In a society that values consumption, materialism, and pleasure as appropriate substitutes for genuine happiness, the new economy of recession has laid bare the pitfalls of unsustainable lifestyle choices. Lately, it seems that five basic guidelines would save a lot of us a lot of trouble.
1) Live within your means. If you can't afford it, don't buy it. Don't confuse your purchasing power with your self-esteem, and don't confuse Shiny New Things for genuine pleasure.
2) Keep your promises. If you are supposed to be somewhere at a certain time, show up. If you promise to be there for someone, show up. If you are married, keep your vows, unless your partner is abusive.
3) Don't tell lies. It's way too stressful to keep secrets, especially petty ones. Sleep with a clear conscience.
4) Be grateful for one thing every day, and express gratitude to at least one person every day. It makes you attractive, and makes it easier to smile!
5) Do at least one healthy thing a day for yourself. Exercise. Meditate. Eat well. No therapist can coach you 24/7; our job is to make sure you don't need us (at least it should be).
If more of us could do these five things, we'd be spared a lot of trouble, and our society would probably be much happier.
Thank you for reading!