26 Sep Ancient Wisdom Reveals 6 Rituals That Will Make You Happy
Happiness is obviously not a “new” concept.
And although the science of positive psychology has increasingly shed more and more light on what really makes us happy and on what really contributes to a good life, great thinkers and philosophers have, for thousands of years now, expressed a range of opinions about happiness and related constructs.
In this great article, Eric Barker sums up 6 ancient ideas that we can all use, even today, to bring about more happiness…
via Barking up the Wrong Tree
People have enormous respect for ancient wisdom. They just don’t read it. Funny thing is, we’re more likely to live happier lives when we visit the classics section than the self-help aisle.
So how do we get the skinny on what one group of brilliant dead guys — The Stoics — had to say? Well, for that, I called my friend Ryan.
Ryan Holiday is the bestselling author of The Obstacle is the Way and Ego is the Enemy. His new book is The Daily Stoic: 366 Meditations on Wisdom, Perseverance, and the Art of Living.
So what can the guys who invented the toga party teach us about living well? Let’s get to it…
Events Don’t Upset You. Beliefs Do.
You get dumped by someone you’re totally in love with. Feel sad? God, yes. The world is going to end.
Okay, same scenario, but afterwards you find out that person was actually a psychopath who killed their last three partners. Feel sad you got dumped? No, you’re thrilled.
So clearly “getting dumped” isn’t the important factor here. What changed? Nothing but your beliefs.
If you lose your job and believe it was a lousy position and believe it won’t be hard for you to get a better job, you’re unfazed.
If you believe it was the greatest job ever and believe you’ll never get another one that good — you’re devastated. Emotions aren’t random. They follow from beliefs. Here’s Ryan:
The Stoics are saying there are no good or bad events, there’s only perception. Shakespeare encapsulated it well when he said, “Nothing either good nor bad but thinking makes it so.” Shakespeare and the Stoics are saying that the world around us is indifferent, it is objective. The Stoics are saying, “This happened to me,” is not the same as, “This happened to me and that’s bad.” They’re saying if you stop at the first part, you will be much more resilient and much more able to make some good out of anything that happens.
Skeptical? Sound too simple? Guess what? You couldn’t be more wrong…
This part of Stoic philosophy was adapted by famed psychologist Albert Ellis to form Cognitive Behavioral Therapy — which is now the dominant method for helping people overcome problems ranging from depression to anxiety to anger.
Most of the bad feelings you have are caused by irrational beliefs.
Next time you’re feeling negative emotions, don’t focus on the event that you think “caused” them. Ask yourself what belief you hold about that event. And then ask yourself if it’s rational:
- “If my partner dumps me, I’ll never get over it.”
- “If I lose my job, my life is over.”
- “If I don’t finish reading this post, the writer will hate me forever.”
Only the third one is true. The other two are irrational. And that’s why you get anxious, angry or depressed.
Revise your beliefs and you can change your feelings: “Even if they dump me, I can meet someone else. It’s happened before and I got over it.”
(To learn more from Albert Ellis about how to never be frustrated again, click here.)
So you’re revising your beliefs to overcome sadness and anger. Awesome. But what about when you’re unhappy because you’re worried about the future?
…keep reading the full & original article HERE