“If you are interested in something, you will focus on it, and if you focus attention on anything, it is likely that you will become interested in it. Many of the things we find interesting are not so by nature, but because we took the trouble of paying attention to them.” ~ Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

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Many people tend to make things more complex than they have to be. Even when the answer is right in front of us we may overlook what is already there in search of a more complex approach. The same thing happens when we go looking for self-improvement, or ways to be happier and live a more fulfilled life. Trained to look over the simple explanations, we oversee them by a long shot. Happiness doesn’t have to be complex and difficult.

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Stress is one of the top causes of physical and mental illness. People experience stress from many sources, whether it be money, work, relationships, or personal health. If we’re not aware of our stress levels it can catch up to us and leave us feeling exhausted and overwhelmed. If you have ever had one of those days where it was difficult to get out of bed and you just felt emotionally and mentally checked out you may have been experiencing some burnout. When we start to notice emotional and physical changes it’s important to manage our stress.

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Happy people have a much wider range of friends and relationships. They spend more time with others and their relationships tend to be deep and meaningful. What relationships offer you this deep emotional connection? Connecting with others isn’t easy and natural for everyone. It can be a difficult task to reach out to others when we don’t feel good about ourselves or our life circumstances. When we’re down and out, relationships are even more important, and that’s why understanding and dealing with loneliness is so critical.

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Happiness can be an elusive topic. Many people seek this state through pleasure, entertainment, and other materialistic pursuits. This makes sense, as we live in a civilization where pleasure and mass consumption is at our command, and we’re presented with messages to have more and more, whether it be sex, food, sports, or shopping. It seems that with access to all of these pleasures we would be the happiest people, right? Unfortunately, this isn’t the case and we may have even become less happy in the process.

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