The Key to Happiness

Reminder for today: Let it be. ♥

Today’s Happy Quote

“The key to happiness is to let every situation be what it is instead of what you think it should be.” – Mandy Hale

"The key to happiness is to let every situation be what it is instead of what you think it should be."

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. 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?

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!

4. The incredible table tennis enthusiast with no hands. You have got to watch this video.

I’ll be back this weekend for my Happy Explosion post! What are you loving this week? Who is your favorite person to follow on Instagram? Let me know in the comments!

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

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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="https://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

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

 

Happy Notes

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!

 

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Happy Explosion

The Ultimate Random Acts of Kindness Movement - Happy Explosion

As you may know, I created this blog in an effort to spread as much happiness as possible. The world needs more happy people!

I had this new idea while falling asleep the other night (when some of my best ideas come to me) and I got so excited that I could barely fall asleep. I’ve decided to create something called the “Happy Explosion”. Here’s how it will work:

1) Every week I’m going to spread happiness in a different way and leave it up to YOU to tell me how.

2) I’ll give you some options (you can come up with your own if you want!) and I’ll take the most popular happy act from the comments to do.

3) I’ll announce what happy act I’m going to do on Monday and then post about the experience on the next Saturday.

4) If you have a blog, I’d love for you to post your random act of happiness there.  I’ll post a link up on Saturday’s post so we can all see each other’s Happy Explosions of the week!

How does that sound? Ready for the first week?

Happy Explosion: Week 1

Should we:

A) Buy the person’s coffee behind us

B) Leave a note of gratitude for our mailman

C) Leave a sweet treat on a co-workers desk

D) You choose

You can use the button below on your blog if you want to participate in the Happy Explosion!
The Ultimate Random Acts of Kindness 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="https://happsters.files.wordpress.com/2014/05/he.jpg?w=300"

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

Let me know in the comments what you think we should do for the first week of “Happy Explosion”! I’ll have a post up on Monday with the winner so we can all get to spreading happiness ASAP!

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

Happy Notes