Happiness in family life: Tips for balancing past, present, future
The economic periodicals Wall Street Journal and Forbes recently offered practical suggestions for how to feel happier at home.
The Journal’s Elizabeth Bernstein advocated a mental-health approach called Time Perspective Therapy in her Monday column. As its title suggests, Time Perspective Therapy concerns itself with the perspectives people have about different eras of their lives. The approach teaches that people can augment the happiness they feel by adjusting their paradigms about the past and future, and their approach to the here-and-now.
“Our individual time perspective is influenced by many things, including family and friends, culture, religion, education and life events,” Bernstein wrote. “ The best profile to have, says Philip Zimbardo, psychologist and professor emeritus at Stanford University, is a blend of you like your past, work for the future — but not so hard that you become a workaholic — and choose when to seek pleasure in the present.”
In acknowledging that the end of the workday directly influences the quality of an evening at home, forbes.com staff writer Jaquelyn Smith recently published 14 suggestions for “Things you should do at the end of every workday” that include imminently doable actions like disconnect, leave your stress at the door and leave on a positive note.
Smith wrote, “Ending your day on a good note will also ensure that you look back on it with a sense of accomplishment and fulfillment. Another reason to end your day the right way: Michael Kerr, an international business speaker, author and president of Humor at Work, says it has a huge effect on the level of stress and happiness you carry home, ‘which in turn can impact your health, your marriage and family life, your ability to sleep and your overall level of happiness.’ ”
Last month Wall Street Journal columnist Sumathi Reddy proffered an elegantly simple of solution for enhancing happiness: Talk and interact with others more often, especially about the things that are most important to you.
“Extroverts, those outgoing, gregarious types who wear their personalities on their sleeve, are generally happier, studies show,” Reddy wrote. “Some research also has found that introverts, who are more withdrawn in nature, will feel a greater sense of happiness if they act extroverted. One theory is that being talkative and engaging influences how people respond to you, especially if that response is positive. Others speculate that people get more satisfaction when they express their core self and opinions.”
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