12 Things Happy People Do Differently

Studies conducted by positivity psychologist Sonja Lyubomirsky point to 12 things happy people do differently to increase their levels of happiness. These are things that we can start doing today to feel the effects of more happiness in our lives. (Check out her book The How of Happiness)

1. Express gratitude. – When you appreciate what you have, what you have appreciates in value. Kinda cool right? So basically, being grateful for the goodness that is already evident in your life will bring you a deeper sense of happiness. And that’s without having to go out and buy anything. It makes sense. We’re gonna have a hard time ever being happy if we aren’t thankful for what we already have.

2. Cultivate optimism. – Winners have the ability to manufacture their own optimism. No matter what the situation, the successful diva is the chick who will always find a way to put an optimistic spin on it. She knows failure only as an opportunity to grow and learn a new lesson from life. People who think optimistically see the world as a place packed with endless opportunities, especially in trying times.

3. Avoid over-thinking and social comparison. – Comparing yourself to someone else can be poisonous. If we’re somehow ‘better’ than the person that we’re comparing ourselves to, it gives us an unhealthy sense of superiority. Our ego inflates – KABOOM – our inner Kanye West comes out! If we’re ‘worse’ than the person that we’re comparing ourselves to, we usually discredit the hard work that we’ve done and dismiss all the progress that we’ve made. What I’ve found is that the majority of the time this type of social comparison doesn’t stem from a healthy place. If you feel called to compare yourself to something, compare yourself to an earlier version of yourself.

4. Practice acts of kindness. – Performing an act of kindness releases serotonin in your brain. (Serotonin is a substance that has TREMENDOUS health benefits, including making us feel more blissful.) Selflessly helping someone is a super powerful way to feel good inside. What’s even cooler about this kindness kick is that not only will you feel better, but so will people watching the act of kindness. How extraordinary is that? Bystanders will be blessed with a release of serotonin just by watching what’s going on. A side note is that the job of most anti-depressants is to release more serotonin. Move over Pfizer, kindness is kicking ass and taking names.

5. Nurture social relationships. – The happiest people on the planet are the ones who have deep, meaningful relationships. Did you know studies show that people’s mortality rates are DOUBLED when they’re lonely? WHOA! There’s a warm fuzzy feeling that comes from having an active circle of good friends who you can share your experiences with. We feel connected and a part of something more meaningful than our lonesome existence.

6. Develop strategies for coping. – How you respond to the ‘craptastic’ moments is what shapes your character. Sometimes crap happens – it’s inevitable. Forrest Gump knows the deal. It can be hard to come up with creative solutions in the moment when manure is making its way up toward the fan. It helps to have healthy strategies for coping pre-rehearsed, on-call, and in your arsenal at your disposal.

7.  Learn to forgive. – Harboring feelings of hatred is horrible for your well-being. You see, your mind doesn’t know the difference between past and present emotion. When you ‘hate’ someone, and you’re continuously thinking about it, those negative emotions are eating away at your immune system. You put yourself in a state of suckerism (technical term) and it stays with you throughout your day.

8. Increase flow experiences. – Flow is a state in which it feels like time stands still. It’s when you’re so focused on what you’re doing that you become one with the task. Action and awareness are merged. You’re not hungry, sleepy, or emotional. You’re just completely engaged in the activity that you’re doing. Nothing is distracting you or competing for your focus.

9.  Savor life’s joys. – Deep happiness cannot exist without slowing down to enjoy the joy. It’s easy in a world of wild stimuli and omnipresent movement to forget to embrace life’s enjoyable experiences. When we neglect to appreciate, we rob the moment of its magic. It’s the simple things in life that can be the most rewarding if we remember to fully experience them.

10. Commit to your goals. – Being wholeheartedly dedicated to doing something comes fully-equipped with an ineffable force. Magical things start happening when we commit ourselves to doing whatever it takes to get somewhere. When you’re fully committed to doing something, you have no choice but to do that thing. Counter-intuitively, having no option – where you can’t change your mind – subconsciously makes humans happier because they know part of their purpose.

11. Practice spirituality. – When we practice spirituality or religion, we recognize that life is bigger than us. We surrender the silly idea that we are the mightiest thing ever. It enables us to connect to the source of all creation and embrace a connectedness with everything that exists. Some of the most accomplished people I know feel that they’re here doing work they’re “called to do.”

12. Take care of your body. – Taking care of your body is crucial to being the happiest person you can be. If you don’t have your physical energy in good shape, then your mental energy (your focus), your emotional energy (your feelings), and your spiritual energy (your purpose) will all be negatively affected. Did you know that studies conducted on people who were clinically depressed showed that consistent exercise raises happiness levels just as much as Zoloft? Not only that, but here’s the double whammy… Six months later, the people who participated in exercise were less likely to relapse because they had a higher sense of self-accomplishment and self-worth.

Have a happy day!

