More Love Letters

More Love Letters

A few weeks ago I stumbled upon a website called “More Love Letters“. The title intrigued me and when I dug deeper into what it was, I was sold. The concept? To leave letters of encouragement throughout your community and mail letters to strangers who send in love letter requests. You can visit this page on their site to find requests from people who need a little cheering up. They give their story and an address where you can send them a note.

So I decided I had to send some out and called one of my favorite blogger babes, London to do it with me!

More Love Letters

We wrote to Rosie, who is just going off to college and broke her arm right before leaving. Three weeks in a cast, but I know she’ll bounce back!

More Love LettersMore Love Letters

And we sent notes to Victor, whose friend wrote in asking for us to make his birthday extra special by sending in a fun card.

More Love Letters

More Love Letters

We had lots of fun writing these cards and I can’t wait to mail them out. Hopefully it brightens their days a little bit. My challenge for you this week: Grab a friend, pick up some stationary and write some love letters to strangers!

P.S. I started a new website called Glimpse of Healthy giving you the inside scoop on all things health and fitness in San Diego. Check it out here: http://www.glimpseofhealthy.com/. While I’ll be updating the Happsters blog a little less frequently, I’m still very active on Instagram, where you can get daily Happsters inspiration.

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 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!

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

5 of the Sweetest Mom Quotes in Honor of Mother’s Day

Happy Mother’s Day to all of you moms – You rock! And a very special Happy Mother’s Day shout out to my mom (I know you’re reading this)!

Here are a few other my favorite quotes about moms in honor of Mother’s Day:

#1: “Most mothers are instinctive philosophers.” – Harriet Beecher Stowe

Most Mother's are Instinctive Philosophers - Mother's Day Quotes

Continue reading

Paying it Forward at the Coffee Shop – Happy Explosion

Pay it Forward Movement- Happy ExplosionWeek 1 of the Happy Explosion has come to a close and I had such a great time paying it forward at the coffee shop. Here are the details:

Time: 8:00am on Tuesday

Location: Zumbar Coffee

Experience: I was strangely nervous walking into my small local coffee shop, Zumbar, but also excited to see how everything would unfold. Once the girls in front of me got their coffee, it was time for the main event. I ordered one coffee for Billy who was with me and once the lady gave me my change, I gave her back a $10 bill.

She was confused at first when I told her I’d like to use it to pay for the people behind me. After she gave me a funny look, I clarified that anyone who came in behind me should get free coffee until the $10 ran out. She smiled and said along the lines of “ok, great!”. I walked to the side to wait for Billy to put sugar in his coffee…

Coffee Shop - Paying it forward

and soon heard the barista ask the other employee if I just “did a pay it forward”. The other lady said yes and before I knew it THEY were giving ME a few vouchers for free cups of coffee!

Buying Someone Coffee- Pay it Forward #happyexplosion

I was shocked and so thankful. Talk about paying it forward! I never expected them to reciprocate, but I guess kindness is contageous right? I ended up giving one of the vouchers to a co-worker who loves Zumbar coffee (along with a happy note of course) to continue to pay it forward!

Paying for someone's coffee- Pay it forward - Happy Explosion

 So as you can see, paying it forward for the first week of the Happy Explosion went great. What do you think we should do next week?

Should we:

A) Send a note to a friend with a gift just to say hello

B) Bake cookies to share 

C) Grab the carts from the parking lot and take them back to the store

Let me know in the comments and I’ll do the one that’s most popular!

Did you pay it forward this week for the Happy Explosion? Did you buy someone’s coffee or do something else? If you posted about a way that you spread happiness this week, click on the link below and add in your blog post so that we can all read it! You can also let me know in the comments!

If you didn’t join in the fun this week, it’s not too late to do it next week! I’ll be posting a link up next week as well. You can grab the badge below if you want to add that to your post too.

Pay it Forward Movement- Happy Explosion

Just copy/paste the code below to add it to your blog:

<a href="http://wp.me/p37fK9-E6">

<img class="aligncenter wp-image-2465"

src="http://happsters.files.wordpress.com/2014/05/he.jpg?w=300"

alt="happyexplosion" width="400" height="254" /></a>

P.S. If you need a last minute Mother’s Day Present, check out this post: 6 Thoughtful Mother’s Day Gifts

——————————————————————————————–

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

 

Happy Notes

10 Quotes That Will Help You Stop Worrying

Worrying. We all do it to some extent. While I think some of us are wired to worry more than others, all of us need a reminder every now and then to stop our monkey mind and not be so concerned about a potential outcome.

