Pride is complicated. Applause-seeking can have bad side effects, but when you get no recognition from others, something feels wrong. You could applaud yourself, but the brain is not easily tricked by hollow self-respect. It wants respect from others to feel good because that has survival value. Alas, there is no guaranteed safe way to get this serotonin boost. Social recognition is unpredictable and fleeting. But you can stimulate your serotonin without being “a jerk.” Simply express pride in something you’ve done once a day.

Much like yawning and a case of the giggles, happiness really is contagious. One study found that happiness has a waterfall effect among pals (and their pals… and their pals’ pals). When one person’s happy, it spreads to his or her friends and entire social network over the long term. Pretty much the most awesome way to influence other people, right?
4In this paper I examine if this tacit assumption remains valid when the romance novel’s materiality is subjected to in-depth analysis. This analysis focuses in particular on the format of the category romance – the most conventional kind of romance novel – to uncover the fact that the genre’s materiality is fundamentally and functionally marked by tensions between conventionality and originality, pattern and deviation, simplicity and complexity. The double reading of the category romance novel’s materiality that is developed in this article and the perhaps surprisingly intricate relation between this materiality and the reader/public that is uncovered not only offer an overdue and innovative discussion of the category romance’s materiality, but also develop interesting wider perspectives for the study of the complex relation between genre and materiality in popular culture more generally.
21The same clinch image is – or at least has the potential to be – interpreted rather differently by the public and the romance reader. Whereas to the former it likely functions as a code that signifies a very stereotypical, internally homogeneous kind of popular romance generic identity, to the latter the same image signals various kinds of specifications within this generic identity and essentially provides a message of generic heterogeneity. This semiotic mechanism of one material element simultaneously containing two codes (or two layers of codification) that mean different things to different consumers (the public versus the reader) is essential to the semiotic functioning of the category romance novel’s materiality. It is a core principle that, as the rest of the analyses illustrate, underlies nearly every aspect of this materiality.
Figuring out how to feel happy is no easy task. Do you find yourself in a depressed state, wondering what you’re missing? Are you thinking that there must be something else that you should be doing? Are you unsure how to feel happy and fulfilled? Or maybe times are tough, and you don’t know what to do to make it through the challenges you’re currently facing.
2. Remember your body. Take a twenty-minute walk outside to boost your energy and dissolve stress. Don’t let yourself get too hungry. Get enough sleep. Manage pain. When you’re anxious, it’s easy to stay up late and eat ice cream -- and that’s going to make you feel worse in the long run. It's very tempting to run yourself ragged trying to deal with a crisis, but in the long run, you just wear yourself out.
Hi, my boyfriend have very different ideas about commitment. We've been together 3 years , and, except the difficulties re his fear of a future , we are amazing together. After the 2nd year, I communicated to him that I wanted to live together and get married. He is afraid and will not agree. It isn't about money, sex, or our kids- it seems like this is about how we disagree. We absolutely never raise our voices, but there have been times we talk but don't really resolve . we have a good therapist. He said he does want to live together , but in no foreseeable future . it seems as though he is looking for perfection before he agrees. I am feeling increasingly frustrated - I feel as though I don't (and won't ) have a voice in this decision. He's an amazing man, but....I'm not happy. Any thoughts?

