THE ENCHANTED SELF teaches you how to access positive states of well being again and again. These positive states are what we typically call 'happiness' and are unique to you. They actually reflect your interests, talents, and potential. In other words, what makes me happy might not make you happy. I thought it would be fun to share with you some activities useful in helping you get in touch with your Enchanted Self and thus to be happy more often, enjoying the good life, feeling positive emotions, and even having the mental stamina to handle adversity when necessary. I hope you enjoy these mental 'happiness toning' exercises and will let me know how they worked out by writing to me at

1. Relax and let your mind drift backward in time. Give yourself permission to drift back through your memory to a younger age. Let your intuition be your guide in choosing an appropriate age. Once you have chosen an age, imagine yourself in a room in one of the homes of your childhood. Look at the furniture, the colors of the room. Can you smell anything, any aromas of food cooking, or any other odors? Can you hear any noises, perhaps people talking? Is the television on? What show might be on? Can you look out the window from where you’re sitting? What do you see?

Jot down all the positive thoughts and feelings that you associate with this memory on a piece of paper. Then make a list of all the talents and positive capacities you had as a child. Thank about how you could link your positive traits from the past forward to your present life.
Don't get discouraged if you need to make changes in your present life. Changes can be positive, and there is always a way that you can successfully change, even if it is a little bit at a time.

2. Next, let’s do an exercise geared to building your self-esteem, a necessary attribute to your Enchanted Self. Think about five positive statements that you can make about yourself. For example, you might say, “I am a most courteous and helpful person,” or “I am always there for others, or “I can be trusted.”

Later on today, write down your five positive remarks about yourself. Put this piece of paper in your wallet or in your pocketbook. Read it to yourself at least once a day, for a period of one week. After a week, give yourself a mental hug, or some other form of congratulations, to emphasize to yourself how great it is that you have these positive traits. We all need practice in confirming what is good about ourselves. Seeing yourself in a positive light is a critical step in living a life of Enchantment.

Some of our best pathways for enchantment come from the hopes and dreams that we had as children. Relax, and let your mind wander back to a time in your life when you were eager and excited about life. For example, perhaps you were a Brownie or a Cub Scout, and you imagined yourself becoming a Girl or Boy Scout some day, winning every Scout badge possible. Or maybe, because you like nature, you often imagined yourself climbing high in the trees. You may never have actually done these things, yet now you can still remember the good feelings that you had either actually doing, or thinking, about these things.

Rather than holding on to the disappointment or anger that may have come from unrealized dreams, think about three things that you can do as an adult that could result in your having some of these same positive feelings.

For example, perhaps a course in rock-climbing might help you get back in touch with the fearlessness you felt as a child when you imagined yourself climbing tall trees. Or perhaps it is now time for you to sharpen your skill at some sort of craft, and enter a competition. Or maybe its just time to order a gourmet-cooking magazine, and to have the pleasure of looking at someone else’s recipes.

As adults, we don't always need to be a winner. It’s enough just to enjoy a hobby or an interest. One of the wisdom gifts of being a grown-up is that you can make a variety of decisions about yourself, sometime choosing to be highly competitive, while at other times you may choose to be a spectator.

Whether you relax by blowing bubbles, or by wishing on a star, fishing, or roller skating, the magical yet obtainable ingredients of happiness lie within each of us, waiting for you to practice them an to apply them, again and again. Give yourself permission to feel good again, by recognizing the true strengths and value you have as a unique human being. Welcome to your Enchanted Self!

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Holstein is the originator of THE ENCHANTED SELF(R) and a positive psychologist in private practice since 1981. She is the author of The Enchanted Self, A Positive Therapy, Recipes for Enchantment, The Secret Ingredient is YOU!, Delight, and now The Truth (I'm a girl, I'm smart and I know everything).

Dr. Holstein speaks on radio, and appears on television in NY and NJ. Her website is . She gives lectures, seminars, teleclasses and her quotes appear often in national magazines. She has a weekly radio show on , Kids, Tweens and Teens, A Positive Psychologist Looks at All Three. She is the official guide for positive psychology on

Additional Resources covering Positive Psychology can be found at:

Website Directory for Positive Psychology
Articles on Positive Psychology
Products for Positive Psychology
Discussion Board
Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein, the Official Guide To Positive Psychology