April 22, 2012

Guest Post from Bryan Cohen

Bryan Cohen here, guest poster and author, promoting my new book The Post-College Guide to Happiness for The Happiness Blog Tour. I'm giving away free digital review copies of the book and doing a giveaway for paperback copies, audio copies and even a Kindle Fire! Read on and check out the info below the post. “We are disturbed not by what happens to us, but by our thoughts about what happens.”
— Epictetus

Are We What We Think?

 I always loved the slogan of the healthy eating lifestyle I used to hear all the time as a kid, “You are what you eat.” I thought it was silly in that I certainly wouldn’t turn into a fish if I ate some salmon that night, but it certainly conveyed an important point about regulating what you put into your body. While most people don’t realize it, the exact same is true for your mind and your thoughts.

We’re surrounded by negative advertising, negative commentary in television shows and movies and even negative lines of conversation from our best friends and loved ones. It’s tough to stop all negativity from hitting you in one way or another, so the best thing you can do is learn to deal with it and modify it positively if possible. But what about the things that happen to you that you think of as being negative; what can you do about those?

 Of course, an ancient philosopher has the answer to the question. The things that happen to us that are less than positive aren’t making us depressed or down in the dumps. We’re making ourselves feel that way. It’s actually up to us to be optimistic and positive when these situations occur. Now, you might be saying, “But I just lost my house, my spouse, my job, etc. How could I not construe that as negative?”

We all have tough circumstances to deal with. The incredibly hard ones are almost impossible to see in a positive light. The medium and light inconveniences such as missing the last train and stubbing your toe; those are the kinds that you can whether with optimism and a good attitude. The really stinging jabs of life are going to be painful no matter what, but it’s up to you not to dwell on them for the rest of your life. It’s not the things themselves that take us down a peg; it’s our thoughts about them. If we concentrate on the parts of our lives that are happier and healthier, those things don’t go away, but we’re more able to deal with the day-to-day aspects of living.

I wouldn’t say that I’ve dealt with great tragedy in my life. I wasn’t accepted to every school I applied to, I’ve lost some relatives and acquaintances and I’ve had some financial troubles, but there were no major, unexpected events I’ve had to cope with. These circumstances will come at some point, but I plan to keep my head above water by staying positive and strong during times of woe. As long as I can control my thoughts, I will keep myself happier over the long term.

 Bryan Cohen is giving away 61 paperback and audio copies of The Post-College Guide to Happiness and a Kindle Fire between now and May 7th, 2012 on The Happiness Blog Tour. All entrants receive a free digital review copy of The Post-College Guide to Happiness. Bryan hopes to give away at least 1,000 copies during the blog tour. To enter, post a comment with your e-mail address or send an e-mail to postcollegehappiness (at) gmail.com. Bryan will draw the names at the end of the tour. Entries will be counted through Sunday, May 6th.

Bryan Cohen is a writer, actor and comedian from Dresher, Pennsylvania. He graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2005 with degrees in English and Dramatic Art and a minor in Creative Writing. He has written nine books including 1,000 Creative Writing Prompts: Ideas for Blogs, Scripts, Stories and More, 500 Writing Prompts for Kids: First Grade through Fifth Grade, Writer on the Side: How to Write Your Book Around Your 9 to 5 Job and his new book, 1,000 Character Writing Prompts: Villains, Heroes and Hams for Scripts, Stories and More. His website Build Creative Writing Ideas helps over 25,000 visitors a month to push past writer's block and stay motivated. 

Feel free to follow along with the tour at The Happiness Blog Tour Hub Page or on the book's Facebook Page


Thank you so much for approaching me for this guest post Bryan! You certainly brought up some interesting points. I've long known that if I just smile and pretend to be happy that sooner or later, my bad mood floats away. 


  1. Hi Bryan...I'm so glad that I'm following your tour, especially this week. My hubby & I had a fire at our home this week. Luckily, it was confined to our outbuildings and no people, pets, or residences were damaged. That said, all of my husband's tools and work equipment (he's a landscaper) are gone, every Christmas item we had, my great grandfather's trunk that he emigrated from Italy with, our bikes and all of our sporting gear, etc., etc. I think that we're experiencing some mild post-traumatic stress! BUT, I believe that, as you say, we are what we think. I remind myself that they're just things and they're replaceable. I keep a smile on my face and believe I can fake til I make it through the worst of this! SO, I'm taking your posts to heart this week.
    BTW...The fire pics are on fb. https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.419531411408277.110063.100000542653136&type=3&l=7dc1e419c8

    1. Catherine, I'm so sorry to hear about the fire, but I'm really glad that my posts can help you in some way. I'll be thinking of you and I hope that somehow fortune reverses for you and your husband as quickly as possible!!

    2. i've been there, Catherine, and counting your blessings as you've done here will be absolutely a saving grace in moving forward.
      praying for you...

  2. Also, thank you Alex for letting me be a part of your blog. I truly appreciate it.

    Feel free to enter below, dear readers, with your e-mail address!

  3. 'It’s not the things themselves that take us down a peg; it’s our thoughts about them'
    definitely our focus comes into play and that perspective will affect the outcome...

    TY, Bryan, for the digital review copy of The Post-College Guide to Happiness in my inbox! faithhopecherrytea@*gmail.*com


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