We are lucky to live in a time when our brain is increasingly well understood. You can learn how to feel good by turning on your happy chemicals in new ways. No one can do this for you and you cannot do it for someone else. This chapter outlines specific suggestions for new roads to dopamine happiness, endorphin happiness, oxytocin happiness, and serotonin happiness.
Susan Lee Mintz is a baby-boomer, motivational speaker, author, lecturer and fitness guru from Troy, New York. She encourages and supports people by promoting wellness through diet, exercise, and "healthy choices." After the loss of her husband Jeffrey, Susan began searching for comfort and support which she later found through writing, exercise, cooking, and her faith. Susan still resides in Boca Raton, Florida.
14. "To commit to loving a person for five minutes is easy. To commit to loving a person for the rest of your life, after you have met them, is a strong commitment. But when you commit to loving a person before you meet them and for the rest of your life, you have made the strongest commitment one can make to a relationship." ― Tom Houck, Being Faithful To Your Future Spouse: Faithfulness Begins Before You Meet
21The same clinch image is – or at least has the potential to be – interpreted rather differently by the public and the romance reader. Whereas to the former it likely functions as a code that signifies a very stereotypical, internally homogeneous kind of popular romance generic identity, to the latter the same image signals various kinds of specifications within this generic identity and essentially provides a message of generic heterogeneity. This semiotic mechanism of one material element simultaneously containing two codes (or two layers of codification) that mean different things to different consumers (the public versus the reader) is essential to the semiotic functioning of the category romance novel’s materiality. It is a core principle that, as the rest of the analyses illustrate, underlies nearly every aspect of this materiality.
Good feelings flow when the level of challenge you face is “just right.” If a basketball hoop is too low, you get no pleasure from scoring points. If it’s too high, you have no reason to try. Effort is fun when you expect a reward for your effort but it’s not certain. You can adjust the hoops in your life as one of the ways to feel happy and make things fun.
Another thought provoking post! Thank you for all you do.To me truthfulness and trust are the base for a long term relationship. Mutual respect is also a major component, and although theoretically both partners are supposed to work at making it , i think the man plays a more important role, in that if he is a responsible provider andis supportive and caring of his partners feelings, the relationship has much better chances of working out. The problem is how to find such a guy 🙂
Meeting the Hmong women that day in Vietnam reminded me of an old adage: “Plant an expectation; reap a disappointment.” My friend the Hmong grandmother had never been taught to expect that her husband’s job was to make her abundantly happy. She had never been taught to expect that her task on earth was to become abundantly happy in the first place. Never having tasted such expectations to begin with, she had reaped no particular disenchantment from her marriage. Her marriage fulfilled its role, performed its necessary social task, became merely what it was, and that was fine.
When I arrive at the Condomania offices to meet Filkins, he's finishing up some business on the phone. I wander around his workspace while he talks, peering with mild trepidation into giant candy jars full of tricolor condoms and shiny plastic packets of lube. In one room, I discover a "condomenorah." Condoms of various hues and sizes are attached to nine PVC pipes arranged to resemble Hanukkah lights. Filkins joins me and grins as his colleague flips a switch, sending air through the pipes and allowing me to inspect the wares in their fully operational state.
Endorphin is also stimulated when you stretch. Everyone can add stretching to their daily routine, because you can do it while you’re watching TV, waiting in line, or talking on the phone. Mild stretching brings circulation into constricted areas. Stop before you feel pain. Just because a little is good doesn’t mean a lot is better, nor is it needed to start feeling happier. If you stretch every day for forty-five days, you will not only feel good but also come to enjoy it so much that you will look forward to doing it every day.

By contrast, I had always been taught that the pursuit of happiness was my natural (even national) birthright. It is the emotional trademark of my culture to seek happiness. Not just any kind of happiness, either, but profound happiness, even soaring happiness. And what could possibly bring a person more soaring happiness than romantic love? I, for one, had always been taught by my culture that marriage ought to be a greenhouse in which romantic love can abundantly flourish. Insidethe somewhat rickety greenhouse of my first marriage, then, I had planted row after row of grand expectations. I was a veritable Johnny Appleseed of grand expectations, and all I reaped for my trouble was a harvest of bitter fruit.
Duh...It was personal...very personal. Above all things I want you to THINK not just do. My heart goes out to women around the world because NO One teaches us the things we REALLY NEED TO KNOW. If I think I can help, I will toss out an idea so we will begin to think before we do. I am soo happy about the decision you made Cathy. Don't date men who know each other, all they do is get together and talk about you. If you have men friends you find they are bigger gossips than women.
6Category romances are published in the mass-market paperback format that is typically used for genre fiction in the English-speaking world. The category romance is an (in)famously cheap book that is available “wherever women shop” (as Harlequin’s decades-old tagline boasts). This includes venues outside of the traditional literary circuit, such as supermarkets, grocery stores, newsstands and gas stations. Almost all category romances are published by the Canadian publisher Harlequin (or its subsidiaries Silhouette and Mills & Boon), which releases over a hundred category romances each month in a wide variety of lines all over the world.4

