Dr. John Schinnerer shares the secret of the power of mindset. Numerous studies are pointing to the importance of the proper mindset in a variety of areas such as diet, exercise, aging, vision, success, intelligence, pain, stress and anxiety. Check it out!
The United Nations declared March 20th International Happiness Day, and to mark it there will be free video presentations about how people are using Positive Psychology in their lives and careers starting tomorrow.
- International Happiness Day March 20, 2014
March 20, 2014
Listen and learn from the world’s foremost experts in the application of positive psychology. Each speaker will share usable, practical, evidence-based insights to enhance your well-being personally and professionally. Celebrate the United Nations’ International Day of Happiness by learning how to create more happiness for yourself and others and increase the total tonnage of happiness in the world.
All of the talks are available at the same time so you can pick and choose what you want to hear/view, but these videos will cost a modest amount (either $25 or $50) starting on March 21. All of the presenters are graduates of the University of Pennsylvania Master’s of Applied Positive Psychology degree program (MAPP Program).
If you want to just register and see who is presenting and what the topics are, you can get a free ticket to use at this link: https://www.entheos.com/International-Day-Of-Happiness/ Just type in your name and email address. There’s tons of fantastic, useful info here. I’m sure you will find something helpful…fast!
To life, love and laughter!
Positive Psychology Expert
Anger Management Specialist
913 San Ramon Valley Blvd. #280
Danville CA 94526
Positive psychology blog: http://DrJohnBlog.GuideToSelf.com
Anger management blog:
I’ve been working on developing an online positive psychology course (The Path to Happier which will go live in April 2014 at HowICanBeHappy.com). While doing my reading, I came across some great quotes on meaning in life that I thought I’d share…
Meaning is specific to humans. Dogs don’t worry about meaning in life…
My dog doesn’t worry about the meaning of life. She may worry if she doesn’t get her breakfast, but she doesn’t sit around worrying about whether she will get fulfilled or liberated or enlightened. As long as she gets some food and a little affection, her life is fine.
The sole meaning of life is to serve humanity.
For the meaning of life differs from man to man, from day to day and from hour to hour. What matters, therefore, is not the meaning of life in general but rather the specific meaning of a person’s life at a given moment.
Viktor E. Frankl
The meaning of life is not to be discovered only after death in some hidden, mysterious realm; on the contrary, it can be found by eating the succulent fruit of the Tree of Life and by living in the here and now as fully and creatively as we can.
And this one is simply a favorite of mine from Thoreau…
As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives.
Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth.
And my own thought…
I believe that the meaning of life and the right thing to do are the same thing.
All the best,
Positive Psychology Coach
Anger Management Specialist
This is a speech I gave at a high school commencement recently. I thought you might enjoy it!
Positive Psychology, or How to Consciously Create a Successful and Happy Life
John Schinnerer, Ph.D.
Welcome graduates, faculty, parents, friends and family.
My name is Dr. John Schinnerer. For the past 7 years, I have been speaking, writing and teaching about a new branch of science called Positive Psychology which is the science of happiness, positive emotions, creativity, forgiveness, mindfulness, curiosity, and meaning and purpose in life.
And one of my favorite positive emotions is amusement – that which you feel after a good joke. So here is a joke for your amusement…
Driving along on a sunny day with her young granddaughter by her side, my aunt was on top of the world.
“Grandma,” said the young girl “is Grandpa a lot older than you?”
“Yes, a few years,” she said. Then fishing for a compliment, Grandma asked “Why do you ask, dear?”
“Well, his mustache is a lot bigger than yours.”
Positive psychology is discovering signs pointing to a happier life.
When I first came to present here, I was anxious, excited, and uncertain as to how you would receive the info I had to share. After all, I thought, how many teenagers want to hear about positive psychology?
Apparently, you did.
And I praise you for your open-mindedness, your courage, your resiliency.
You are some of the most courageous individuals I know. For courage is not the absence of fear. Courage is overcoming fear. Without fear, there is no courage. You face your fears daily which makes you brave. It makes you courageous.
