Happiness Articles

Finding Enjoyment in the Workweek

Sunday, March 8th, 2015

keep-mental-illness-secret-workAs I wake up to a rainy, cold Monday morning, I notice the time, think about my agenda, and prepare to face the day. Yet, I also notice that I am excited for what today will bring. Thinking about all the “stuff” that needs to get done doesn’t overwhelm me. In fact, I feel energized and motivated.

What’s my problem? Well, I didn’t slip Bailey’s into my coffee this morning, or win the lottery last night. No, I am fortunate enough to find enjoyment in my day-to-day routine, a routine which includes meditation, physical activity, and positive self-statements. The best part is that setting aside as little as five minutes per day for myself and my well-being can make all the difference in how I approach the day, which, of course, influences how my day approaches me.

5 Ways to Create Joy Every Day

Sunday, March 8th, 2015

5 Ways to Create Joy Every DayJoy resides in the big moments of life: birthdays, weddings, romantic dinners, weeklong getaways. But it also resides in the tiny moments between waking up and eating breakfast. Between dinner and falling asleep to the sound of rain against your window. Between opening the door of your home and opening the door to your car.

Joy is present when we look up at the sky. When we hug our loved ones tightly, fully. When we read stories to our kids. When we create our own stories. When we nosh on our favorite meal. When we cuddle on the couch with our spouse. When we walk along the street and catch the scent of cinnamon from our favorite bakery. When we realize the miracle of everything our bodies do.

Why We Worry and What to Do About It

Saturday, March 7th, 2015

worried-female

Don’t believe that worrying will solve or help anything. It won’t. So, stop it.

- John Alonzo, 83, from the Cornell Legacy Project

I was at a New York City diner recently and overheard two young women talking. One was telling her friend how anxious she was about her classes and her job. She was worried that she wasn’t going to do well in her statistics course, and layoffs at work.

Her friend asked about her new boyfriend, her upcoming vacation, and the beautiful coat she’d received as a birthday present from her parents. Each good thing got a one-sentence response, and then the conversation slid right back into the anxieties about work and school. Each attempt at giving the good things a chance to flourish was met with a return to the topics of worry and concern.

Getting Better by Understanding Your Depression

Friday, March 6th, 2015

4 Strategies to Help You to Bounce Back from AdversitySandy struggled with spells of depression her entire life. She’d be feeling OK, when suddenly, and seemingly out of nowhere, she’d get depressed again.

She’d lose interest in things she previously enjoyed. She’d lose motivation for performing daily tasks. She’d feel guilty and worthless. She’d withdraw from loved ones. She’d have a hard time getting out of bed. She’d stay home, eating and drinking too much, her depression deepening.

How to Redefine Boundaries to Your Own Personal Freedom

Thursday, March 5th, 2015

Acceptance

“The boundary to what we can accept is the boundary to our freedom.”

- Tara Brach

I was in the heart of my Ph.D. program when I received the diagnoses: OCD, depression, and binge eating disorder.

It explained a lot, of course. All those years of anxiety, self-doubt, and intrusive thoughts were not normal after all. Eating to the point of gaining forty pounds in a few months was foreign to most people.

I wanted an explanation. Why me?

We Are Not the Same

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015

happy_peopleHow boring it would be if everybody in the world were the same. Yet, how difficult it is for people to respect and appreciate those differences. Instead, we become impatient with others’ differences, letting them know how wrong they are for not acting or being the way we think they should be.

“Why can’t you be more like …”

“How many times do I need to tell you to …”

“You better change the way you …”

Yup, it’s tough for us to accept differences in people. Amazingly, we actually do better with plants and pets.

Longing for Lasting Happiness? Avoid this ONE Word!

Monday, March 2nd, 2015

Happy young woman with flower

Quit “should”-ing all over yourself.

I should get my car washed. I should pay my bills. I should eat less. I should wake up earlier on weekends.

We fill our lives with shoulds and shouldn’ts. Shoulds keep us on the straight and narrow path of responsibility, but do they simultaneously derail us from finding real happiness?

3-Step Plan for Your ‘Why Me?’ Moments

Sunday, March 1st, 2015

A young beautiful woman stressed because of bills.

With a single sentence, life can knock you down. Here’s how to get back up and keep swinging…

Have you ever noticed how a single sentence can feel as if a bomb exploded and life as you know it is irrevocably transformed?

A single sentence like:

  • “It’s cancer.”
  • “You’re fired.”
  • “I’m pregnant.”
  • “I’m leaving you and filing for divorce.”

Suddenly that single sentence, uttered by someone you love or care about, changes your life — derailing your sense of purpose and direction — in an instant.

5 Steps to Increase Motivation

Sunday, March 1st, 2015

runningI hear it all the time: “I’m not motivated.” For many of my clients, they are referring to not having the motivation to perform basic life responsibilities such as paying bills, cleaning the house, making calls, and taking care of their health.

When do they get motivated? When they are in the danger zone. A late fee motivates them to pay bills. When friends come over, or when the house is so disgusting they can’t take it, is when they get motivated to clean. They get motivated to make a call just minutes before a negative consequence, and motivated to take care of their health in times of sickness.

3 Stress-Busting Tips to Free Your Mind

Friday, February 27th, 2015

Stress Pill

Need to pull yourself back together super QUICK? Here are 3 fixes to ease your mind in no time.

Are you like me? Whenever I read the paper or watch the news and see stories about war, starvation, killing rampages, rape, and other atrocities, I feel anxious and worried. In addition to worrying about the fate of the world, on a personal level, I also sometimes feel frustrated by annoying work or family relationship issues.

Although I try my best to meditate every day to quiet my stress and remember my inner happiness, after 24 hours, I seem to collect a new array of fears or angers.

5 Reasons You May Not Be Happy and What to Do about It

Friday, February 27th, 2015

Mindfully Sitting with ShameTake a breath. Sit quietly for a moment. Close your eyes, and ask yourself if you are happy. Take your time.

For many of us, something inside of us is asking for more. Something is asking us to pay attention.

Here are five reasons you may not be happy, and five things to do about it.

1. Acceptance.

Acceptance, while necessary, may be used as an excuse. How do you know if acceptance has gone wrong? Look at what’s happening in your life right now. If it’s not what you say you want, then your life is trying to tell you something.

The Perfect Office Design: Does Your Office Measure Up?

Thursday, February 26th, 2015

Businesswoman in office pointing at monitor with notes on itI’m a huge fan of the work of Christopher Alexander, and yesterday, for the hundredth time, I found myself urging someone to read his book, A Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings, Construction. This strange, brilliant, fascinating book uses architecture, sociology, psychology, and anthropology to describe the most satisfying environments.

Instead of talking about familiar architectural styles and elements, it focuses on “patterns,” such as the Sitting Wall, the Front Door Bench, Child Caves, the Sequence of Sitting Spaces, Sleeping to the East. I love these! I want them for my own apartment!

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