Happiness Articles

What 2 Little Words Can Have a BIG Impact on Your Relationship?

Thursday, December 18th, 2014

What 2 Little Words Can Have a BIG Impact on Your Relationship?

No one — including your partner — has to do anything for you. Remember that.

“Thank you.” Two simple words that feel SO good to hear.

So, why do so many couples use them so infrequently?

William James, the great American psychologist, said, “The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated.”

7 Ways to Manage Mixed Emotions During the Holidays

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014

simplifying-holidays-shrinking-stress

As the holiday season is now in full swing, I can’t help but observe the swing of emotions — mine and that of those all around me.

On one hand, there is the child-like delight of magical holiday lights and decorations. Regardless of a “bah hum bug” mindset, it is hard to deny the spectacular beauty of homes and businesses bedecked with twinkling lights.

If you have little ones and family in your life, there is the excitement, enthusiasm and anticipation of the magical appearance of gifts and delectable feasts.

You Can’t Please Everyone

Tuesday, December 16th, 2014

a lightbulb on a book showing ideas from inspiration and educationI’ve had an interesting couple of weeks. I’ve been talking to an agent about a book proposal. The book is already written, but in talking to the agent I’ve come to realize that in order for him to take me on as a client, I would need to entirely rewrite the book. I gave his suggestions a shot with a few pages the other day and he still wasn’t happy. This is after a series of rejections about another book proposal with the same agent.

I kind of have the feeling that no matter what I do, no matter how I rewrite the book, there’ll be parts of it he’s not satisfied with.

Studies Show We Find Stressed Out People Less Attractive

Monday, December 15th, 2014

Ability to Manage Everyday Stress Key to Future Health SS

Your libido, appearance and more things that take a hit when you’re feeling too overwhelmed.

If being stressed out of your mind didn’t feel bad enough, there’s a study that will make you want to chill the eff out even more: Researchers discovered that men find stressed out women less attractive.

After men rated women’s faces for attractiveness, the study found that the prettiest faces consistently belonged to the women with the lowest levels of cortisol, the stress hormone.

The Psychology of Rewarding Yourself with Treats

Saturday, December 13th, 2014

The Psychology of Rewarding Yourself with TreatsIn my book Better Than Before, I describe the many strategies that we can use to change our habits. We all have our favorites — but I think most of us would agree that the Strategy of Treats is the most fun strategy.

“Treats” may sound like a self-indulgent, frivolous strategy, but it’s not. Because forming good habits can be draining, treats can play an important role.

When we give ourselves treats, we feel energized, cared for, and contented, which boosts our self-command — and self-command helps us maintain our healthy habits.

Some Surprising Observations about How to Fight Clutter

Wednesday, December 10th, 2014

cluttered room bigstOne 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.

In the context of a happy life, a crowded coat closet or an overflowing inbox is trivial, and yet such things weigh us down more than they should.

When Things Don’t Turn Out How You’d Hoped, Expected or Planned

Tuesday, December 9th, 2014

When Things Don’t Turn Out How You’d Hoped, Expected or PlannedMaybe you took a job that was supposed to be fulfilling, but you dread going to work. Maybe you studied intensely for many months but still didn’t pass the bar. Maybe you thought you’d be married by now, but you aren’t even dating anyone. Maybe you poured your heart into a project or relationship only to get fired or break up. Maybe you and your kids aren’t as close as you were before.

When life doesn’t turn out the way we’d hoped, planned or expected, we feel tremendous disappointment and start doubting everything, including ourselves, writes Christine Hassler, a life coach and speaker, in her book Expectation Hangover: Overcoming Disappointment in Work, Love and Life.

The Power of Music

Monday, December 8th, 2014

Music and EmotionsI’ve known the lows of depression, I’ve known the terror of delusions and paranoia and I’ve known the itchiness of anxiety. In every instance, I know I need to calm down. Most times this means going home pulling the covers up and putting on soft music. I do it so much that it’s become something completely natural. Feeling bad? Put on music. It’s almost automatic and because of that I’ve started to take this simple technique for granted.

Music is something magical. It’s salve for all of life’s emotional wounds and I would be remiss in talking about coping techniques if I didn’t talk about music.

Are You Working for a Psychopath?

Monday, December 8th, 2014

talking_to_boss.original

Every boss has his or her moments when grumpiness or a negative attitude takes hold, causing them to lash out. Our superiors are human, after all, and they are entitled to bad days just like anyone else.

But have you ever worked for someone who seemed to constantly run hot and cold: charming and funny one second, then vicious and manipulative the next? If a power-wielding bully dominates your workplace, you could very likely be working for a psychopath.

Toxic People: You Don’t Need Permission to Walk Away

Sunday, December 7th, 2014

Toxic People: You Don’t Need Permission to Walk AwayToxic people prey on others. They dominate and control, disregard your needs and feelings. They focus on themselves and don’t seem interested in you at all. They seem to see other people as tools instead of whole, autonomous beings.

You may wonder, who would put up with this?

It seems like toxic people zoom in on those with low self-esteem. When you can’t appreciate yourself, it’s hard to stand up for yourself. You’ll second-guess whether you should walk away from toxic relationships, wondering if maybe your perception is off or you did something to deserve to be treated poorly.

5 Playful Prompts for Creating a Meaningful Life

Sunday, December 7th, 2014

5 Playful Prompts for Creating a Meaningful LifePlay is powerful. I’ve written before about the importance of play for adults. Many of us dismiss play because we assume that once we become adults, it’s time to get serious, get to work and chip away at our to-do lists.

But play actually makes us more productive (in addition to providing us with more joy). That’s because play moves us.

According to Marney K. Makridakis in her excellent book Hop, Skip, Jump: 75 Ways to Playfully Manifest a Meaningful Life, “When it comes to the intersection of play and productivity, the secret is quite simple: what moves us is what moves us, which simply means what moves us emotionally is what moves us to action.”

Play is never “still, stuck or stagnant; it somehow always moves. So when it comes to manifesting a meaningful life, play works.”

Play is a creative and fun way to discover what a meaningful life looks for us. What does a meaningful life encompass? How can we create it?

Believe in Yourself: A Surprising Way to Boost Morale

Thursday, December 4th, 2014

Believe in Yourself: A Surprising Way to Boost Morale

Recently, I read Christopher Isherwood’s memoir, My Guru and His Disciple. It’s an account of Isherwood’s relationship with Swami Prabhavananda, the Hindu monk who was his spiritual mentor and friend for more than thirty years. (The photo shows Swami Prabhavananda on the left, Isherwood on the right, and Aldous Huxley between them.)

I was surprised to learn that Christopher Isherwood — who’s perhaps best known for The Berlin Stories, which was the basis for Cabaret – lived for years in Swami Prabhavananda’s monastery in Los Angeles, and considered becoming a monk himself.

Recent Comments
  • Josh: Great article, I could really use active conditioning on learning to control my emotions (I am known as a...
  • brokeandblue: I am someone that prides myself on being non-judgemental. At all. In fact I get complimented on this,...
  • Cathy Taughinbaugh: This is a wonderful list of blogs, which are so helpful to those suffering from anxiety. I wanted...
  • Parsnip: Interesting article, the logic fits in well with what happens. I think that swearing also reduces...
  • MomNxwife: I agree with what you say in this article; however, after living with loved ones who suffer with bi-polar...
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