem. It should not be yours.
  10. Hoka Hey. It’s a good day to die. It’s a Lakota saying and it means to not fear death and to stand firm for what you believe in, to fight against all odds and to never surrender. The one absolute of life is death. We all will die. What matters is not dying but living. It is how you live that is important and the only thing important about dying is how you die. It should be a death without fear, with dignity and with acceptance that it is what it is. The person without fear dies but once, the person shackled by fear dies slowly from stress and anxiety. Accept the inevitable, embrace the final reality of life and smile in the face of the infinite. The real secret to happiness is to not fear your own death, to not fear failure or ridicule, and not to fear others.

Stress is an obstacle to mindfulness

Stress is an obstacle to mindfulness and an impediment to impeccability. Stress is the cause of migraines, cancer and many other ailments. It is the reason people smoke, take drugs, and drink excessively. When people ask me why I’ve never smoked anything, the reason being is that I have never felt inclined to do so. It never seemed healthy to me and I have always been mindful of the consequences. I think that stress blocks mindfulness of consequences. The same holds true to getting drunk or stoned. Without stress there is no need, nor a desire to do either.

Mindfulness is simply awareness of who you are and what you are doing. A person who is mindful is a person free of stress.

Depending upon luxuries leads to stress

Unfulfilled desire leads to stress. Wanting nothing allows you to appreciate what you have. When you want nothing, you want for nothing. We all have basic needs for food, for warmth and shelter, for clothing and for companionship. Mindfulness allows you to be secure with your basic needs. Everything else is a luxury and although luxuries may be appreciated, you should not depend upon them. Depending upon luxuries leads to stress.

I have never worked a day in my life for the sole purpose of making money. I have never wanted to own anything and although I now do own property and material things, I do not allow those things to own me. I never engage in arguments about money or debts. I tend to avoid debts but when debts occur my position is that they are what they are and certainly not anything to be troubled with.

As far as basic needs, I learned to address this as a teenager when I left home at 15. I had no money, no place to stay, no prospects. I jumped a freight train, rode in the automobiles being transported from Toronto all the way to Vancouver. I arrived and camped in the abandoned gun towers on Wreck Beach and the first thing I did was to go to Vancouver City College to enroll. I found a job, moved out of the gun tower into a single room I rented and went from there. Looking back I see it as an adventure. I had nothing, but there was no stress. I simply reframed the insecurity of my position into an adventurous experience. I treated every job as a learning experience and working as a longshoreman, teamster, tree planter, warehouse man, short order cook, baker, painter, carpet layer, postman, tour guide, landscaper, and seaman all were educational experiences.

Life is an adventure, death is inevitable

The truth is that all of life is an adventure, the good and the bad, the ups and the downs, the experiences, the hardships, the thrills and the times that were lonely, happy or difficult. Even the loss of friends and family is simply dealt with by acknowledging that death is as it is. It is inevitable and although we may sincerely mourn we can do so without being stressed. This may be difficult to understand but it is indeed quite possible. With the passing of every friend, with the passing of my brother I have silently said “Good-bye” with the appreciation of having known them.

I have gone into situations many times where the risks of injury, death or imprisonment were practically a certainty. My approach has always been acceptance. And amazingly I am still alive and still free. When I have had nothing I have had everything I need, and when I have risked all, I have usually been successful. One of the things that concerns me is when I read about, or hear of people, especially young people committing suicide because of bullying. I wish that I could talk to such people before they make such a terminal decision. I would tell them to not let the insecurities and fears of others influence them in any way. I would tell them to accept that all the ridicule, insults, bullying and peer pressure is irrelevant and simply unimportant to who they are. If a parent is unaccepting of who you are, you need to say to them that if you are unacceptable to them they have no right to be your parent and you should walk away from them. Too many people are enslaved to parents, partners and friends who do not accept them.

