Introducing HappsterMail Pen Pals

Ever since I started the Happsters 2+ years ago, I’ve wanted a way to connect members of the community. I recently came up with an idea to create a way for you to meet other Happsters in the most fun way possible! It’s a pen pal program for happy people! Basically I am going to match up Happsters based on similar hobbies, ages, etc. so that you can exchange letters and happy mail just like good old-fashioned pen pals!

Snail Mail - PaperedThoughts
Photo via Papered Thoughts

I first came up with this idea when I saw @paperedthoughts on Instagram (see her pen pal mail above). She sends the cutest letters to people and uses hashtags like “#penpalswanted” and “#snailmailrevival”. I was blown away by how many people send these types of letters to pen pals all over the world. If you search “#snailmailrevolution”, it has over 100,000 photos tagged!

As you probably know, a large part of happiness comes from forming friendships and social connections. And what better way to do this than by connecting with the happiest people around the world through happy mail?

Announcing #HappsterMail. Here’s how it works:

1) Fill out the short survey here to tell me about yourself and what you’d like to find in a #HappsterMail pen pal.

2) Get matched with a #HappsterMail pen pal by me. I will email you both to let you know who it is. Isn’t the suspense killing you?!

3) Send your pen pal a letter filled with whatever you want inside. Suggestions include:

  • A nice note wishing them a great week
  • A long letter with fun facts about you and questions about your pen pal
  • It could include confetti
  • It could be decorated with doodles
  • Anything you want!

Share your mail by taking a picture and post it on Instagram or Twitter using the hashtag #HappsterMail so we can all see what you got (optional).

4) Keep sending letters back and forth for however long you want and make a friend for life. If you want another pen pal for some reason, just fill out the form again.

Click here to get your HappsterMail Pen Pal

I’ve already asked some of the Happsters in the community if they would like to join and gotten an overwhelmingly positive response, so I can’t wait to get this started!

This is a picture of my letter going out to my first #HappsterMail pen pal, Shelley.

HappsterMail

Here is more inspiration for your #HappsterMail that I found on Pinterest. P.S. These are just examples to get you thinking. Yours can be as simple or as elaborate as you want!!

Snail Mail
Source: Penpal of the Week
Snail Mail
Source: SnailMail-Ideas.com
Snail Mail
Source: Pinterest

Click here to get your HappsterMail Pen Pal

P.S. I started an Instagram account dedicated to this project. You can find it at @HappsterMail. If you use the hashtag #HappsterMail, I will feature you there!

Happy Quotes are Here!

Happy Quotes are Here!

I know it’s been awhile since I’ve updated the blog, but I wanted to pop back in and say hi! I’ve been posting daily inspirational happy quotes on Instagram and since I know many of you would prefer to see quotes in blog form instead, I’ve decided to also post them here. Pin these quotes to your Pinterest board, print them out, or send them to friends and spread the happiness!

Today’s Happy Quote

“We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.” – Winston Churchill

We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.

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 (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 (More) Happiness Movements You Need to Know About”

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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Happy Notes