Worrying actually has negative physical effects on the body. If we excessively worry, our bodies release stress hormones which can cause us to have headaches, muscle tension, shortness of breath, and nausea. (source) Those reactions are definitely not helping us solve our problems!

Here are 10 quotes that will help you stop worrying:

1. Think Less. Live More.

Think Less. Live More.

Worry Quote #1: Think Less. Live More.

 

2. Things have a way of working out.

Things have a way of working out

Worry Quote #2: Things have a way of working out

 

3. Don’t fill your head with worries. There won’t be any room for anything else!

Don't fill your head with worries

Worry Quote #3: Don’t fill your head with worries. There won’t be any room for anything else!

 

4. It’s gonna be OK.

It's gonna be OK.

Worry Quote #4: It’s gonna be OK.

 

5. Worrying is stupid. It’s like walking around with an umbrella waiting for it to rain.

Worrying is stupid.

Worry Quote #5: Worrying is stupid. It’s like walking around with an umbrella waiting for it to rain.

 

6.  The biggest mistake you could ever make is being too afraid to make one.

The biggest mistake you could ever make is being too afraid to make one

Worry Quote #6: The biggest mistake you could ever make is being too afraid to make one

 

7. Worrying won’t stop the bad stuff from happening. It just stops you from enjoying the good.

Worrying won't stop the bad stuff from happening. It just stops you from enjoying the good

Worry Quote #7: Worrying won’t stop the bad stuff from happening. It just stops you from enjoying the good.

 

8. Worry is a misuse of your imagination.

Worry is a misuse of your imagination

Worry Quote #8: Worry is a misuse of your imagination

 

9.  Stop being afraid of what could do wrong and think of what could go right.

Stop being afraid of what could do wrong and think of what could go right.

Worry Quote #9: Stop being afraid of what could do wrong and think of what could go right.

 

10. Worrying does not empty tomorrow of its troubles. It empties today of its strength.

Worry Quote #10: Worrying does not empty tomorrow of its troubles. It empties today of its strength

Worry Quote #10: Worrying does not empty tomorrow of its troubles. It empties today of its strength

 

What do you catch yourself worrying about? Which quote do you relate to the most? What do you do to calm your mind? Let me know in the comments!

 

—————————————————————————————-

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

Happy Notes

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Weekend Pics + Happy Explosion Reveal

Hi friends! Happy Cinco de Mayo! Any fun plans? We are going to lay low and maybe have a margarita or two. I was supposed to go to Chicago for the weekend, but I ended up staying home and having a really busy weekend! Funny how that happens isn’t it? It was crazy hot here in San Diego, so I ended up near the beach 90% of the weekend. Here are a few pics from the weekend:

Lunch timeLunch time


Del Mar BeachCan you believe that view?

 

MazeWe made our way through a maze! It’s a miracle that we weren’t stung by bees.

 

LouisI got to meet my friend Maggie’s cat, Louis and fell in love ♥

 

Queen Bee Market

Cute signsMaggie and I went to the Queen Bee Market where I bought lots of cute Mother’s Day presents!

 

Beach dayI went down to the beach with Billy and caught up on my SHAPE and Fitness mags.

 


Partner YogaI got to see some cool yoga moves at a festival called Yoga Disco!

 

Yoga DiscoNamaste

 

Yoga Happy NotesI had to hand out a few happy notes of course. Get yours mailed to you for free by clicking here.

 

I also wanted to thank you for all of your sweet comments about Happy Explosion! If you missed it, you can check it out here. This week, the top voted act of kindness for Happy Explosion was A) Buy the person’s coffee behind us. If you’re participating, you can choose to do that or any other act of kindness that you want. I’ll be posting about my experience buying someone coffee on Saturday and starting a link up so that you can share your post that day too. I can’t wait – I hope you’ll join me!

 

Follow my blog with Bloglovin