Unacceptance and bullying are forms of violence and everyone should walk away from violence with dignity. No one should tell you what to believe, how to think, how to dress, how to behave or to dictate your sexual orientation or condemn you for your compassion, your passion, your imagination and your character. You are who you are and that is what it is, and how it should be, and if others do not tolerate who you are, don’t give them the satisfaction of destroying you. Simply symbolically spit in their eye, walk away and concentrate on being who you are for the benefit of yourself.

And if anyone is inclined to commit suicide my advice is to commit social suicide instead. That is, to drop out of your life as it is and begin another life, in another place with new ideas. Adventure is the antidote for depression. Take a chance, jump into the unknown and you will be amazed at what is awaiting you after you do.

I am not infallible. I have made mistakes in my life, many of them. I have at times in the past responded with anger although rarely physical and limited to the poison of the pen. I have let some people down, disappointed others and missed opportunities. But the one thing that I have been able to do in my life is to avoid stress.

At 64, I am healthy, happy, optimistic, and as passionate as I ever have been. Even more so because I have had the grace of experience and the satisfaction of achievement in those areas that I chose to address.

The point of this posting is this: Do not let stress ruin your health, your love or your life. Dreadnaught and live the adventure, this adventure that is life. It may well be the only life you will ever have. Even if you believe in the afterlife (oh and don’t stress about that either) the fact is you will never know for sure, so no sense wasting the unique life that you have.

A stress free life is not only possible, it’s also essential for your health and your happiness.


From Maesk Group Counseling in Fort Lauderdale - Things Happy People Do

This is a great article from The Power of Happy:

11 Things That Genuinely Happy People Do

Have you ever wondered what makes genuinely happy people happy? It’s not that their lives are less stressful or that they have more money or friends. No those do not have a bearing on happiness. There are several things, however, that really happy people do and 11 of them are listed below. These habits, ways of being and rituals are keys to what makes happy people happy.

1.  They Rest

Happy people cultivate rest. They know when it is time to take a break and slow down. They are great at getting things done, but it is only because they are well-rested. Incorporating rest and relaxation as a mandatory part of the lives of truly happy people. They take the necessary time to rejuvenate.

2. They Think

Happy people use their brains. They know this is one of their biggest assets. Happy people know that thinking is important to making good decisions and having fruitful relationships. They think through what they’re doing and how they’re doing it. Likewise, happy people consciously think about choosing happiness, what that means to them and how to do create true joy in their lives.

3. They Turn Off Their Devices

Happy people love technology just as much as the rest of us, but they are not addicted to it. They know when it is time to set down their phones, tablets and laptops. They make the effort to engage with the people around them face-to-face and without distraction. Similarly, they also take time to soak up the world around them, not just through technology, but with their actual senses in the present moment.

4. They Move

Happy people know that our bodies were made to move and they move their bodies. The human body needs to move to maintain health. Likewise, it helps people to feel good and happy when we move regularly. From walking to stretching to high intensity interval training to yoga – if you want to feel happier, start moving your body. See also Spark by John J. Ratey for more information about how moving improves mood.

5. They Do Things They Love to Do

An essential component to being happy is taking time to create time to engage in doing the things you enjoy. Happy people know that it is crucial to make the time to do the things they love and then they do it, happily and without guilt. To figure out how to do more of the things you enjoy, read Take the Leap by Heather McCloskey Beck.

6. They Eat Well

Do you ever see truly happy people downing junk food or fast food? No, you don’t. You just don’t. Truly happy people are also health people fueling their bodies with nourishment. Science is now linking mood to food with sugar being a major culprit in depression and anxiety. Happy people take care of their bodies. It’s not to say they don’t indulge occasionally, but for the most part, eating well is important to them and contributes to their happiness.

7. They are Deeply Grateful

This is one of the most common characteristics amongst the happiest of people – they are deeply grateful. Happy people recognize what they have. They also see the silver lining in all situations, no matter how grim. Further, they express their gratitude openly. They are thankful for the things they have, the people in their lives and their experiences.

