In one study, a research team from Massachusetts General Hospital looked at the brain scans of 16 people before and after they participated in an eight-week course in mindfulness meditation. The study, published in the January issue of Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging, concluded that after completing the course, parts of the participants’ brains associated with compassion and self-awareness grew, and parts associated with stress shrank.
Feeling overwhelmed with life? Take the time to write it down. Having clarity of mind can most definitely lower stress levels, allowing you to enjoy yourself and embrace happiness in your life. Next time you are utterly frustrated take a piece of paper, pen and write everything that comes to mind. You are literally taking a brain dump, but it will leave you feeling rested and with some additional space in your brain for happy thoughts!
8. Act toward other people the way you wish they’d act toward you. If you wish your friends would help you find someone to date, see if you can fix up a friend. If you wish people would help you find a job, see if you can help someone else find a job. If you can’t think of a way to help someone you know, do something generous in a more impersonal way. For instance: commit to being an organ donor! When you’re feeling very low, it can be hard to muster the energy to help someone else, but you’ll be amazed at how much better you feel. Do good, feel good; it really works.
Live in the moment. Another trick to being happier is to learn to embrace the present moment instead of feeling regret for the past or dreading the future. Learn to enjoy the conversations you have, instead of thinking about where you’re going to go next or worrying about that thing you said twenty minutes ago. Learn to appreciate the things in front of you, the good time you’re having, and to cast away all thoughts of anything outside of your immediate experience. Obviously, this takes a lot of dedication, but you’ll see your happiness level rise dramatically once you get the hang of it.[2]
I've gotten, "Are you Vietnamese and French?" Well, what would make you think that? You know, why that projection? So it's kind of just very far flung. And to me, coming from New York, Puerto Rican-black is kind of a biracial or ethnic mix that's pretty common. So, you know, the fact that you would ask [if I am] Vietnamese or Korean or Hawaiian and Peruvian — it's kind of interesting the questions I get.
Think more positively. The easiest way to become happier is to make an effort to be a more optimistic person. You may think that some people are more negative than others, but this is lazy thinking that can keep you from being happier than you are today. Your personal situation may not be in your control, but you can always control your perspective, and making the effort to look at the bright side of any situation instead of focusing on all of the negative aspects you see will make you be a happier person.
26The line name is yet another element that is interpreted differently by the public and the romance reader. While to the public the name denotes a simple narrative profile, for the romance reader familiar with the romance genre’s refined system of lines it functions as a code for a more complex and composite narrative profile (cf. supra). This difference in interpretation or codification of the line name is particularly important in lines that appear to be quite similar. For example, Harlequin currently publishes two sensual lines, Harlequin Blaze and Harlequin Desire. The public is presumably unable to differentiate between these two lines since the names suggest similar erotic profiles, but the experienced romance reader is aware of the differences in the lines’ respective compound narrative profiles.13 Whereas the public interprets these names as a codification of similarity, the romance reader interprets the line names as a codification of difference.
The first step is a willingness to do things that don’t feel good at first. This is difficult because your brain usually trusts its own reactions. You don’t usually listen to music you dislike on the assumption that you’ll grow to like it. You don’t befriend a person you dislike or join an activity you’re bad at on the assumption that something will change.
Part of being a good world citizen is caring for other human beings, which may include going out of your way sometimes. But when going out of your way for your beloved is less effort and more this-is-just-how-we-behave, you’ve got yourself a keeper and you’re definitely committed. Examples of going out of your way might look like taking your lunch break to run an errand for them, rearranging your travel plans to make sure they get can get the time off to join you, or giving up your car to make sure they make it to that meeting on time (and vice versa, of course). Anything less and there’s no guarantee that you’re relationship is actually a committed one.
Resting his chin in his hand, Vuong fiddles with his tuna sandwich. As our coffee cools, I wonder aloud if Vuong's romantic quest leaves him lonely. "In reality, your soul mate is yourself," he replies with a laugh, wrapping his arms around his shoulders in a hug and then kissing his own hand. "It's like Mariah Carey says," he tells me, surprising our waiter with an impromptu serenade: "The hero lies in you."
39However, this ostensibly homogeneous generic identity is thoroughly complicated in what I have called the secondary codification of the category’s materiality – a genre-specific code that only readers familiar with the genre detect and decipher. Via these coded elements, the category romance’s materiality suggests a more refined and singular interpretation of its text that is essentially designed to indicate how the novel is different from its generic colleagues. This hidden layer of the semiotic code not only enables the romance reader to develop a secondary set of textual expectations, but also thoroughly complicates the homogeneous image of the genre that is painted in the primary (public) layer of the book’s material codification. Instead of further supporting the stereotype-based public interpretation of generic standardization, this (hidden) secondary layer of the material code consistently signals ways in which the romance novel develops a more specific identity. As illustrated in the analyses above, the degree of specificity of this identity increases gradually. Whereas the front cover is often still concerned with suggesting shared identity traits, such as subgenre, level of sensuality and line identity, the first page inside the book resolutely focuses on the text’s singularity by showcasing the manifestation of authorial voice in the narrative text.
Naima Ramos-Chapman: I identify as black, but I think I present sort of racially ambiguous. So a lot of the times I feel exotified by people who look at me and kind of project their fantasies of what they hope I might be ... And often I find that people kind of say, "Are you sure that you're just black?" or "Are you sure that you're just regular black?" And it kind of comes off very offensive ...
Hey VikingQueen! We wanted to let you know that we recently updated Code Romantic to include Chapter 5, and we are hard at work on Chapter 6. Also, I don't know how old your daughter is but I thought you'd like to know that we plan to include parent and educator guidelines soon so you know what kind of situations to expect in the final game. The rule of thumb we've been following is: if you're okay with your children reading Harry Potter or Twilight, Code Romantic is probably fine. Let us know if you have any questions about the game! Thank you!
Adopting a hakuna matata outlook can boost overall happiness. Easier said than done, to be sure, but making a point to detach yourself from mistakes, worries, and regrets may lead to more lighthearted times. In fact, holding onto resentment and hurt feelings can tie you to the past and also marks a decision to continue suffering. Make the choice to be happy by forgiving people who hurt you and moving away from situations from your past that brought you down.
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