Posts Tagged ‘Happier’

Choose Happiness, Humor, Enthusiasm, Gratitude, Kindness, and a Positive Outlook.

Wednesday, September 10th, 2008
This is #10 out of 25 Tips to Become More Productive and Happy at Work.

Choose Happiness, Humor, Enthusiasm, Gratitude, Kindness, and a Positive Outlook. Being productive and competitive in business doesn’t mean that you have to be serious all the time. Smiling doesn’t mean you’re not working hard. Enthusiasm doesn’t mean you’re not competitive. Being positive doesn’t mean you’re blind to challenges. Choose to enjoy your time at work. Find others who are like this and spread good cheer. It’s contagious and it grows. Try to avoid gossip and negative chat. It can be tempting, but it doesn’t serve anyone well, including yourself.

This is great advice.  Whether you love or hate your job, you can always improve your work life by consciously deciding to have a good attitude about it.  When I’m overworked, frustrated, tired, or just grumpy, I constantly have to remind myself to take a deep breath, relax, and think of something positive.  Sometimes that positive thought is as simple as, “At least I’m learning from this miserable experience,” or “Thank goodness this will all be over soon,” but even simple thoughts work.

I believe that you too will find that if you actively develop the habit of thinking positively and avoid griping to yourself or others about your problems, you will become a happier, more productive person – and you’ll probably be a whole lot more fun to be around. :)

-MJ

PS -  SMILE!  Even when life sucks, and no one is looking. :D

Transitions.

Tuesday, September 9th, 2008
This is #9 out of 25 Tips to Become More Productive and Happy at Work.

Transitions. Make sure you plan in enough time between activities and appointments, and find ways to fail proof being on time.

I always underestimate how much time I need to finish something, so I’m often rushing from place to place with no time to spare.  This lifestyle is strenuous, and it is not very happy OR productive.   I’m slowly learning to make more realistic assessments of how much time I have and how much time I need to achieve a goal.

I think the instruction to “make sure you plan in enough time between activities and appointments, and find ways to fail proof being on time” could be extended to include your emotions and relationships.  For example, a speedy transition from singleness to marriage would probably lead to problems down the road, if you and your partner haven’t taken time to develop a full understanding of one another.

Similarly, hurrying through the transitory stages of grief or failing to take enough time to adjust to moving to a new city might create more emotional or organizational disruptions for you than would have been created otherwise, if you took your time and eased through these processes.

-MJ

Accept That You’ll Never Finish Your Task List

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2008
This is #2 out of 25 Tips to Become More Productive and Happy at Work.

Today we’ll look at this this suggestion:

Accept That You’ll Never Finish Your Task List. For perfectionists and overachievers this is as frustrating as a greyhound forever chasing the mechanical bunny around the track. Get off that track. Just make sure you work on your most important stuff first. Let the fluff slide, not your priorities.

If you didn’t waste valuable time going down little roads to nowhere, pursuing activities that just don’t really matter, you would have more free time.  Then you would be able to say what ButterBeeHappy user mrsdonnad says in her happy thoughts: I’m enjoying “me” time.  Maybe like garyk, you would feel “gratefuller for waking up feeling calm,” because you’d accomplish your greatest priorities without allowing insignificant details to gnaw away at your mind.

Don’t forget to click on the picture above to read the cute story about that to-do list!

-MJ

Against all the odds, the world is becoming a happier place

Thursday, August 28th, 2008

Despite deepening economic gloom and impending climatic destruction the world is becoming a happier place, according to an analysis of quarter of a century of data on wellbeing from 45 countries around the globe. The finding goes against the received wisdom that a country’s economic advances do not translate into increased wellbeing among its citizens.

The researchers who compiled the data believe increasing levels of happiness were not picked up until now because studies have tended to focus on rich countries where increases in wealth make little difference to their citizens’ satisfaction with life.

“The classic view, which we are not disputing, is that there are diminishing marginal returns to economic development,” said Roberto Foa at Harvard University. “So for initial levels of economic development people are escaping subsistence poverty and people’s subjective levels of happiness will increase.”

Click here for the full article.

If you’re ever having trouble coming up with one more happy thought to complete your five happy thoughts per day, just remember that the world is becoming a happier place.  That’s bound to make you smile.

-MJ

They Teach Happiness at Harvard

Wednesday, August 20th, 2008

An entire industry has been built up around the pursuit of happiness. A stroll past any bookstore window demonstrates the explosive popularity of the feel-good, self-help movements of recent years. And whether these products are genuine paths to ultimate happiness or just pleasure-peddling scams, the trend seems likely to hold.

Now, even the Ivy League is getting in on the act, layering serious academic research onto the pop-psychology phenomenon to develop a “science of happiness.” Known as “positive psychology,” the field was pioneered at the University of Pennsylvania and came to Harvard a decade ago when an elective course on the topic was first taught.

Click here for the full article.

Woo hoo!  Tal Ben-Shahar made it into BusinessWeek!  You do know that Butter Bee Happy’s “write 5 happy thoughts a day” idea came from Ben-Shahar’s book Happier: Learn the Secrets to Daily Joy and Lasting Fulfillment, right?  Well, if you didn’t, you do now.  We BBHers LOVE Ben-Shahar!

