One of the most beautiful pictures of this combination came through at the very end of the movie “The Passion” when Jesus was hanging on the cross and gave up the spirit. He was literally, there was a transactional love there. He was literally assuming the guilt of every sin you ever committed on himself and dying on your behalf. But then the camera goes up and looks down, and I don’t know if you can see it, but that is a giant teardrop falling from heaven to earth and that is a beautiful scene, communicating right there both the committed love, which drove Christ to the cross. “For God so loved the world, he gave his only be gotten Son.”
Some recent work in neuroscience as examined the brains of people in romantic love. They found that the brain areas involved with making judgments and with sense of self. What this means is that when we are in romantic love, out ability to make judgments about situations and the other person is actually impaired, and we lose our sense of individuality and over-identify with the other (Xu, et al, 2010).
The rationale: Models give us templates for how to be better people. When we seek success and happiness, it’s best to look at how others have achieved the same thing. As Jim Rohn often said, “Success breeds clues.” If someone is repeatedly successful, it’s not just luck. Watch your role model work, see how they do it and then replicate to achieve the same result. The same rationale can be applied to happiness.
Whining is generally considered a bad thing—and yeah, it can get pretty annoying if you’re on the receiving end. Done effectively, however, it can actually benefit our mental health. So what exactly makes complaining effective? When voicing a concern leads to results, which in turn lead to a better mood and self-esteem andfeeling empowered, it’s effective. In other words, complaining done right involves identifying a problem and taking positive action to address it, not just getting stuck in a loop-de-loop of complaints.
When it comes to leading a healthy lifestyle, eating well is clutch—especially since the nutrients you consume improve your mental health as much as your physical well-being. Case in point: Research finds that happiness and mental well-being are highest among people who eat a good amount of fruit and vegetables per day (seven portions, in this case). Check out this long list of mood-boosting nutrients here, and fill up your plate with the good stuff.
“Hangry” people are not happy people, and sometimes the simplest mood-upping-fix is a quick nosh on something relatively healthy, Mramor said. “Dark chocolate, in moderation, is a good thing,” she added. “Eat a balanced snack with proteins, carbs and fats, which balances blood sugar and improves mood.” Maybe grab an apple with some cheddar cheese or peanut butter, spread an avocado on toast or dip into a greek yogurt with whatever fruit topping suits your fancy.
By committed, I mean someone who is faithful. Reliable. They’re there for you. The have your best interests in mind. Loyal love can, at times, not feel warm and fuzzy, but it is faithful and committed. Or compassionate love, where there’s a warmth, a feeling. There’s no question that they love you because you can feel their love. But it can be a little more come-and-go in expression.
So you want to know if your relationship is a committed one. These days it’s not enough to assume that traditional labels of “boyfriend,” “girlfriend,” or even “partner” are enough to confirm your exclusivity status. Besides the more obvious actions of living together and becoming engaged, there are some things that never change, and chances are if your relationship has any of the following 11 characteristics, there’s a strong possibility that you’re in a committed one.
19Various elements of the clinch image are subjected to this genre-internal system of secondary codification. For example, the attire worn by the cover models can function as a code for the novel’s subgenre. That models on the cover of historical category romances wear clothes that are instantly recognizable as period costumes comes as no big surprise and is a fairly obvious example of such a secondary codification of the clinch image. Other clothing-based codifications that are common in the romance genre are perhaps less obvious to the public at large. The relatively recent trend in paranormal romance to deck out cover models (particularly women) in leather clothing is probably not well-known outside the genre. Nonetheless, as romance bloggers Sarah Wendell and Candy Tan have observed, within the romance genre a female cover model dressed in leather or spandex-like clothing serves as a reliable semiotic sign that the novel in question features a paranormal storyline (178).
2. Remember your body. Take a twenty-minute walk outside to boost your energy and dissolve stress. Don’t let yourself get too hungry. Get enough sleep. Manage pain. When you’re anxious, it’s easy to stay up late and eat ice cream -- and that’s going to make you feel worse in the long run. It's very tempting to run yourself ragged trying to deal with a crisis, but in the long run, you just wear yourself out.
[T]he first thing we did, we agreed that we would do a whole issue; invest in a whole issue of Young Romance Comics before we peddled it to these gangsters that were publishing. (laughter) In this way, we would be protected. So we signed a contract; we were full partners in the thing. We were to pay for the art and editorial, they would pay for the publishing and do the publishing business. We thought we were pretty great with that contract–we were supposed to split the profits. We thought we were pretty damn smart to do that, but later I found out that these guys weren’t even putting their money into it. The distributors were giving them a 35% advance. So, they weren’t paying anything. We were the ones that were paying the money. The good part is that the thing sold out and that was really a bonanza. We were taking in tons of money.”
