Category Archives: emotional health

Do you want to be right, or would you rather be happy?

Resentments are the poison that we drink, and then wait for the other person to die.
– Anonymous

Some of the truest words you’ll ever read.

Think about it.  Think about that terrible thing that (insert name here) did to you back in the long-ago.  Think about how bad it made you feel.  Think about how you’d like to get back at (**),  how you’d like to tell them off in words that would make them shrivel and leave them with nothing at all to say.

How often do those thoughts come into your head?  Once a week?  Once a day?


  Whenever you think of that person?  Whenever you do something that reminds you of them?  Whenever their name comes up in conversation?  Whenever you’re just feeling sorry for yourself and want to feel better by reminding yourself how terrible someone else is?

I thought so.

Now, while you’re making yourself miserable thinking about how you’ve been wronged, what do you think (insert name here) is doing?  Do you think she’s spending her time thinking about the subject?  Do you figure they think about it at all?  If you confronted him, would he even remember the incident? Would he remember it the same way you do?


See, the thing is, renting out space in your head to that person, that incident, that resentment, hurts nobody but you (and the people you inflict it on from time to time).  You’re the one whose stomach is boiling, who gets all tense, who drinks the poison that is meant for that other person.  They will never taste it, but you will taste it as long as you keep holding that poisoned cup.

So deal with it.  It’s your problem and your misery.  It’s only hurting you.  That s.o.b. is oblivious, and would probably think you were hallucinating if you brought it up.

It’s up to you whether or not you pick up that cup again.  Do you want to be righteous, or do you want to be happy?

Buddhism Could Help Depression

Previous studies have shown that adhering to the five precepts of Buddhism, which include not killing, stealing, committing sexual misconduct, telling lies, or using intoxicants, can improve the well-being and quality of life for both serious and non-serious followers. However, it was not clear until now if these precepts could also alleviate depressive symptoms for those at a higher risk.

How Buddhism Could Help Lower Depression Risk

Gratitude Lists

Many of us concentrate on what we want, instead of what we have. Our Western society is based on consumerism — manufactured desires for the next great thing. Many billions of dollars are spent supporting the frame of mind that keeps us wanting, and spending, and wanting again. The same is true of other parts of life. Popular entertainment and society combine to make us believe that certain things mean success and that we need those things to be happy. Along those lines, it is worth noting that people in Third World countries tend to report that they are generally happy more often than people in the US, despite their much lower standards of living.

We may have been allowed to grow up believing that only a certain amount of effort is needed in life, and after that we’re entitled to reap the benefits—regardless of reality. This is guaranteed to make us bitter when the rest of the world doesn’t see things that way. Or we may have been led to believe that no matter how hard we try, we’ll never be good enough. This often leads to a feeling of defeat that pretty much guarantees the prediction will prove to be true.

Some people spend many years searching for more, more, more, in the hope that the spotlight, more power, more money, more prestige, more “stuff” will overcome their feelings that they are just not good enough. Fortunately, it is possible to learn that isn’t the case, and that those things never will be the answer.

We can often improve our mood, demeanor and serenity by bringing our thoughts back to the fact that we may or may not be responsible for the ideas that have been poured into our heads, but that we are responsible for how we choose to deal with them.

Sitting down with pen and paper, and concentrating on writing a list of things that we’re grateful for can offset the idea that happiness is dependent on things outside of ourselves—that we can buy happiness, or that someone else can fill us with it. It can help us to appreciate what we already have, and also to decide what’s really important and what isn’t. In my life, I can choose to have an “attitude of gratitude,” or I can let my demons drag me around by my wants. It’s up to me.