How to Be Happier Without Really Trying

How to Be Happier Without Really Trying

via Eric Barker

The meeting was supposed to be boring.

In 2019 a bunch of academics and think tank policy folks were gathered for what should have been an uneventful conference of long-winded PowerPoint and bad coffee. Sadly, it would not stay that dull and predictable…

The presenter finishes his talk. A colleague comments that, due to how close the presenter was to the issues he was describing, there would be a lot of extra scrutiny and challenges ahead.

And the presenter… totally flips out. He felt this was insulting. Now he’s yelling. Demanding an apology.

But now the colleague is offended. He was just making a point and now he feels attacked. So he refuses to apologize.

The presenter starts packing up his things in a huff, ready to leave the conference. The other attendees try to calm the two down but are utterly ineffective. The two men both storm out, shouting the whole way.

Now it isn’t too surprising that something like this could happen at a conference…

But this was a meeting of global experts on conflict resolution.

UN envoys and high-level peace treaty specialists. As Columbia University professor Peter Coleman recounts:

One beautiful bit of irony is that an hour earlier one of the participants had presented an excellent paper on the power of identity issues causing stalemates in Middle East conflicts—and here we all were in the midst of one unfolding, and we were helpless. It was amazing. All of our inspired attempts at resolution fell flat.


At times, emotions get the best of all of us. And that’s one of the main reasons why happiness so often eludes us. It’s not what happens in life, but how we react. How we deal with our emotions when life doesn’t go our way.

This is something we all deal with and yet nobody teaches us how to cope with it. Instead, high school teaches us trigonometry. Sadly, we’re more likely to get insight into this fundamental human problem from a wise hairdresser at the local strip mall than from formal education. Yes, this is that emotional intelligence thing that everyone talks about — but is never able to explain.

We need answers. (Softly singing Hakuna Matata to myself hasn’t been working.) And we’d like the solution to be quick and easy. To happen without even trying. We want emotional coping habits that help when we deal with the Big Bads in life (or the Little Bads that can feel all too big when they’re occurring).

Well, here on my blog where I regularly project my anxieties provide heartfelt wisdom, we’re going to get to the bottom of this. We’ll get quick, useful strategies from the book Pocket Therapy for Emotional Balance: Quick DBT Skills to Manage Intense Emotions.

Ready to learn how to deal with the negative feelings that threaten our happiness?

Let’s get to it…

… keep reading the full & original article HERE