So today we had our last counseling session. (Well, ideally it will be our last session.) We decided to stop for a couple of reasons, not the least of which being are you kidding me? We have NO TIME!!!! The other couple of reasons are that our ward was paying for it and we're in a different ward now, and it's kind of more of a luxury than a necessity for us. But my session had kind of a nice "this is a good closing message" feel to it, so I thought I would talk about it.
It was on the subject of happiness. I mentioned something about a lesson we had on Sunday about how you can't wait for happiness to come along--you have to make it happen. That reminded our counselor of something called the Tetris Effect. (That's when I started singing the Tetris music. She nodded.) Apparently they did this study where they were doing some serious monitoring of people, and they had them play Tetris before bed. About two-thirds of the participants dreamed about Tetris (and their monitored brainwaves even looked like Tetris!), and the next day, they were significantly better at playing Tetris. So the studiers thought, "Hey, it looks like we can wire people's minds to play Tetris. I wonder if we can wire them to be happy."
Then there was a tangent about how people aren't wired to be happy, they're wired to survive. And surviving means identifying all the things that make us unhappy so we can prevent them from killing us. So we have to actually Take Measures to wire our minds for happiness, and the study has shown that there are four things you can do regularly to do that. I think all of them are to be done right before bed, but don't quote me on that. (In fact, it might be best not to quote me on any of this, and, I don't know, look it up or something.)
The first thing is listing stuff you're thankful for. The second thing...oh right, now that I got to the second thing, I guess it can be an all-day sort of thing, because the second and third things really don't make any sense for a "right before bed" thing. The second thing is to just, like, say nice things to people. Like make it a point to say hi, or give someone a compliment. Nothing huge, just a nice thing. The third one is really similar; it's the "random act of kindness." She (our counselor) pointed out that it doesn't have to be random--it can be a premeditated act of kindness, for someone you know--but the point is to do something nice for people. And the last thing is meditate.
Tadah! Pretty simple, right? I don't know if you have to do all four of those things, or, like, make sure to do at least one every day, but they're pretty easy, so I think I'll try remembering to keep all four in mind. The hard part is finding people to do nice things for, because we really do practically live in a cave. But I'm sure we can work it out.
Today I'm thankful for gratitude journals, having a super fun time at work today, our counselor Sister T (she is nothing like Mr. T, in case anyone else was wondering), fun with rhymes, and having plenty of sugar at snack time.