Well-being // 04.12.13 // 2 Comments

Dr. Amador: How to Choose Happiness

Happiness is an option. Stop feeling sorry for yourself and comparing yourself to other people, and start making conscious decisions to get into the present and thinking in a glass-half-full way. Bethenny's therapist, Dr. Amador, is here to show you how.

The Pursuit of Happiness
By Dr. Amador
According to the US Declaration of Independence, the pursuit of happiness is a fundamental right of all people. Really? Isn’t life filled, or at least peppered, with pain, hardships and tragedy?
My answer to both questions is “Yes!” Bad things happen to all of us, some are hit much harder than others, but why is it that some people like Malala Yousufzai (the Afghan girl who survived being shot in the head by the Taliban because she wanted to go to school) can bounce back to pursue happiness, and turn tragedy into triumph? Today she speaks not of her trauma, but of how we can help other girls.
My point isn’t to trigger the “I should be grateful, look how bad her life has been” mental reflex. Pain is pain, whether being betrayed by a trusted friend or partner, divorce, a child’s cutting accusation, losing your job, serious health problems or inexplicable loneliness and sadness.
No… if you are unhappy, “comparing” yourself to others worse off than you is not the antidote. Understanding and acting on the difference between “pain” and “misery” is. If you let it, pain can create a prison called misery. To put it another way: pain is not an option, misery is -- and that means happiness is an option too.

And if you have clinical depression (e.g., can’t beat the blues for two weeks or longer, trouble sleeping, eating, concentrating or even thoughts of death of suicide) get help! Effective treatments have lifted clinical depression in tens of millions of people. I am one of them. But don’t stop there...
Pursue happiness by remembering pain is not an option, misery is. Choose happiness by using the tools I gave you here.
What tools have you used to become happier?

Dr. Amador

Dr. Amador was featured in "Bethenny Getting Married" and "Bethenny Ever After" as Bethenny's therapist. His expertise has made him a regular contributor to the "Today" show and a featured guest on ABC's "Good Morning America," "Prime Time Live," "CBS This Morning," "NBC Nightly News," "60 Minutes," CNN, "Dateline," ABC’s "World News Tonight," FOX News, the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today and many others.

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506 days ago

One small tool I use is to remember that progress, not perfection, is the goal. Not every moment is a dear-diary moment, and that's okay. Also, to be present in the moment. When I can unplug from my worries and stressors and be present in the moment (for instance, play with my kids instead of only half playing with them because my mind is on a meeting happening later in the week) I feel more peace and contentment and that brings out the best me.

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508 days ago

Happiness is a choice! I love this. Its like the quote from Zig Ziglar: “Of course motivation is not permanent. But then, neither is bathing; but it is something you should do on a regular basis.” You've got to habituate your thinking and mindset and then the real payoffs will come through. Can every day be perfect. Nope. Something I try to do is take a deep breath and start going over my "I'm grateful" list. always helps. Either that or a skinnygirl margarita!

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