I think it’s very interesting that Ben-Shahar’s class became so popular at Harvard.  I wonder if it would have had as much or more success at another university that was less academically stressful?   I don’t know anyone currently enrolled at Harvard, but I have had friends who attended Yale, Princeton, and MIT, and they often mentioned how much stress their classes caused them.  I know they were learning a lot and being very productive, but they didn’t seem as happy as some of my other friends who attended more relaxed, less competitive universities.  Maybe students at Harvard needed a class on happiness more than students at other universities needed one.  What do you think?

-MJ

Marriage On Its Way Towards Losing that Happiness Edge

Tuesday, August 12th, 2008

Proponents of marriage like to toss around the statistic that married people (and married men in particular) are happier and healthier than the wretched ranks of the unwed. But new research has found that the happiness/health gap is narrowing, not because the married crew is losing its happy glow (though that may indeed be occurring), but because the single component is getting happier.

The study, led by Hui Liu, assistant professor of sociology at Michigan State University, used data from the National Health Interview Survey from 1972 to 2003. The researchers found that while the self-reported health of the married is “still better than that of the never-married,” the “gap has closed considerably.” Single women shouldn’t rejoice just yet: The uptick was due overwhelmingly to improvements in the health of never-married men. Liu thinks that this result may be “partly because never-married men have greater access to social resources and support that historically were found in a spouse.” (Female robots, perhaps? Or Internet porn?) Still, single women also saw an increase, and the singles health boost also spread across racial lines to both blacks and whites.

Click here for the full article.

The results of this study don’t really surprise me.  I know a lot of very happy single people (and while I’m not single now, I would say that I was very happy being single, too).  They just focus on work, school, friendships, and hobbies, and don’t let themselves dwell on their singleness or let themselves feel lonely.   They learn to be happy with what they do have and not worry about what they don’t have.  What do you think?

-MJ

Study: Green Plants Keep Office Workers Happier

Friday, May 23rd, 2008

 

If employers want to increase job satisfaction, a little shrubbery apparently goes a long way. Workers are happier when offices have plants and windows, a new study found.

American office workers spend an average of 52 hours a week at their desks, according to the 2000 U.S. Census.

Some might argue that not all that time is spent working, but still, all those hours in windowless offices with artificial light can take their toll.

A few green additions could have a large effect on worker happiness, according to the study led by Tina Cade, an associate professor of horticulture at Texas State University, and Andrea Dravigne of the San Marcos Nature Center.

“We pretty much found out that if you had windows and plants, or even if you just had plants in your office, you were more satisfied with your job,” Cade told LiveScience. “We thought it was important for offices because a lot of times people are looking for ways to keep employees happy and do all these expensive things like put in a daycare or a workout room. Maybe for less investment they could put in a few plants in strategic places.”

Click here for the full article.

The politics of happiness

Thursday, May 1st, 2008


Last week I posted on the happiness difference between conservatives and liberals. Non-partisan survey data clearly show a large, persistent “happiness gap” favoring the political right.

Lots of readers weighed in, offering explanations for these data patterns. Here were their most frequent explanations:

1. Conservatives and liberals have different lifestyles, particularly regarding religion and marriage, which explains why conservatives are happier.

2. Conservatives have a world-view that — right or wrong — lends itself to greater happiness.

3. Brooks is an untrustworthy fool.

While #3 might be meritorious, let’s leave it aside and just focus on explanation #1 here and #2 in the next post.

Click here for the full article.

What kind of house brings happiness?

Thursday, May 1st, 2008

What housing would bring real happiness?
In his book, “Stumbling on Happiness,” Daniel Gilbert notes that most people are ineffective at forecasting what would make them happy.
“People know what it feels like to be happy, but they’re very poor at predicting the sources of their satisfaction,” says Gilbert, a Harvard University professor of psychology.
Human beings are especially likely to misjudge the satisfaction they’ll derive from having more money.
“More money makes people happier if they’re living under a bridge and can move up to the middle class. But making a lot more money doesn’t make middle-class people a lot happier,” he says.
By the same token, moving from a modest home to a fancier property won’t necessarily increase your happiness, unless it translates to meaningful improvements in your lifestyle.
A larger home could make you happier if, for instance, it provides more space for your grown children and their families to visit. In this case, the more spacious property would support your deep desire for more family solidarity.

Click here for the full article.

Friday, April 25th, 2008

 

The UAE may offer a cosmopolitan lifestyle, great job opportunities and supply us with endless credit cards that enable us to buy fancy cars and designer gear – but even still, out of the Persian Gulf states, the Emirates came last in recent survey rating happiness. Maktoob Research, a regional online survey group found that the happiest people in the region live, not here, but in Oman and Saudi Arabia.

Having studied 7,434 residents of diverse nationalities across 11 countries, the study reveals that Oman has the highest percentage of happy people, followed by Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain and Kuwait. Next comes the UAE, followed by Jordan, Egypt, Syria, Morocco and last on the list, troubled Lebanon.

[...] Some may be surprised to hear that a rigidly conservative and totalitarian society like Saudi Arabia topped the charts in terms of happiness. Ruba Ayat, is a 23-year-old from Lebanon, who has lived 18 years in Dubai, certainly was. “I am very shocked that Saudi Arabia was found to have the happiest people. I would have said people in the UAE were happiest, as we have the social life. I am incredibly happy here. It’s a home away form home,” says Ruba.

Click here for the full article.