Thomas J. Scheff

Thomas Scheff Ph.D.

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8 Small Steps Toward Happiness

or at least away from despair

Posted Jun 25, 2014

1. Talk to a friend who has a sympathetic ear at least five minutes as often as possible. Practice slowing down your talk so that you can move toward including feelings, not just thoughts. This is EXTREMELY important.

2. Learn how to meditate by just listening to your breath, and practice at least five minutes every day.

3. Write a journal entry every day

4. Practice being angry as if you are telling the person that you are angry at, in a courteous voice: “I am angry at you because…. (fill in the details).”

5. Practice being afraid by repeating this mantra: Someday I am going to die.

6. Practice being sad by repeating the names of loved ones you have lost.

7. Practice being embarrassed by writing about the worst moments in your life.

8. Practice being deservedly proud by writing descriptions of the best moments in your life. Not just the name of the occasion, but the details of the moment itself. Write it down so you can keep expanding the details. Keep an updated copy of this list at hand so it will be available to mull over in difficult situations.

Please email me if you have any questions or comments.

About the Author

Thomas J. Scheff

Thomas J. Scheff is Professor Emeritus of Sociology, University of California, Santa Barbara.

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