You are also among the most resilient people whom I know. And for that you have my respect and my admiration.
Resiliency is the ability to bounce back from challenging, difficult situations. You guys are among the… bounciest… people I know. Many of you have had multiple chances of giving up, of throwing in the towel, and you refused. You kept going.
Being able to bounce, being able to persevere, despite negative events is not due to luck. It’s due to resiliency. Resilience means you effectively cope despite inevitable loss, hardship, or adversity. Resilience has been compared to flexibility in metals. For example, cast iron is hard, brittle, and breaks easily, that is it is not resilient, whereas wrought iron is soft and bends without breaking – it is resilient.
In most cases, successful people have overcome many more difficulties than those who are less successful. While everyone encounters failure and trouble, it is what you do AFTER failure that is critical.
Highly successful individuals have tenacity, a stick-to-it-iveness. They view failure as a learning experience. They don’t give up. They don’t throw in the towel. They try again. From Barack Obama to the president of FedEx to Eminem, successful individuals fail repeatedly …but they learn from their experiences and they keep going. They keep on walking in the direction of their values and their dreams.
As you keep walking in the direction of your dreams, of your values, continually remind yourself of your own resiliency. You have overcome great odds to be here today. You have proven to be an inspiration for me and for many of the people with whom I talk. There is a ripple effect. I share my experiences with you with others and the stories have a positive impact on people whom have never even met you.
For instance, when I first came, I shared the ‘Free Hugs’ video with you. And after that presentation, several students wrote up pieces of paper that read ‘Free Hugs’ and taped them to your chests. Then you went around hugging classmates. To me, that is inspirational.
The letter the English class wrote to defend the name of the high school against mindless stereotypes after a tragic homicide was another instance where your actions inspired hope, passion and courage in others. Your positive actions are felt by more people than you realize. You may not realize it, but you inspire others.
What Do Influential People Add to Our Lives?
One of the corporate leaders in the positive psychology movement, The Gallup Corporation, recently asked over 10,000 people what the most influential leaders contribute to their lives. Their answers boiled down to 4 essential areas – compassion, trust, stability and hope. Keep those in the forefront of your mind for just a moment.
The great African American tennis player, Arthur Ashe, once said…
“Success is a journey, not a destination. The doing is more important than the outcome.”
Many of us believe that success leads to happiness. A number of studies now show that happiness actually brings success as well. People like to be around happy, supportive, optimistic people. This, in turn, increases the likelihood of success for happy folks.
What Does the Positive Psychology Research Show?
When asked about happiness, Tal Ben-Sahar, a positive psychology professor at Harvard says “Happiness is not making it to the peak of the mountain; happiness is the experience of climbing toward the peak.” Apparently, success is a lot like happiness. It’s about learning to savor the journey.
When asked what the top three components of success are, Tal Ben-Sahar replied
Passion (love what you do)
Effectiveness (belief in one’s self)
Hard work (persistence and dedication)
I want to draw your attention to the pattern here.
In business, the most effective leaders create trust, stability, compassion and hope in their followers.
As individuals, the necessary components for success are passion, persistence and a belief in one’s effectiveness.
All of these competencies are rooted in the emotional mind. Success starts in your mind.
And you are well-suited to share each and every one of these strengths with the world. Thanks to your principal and teachers you have been schooled in the new competencies necessary for success. As you head out into this new world, you are familiar with all you need to succeed – trust, perseverance, compassion, resiliency, curiosity and passion.
Allow me to wrap up with a short quote from the great Renaissance artist Michelangelo who said…
“The greater danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it.”
So when you set your goals – aim high, my friends, aim high.
John Schinnerer Ph.D.
Positive psychology coach
Founder Guide to Self
Positive Psychology and Positive Emotions
By John Schinnerer, Ph.D. Founder of Guide To Self, Inc.
The evidence is mounting, evidence that positive emotions exist for a reason, evidence that evolution has selected positive emotions for specific reasons that help our species survive – reasons that help you in every area of your life.
Positive emotions include feelings such as awe, curiosity, gratitude, compassion, calm, love, joy, interest, passion and happiness.
