Tag Archives: happy

Happiness Experiment No 37: make a difference

“In a gentle way, you can shake the world.” Mahtma Gandhi

Most people would agree that changing the world for the better would be a good thing to do but where should you start?  Ending world poverty, creating world peace, ending discrimination, saving the environment they are all important goals but what difference can I make? Stephen Covey, the famous author of The 7 Habits of Effective People argued that “.. one person can be a change catalyst, a ‘transformer’ in any situation, any organization.  Such an individual is yeast that can leaven an entire loaf.”  Making a difference can start with one person and that one person can become a small group. Each of those small groups had one person who inspired them.  As Margaret Mead said:

“Never underestimate the power of a small group of people to change the world. In fact, it is the only way it ever has.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson stated that: “The purpose of life is not to be happy.… Read the rest...

How to live to be 100+

Dan Buettner, a National Geographic writer and explorer, has travelled the world to discover the secrets to living a long and happy life.  Dan Buettner teamed up with the National Geographic and the American National Institute on Aging to find areas of the world which demonstrated remarkable longevity so that we can learn from these vitality “hotspots” what the inhabitants of these areas do differently. These areas have been named Blue Zones and have become the subjects of Dan’s two best-selling books, The Blue Zones and Thrive, which uncover the well-being and happiness secrets of these remarkable people.

The Danish Twin Study has demonstrated that only about 10 percent of how long an average person lives is dictated by genes. The other 90 percent is dictated by lifestyle so the Blue Zones study was an attempt to find a formula for the optimal lifestyle for longevity.  It is actually very hard to live to 100+… Read the rest...

All I want for Christmas

It’s that time of year when we all start to scratch our heads over finding the perfect present for loved ones. It can make what should be a fun time of year very stressful as we try to come up with novel ideas every Christmas.  Instead of spending large amounts of money purchasing unwanted and often unneeded gifts it is good to get creative at Christmas and to think of ways to make your loved ones happy in a lasting way.  Let’s face it we all like indulging in hedonistic pleasure from time to time but there are plenty opportunities for momentary pleasure at this time of year anyway. Whenever possible, I like to focus on presents that carry on giving long after the parcels have been unwrapped and the last box of chocolates have been consumed.

In 2012 I came up with a novel present idea for my husband which proved to be a roaring success.  Instead of yet another Christmas shirt and pair of silly socks I gave him a voucher for 12 cultural trips to London.  … Read the rest...

Dan Gilbert: Why are we happy? Why aren’t we happy?

Dan Gilbert is a prominent Harvard psychologist and author of the best selling book Stumbling on Happiness.  This research based, clever and funny book tells us why we are really bad at predicting what will make us happy and what we can do to change that.

Stumbling on Happiness investigates questions such as why people dining together order different meals rather than getting what they want? Why are people less happy after having children but claim that their children are a huge source of joy? Why do we aim towards the best of all possible futures, only to find that the future rarely turns out as we had hoped?

Dan Gilbert explains why people consistently make the same mistakes when they imagine what the future will hold.  Our memory plays tricks on us when we look backwards but our imagination also play tricks on us when we look forwards.  Gilbert examines human beings unique ability to envision the future and looks at how likely we are to enjoy it … Read the rest...

Somewhere over the rainbow

It is now two years since I first started writing The Happiness Experiment and I thought it was time for a change.  I have relaunched the blog with a fresh new look and I am looking forward to sharing more about my journey to learn about positive psychology.

One thing which positive psychology has taught me is that happiness is not just about having a positive, optimistic outlook to life – although this can be important.  It is also about learning how to bounce back from negative events and to cope with challenging circumstances by practising resilience.  We cannot necessarily control the cards we are dealt but we have a choice in how we respond to life’s challenges.

As positive psychology is about learning to celebrate and be grateful for the positives but also to accept the negatives I have chosen the theme of rainbows for the new blog design.  Rainbows symbolise both sunshine and rain and we need both to live a flourishing life.  … Read the rest...

I just stepped outside for a while….

“I am just going outside and may be some time.” Lawrence Oates

I recently declared that I was embarking on a 100 day challenge to photograph something every day which made me happy.  I did not envisage that this challenge would also coincide with The Happiness Experiment blog not working for a month due to technical issues making it impossible for me to write posts.

Day 34

Meanwhile I have been photographing and posting my #100happydays photographs on social media during my month of blog silence and it has been a really positive experience so far.  It’s a great way to appreciate the things I am grateful for and to make sure to savour experiences. These are both positive psychology practices proven to enhance wellbeing. I have also made a conscious effort to incorporate at least one thing that makes me happy in my life every day.  Some days there have been numerous pictures I could have taken and other days I have struggled to find … Read the rest...

Happiness Experiment no 21: Change the way you think

One of the greatest impediments to living a happy and flourishing life is stress.  We all suffer from stress for different reasons at different times in our lives.  Try experimenting with the great tips in this video by Dr Mike Evans to reduce your stress.  Changing the way you think can have huge physical and mental health benefits. Watch the video and you will find out why:

90:10 The Single Most Important Thing You Can Do For Your Stress by Dr Mike Evans

Posted by Shona Lockhart on 23rd August 2013

A Life Worth Living: Andy Cope

This is the first in a regular series of interviews looking at the approach different people take to creating A Life Worth Living.  This interview is with Andy Cope, author of a number of books including The Art of Being Brilliant and The Art of Being a Brilliant Teacher.   Andy is currently studying for a PhD in “Happiness” and delivers workshops and seminars via his company The Art of Brilliance. Enjoy the interview.

Andy Cope

Andy Cope

1.  What prompted you to write your book “The Art of Being Brilliant” and who is it aimed at? What has been the response to your book?

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The Art of Being Brilliant’ is basically all the best bits from my PhD research. I’’ve been studying ‘happiness’ and ‘flourishing’ (basically, I’’ve been seeking out happy people and bottling their secrets) and some simple principles were crying out to be shared. I’’m delighted to say that the response has been brilliant.Read the rest...

Six Ways to Stop Worrying and Find Work You Love

Most of us spend the majority of our day at work so it is crucially important that the work that we do makes us feel happy and fullfilled. This article by Roman Krznaric from Yes magazine, which was originally published in The Huffington Post, looks at 6 ways to stop worrying about what to do to find a fulfilling job and some simple steps we can take to improve our sense of fulfillment at work.  Romans has also written a book on the subject entitled How to Find Fulfilling Work if you would like to read about this topic more.

Six Ways to Stop Worrying and Find Work You Love

Quitting work that leaves you unfulfilled requires a lot of courage. Here are six things you can do to get yourself ready to take the plunge.
Potter's hands

Photo by Shutterstock.

The idea of fulfilling work—a job that reflects our passions, talents and values—is a modern invention. Open Dr. Johnson’s celebrated Dictionary, published in 1755, and the word “fulfilment” doesn’t… Read the rest...

Jane Fonda – Life’s third act

The longevity revolution: within this generation, an extra 30 years have been added to our life expectancy — and these years aren’t just a footnote or a pathology. At TEDxWomen, Jane Fonda asks how we can think about this new phase of our lives. Her TEDx talk looks at the third act of life and asks how can we be happy in the last 30 years of our life.