Compulsive comparing, of course, only leads to debilitating cases of what Nietzsche called Lebensneid, or “life envy”: the certainty that somebody else is much luckier than you, and that if only you had her body, her husband, her children, her job, everything would be easy and wonderful and happy. (A therapist friend of mine defines this problem simply as “the condition by which all of my single patients secretly long to be married, and all of my married patients secretly long to be single.”) With certainty so difficult to achieve, everyone’s decisions become an indictment of everyone else’s decisions, and because there is no universal model anymore for what makes “a good man” or “a good woman,” one must almost earn a personal merit badge in emotional orientation and navigation in order to find one’s way through life anymore.
Neil Pasricha is the New York Times–bestselling author of the Book of Awesome series, which has been published in ten countries, spent more than five years on various bestsellers lists, and sold more than a million copies. Pasricha is a Harvard MBA, one of the most popular TED speakers of all time, and the director of the Institute for Global Happiness. He has dedicated the past fifteen years of his life to developing leaders—creating global programs inside the world’s largest companies and speaking to hundreds of thousands of people around the world. Pasricha lives in Toronto with his family.
34The stereotype-driven character of the category romance’s materiality ensures that the public is likely to follow the producers’ primary suggestion and interpret the book in generic terms as a popular romance novel. This interpretation is achieved via the repetitive material invocation of numerous widespread stereotypes that surround the genre in our culture. Although this strategy reinforces and perpetuates a very clichéd cultural image of the genre, one of its major interpretative benefits is that such stereotypes can be interpreted – decoded – by a huge and diversified audience. This public intelligibility of its material code is an important commercial consideration for a book that circulates in a wide variety of cultural and commercial spaces frequented by a wide variety of consumers.
You have built expectations about social rivalry from your past experience. The frustrations and disappointments of your past built circuits that make it easy for you to feel bad about being in the one-down position and bad about being in the one-up position. You could spend your whole life longing for the position you’re not in. Or you could build up the circuits that find the good in what you have and help you learn how to feel good out of habit:
38Such a manifest material performance of the novel’s generic identity is functionally important not only to the vast public of non-readers, but also to the book’s target audience of self-identified category romance readers. Like the public, the romance reader recognizes the stereotype-driven public code as signaling the romance generic identity. This generic identification of the novel triggers, as has been established by Janice Radway’s seminal study of romance readers, a set of generic expectations on the part of the reader. When the text meets these generic expectations – as the strongly conventional, editorially carefully controlled category romance specifically aims to do – the reader is satisfied. This interplay between the creation of generic expectations, the fulfilling of these expectations and the resulting reader satisfaction is of vital commercial importance to the category romance novel, as it provides the core impetus for the reader to want to repeat the reading experience by reading – that is, buying – other category romance novels.
In the same way, there are things that make you feel happy but may lead to a state of unhappiness. You feel happy in the moment but you mistakenly think this is all there is to happiness. Happiness, like health, needs to be understood in context. Just as you need to take into consideration a person’s age to judge their health, the future needs to be taken into account in order to determine happiness.
But also, and this is something that I think about that isn’t specifically outlined in Scripture but (this part is) when a person is under the water, there is a picture of washing and cleansing. But I love to think of that water as expressing, picturing the tears of God. The One who is acquainted with our grief, carried our sorrows is washing away, not just our sin, but is moving toward our sorrow, is bearing our burdens. You can’t love someone sacrificially without, in a sense, absorbing upon yourself their grief, their sadness, their sorrow. And God, the Creator of all things, has moved toward us in that way, not only in a way that pays for our sin, that sets us free from the bondage to the devil, but also because Jesus has a Father who dearly loves his people.
Our parents were onto something when they reminded us to always write our thank-you notes—doing so can make you healthier and happier. What’s more, being grateful may lead to other positive emotions (including a boost in energy and optimism) and well-being. Counting blessings versus burdens: an experimental investigation of gratitude and subjective well-being in daily life. Emmons RA, McCullough ME. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 2003, May.;84(2):0022-3514. Besides simply thanking people, try keeping a gratitude journal, and write down what you’re thankful for every day. Experts maintain that jotting down even one sentence of gratitude a day can boost feelings of happiness.