Posts Tagged ‘Happiness’

The Happy Pic is a Happy Brick

Tuesday, September 30th, 2008

This smiling brick came from Flickr user srboisvert.

Sorry, but there will be no happy quotes today (I need to go to bed).  Would you like to send a happy thought to me so that I can share it with other readers? Please do!

-MJ

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

Planning.

Sunday, September 7th, 2008
This is #7 out of 25 Tips to Become More Productive and Happy at Work.

Planning. Establish a routine of planning your week and your day. This will allow you to have your most productive week all the time. Start your day an extra 15 minutes early to do this planning everyday. Write down the top 1-3 important things you must do that day. Plan your upcoming week on Sunday evening. The weekly plan doesn’t have to be extremely detailed. Just include the major items.

One of my favorite Butter Bee Happy users (he’s one of my favorites because he was an early adopter and posts such cheerful happy thoughts all the time), EddieStarr, once posted this happy thought:


I have fabulous plans for the weekend

Planning your activities, for both work and play, gives you a plan to follow and a goal to achieve.  You will also have something you can look forward to: either the completion of that activity or the activity itself will probably give you satisfaction.

Don’t forget to add a few question marks to your plan, to leave room for spontaneity. :)

-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

Achieving Happiness: Ability to connect to others established in childhood

Friday, August 29th, 2008

 

 Love is a key ingredient of happiness. Having people in your life that care about you provides a deep feeling of security. Being in a relationship in which you and your partner are meeting one another’s needs is tremendously satisfying. However, there are several varieties of love – only one of which makes people happy.

Recently, researchers have provided an understanding of how an unhealthy pattern of parent-child love adversely affects an adult relationship. The attachment between a parent and child has been well researched. But it has only been in the last few years that researchers have found a way to help adults with a history of dysfunctional relationships have a healthy loving connection.

The research has revealed three patterns of parent-child attachment. Children have two basic drives – exploration and safety – that govern their behavior. Kids need to explore and their playful pursuits help them gain the skills they need for mastering their environment. But children also need to stay safe in order to survive.

Click here for the full article.

I have an idea that might make the world a happier place.

Try to smile at every child, even tiny babies, whenever they make eye contact with you.  Maybe that child will grow to feel like the world is a welcoming, optimistic place.  Maybe it will help that child grow up to be a happier person than he or she would otherwise.

-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

Money Makes Way For Happiness, But Happiness Still Can’t Be Bought

Monday, August 25th, 2008

http://www.worldchanging.com/2051810786_938f3d3167.jpg

Imagine a ladder with 10 rungs. Now, imagine that the lowest rung (0) is the worst possible life that you could have and the highest rung (10) is the best. Where would you fall on that ladder?

If you’re like almost half (49 percent) of Americans, you’re “thriving” on rung seven through 10, according to the most recent Gallup World poll. Another 47 percent of us are “struggling” on rungs five through six, and four percent are “suffering” below rung four.

Looking into the backstory behind the overall estimates of “thriving” vs. “suffering,” we learn that the vast majority of Americans surveyed (84 percent) experienced enjoyment the day before participating. In comparison, only 38 percent experienced stress, 30 percent were worried, and 23 percent felt physical pain. A large percent (67 percent) ate healthy food the day before, 60 percent did something interesting, while only 33 percent worried about money. It’s these factors—not feeling pain, not worrying about money, and having options to do and eat what we enjoy—that are associated with happiness.

As we learn just what makes us happy and how reliable our happiness polling can be, researchers and policy makers are trying to decide just how much our happiness can and should affect policy and vice versa. First, the ultimate question: does money bring happiness?

Click here for the full article.

In my opinion, the problem with questions like, “Does money bring happiness?”  is that they all focus on just one factor of a person’s overall well-being.  No one thing, like money, family, freedom, or anything else, will make or break your happiness.  Happiness is determined by a combination of internal and external factors.

For example, having money might help you have a good education, but it will not necessarily give you the intellect to utilize that opportunity or the personality to appreciate it.  Under these circumstances, the education purchased with that money fails to make you happy, and therefore that money has ultimately failed to make you happy.  You had an external factor of happiness, but lacked a corresponding internal factor of happiness.

I do believe that it is easier for people with a certain amount of available capital to be happy.  People at a particular income level can afford better healthcare, safer shelter, and warmer clothing, and they therefore should have fewer worries.

What do you think?

-MJ

Happiness may protect against breast cancer, study suggests

Friday, August 22nd, 2008

Positive thinking and happiness may protect against the disease, but traumatic events like divorce and bereavement may increase the chances of developing breast cancer, a research study has found.

Two or more negative life events increased the chances of the disease by 62 per cent, the study carried out in Israel said.

A team at the Ben-Gurion University of Negev, in Beer Sheva, Israel surveyed 255 breast cancer patients and 367 healthy women aged between 25 and 45 who were questioned about their life experiences.

Study leader Dr Ronit Peled, from the Faculty of Health Sciences at the university said: “Young women who have been exposed to a number of negative life events should be considered an ‘at-risk’ group for breast cancer and should be treated accordingly.”

Click here for the full article.

This study blows my mind.  You wouldn’t think that unhappiness would have such a drastic effect on your liklihood to develop such a specific disease, would you?

I believe that the medical community has been saying that stress and unhappiness can contribute to the development of all sorts of sicknesses for years, though.  I wonder, do happiness and unhappiness affect your potential to develop all diseases accross the board, or do they have a greater effect on breast cancer?

I also wonder, how does this affect a man’s chances of developing breast cancer?

-MJ

There’s Something About Denmark

Thursday, August 21st, 2008

Three years ago, if you had asked a person from Denmark the secret to happiness, you probably would have gotten back a blank stare. The same question today, however, likely would be answered with knowing laughter and any one of several explanations.

Being recognized as the world’s happiest people simply takes some getting used to.

Since 2006, Denmark, a largely homogenous country of 5 million people on Europe’s stormy northern coast, has been anointed the happiest place on earth by two very different surveys. The studies’ findings have upended dated international perceptions of Denmark as a quaint but chilly dairy exporter with a high suicide rate, recasting the country instead as a model of social harmony that is thriving in an era of globalization.

Click here for the full article.

That’s it.  I’m moving to Denmark.

The article also says, “Denmark’s approach relies on high taxes and aggressive redistribution of wealth—anathema to many free-market Americans—which results in a broad range of social services like health care, retirement pensions, and quality public schools.”  I fully support the free market and individual responsibility for one’s success, but I also sometimes think that “aggressive redistribution of wealth” would be a good thing even if all it did was guarantee that we had better public schools.  Some of our nation’s public schools are in positively shameful conditions.  Evidence suggests that access to a good education creates happier people with an overall better quality of life.  I know I’d be happier knowing that every child in American had access to a clean, structurally sound school building, with decent teachers and an effective curriculum.   How about you?

-MJ