Dr. Romance on creating a Happy New Year

Most of us are infused with good will and joy over the holidays, getting together with loved ones and friends, spreaking kindness, and being surrounded by reminders of holiday spirit.  The holidays happen around this time of year for a reason: it's the time when the old year ends, and the new one begins. We have yet another chance to start again.  Here are some ways to keep that happiness going.

Spreading kindness is the best way I know to be happy.  If you want to spread kindness around, here are some ideas:

 *Kindness begins on the inside – learn to be as kind in talking to yourself as you are to others – then, keep improving.  Self-talk sets the bar for the happiness in your life.

 *Letters, e-mails, notes and cards expressing kind words to your friends, kids or spouse and family, even when you live together or nearby.  Getting uplifting messages will inspire anyone’s day.

 *When you know someone who is ill, bereaved, down or needs help; get together with other friends and work together to get them what they need: whether it’s a meal, some company, or errands run.

 *So many of us are lost about how to help a friend in times of grief; but all that’s really needed is a little kindness and a listening ear.  Grief needs a witness, and you can listen sympathetically.

 * Don’t forget to express your gratitude, beginning with the simple "Magic Words" -- please and thank you.  Manners are social lubricant -- they hold society together, and they show respect to others.  There's respect for self (treating oneself as you would a good friend),  respect for family and friends, respect for differences, like other cultures, races, religions.  There are certainly rewards for kindness.  It lubricates social connections, and lays a foundation for love, friendship, business success and social recognition in your own life. 

* One of the kindest things you can do for yourself is to keep a positive outlook and see the silver lining.  Often we feel unlucky because we aren't noticing the luck we have.  Even if something bad has happened, such as the loss of someone dear, the fact that you had such a person in your life was lucky, or having something to lose, in the first place, is lucky. By all means, express grief for your loss, but also remember the gift that you had whatever time with that person before the loss. 

* Every gift is an expression of love, and every giver should be thanked graciously, no matter what the gift is.  Whether you’re giving or receiving, what counts is the thought, not the value.

May you give and receive kindness as much as possible – it will make you happy.

From it Ends With You: Grow Up and Out of Dysfunction

  IEWY new cover


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Author's Bio: 

Tina B. Tessina, Ph.D. is a licensed psychotherapist in S. California since 1978 with over 30 years experience in counseling individuals and couples and author of 13 books in 17 languages, including It Ends With You: Grow Up and Out of Dysfunction; The Unofficial Guide to Dating Again; Money, Sex and Kids: Stop Fighting About the Three Things That Can Ruin Your Marriage, The Commuter Marriage, and her newest, Love Styles: How to Celebrate Your Differences. She writes the “Dr. Romance” blog, and the “Happiness Tips from Tina” email newsletter.

Dr. Tessina, is CRO (Chief Romance Officer) for LoveForever.com, a website designed to strengthen relationships and guide couples through the various stages of their relationship with personalized tips, courses, and online couples counseling. Online, she’s known as “Dr. Romance” Dr. Tessina appears frequently on radio, and such TV shows as “Oprah”, “Larry King Live” and ABC News.