10 Important Life Lessons from Albert Einstein

10 golden life lessons from Albert Einstein – Quotes
and Inspirations

Albert Einstein has long been considered a genius. He was a theoretical physicist,
philosopher, author, and is perhaps the most influential scientists to ever
live. He received the 1921 Nobel Prize in Physics “for his services to
Theoretical Physics, and especially for his discovery of the law of the
photoelectric effect.” He published more than 300 scientific works and over 150
non-scientific works. Einstein is considered the father of modern physics.

1.  Follow Your Curiosity

“I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious.”

2.  Perseverance is Priceless

“It’s not that I’m so smart; it’s just that I stay with problems longer.”

“I think and think for months and years. Ninety-nine times, the conclusion is
false. The hundredth time I am right.”

3.  Focus on the Present

“Any man  who can drive safely while kissing a pretty girl is simply not giving the kiss
the attention it deserves.”

“Most people say that is it is the intellect which makes a great scientist.
They are wrong: it is character.”

“Only one who devotes himself to a cause with his whole strength and soul can
be a true master. For this reason mastery demands all of a person.”

4.  The Imagination is Powerful

“Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions. Imagination is
more important than knowledge.”
“Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.”

5.  Make Mistakes

 “A person who made a mistake never tried anything new.” “In  the middle of every difficulty lies opportunity.”

6.  Live in the Moment

“I never think of the future – it comes soon enough.”

7.  Create Value

“Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value.”

8.  Don’t Expect Different Results

“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

9.  Knowledge Comes From Experience

“Information is not knowledge. The only source of knowledge is experience.”

10.  Learn the Rules and Then Play Better

“You have to learn the rules of the game. And then you have to play better than anyone


Can you be more with less?

I am not sure I can embrace the ideas put forth in this post, but I think there is much that should be considered.

The Silliness of Busyness

Editor’s note: This is a guest post from Courtney Carver of Be More with Less.

I never thought I would laugh at how busy I used to be. I was serious about my ability to be superwoman. I could work 40+ hours a week, raise a child, volunteer when anyone asked, exercise, travel, cook, and clean. I could do it all, and then some.

Everyone was doing it all, so I did too. I didn’t want to do it all. Doing it all made me exhausted. Doing it all cost me friendships. Doing it all cost me my health. My busyness wasn’t even a little bit silly.

Becoming less busy was not an accident, but a decision I made on purpose. I made the decision that a busy life wasn’t a life for me. Being a good person, loving wife, mother and friend…that was the life I wanted. Next to that, I wanted the freedom to do things that made my heart sing instead of things that weighed me down.

Until I intentionally left a life of chronic busyness, I couldn’t see how silly it really was. The silliness of busyness is that sometimes you are so busy, you can’t recognize you are in trouble. You are so overwhelmed that you can’t figure out how to change. You are so used to being busy that you create more work to make your life even busier.

You may be lost in the silliness of busyness if…

  • Your usual response to “how are you?” is “so busy”, “crazy busy” or “busy but good”
  • You spend time worrying about how busy you are going to be tomorrow
  • You get angry when your spouse or friends aren’t as busy as you
  • Your busy life keeps you up at night thinking about everything you didn’t get done
  • You make a point of letting people know that you stay at the office after hours
  • You check email several times a day
  • You zone out during conversations thinking about everything you have to do
  • You volunteer for things you don’t care about
  • You spend time complaining about how busy you are
  • You make list after list to make sure you don’t forget anything during your busy day
  • You allocate time each day to clean your desk or organize your stuff
  • You regularly eat in your car
  • You use a phone in the car because “it’s the only time you have to talk”

If you are anything like me, you are busy because you want to be or because you don’t know how to be un-busy. You are busy out of misdirected guilt because you think if you do enough, you will be enough. When you decide that it is ok to live life your way, you can stop being busy and start doing things that matter. You can talk about your meaningful day instead of ranting about your busy schedule. Decide today that you are enough, even if you never do anything, accomplish anything or produce anything ever again. You are enough.

How to be less busy

  • be unproductive on purpose
  • only check email 2X per day
  • delete email and toss mail that you don’t need to read
  • turn your phone and computer off when you aren’t working
  • turn everything off in the car (except the car)
  • put your ipad down
  • read The Power of Less
  • help someone
  • do less, be more
  • stop trying to keep up, measure up or catch up

While you may think that you are making sacrafices for others by being busy, you are likely sacraficing the same relationships you think you are saving. Get real, make time and consider what is most important to you. Then do that first. The rest can wait.

Courtney Carver is the author of Simple Ways to Be More with Less. Read more from Courtney at her blog, Be More with Less, or follow her on twitter.

Seniors served free lunch | thanksgiving, senior, meals – News – The Orange County Register

Seniors served free lunch | thanksgiving, senior, meals – News – The Orange County Register.   We had a great morning at the Florence Sylvester Senior Center!