Take 31 Happy Photos This August

Are you up for a photo a day challenge this August? Join my #HappyAugust Challenge and get happy! All you have to do is:

1) Accept the challenge here

2) Invite your friends to join you (optional, but recommended :-))

3) Post a photo to the challenge page each day for the month of August

4) Follow along on Twitter and/or Instagram by posting your photos there as well with #HappyAugust @happsters

Here’s a look at the photo prompts for each day:

#HappyAugust Happsters Challenge

Will you join me in making this August the happiest one yet?

10 Random Acts of Kindness

Did you happen to see the 10 Days of Random Acts of Kindness Challenge? It started July 8th and ran through July 17th and was run by the One Love Movement, started by Kim Bauman to help at-risk & homeless youth.  It was so much fun to see each random act of kindness and what participants decided to do. Even though the challenge is officially over, I thought you might want to do the challenge on your own and start now! If you’re posting on Instagram, be sure to use #theonelovemovement #b_inspired & #imahappster (to be featured on the @happsters instagram).

Below are the details on what to do each day:

Day 1 Warmth: Give food to someone in need, hand out hugs all day long, tell someone you love them.

Example from @beulahwellness: “My daughter and I made a snack pack to hand out to someone in need, and she wrote YOU ARE LOVED on the outside.”

10 Acts of Kindness

Day 2 Love: Send someone a secret love note, leave a thank you for your mailman, write a nice message for your server on your receipt.

Example via @_daydday: “Day 2 of the #randomactsofkindness #challenge Left a letter for my mailman thanking him for getting our mail to us consistently and on time! Thank you for your hard work”

10 Random Acts of Kindness

Day 3 Abundance: Pay for someone unexpectedly, the person behind you in line, put money in parking meters, put $10 in a gas tank

Example via @sugarheartlife: “In giving, we receive. This morning I surprised my sister and parents with coffees and a little note on each. My parents have been selflessly giving to me for 30 years. It felt good to do something small and loving for them.”

10 Random Acts of Kindness

Day 4 Wisdom: Speak positively out loud, hand out compliments, learn about someone, ask them their story.

Example via @doctordribble: “Today at the supermarket I noticed a man using an electric wheelchair/shopping cart so I offered to lend him a hand. His name is Alvis and he appreciated the help but even better we enjoyed talking to each other. He told stories of being captain of a dive club in the Caribbean, working in an emergency room while earning a degree at West Virginia University, and playing high school football on a state runner up team! I had no idea what to expect from Alvis. I just wanted to perform a random act of kindness but got more than I bargained for. He inspired me to continue to work hard and do what I love.”

10 Random Acts of Kindness

Day 5 Pay it Forward: Donate your professional services for one hour, donate time to help someone move/clean/babysit.

Example via @yogini_omdre: “So for the past week or so this street has been filled with garbage. When I first saw it it made me really sad and angry that someone would do that. Now I don’t know how it got there, coulda been an accident but either way it wasn’t getting cleaned up. I found myself getting even angrier that no one has cleaned it up yet! So for day 5 of #randomactsofkindness (pay it forward day) I decided to clean up this street. It is my neighborhood after all. It took me about an hour and I even had one lady thank me as she drove past. Lesson to be learned today… If not me, then who?”

10 Random Acts of Kindness

Day 6 Connection: Meet 5 new people, introduce yourself, no phones just real conversation.

Example via @thesusiekara: “I ran the #costumepartyhalfmarathon this morning (that’s me as Waldo). Before the race started, my niece Maddy and I went to up to 5 strangers and handed them energy gels with a special message “you are beating everyone behind you” for inspiration. “Giving connects two people, the giver and the receiver, and this connection gives birth to a new sense of belonging. -Deepak Chopra”

10 Random Acts of Kindness

Day 7 Non-attachment: Give away something material that has meaning to you, gift a friend who you know loves something you own, donate to goodwill.

Example via @lp21385: “So happy to gift these pretty bracelets to one of my favorite ladies. Now our wrists match always. (Shout out to @eluscomb for the beautiful wrap bracelets we both rock too!). And to top it off, I was the surprised recipient of a beautiful token of hope from the one and only @smatthews1010 at #runlululj tonight. Definitely feeling the love.”

