Tag Archives: happiness

Why It Doesn’t Matter Much Whether You’re a Man or a Woman, for Happiness and Good Habits

genderWhen it comes to figuring out happiness and good habits, I don’t think it matters much if you’re a man or a woman.

It’s easy to assume that certain aspects of ourselves matter more than they do. For instance, birth order. People believe that birth order has a big influence on personality — but research has disproved this. Birth order just doesn’t matter for personality.

Now, whether you’re a man or a woman matters in some situations, sure.

But in general, in my observation, for any particular person, individual differences swamp gender differences. Continue reading

Got the Urge to Do Some Spring-Cleaning? Avoid These 5 Classic Mistakes.

Spring CleaningIt’s spring! (In my part of the world, at least.) And with spring comes the urge to do some spring-cleaning. The warmer weather and the fresh breezes make me want my home to feel orderly, spacious, and clean.

So far, I’ve tackled three kitchen cabinets, a closet, and my pile of white t-shirts. It feels great.

One of the things about happiness that continually surprises me is the degree to which, for most people, outer order contributes to inner calm, and inner self-command. I write about this connection in Better Than Before, in The Happiness Project, and inHappier at Home. (All New York Times bestsellers, I can’t resist adding).

This connection fascinates me; in the context of a happy life, a crowded coat closet or an overflowing in-box is trivial, and yet such things weigh us down more than they should. And clearing clutter is so energizing and cheering!

I’ve learned the hard way, however, to avoid these classic mistakes during spring-cleaning, or clutter-clearing generally:

Continue reading

Are You a Worrier? Three Tips to Worry Less.

8422339152_4403e7cd77_zI worry to some extent, of course, but I don’t think I worry as much as a lot of people.

Many people worry about how much they worry!

Today, the New York Times had an interesting article by Roni Caryn Rabin, “Worried? You’re Not Alone.

In it, Rabin points out several intriguing findings in a Liberty Mutual Insurance research paper, the “Worry Less Report.”

Apparently Millennials worry about money. Single people worry about housing (and money). People worry less as they grow older.

Some people — for instance, like my sister Elizabeth — feel that if they do worry about something, they’ll somehow prevent a bad thing from happening. Rabin points out, very sensibly, “Researchers say this notion is reinforced by the fact that we tend to worry about rare event, like plane crashes, and are reassured when they don’t happen, but we worry less about common events, like car accidents.”

Rabin also distinguishes between “productive worry,” which helps us solve a problem, and worry where you’re just, well, stewing in worry.

According to the report, here are some ways to tackle worrying: Continue reading

From Intent.com: Letting Love In

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“I won’t run when it looks like love.”

Those are lyrics to a beautiful song by Needtobreathe and it speaks not to the puppy love feelings or the feelings of heartbreak as much as it speaks to the fear that comes with the potential of love. If you’ve ever felt the anxiety of seeing a good thing and being afraid that the rug will be pulled out from under you, you are certainly not alone.

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So why do we run? Why do we make barricades to love? Continue reading

Loving You? Questions to Ask Yourself When You’re Unsure

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February 14th is a day we hold synonymous with love and romance. We plan dates, write love letters, and celebrate our other half, but when was the last time you checked in with yourself? Would you even know if you were not treating yourself well?

When it comes to checking in on your own love and well being, here are some honest questions to ask yourself to hone in on whether or not you are giving yourself the time and attention needed: Continue reading

Lonely? 5 Habits to Consider to Combat Loneliness.

3267049486_bce4b38cba_bOne major challenge within happiness is loneliness.  The more I’ve learned about happiness, the more I’ve come to believe that loneliness is a terrible, common, and important obstacle to consider.

Of course, being alone and being lonely aren’t the same. Loneliness feels draining, distracting, and upsetting; desired solitude feels peaceful, creative, restorative.

