With so many people miserable, how you can be happier?

With so many people miserable, how you can be happier?

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As citizens of the most affluent society that’s ever existed, you’d think Americans would be happy. Yet too many of us are anything but. Over 38,000 people commit suicide each year and more than 400,000 are treated for self-inflicted injuries. Forty million people suffer from anxiety. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. In fact, Thomas Strawser says our nation, the so-called “land of plenty,” is mired in a misery epidemic.

          “Misery is very different from pain,” clarifies Strawser, author of Spiritual Engineering (Tate Publishing & Enterprises, 2014, ISBN: 978-1-630-63276-2, $19.99, www.spiritualengineering.us). “Pain is grief, sadness, and mourning. Misery is fear, anxiety, anger, resentment, remorse, envy, jealousy, self-pity, pride, and guilt. Life gives us pain, but misery is optional—and self-inflicted.”

By now you know that happiness doesn’t lie in status, stuff, or other people. It lies within. To avoid misery and build a fulfilling life, you must tap into your inherent spirituality, which will energize you, guide you, and foster self-acceptance and self-love as you figure out who you are, what you want, and how to navigate your relationships with others.

          “You must develop a relationship with your inner spirit, then yourself, then other people,” says Thomas J. Strawser. “Spirituality isn’t an optional ingredient of loving yourself or of living a whole, happy life. It is the starting point—the foundation for the best life.”

          Even if you’re a skeptic, Strawser encourages you to weave these brief spiritual exercises into your day. They are not affiliated with any particular religion or belief system, and are designed to help you discover and grow the reservoir of spiritual energy that already exists inside you.

1. Starting-Your-Day Exercise
At the beginning of each day, perform this exercise to focus your mind on a
spiritual place and establish a connection with your inner power.

  • Browse a bookstore or online bookseller. Look for a book that has daily thoughts and meditations that strike your interest. Perhaps try out a couple of them to find one that fits you.
  • Take three relaxation breaths.
    • Take a deep, deep breath. Hold it for 10 seconds. Picture your hurry, stress, and anxiety flowing into that breath. Exhale very slowly while saying, “Peace, harmony, relax, relax.” Let all the tension flow out with the breath. Repeat three times.
  • Close your eyes.

    • Give thanks for your awareness of your inner power.
    • Ask that your mind be spiritually directed—that healthy love might replace selfish and self-centered motives.
    • Ask for guidance for any decisions made this day: that your mind be spiritually directed instead of self-directed, that you pause to make conscious decisions before acting, and that you would have the strength to fulfill that guidance.
    • Include any personal requests you may have.
  • Spend a few moments in quiet receptivity.

2. During-the-Day Exercise
Set your watch or phone for five alarms throughout the day. At each one, pause and
perform this exercise. You can also use it whenever you’re feeling upset or anxious.

  • Pause, close your eyes for one minute, and take three deep breaths.
  • Express gratitude for something. If nothing specific comes to mind, give thanks for the fact that you can walk, see, have food, etc.
  • Ask your inner power to help you make the right choices and act lovingly for the next hour.

3. Nightly Review Exercise
When you go to bed, perform this last exercise. It will focus your mind on growth instead of on a fruitless rehashing of the day’s events, unrealistic fantasies, or worry about the future.

  • Close your eyes for one minute and take three relaxation breaths. Then conduct your review.

    • Were you loving?
    • What symptoms of misery upset your day?
    • Were your decisions selfish, self-righteous, or self-centered?
    • Did your thoughts, feelings, words, or actions compromise your integrity?
    • If something upset you, did you have a bad five minutes or a bad day?
    • Did you pause and ask for guidance?
    • Were your fantasy thoughts—those daydream diversions—loving, altruistic, and tolerant, or did they reflect self-driven will?
    • What could you have done better?
  • Review and acknowledge your improvement. Were there times when you had an opportunity to fall prey to misery but didn’t? Did you do something good, kind, and loving? Did you avoid or indulge less in an old pattern of behavior?
  • Give thanks for the help received that day. Acknowledge your shortfalls and make a commitment to try to do better tomorrow.

4. Constant Exercises
These exercises—which you can think of as mindsets—can be practiced
constantly in order to enrich your spiritual life.

  • Explore alternative approaches to spirituality that appear attractive. Look for those that enrich and enlighten your core beliefs.
  • Sincerely seek to understand other people’s beliefs and concepts. Observe the practical results they get from their practices and consider what you want to incorporate into your own practice to enhance your own spiritual development.

 

About the Author:
Thomas J. Strawser is the author of Spiritual Engineering. He is an international engineer with a master’s degree in psychology. Divorce, alcoholism, and numerous losses in his life led him to seek practical solutions to his despair. Combining his spirituality, knowledge of psychology, and engineering know-how, Strawser discovered the process he calls Spiritual Engineering. He and his wife, Patricia, continue to share the transforming power of Spiritual Engineering with thousands in seminars around the world.

To learn more, please visit www.spiritual-engineering.com.

About the Book:
Spiritual Engineering (Tate Publishing & Enterprises, 2014, ISBN: 978-1-630-63276-2, $19.99, www.spiritualengineering.us) is available at Amazon and http://spiritualengineering.us/get-book/.

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