10 Random Acts of Kindness

Day 8 Patience: Slow down, drive safely, listen carefully rather than thinking about what you will say back.

Example via @offroadpursuits: “Instead pushing the pace on today’s run I backed off and ran with a good friend. Not only was it a great run but the conversation, scenery, and enjoyment was fantastic. Sometimes the kindness you show is as much a benefit to you as those around you! “

Random Acts of Kindness

Day 9 Motivation: Tape an inspiring quote in a random place today, bathroom stalls, bus windows, drive through windows, someone’s coffee cup.

Example via @happydasha: “Today I put up quotes in public telephone boxes and bus stops”

10 Random Acts of Kindness

Day 10 Purity: Spend time today cleaning up something selflessly, your sidewalk, beaches, the side of the road, your work place kitchen, someone else’s house/space.

Example via @runnerjen1: “Instead of weeding our own garden today, we went over to the neighborhood garden and spent some time cleaning up weeds from around the corn. Filled a huge bucket and didn’t take much time at all! “

10 Random Acts of Kindness

 

I love that so many people got involved for this great cause and shared their experiences. Are you going to try it out yourself? Let me know in the comments!

Summertime Happiness

Hi guys! It’s been a few weeks since I’ve checked in. I’ve just been enjoying the long days, warm weather, family and friends. Here’s a look at what I’ve been up to:

Billy was an actor in the Environmental Research Advocates video (will post the link soon!). He got to surf and talk about his love for the waves.

Environmental Research Advocates

If you haven’t heard of the Environmental Research Advocates, their goal is to bring worldwide recognition to noteworthy projects that will sustain the environment. Check ‘em out!

Speaking of water…I went paddleboarding for my third time and loved it!


Paddleboarding Adventures
 I got a chance to attend the  Lorna Jane Del Mar Launch Party. I went to an event at their La Jolla location a few months back (read about it here) and had a blast. This time I went with London and Ashleigh with a store credit that was burning a hole in my pocket!

Lorna Jane Launch

It was really fun to see their Active Living Room, where they offer free classes.

Lorna Jane Active Living Room

I ended up getting some crops and a cute sports bra. Success!

Lorna Jane ClothingPhoto via London

This weekend I had fun at a BBQ with lots of family, games, and food. 3 of my favorite things :).

Hats

 

What did you do over the long weekend? What are some of your favorite summertime activities? Let me know in the comments! I’ve missed you guys :)

Q&A with Dr. Happy

Today I am thrilled to welcome Dr. Timothy Sharp, better known as Dr. Happy!

Q&A with Dr. Happy

I was fortunate enough to be able to interview him on his thoughts regarding happiness and positive psychology. Below are his answers. Enjoy!

First of all, can you tell us a little bit about your background?

My background is in clinical psychology and specifically, in Cognitive Behaviour Therapy. I completed an undergraduate Bachelor of Science degree with Honours in Psychology, then a Clinical Masters Degree and then finally, a PhD. So I started off specialising in stress, depression and misery before I’d even heard about happiness!

I worked in and thoroughly enjoyed my career as a therapist for many years but then when I discovered positive psychology (some time around 1999 or 2000), it was like a life changing epiphany; it was literally as though a light went on and I had to follow the light!

So for the last 15 years I’ve dedicated my life and my work to promoting the principles of positive psychology.

Can you describe positive psychology in a nutshell?

The simple answer is that Positive Psychology is “the science of happiness”. But more accurately, it’s the science of thriving and flourishing because living our best lives involves more than just experiencing positive emotions such as happiness. Positive emotions are very important and valuable but to thrive and flourish, to be our very best, the positive psychology research also points to the importance of engaging fully with our strengths and with the world, building and fostering positive relationships, creating meaning and purpose in all we do, and setting and working towards meaningful goals for us and those around us. In addition, it’s important to take care of our physical health by eating well, exercising and ensuring adequate sleep and rest.

What originally got you interested in happiness as a subject?

