Tag Archives: happiness

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

Five Reasons to Smile…A lot!

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By Brigitte Cutshall

“You always look happy.” One of my neighbors said this to me once while out walking my dogs. Guess I was caught smiling again.

A smile can make a positive impact in any situation. It’s contagious. This is something we need to remember now that the holidays are here. You can enjoy those holiday parties and meals more by simply smiling.

The holidays are an opportunity to help reinforce the values and beliefs that are important to us. Yet many people feel overwhelmed and complain that they just want to survive the holidays. That’s a red-flag that values are taken for granted and you should adjust the traditions that have been set.

Even if you don’t feel “it” or aren’t in the moment, the simple act of smiling can change that perspective. Who cares if your Aunt Betty brings a casserole dish over for Christmas dinner that you won’t eat and find kind of gross? Focus on the good things happening. It’s best to just smile and be thankful for the moment to be there together. Continue reading

Want to Lead a Happier Life? Talk to Your Genes

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By Deepak Chopra, MD, Rudolph E. Tanzi, PhD

Genetics may be on the verge of solving a very complex question in a revolutionary but quite simple way. The question is, What does it take to be happy? The question never goes away. It hangs over our heads every day. The possible answers are many, but they follow two general trends whose results, frankly, have been disappointing. One trend is psychological, holding that happiness is an emotional state. The other trend is philosophical, holding that happiness is a mental state. When someone is unhappy, psychologists aim to improve their mood, largely by addressing anxiety, depression, and various psychological wounds from the past. A philosopher, on the other hand, would examine the underlying idea of happiness itself and why it is or isn’t feasible. In the end, happiness is all about health and wellbeing.

Yet after thousands of years of deep thinking and a hundred years of psychotherapy, the condition that the vast majority of people find themselves in is marked by total confusion. We muddle through on a wobbly combination of wishful thinking, hope, bouts of high and low spirits, denial, family ties, love, distraction, and the constant pursuit of external pleasures, as if happiness can be cobbled together more or less randomly.

For all of our muddling, the key to happiness could be as simple as biology. To a biologist, the wellbeing of an organism consists of healthy cells functioning without falling into dysfunction. Dysfunction is a dry-sounding term, but once the life of the cell starts to go awry, it’s only a matter of time before the whole body is affected, resulting in pain, discomfort, illness, and a general decline from wellbeing. The brain operates through cells like any other organ, and neuroscience now has abundant evidence that psychological states like anxiety and depression have physical correlates in brain cells.  Continue reading

5 Things Oprah Taught Me about How to Give a Good Interview.

GretchenRubinOprahStandingHarpoIncGeorgeBurns-150x150One of the biggest thrills in my professional life as being interviewed by Oprah herself, for her amazing Super Soul Sunday series. Yowza!

The interview aired on November 8, at 7 p.m EST/PT on OWN.

Doing the interview was exciting on many levels, but among other things, I learned a lot about the interview process. Oprah is the master, and it’s always a rare privilege to learn from a true master. Continue reading

From Intent.com: Battling A Scarcity Mentality with Gratitude

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One day this week I was sitting on an LA subway (translate: no internet) without emails or text messages to distract me from the growing anxiety and worry over to-do lists and conquering of constantly looming life questions.

“Am I making enough money?”
“Am I wasting time/my life?”
“Should I go home for Christmas or would it be wiser to stay in town?”
“Did I email so-and-so about the time change for the coffee meeting in two weeks?”
“Is marriage in the cards for me?”
“Do I already have a padded envelope to do that mailing or do I need to pick one up?”

Questions were coming at me like I was sitting at the base of a waterfall.
All mixed together. No theme or particular problem to unite them.
My whole life was starting to suffocate me at the Pershing Square station and that part that felt most suffocating was that it was so easy to answer every question with negativity.

“No, there’s not enough time/money/energy/happiness in my day.” Continue reading

Would You Commit a Random Act of Kindness If It Took 1 Minute & Could Save 8 Lives?

organ-donor.3803807700-300x212In the happiness world, there’s a lot of talk about “committing random acts of kindness.”

As I wrote about in Happier at Home, I’m a bigger fan of non-random acts of kindness — but there is one random act of kindness that I absolutely believe in.

If you support organ donation, please speak up about it.

Take a moment to sign the donor registry. That way, everyone can easily know your wishes, should the need arise.

Also, let your family and friends know that you’d want to be an organ donor.  Post a message on Facebook or Twitter, send out a blast email, talk about it over dinner. If and when they had to make a decision on your behalf,  in a time of grief and shock, it would be a tremendous comfort to them to know what you would want. To make it easy to find what you wrote, add the hashtag #organdonor.

This issue is particularly close to my heart. For decades, my husband had hepatitis C, which attacks the liver (he got hep C from a blood transfusion during a heart operation when he was eight years old). Well, it turns out the liver is a very, very important organ to have.  A liver transplant was definitely a possibility for him, so I became very interested in this issue of organ donation.

By a miracle of modern science, my husband is now cured. Yes, CURED. Tears well up in my eyes, even just typing those words.  (If you want to read more about one of the happiest days of my life, go here.) Continue reading

A Lesson in Happiness and Love I Learned from Rob Lowe

rob-lowe-300x150I’m not a particular fan (or not) of Rob Lowe, but several people had recommended his memoir, Stories I Only Tell My Friends, so I decided to read it.

It was very interesting for many reasons, and I was particularly struck by a story Lowe told, recalling a visit to the White House during his time on the show The West Wing: Continue reading

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