According to Elizabeth Bernstein’s Wall Street Journal piece, Alone or Lonely, the rate of loneliness in the U.S. has doubled over the past thirty years. About 40% of Americans report being lonely; in the 1980s, it was 20%. (One reason: more people live alone: 27% in 2012; 17% in 1970).

Loneliness is a serious issue, Sometimes people ask me, “If you had to pick just one thing, what would be the one secret to a happy life?” If I had to pick one thing, I’d say: strong bonds with other people.  The wisdom of the ages and the current scientific studies agree on this point. When we don’t have that, we feel lonely.

I wrote a book about habits, Better Than Before, and I continue to be obsessed with the subject. Whenever I think about a happiness challenge, I ask myself, “How could habits help address this problem?”

Here are some habits to consider: Continue reading

Want to Make 2016 a Happier Year? Here’s How I Did It, Month by Month.

HappinessProjectonBookstoreShelfIf you’re looking for ways to make 2016 a happier, healthier, more productive year, may I self-promotingly suggest my book, The Happiness Project?

The first day of the new year always feels so fresh and full of promise to me — but at the same time, it’s very discouraging to look back over the year that’s just ended, and realize that I’d never accomplished an important, happiness-boosting change that I’d hoped to make.

This feeling is one of the major reasons that I undertook my happiness project.

I remember so clearly the moment when I had the idea to do it. I was on the 79th Street cross-town bus, and I looked out the window and thought, “What do I want from life anyway? I want to be happy.” I realized, though, that I didn’t spend any time thinking about whether I was happy, or how I could be happier. “I should have a happiness project!” I decided. Continue reading

Boost Your Self-Confidence in 5 Easy Steps

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We aren’t innately born with perfect self-confidence. In fact, I think I was born with the least amount of confidence in myself as was possible and it took me a long time to build it up. I spent years in high school feeling awkward, unbalanced, and just plain out of place despite the fact that nearly every other teenager around me felt the same. My low self-esteem swept me up into a flurry of years of college as a quiet, constantly-apologizing, ball of self-doubt.

Many of us spend our days criticizing or comparing ourselves to everyone, and because of this, you might realize you aren’t very content or comfortable in your own skin. You might become overly anxious because of this, stressed or even depressed. As I began investing more time into understanding how to love me for who I was and also figuring out just how to “gain self-esteem,” I began to realize how common my own journey was.

According to the UT Counseling and Mental Health Center at the University of Texas, low self-esteem can be a big cause of strained relationships, it can impair your performances at school and work, and can “create anxiety, stress, loneliness, and increased likelihood of depression.” On top of this, low self-esteem can even make you more vulnerable to drug and alcohol abuse. No one wants that.

Because of the change that this journey had on my life, I knew I couldn’t just walk merrily along my way and not share. So here are five ways to help you boost your self confidence. And know this: how you love and view yourself won’t change overnight. It will take time, and patience, but it will happen. And these five things aren’t the end-all, you will spend time each week practicing these things to keep your confidence and yourself in a good place. Continue reading

Gratitude is an Attitude. Gratitude is a Way of Life!™

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Champion and Cultivate the Ultimate Lifestyle of Health & Happiness.

The most beautiful and precious byproduct of the power of Positive Passion™ is that it guilds a deep golden path of gratitude in our lives. Journeying on this voyage a person is able to dive into the infinite gentle, nurturing pond of self love and self care, empowering the regulating dance of the happy joyous gene expression, inviting balanced health into one’s life on a cellular DNA level.

Some of the essential indispensable ingredients of manifesting the ultimate lifestyle of health and happiness are having an organic aptitude for gratitude, appreciation, pleasure, joy and working towards our dreams.

Gratitude and appreciation go hand in hand. The more gratitude you have the more everything you want you will have. The word gratitude comes from the Latin word gratia, meaning “favor” and gratis, meaning “pleasing”. At times it also means three “G’s” grace, graciousness, or gratefulness. Continue reading

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