Dr. Luskin’s Talk

Below is a rough outline of what Dr. Luskin spoke about at the Senior Assembly on Wednesday October 14th at Gunn.

Stress is wanting what you do not have.

  • The perception that I do not have what I need to handle my life’s demands
  • The frustration that my life would be better if it were different

Happiness is wanting what you have.

When you think about irritating stuff,

  • From a biological standpoint, blood flows to the reaction/protection part of your brain
  • You can’t think clearly
  • If you are tense, happiness is impossible.

Picture things turning out okay

  • It’s a happiness producer and a stress limiter


  • If you breathe shallowly, it’s hard to have happy thoughts.
  • We breathe deeply when we feel safe, and breathing deeply can help us become less tense.

Cultural Trance

  • Our culture pushes competition, material consumption, and higher status as roads to contentment, even if it doesn’t feel right to you.
  • Inner vs. Outer Directed Struggle
    • Inner: listening to what you want yourself
    • Outer: listening to what you think others want of you

Stress Management

  1. Slow, full, deep belly breathing
  2. Generating positive emotions
  3. Visualizing Success, not failure
  4. Doing one thing at a time with attention
  5. Slowly tensing and relaxing body parts


  • Are able to find appreciation and goodness in life
  • Be okay with what you have
  • Have good relationships–people you can trust, and people who can trust you
  • Having a positive purpose
  • Helping others
  • Ability to delay gratification
  • Savoring the good
  • Focus on your strengths
  • Being grateful for what you have
    • An endorphin rush from saying “Thank you”

Put happiness as one of your goals! =)


But what is happiness except the simple harmony between a man and the life he leads?
–Albert Camus

I don’t know what your destiny will be, but one thing I do know: the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who have sought and found how to serve.
–Albert Schweitzer

The Grand essentials of happiness are: something to do, something to love, and something to hope for.

–Allan Chalmers

Gratefulness is the key to a happy life that we hold in our hands, because if we are not grateful, then no matter how much we have we will not be happy — because we will always want to have something else or something more.

–Brother David Steindl-Rast


One Response to Dr. Luskin’s Talk

  1. Cara fonteyne says:

    You guys are so amazing. I am so proud that so many students have organized these support groups for each other.
    Would you consider posting your link on my son’s facebook group called “Life’s a Good Thing” It has generated a lot of FaceBoof traffic and it would be awesome for both groups to collaborate.
    Feel free to check it out,,,lots of really good posts from people who care about each other.
    Go to FaceBook “Life’s a Good Thing”
    Keep up the great work!!
    It takes a village!

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