Evidence is mounting to support the necessity of cultivating positive emotions for your success at work, in relationships and personally.
At the beginning of every session with a new client, I make a point of sharing a short, gut-bustingly funny video clip. One of my personal favorites is the popular Mother’s Day video by Barats and Bereta (www.BaratsAndBereta.com).
The reason for sharing a humorous video with new clients is three-fold.
First, the funny video unlocks any negative emotions the client may be holding onto such as anger, irritability, anxiety or sadness (Fredrickson, 2004, The Royal Society).
Second, those few, fleeting moments of laughter, mirth and smiling reduce depressive symptoms and improve your well-being and satisfaction with life (Sin & Lyubomirsky, Journal of Clinical Psychology: In Session, 2009).
Third, science has known for over a decade that chronic anger, anxiety and depression put you at an elevated risk for cardiovascular disease (Suls & Bunde, Psychological Bulletin, 2005). Most people go through life with the sympathetic branch of the ANS stuck in the ‘on’ position. The sympathetic branch is similar to the gas pedal in a car. Negative emotions (along with stress, exhaustion, and lack of exercise) activate the sympathetic nervous system which leads to increased heart rate, pulse and higher levels of cortisol into the blood stream. The sympathetic nervous system is responsible for the ‘fight, flight or freeze’ response.
On the flip side, positive emotions activate the parasympathetic branch of the autonomic nervous system (ANS) which acts like the brakes on a car. The parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) is in charge of calming the body, reducing heart rate and pulse, and bringing the body back to a resting state. The extent to which you can activate your PNS predicts your emotional and physical health. It is intimately related to how well you can self-regulate your own emotions.
Lower levels of PNS activity are related to higher levels of depression, anxiety, aggression, and hostility.
On the other side, higher levels of PNS activity are associated with better psychological flexibility, health and resiliency. Individuals with higher levels of PNS activity are related to more resiliency to stress as well as greater mental health in children in the face of chronic conflict between parents at home.
Importantly, the frequency with which you experience positive emotions is related to a more active PNS. Individuals who were shown humorous video clips demonstrated faster heart rate recover after experiencing intense negative emotions (Fredrickson & Levenson, 1998).
In addition, simply asking people to think about a time when they felt grateful activated the PNS.
Other ways to ‘turn on’ the PNS include exercise, laughter, mindfulness, massage, yoga, walking your dog and taking fish oil.
The success I’ve experienced with clients in my private practice is directly related to how well I can make them laugh. With laughter comes opportunity…
opportunity to unlock stale old anger,
opportunity to teach critical new skills,
opportunity to think outside the box, and
opportunity to transform life for the better.
How do you proceed from here?
Begin to become more aware of the percentage of time you spend in a positive emotional state as compared to a negative state. This simple realization, this basic level of awareness will begin to produce massive tectonic shifts in your life. And you will reap enormous benefits on a number of levels…physical, relational, professional and emotional.
To happier times,
John Schinnerer, Ph.D.
About the Author
John Schinnerer, Ph.D. is revolutionizing the way in which people make sense of the mind, behavior and emotion. In December of 2011, he was one of three experts to consult with Pixar on a feature-length movie in which the main characters are emotions. Much of his time is spent in private practice teaching clients the latest ways to turn down the volume on negative emotions such as anger, anxiety and stress as well as ways to cultivate a more positive mind. He has developed a unique coaching methodology which combines the best aspects of entertainment, humor, positive psychology and emotional management techniques. His offices are in Danville, California. He graduated from U.C. Berkeley with a Ph.D. in educational psychology. He has been an executive, speaker and coach for over 14 years. He hosted over 200 episodes of Guide To Self Radio, a daily prime time radio show, in the SF Bay Area. He wrote the award-winning book, Guide To Self: The Beginner’s Guide To Managing Emotion and Thought, which is available at Amazon.com. His blog, Shrunken Mind, was recognized as one of the top 3 in positive psychology on the web (drjohnblog.guidetoself.com ). His new video blog teaches people the latest ways to manage anger using positive psychology. (WebAngerManagement.com).