small is beautiful • subjects monitored for six weeks • reminder beeper • record kept of whether felt positive & if so how positive • overall happiness depends on how often we feel good • brief peaks are relatively unimportant Larsen RJ, Diener E & Cropanzano RS Cognitive operations associated with individual differences in affect intensity J Personal Soc Psychol 1987;53:767-74
before all else, achieving control over experience requires a drastic change in attitude about what is important and what is not ... the most important step ... is the ability to find rewards in the events of each moment Czikszentmihalyi M Flow: the psychology of happiness London: Random Century, 1992 Matthews A Being happy Media Masters, 1988
the ordinary is extra-ordinary Eastern sage, Christian mystic & 20th century motorcyclist If your mind isn’t clouded by unnecessary things, this is the best season of your life Wu-Men In good time we shall see God & his light, you say Fool, you shall never see what you not see today! Angelus Silesius ... what happened on the way, who I met, all that was incidental. I had not quite realized that the interruptions were the journey Ted Simon
typical use of waking time 3% reading eg. books, magazines, newspapers 7% personal care eg. wash, dress, loo, shave, etc 6% tv 6% social 2% active leisure eg. playing music, bowling, jogging 8% eating 27% busy at work Czikszentmihalyi M & I (eds) Optimal experience: psychological studies of flow in consciousness New York: Cambridge Univ Press, 1988 35% miscellanous eg. travelling, shopping, cooking, fixing things, unstructured time 9% time at work largely “wasted”
high 3 4 1 2 low low high flow, enjoyment & increased ability flow channel challenge and skills probably need to be greater than “normal” for greatest enjoyment, good focus & increased ability anxiety challenges boredom skills
the practice for this week 6th week’s exercise: Both arms are heavy and warm Both legs are heavy and warm The pulse is steady and calm Breath breathes me Belly warm and radiates warmth Neck and shoulders are heavy I am at peace every day:practise each of the belly exercises - relaxation & awareness - at least once daily. Also possibly 30 to 40 times daily use the reminder dot exercise! Each of these mini-exercises is often more a re-centering than a deep relaxation.