Like most people it was always something I was interested in but as a clinical psychologist it just wasn’t, unfortunately, something we focused much on. Thankfully, positive psychology came along and set out to redress the imbalance. In some ways what Positive Psychology was saying is that for too long we’ve focused on what’s wrong with people and with life but what if we were to focus on what’s right? Accordingly, I began to focus much more on strengths and successes and happiness and gratitude rather than just faults and weaknesses and distress and problems.

Are there certain habits that you think are essential for maintaining happiness?

For sure. At The Happiness Institute we advocate that happiness is something you choose; check out our core model here.

Consistent with this there’s much research to support the following happiness boosting behaviours. You can find those here.

Can you tell us about The Happiness Institute that you founded and what goes on there?

The Happiness Institute is a positive psychology practice; that is, we deliver a range of services and produce a range of products all designed to enhance happiness and wellbeing in individuals, couples, families, organisations/businesses/teams and even schools. We do this via, for example, coaching, small group programs, workshops and seminars (as well as by giving away and selling self-help products based on empirically proven methods).

If you had to give one piece of advice for living a happy life, what would it be?

 I’m always reluctant to say that there’s “one” answer; because there’s not. And even if there were one answer for me it would be different for you and every other person out there. Instead, I recommend people CHOOSE to be happy and then develop their own unique “recipe” that works for them. That being said, I very much encourage people to remember that happiness isn’t just feeling good, it’s also doing good so don’t ever forget that other people matter!

Be the reason someone smiles today

What is your favorite quote about happiness?

 Achieving happiness requires nothing more than practising a few simple disciplines each and every day.

Happy Quote

A huge thank you to Dr. Happy for the interview! You can find out more on Dr. Happy here and learn more about the Happiness Institute here.

Question of the day: Have you ever heard of positive psychology? What do you think about it?

5 Outdoor Games You’ll Want to Add to Your Backyard This Summer

Recently I was able to go on a fun vacation that I like to call “adult summer camp” and tried all kinds of fun new classes and activities. While I was there, I discovered how much I love archery! Who knew? I came home and the first thing I wanted to do was add an archery range to my backyard. Then I thought about some other fun outdoor games to add to the backyard for summer (and the 4th of July!). Here’s my backyard games bucket list:

1) Backyard Archery (Just make sure you know what you’re doing…Safety first!) -

Backyard ArcheryThat’s me :)

Backyard ArcheryGet the DIY tutorial here.

2) Life-size Connect 4 -

DIY Connect 4Get the DIY tutorial here.

3) Giant Outdoor Twister -

Outdoor TwisterGet the DIY tutorial here.

4) Outdoor Scrabble -

Outdoor ScrabbleGet the DIY tutorial here.

5) Backyard Bowling -

Outdoor BowlingI’m not exactly sure how to build this, but you can read more here.

Would you add any of these to your backyard? What is your favorite outdoor game?

—————————————————————————————————————————————

Not an official Happster yet? Become one and get free happy notes mailed to you here.

Happy Notes

5 Ways to Get Yourself Out of a Funk

It’s normal to be in a bad mood every now and then. You may even feel like you want to hide like this kitten at times:

5 Ways to Get Yourself Out of A Funk

But if you notice that you aren’t snapping out of your funk for a few days, try these 5 tips to shake your bad mood:

1) Journal

5 Ways to Get Yourself Out of a Funk

Writing down your thoughts is a great way to let go of something you’ve been holding onto. Another one of my favorite things to do is to write down 3 things I’m grateful for. If you don’t want to write them down, just think about them. It’s surprising how effective it can be!

2) Watch something that will make you laugh

Laughter reduces stress and releases endorphins into our body.

3) Hang out with a friend

5 Ways to Get Yourself Out of a Funk

Spend some quality time with a friend. Bonus: Give them a bear hug! Hugging someone releases oxytocin (also known as “the cuddle hormone”), making us feel better.

4) Go for a walk

5 Ways to Get Yourself Out of a Funk

Researchers at Cal State Long Beach found that there was a clear and strong relationship between the number of steps people took and their overall mood and energy level. 

