Happiness

Bad Mood: 10 Ways to Overcome a Bad Mood

We all have those times when the ground beneath us seems to shift. Something bubbles up from within, be it anger, annoyance, sadness, frustration, offense, or hurt, and our mood darkens like a storm cloud stretching over the sky. A bad mood can feel like a head cold, overcoming us and forcing us to sludge… Read more »

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What Is Good Self-Care, and Why You Deserve It

All my life I’ve been living in the fast lane Can’t slow down, I’m a rolling freight train One more time, gotta start all over Can’t slow down I’m a lone red rover Oh how did it come to this?         ~Lyrics from “Polaroid” by Imagine Dragons From an early age many… Read more »

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Should You Feel or Flee Your Emotions?

To a great extent, we live in a culture that resists and fears emotion. From the time we’re babies we’re taught to quickly shut off “negative” feelings like anger, sadness or pain. Yet, learning to suppress or overly control our emotions has serious consequences. When we avoid our feelings, we tune out important clues as… Read more »

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The Healing Power of Gratitude

“You were given life; it is your duty (and also your entitlement as a human being) to find something beautiful within life, no matter how slight.” ~Elizabeth Gilbert There is perhaps no better tool to live in the present and find joy than gratitude. Knowing what we appreciate in life means knowing who we are, what… Read more »

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The Search for a Better Life: How to “Live Well”

In my experience of asking people what it means to live well, the answers I’ve received, while sharing some common threads, have been as varied as the individuals with whom I’ve spoken. I became interested in these questions during my time studying philosophy as an undergraduate. Philosophical inquiries into “living well” and how to do… Read more »

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The Value of Sadness

Our tendency to avoid sadness is almost instinctive. From a very young age, we try to avoid sad feelings. As adults, we’re quick to shush wailing babies or offhandedly say to sobbing children, “Don’t be sad. Cheer up. You’re fine. Stop crying.” Though not intentional, we tend to pass on the message that sadness is… Read more »

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Why We Won’t Let Ourselves Be Happy

When it comes to our own happiness, many of us are familiar with the pattern of taking two steps forward, one step back. For example, if we want to lose weight, we may find that after having some success, which makes us happy, we drift up to a higher weight than we started at. If… Read more »

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How to Write your Way to Bliss

In the writing workshops I teach, I advocate that writing can save your life.  Using my own life as a compass, I suggest that when navigating difficult waters, we all need something to turn to—whatever tempers our stress levels. For some people, it might be exercise; for others it might be talk therapy. But for… Read more »

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Mindfulness Can Quiet Down the A**Hole Voice in Our Heads

I was recently interviewing ABC News anchor Dan Harris, author of 10% Happier, for an upcoming online symposium on Uncovering Happiness. I really enjoyed spending time with him rapping about what happiness is really about and why mindfulness and compassion can help inspire it. But one of the things that really made me laugh was… Read more »

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The Secret to Happiness and Well-Being

Like love, happiness is often treated like a physical object we must find and snatch up. Yet, also like love, happiness is something we are more likely to cultivate within ourselves than stumble upon in our wanderings. As the Dalai Lama said, “Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.” Determining… Read more »

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