A great way to get started on cultivating more gratitude is to keep a journal and write down a few things each day that you are grateful for. At first it might seem trivial or even difficult for you, but over time, it becomes part of who you are.

8. They Plan

Happy people love the present moment, but they also plan ahead so that they are prepared in life situations. They are good with their money too. This keeps their stress lower and allows them to enjoy the present moment without the worry that so many people feel on a constant basis. Happy people have a flexible plan in place all the time.

9. They Read Stuff

Happy people are learners and are known to read things that develop them as humans, increase their skills or that simply inspire them. Whether it is fiction or non, happy people are quite often also readers. They like to constantly learn, better themselves and be entertained through reading.

10. They Play

Happy people know that play is a huge part of happiness. Play is defined by Brene Brown as time spent without a purpose. It is just being. Goofing off and fooling around. Tied down to nothing and with no expectations, happy people incorporate regular play into their lives.

11. They Purposefully Choose Happiness

Not all experiences in life are happy ones. Likewise, people are not just automatically happy. It takes effort and one of the most common traits among really happy people is that they purposefully choose happiness. They make the most out of all experiences and choose to find joy in all points of the journey. If this is new to you, try this – just tell yourself you’re going to choose to be happy. Try it out for even just a day and you will see the difference it can make.

From Maesk Group Counseling in Fort Lauderdale - An Eschatological Laundry List

Some of you may remember the book, "If You Meet Buddha on the Road, Kill Him!"  In it, the author Sheldon Kopp included his Eschatological Laundry List, what he called "A Partial Register of the 927 (or was it 928?) Eternal Truths."

Sometimes simplicity carries the message best.  I think you may find some of these simple messages enormously powerful and insightful.

  • This is it!
  • There are no hidden meanings.
  • You can’t get there from here and besides there’s no place else to go.
  • We are all already dying and we will be dead for a long time.
  • Nothing lasts.
  • There is no way of getting all you want.
  • You can’t have anything unless you let go of it.
  • You only get to keep what you give away.
  • There is no particular reason why you lost out on some things.
  • The world is not necessarily just. Being good often does not pay off and there is no compensation for misfortune.
  • You have a responsibility to do your best nonetheless.
  • It is a random universe to which we bring meaning.
  • You don’t really control anything.
  • You can’t make anyone love you.
  • No one is any stronger or any weaker than anyone else.
  • Everyone is, in his own way, vulnerable.
  • There are no great men.
  • If you have a hero look again: you have diminished yourself in some way.
  • Everyone lies, cheats, pretends (yes, you too, and most certainly I myself).
  • All evil is potential vitality in need of transformation.
  • All of you is worth something if you will only own it.
  • Progress is an illusion.
  • It can be displaced but never eradicated, as solutions breed new problems.
  • Yet it to necessary to keep on struggling toward solution.
  • Childhood is a nightmare.
  • But it is so very hard to be an on-your-own, take-care-of-yourself-cause-there-is-no-one-else-to-do-it-for-you grown-up.
  • Each of us is ultimately alone.
  • The most important things, each man must do for himself.
  • Love is not enough but it sure helps.
  • We have only ourselves, and one another. That may not be much, but that’s all there is.
  • How strange that so often it all seems worth it.
  • We must live within the ambiguity of partial freedom, partial power, and partial knowledge.
  • All important decisions must be made on the basis of insufficient data.
  • Yet we are responsible for everything we do.
  • No excuses will be accepted.
  • You can run, but you can’t hide.
  • It is most important to run out of scapegoats.
  • We must learn the power of living with our helplessness.
  • The only victory lies in surrender to oneself.
  • All significant battles are fought within oneself.
  • You are free to do whatever you like. You need only face the consequences.
  • What at do you know … for sure … anyway?
  • Learn to forgive yourself, again and again and again and again…