5) Lend a helping hand

5 Ways to Get Yourself Out of a FunkPhotography by Jack Bates

Help someone out or pay them a compliment. It’s helpful to take the focus off of yourself so you can get some perspective.

What do you normally do to get yourself out of a funk? Let me know in the comments!

Move Nourish Believe with Lorna Jane

i’ve known about Lorna Jane Active Living for a year or two and love not only their clothes, but also their inspiration. I’ve had this screen saver on my computer from them for awhile now and ♥ it.

“If you haven’t found it yet. Keep looking.”

 "If you haven't found it yet. Keep looking."

When Sweat Pink asked if I’d like to come to the Lorna Jane store event in La Jolla to meet Lorna Jane herself, I was in. As I walked into the store, I was greeted by a smiley Lorna Jane employee who gave me a gift bag with some awesome Lorna Jane swag including some cool sweat bands and a visor.

I also got Natalie Jill’s (of Instagram fame) Rev4: Rev it up DVD. You do short segments of progressively intense exercise with only your body weight. Can’t wait to check it out!

Lorna Jane Swag

I introduced myself to Natalie and she was so sweet. We actually live in the same area of town and chatted for awhile about fitness.

Natalie Jill Fit

I made my way to the gorgeous Active Living Room where they host free classes every day. I’m hoping to go after work sometime! They look like so much fun, are free and offer a fridge full of juices from Juices Served Here. They were giving tasters at the party and are delicious.

Juices Served Here
In the Active Living Room, I got to meet Lorna Jane herself, who was so down to earth and great to chat with. I also got to meet more Lorna Jane employees. All of them were so welcoming. My kinda place!

I met up with my friend, Gina to shop and ended up getting myself a cute tank and some headbands.

Make Your Own Rules Shirt

I’m excited to go back and get some more clothes! I’m also kicking myself for not getting one of their yoga mats. I am in desperate need of a good one. I’ve decided that I just may clean their booth out at the IDEA World Fitness Convention :-).

As most of you know, I’m pretttttty obsessed with inspirational quotes and Lorna Jane is not lacking in that department. Here are a few of my favorites.

“First we make our habits, then our habits make us.”

First we make our habits, then our habits make us.

“What you seek is seeking you.”

What you seek is seeking you

“For nothing is impossible if you put your true heart into it.”For nothing is impossible if you put your true heart into it

P.S. They also served Lorna Jane cupcakes and had a blowout station from Dry Bar. Loved all of the little touches they included to make it an incredible event!

Lorna Jane Cupcakes

Have you ever heard of Lorna Jane? What do you like to do to stay active?

Full disclosure: I was given this opportunity through Fit Approach and received a Lorna Jane gift card.  However, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

—————————————

Not an official Happster yet? Become one and get free happy notes mailed to you here

Happy Notes - Happsters

Awesome Things Thursday

Hi Happsters! How’s your week going? It has been crazy hot here with 8 fires breaking out in San Diego yesterday. I’m hoping things will improve soon! On a brighter note…Here are some things I’m finding awesome this week.

1. 7 Ways to be Good to Yourself Even When You’re Stressed & Overworked

2. Smoothies for these hot days we’re having in San Diego.

Smoothies on hot days

3. Lifehack’s 16 Inspirational Instagram Accounts You Should Start Following Now (So cool to be included!) I found @junantoherdiawan in the list and love his photos. His photographs are of people levitating!

@junantoherdiawan - Photographs of people levitating Continue reading

5 (More) Happiness Movements You Need to Know About

Last year I posted about a few Happiness Movements I was loving at the time, so I thought it would be fun to make an updated list because there are so many amazing ones out there! Here we go:

1) The Chalk Project

5 Happiness Movements You Should Know about - Chalk ProjectSource


I stumbled upon Chalk Project on Instagram and have been a fan ever since. Their purpose is to spread messages of kindness and inspiration. They “create uplifting messages with chalk on neighborhood sidewalks, with hopes that this anonymous message will collide with the person that needs it most.”

Learn more about Chalk Project here: http://www.chalkproject.com/ Continue reading