My phone has been going into a kind of electronic convulsions when I plug it in to charge. But I noticed it only does it some of the time. I was patient and stuck it out. Eventually the phone became completely charged. I have a lot of fun apps on my phone but none of them will do me any good if I can’t charge the phone. So, right now I appreciate that the phone will still accept a charge.

Frank Clayton LPC

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There are a few things I have been trying to make sure I do every day, but “shoulding” on myself has not been working. I am glad to say I have found something that works – a simple concept I learned as a kid: you don’t get to play until you get your chores done. So, I paired the three things I want to get done with three things I want to do. … So now I clean for at least 5 minutes before I play iPhone games, I journal for at least 5 minutes before I can go on Facebook (on my phone) and I check my to-do list before I do anything else on the computer. To make sure do this last one, I even changed the password on my laptop to special memory jogger to remind me. It feels amazing and empowering to know I have forged a system to make my life work.

Frank Clayton LPC

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This is a game my family and I have really been into lately. We got my daughter hooked on it while she was visiting and she found two ways for us to play long-distance – on the iPhone and there is an on-line version too. I spent my lunch hour yesterday playing her. It’s great because it gives us another reason to stay in touch. The game uses a lot of strategy so it really keeps my mind engaged. And because we can mix and match the cards, it never gets boring. Also, because I mentioned it to some friends, they invited us over this weekend to play – and having a reason to get together with friends is always something for which to be to be grateful.

Frank Clayton LPC

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Report from IPPA Conference, Day 3

Wow! What an absolutely amazing day! In case you’re just “tuning in”, today is day 3 of the 2nd Congress of the International Positive Psychology Association.
Here are the highlights:

  • Barbara Fredrickson (author of my #2 pick on Happiness, Positivity) talked about Love
  • Meeting Todd Kashdan and (what may be his last) talk at IPPA
  • Possible collaboration with positive psychologist and local, Lynn Johnson
  • Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy with a Positive Spin
  • Positive Computing
  • Meeting Jane McGonigal and using her on-line game to enhance Happiness 101
  • How much you think you can do something effects whether (and how hard) you try *
  • The use of strengths in therapy – the intermediate lesson *
  • Gala and the National Constitution Center *

* I will report on these tomorrow.

It was much cooler today. A blessing for my walk to my third download of information in the realm of positive psychology, a.k.a. Happiness! As I walked through City Hall in (literally) the heart of Philadelphia, I hummed a little tune. I was distracted by the richness and variety of the people as I walked. Per haps distracted enough by the suits, the homeless, the street venders, the skaters and the provocative dress, the song’s lyrics did not bubble to the surface until in the shadow of the Downtown Marriott. I murmured, “All you need is love. Bump-ba bump-ba bump. All you need is love. Bump-ba bump-ba bump. All you need is love, love – love is all you need.” As I realized I was humming a Beatles standard, I also realized that the topic of Barbara Fredrickson’s talk was “Love: A new lens on the science of thriving” Continue reading Report from IPPA Conference, Day 3

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Report from IPPA Conference, Day 2

Day two of the 2nd Congress of the International Positive Psychology Association was simply amazing.  I learned SO much!  At one point I laughed to my friend “Teacher!  My brain is full!”  Here’s a report of the day’s events:

It began with Ed Deci speaking about self-determination and its relationship to positive psychology – in other words: the self-fulfilling prophecy.  He showed scientific proof that believing that you are doomed and things will never get better can actually bring that about.  Using a simple analogy (of my own), if one is drowning and they really don’t think anyone will come to rescue them, they can behave based on this belief by not paddling and dying before help could arrive.  But Deci really wowed the crowd when he reported that studies repeatedly proved that external rewards kill off intrinsic motivation.  For instance, when we try to control our children either by giving them a reward for doing well (the carrot) or punishing them when they do not do well (the stick), we inadvertently are hindering our child’s innate love of learning!  You can bet I will be blogging more about this. Continue reading Report from IPPA Conference, Day 2

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www.GivesMeHope.com is a wonderful simple, straight-forward opportunity, giving  people a forum to spread optimism.  People share (very) short stories describing circumstances and situations that give them hope.  They also have a wonderful iPhone application, so if I only have a few minutes, I can tune in and get a Happiness Boost.  Today, I feel grateful that I found a place on the internet that gives ME hope.

Frank Clayton, the Happy Therapist

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Dear Dr. Lyubomirsky,

Words cannot convey what a thrill it was to receive your comments on the book review of the How of Happiness. I don’t know how much you had a chance to look at the website, but I have been teaching a class called Happiness 101, based largely on your book. Actually at one point I was teaching the class THREE times a week: once in the private practice, once as a conference call and once at my “day job” working at an adult day treatment unit. On September 12th I will be teaching a workshop based heavily on the book as well (I am calling it Happiness 201). I bought several copies of the book to give to participants of the class. I also direct people to your website (www.thehowofhappiness.com) whenever possible – including a link on my website (www.saltlakementalhealth.com) and my Facebook fan page (also called Happiness 101). I think anyone that is serious about being happier should start by reading your book. Looking to the future, I am hoping to teach Happiness 101 as an accredited class. Your book will be required reading.

Specifically, I so vehemently support your book because it is empirically based. I have picked up so many books in which the author is talking a good talk but find myself repeatedly asking “Where are they getting this?”, “What do they have to back this up?” In most cases I found their assertions to be subjective and therefore questionable. I also very much enjoy your style of writing. It is packed with information of happiness related studies while remaining down-to-earth and personable – a challenging balance to acquire! It is almost painful to see it sitting on the self-help shelf along with all the other books about happiness. Books like yours should have some sort of seal or special marking setting it apart from the others. I personally have two copies of your book. One to read and one to underline, highlight and scribble in the margins. I think every inch of white space has notes on it – even the cover!

It has been amazing to see the transformation in the “students” of the Happiness 101 classes. They are becoming Happiness ambassadors; teaching their friends, family and co-workers how to be happier. At the adult day treatment unit, many of the people I work with have been severely depressed for many years. Now most of them smile and eagerly share each week about the positives in their lives. We usually start the class by dancing to an upbeat, positive song. This week we got every single person on their feet – over 30 of them! They have HOPE, where they had none before. These are people with severe mental illness but because of your book, they have realized they have choices they can make to make their lives better. In turn, they inspire others – not only other clients but their friends, family members and even staff. After all, it is difficult to gripe about our problems when we see someone suffering from a severe mental illness making better choices and improving their lives. My “students” are an inspiration and many times my teacher.

I am incredibly excited to hear you are writing a new book! I will do everything I can to spread the word about the Happiness application for the iPhone (www.livehappyapp.com). What an amazing idea!! I’ll become a fan on Facebook, put a link on my website, tell my “students” and of course put the app on my own phone.

Your research and your book is changing many, many lives. Thank you SO much.

Sincerely,

Frank G. Clayton
Licensed Professional Counselor
frank@saltlakementalhealth.com

The How of Happiness by Sonja Lyubomirsky

The How of Happiness by Sonja Lyubomirsky

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