So you want to know if your relationship is a committed one. These days it’s not enough to assume that traditional labels of “boyfriend,” “girlfriend,” or even “partner” are enough to confirm your exclusivity status. Besides the more obvious actions of living together and becoming engaged, there are some things that never change, and chances are if your relationship has any of the following 11 characteristics, there’s a strong possibility that you’re in a committed one.
Although Young Romance was released by Prize comics, it should be noted that there was some resistance on the part of the publishers. Kirby tells, Evenier, “Mike [Bleiet] and Teddy [Epstein, the people who ran Prize] didn’t have much faith in Young Romance.” As a result, Simon and Kirby agreed to forgo upfront payment and were paid on the back end only if the book was a success. Of course, Simon was also able to negotiate for 50% of the profits from the book (and its follow up, Young Love). Simon explained to Evanier:
Regardless of the perspective, science is generally pretty hard on romantic love, whether it is seen as a “goal oriented motivation state”, an “illusion”, a fantasy projection, or just really dramatic lust. Either way, it is normal for romantic love to end (slowly or abruptly) when the illusions and projections are forced to change as we learn more about the actual human being in the relationship with us (“oh he/she isn’t a god/goddess after all!”), or the intensity of the drive naturally subsides.
In the weeks to come, as I replayed this conversation over in my mind, I was forced to hatch my own theory about what had made me and my hosts so foreign and incomprehensible to each other on the subject of marriage. And here’s my theory: Neither the grandmother nor any other woman in that room was placing her marriage at the center of her emotional biography in any way that was remotely familiar to me. In the modern industrialized Western world, where I come from, the person whom you choose to marry is perhaps the single most vivid representation of your own personality. Your spouse becomes the most gleaming possible mirror through which your emotional individualism is reflected back to the world. There is no choice more intensely personal, after all, than whom you choose to marry; that choice tells us, to a large extent, who you are. So if you ask any typical modern Western woman how she met her husband, when she met her husband, and why she fell in love with her husband, you can be plenty sure that you will be told a complete, complex, and deeply personal narrative which that woman has not only spun carefully around the entire experience, but which she has memorized, internalized, and scrutinized for clues as to her own selfhood. Moreover, she will more than likely share this story with you quite openly—even if you are a perfect stranger. In fact, I have found over the years that the question “How did you meet your husband?” is one of the best conversational icebreakers ever invented. In my experience, it doesn’t even matter whether that woman’s marriage has been happy or a disaster: It will still be relayed to you as a vitally important story about her emotional being—perhaps even the most vitally important story about her emotional being. Whoever that modern Western woman is, I can promise you that her story will concern two people—herself and her spouse—who, like characters in a novel or movie, are presumed to have been on some kind of personal life’s journeys before meeting each other, and whose journeys then intersected at a fateful moment. (For instance: “I was living in San Francisco that summer, and I had no intention of staying much longer—until I met Jim at that party.”) The story will probably have drama and suspense (“He thought I was dating the guy I was there with, but that was just my gay friend Larry!”). The story will have doubts (“He wasn’t really my type; I normally go for guys who are more intellectual”). Critically, the story will end either with salvation (“Now I can’t imagine my life without him!”), or—if things have turned sour— with recriminating second-guesses (“Why didn’t I admit to myself right away that he was an alcoholic and a liar?”). Whatever the details, you can be certain that the modern Western woman’s love story will have been examined by her from every possible angle, and that, over the years, her narrative will have been either hammered into a golden epic myth or embalmed into a bitter cautionary tale.

So here’s my understanding of the nature of happiness: happiness is subjectively experienced but not everything that causes us to feel happy makes us happy over a lifetime. It is possible to feel happy for the moment but not be happy, as, for example, most alcoholics know. The opposite is also true. We can feel unhappy, at the loss of a loved one, but still be happy as we look on a life that has been filled with love.
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 ...
All I can say is Wow! I absolutely couldn't put this book down. I have read all of Debora's books so far and I absolutely love the characters. The stories Debora writes are so enthralling, and she keeps you on the edge of her seat, wondering what will happen next. I laughed out loud at parts, and also cried at parts of the story. What a wonderful story, and of course, no surprise to me, since I didn't expect anything less! My only wish is that I could have these marvelous people in my neighborhood - or in my family!
Let go of control. If you really want to feel happier, then you have to let go of the idea that you have control over all of the things that happen to you – from the successes and failures in your career to the health of your favorite pet. The fact of the matter is, you have almost no control over all of the things that happen to you, including how long you’ll live. The sooner you accept that, the sooner you can realize that you don’t have control over what life may bring – but that you can control your reaction to it. The power to be happy or sad is in your hands.
The answer depends upon the definition of happiness, just as what being healthy means depends upon how we define health. Before the advent of modern medicine, many disabilities now considered curable were commonplace. What was once healthy for a forty-year-old is the standard of healthy for a sixty-year-old. Public health and modern medicine have led society to redefine what it means to be healthy.

I like your point that commitment has to come from both parties willingly. Commitment to me is devotion and dedication to each other, transparency and trust in your relationship, kindness and consideration toward each other, mutual respect, faith in each other and your relationship, and hope for your future. Many years ago, my mother gave me very simple advice, she called it "5 simole rules for a healthy and happy marriage", these rules can be applied to any relationship, and both parties should try to follow them:

Some recent work in neuroscience as examined the brains of people in romantic love. They found that the brain areas involved with making judgments and with sense of self. What this means is that when we are in romantic love, out ability to make judgments about situations and the other person is actually impaired, and we lose our sense of individuality and over-identify with the other (Xu, et al, 2010).
As a matter of fact, it’s already happening. Now that young girls like my twelve-year-old friend Mai are being exposed to modern Western women like me through crowds of tourists, they’re experiencing those first critical moments of cultural hesitation. I call this the “Wait-a-Minute Moment”—that pivotal instant when girls from traditional cultures start pondering what’s in it for them, exactly, to be getting married at the age of thirteen and starting to have babies not long after. They start wondering if they might prefer to make different choices for themselves, or any choices, for that matter. Once girls from closed societies start thinking such thoughts, all hell breaks loose. Mai- trilingual, bright, and observant- had already glimpsed another set of options for life. It wouldn’t be long before she was making demands of her own. In other words: It might be too late for even the Hmong to be Hmong anymore.
At a time when it seems that nearly everyone has a Friendster account, Moore says, "You can do really creepy stuff. You can get the profiles on everyone in your local café, then see who their friends are, and just walk up to them and ask, 'Aren't you Tom's friend?'" More disturbing, Moore's toolkit allows him to get zip codes and last names, making it easier to track down the real-world addresses of his targets, thus opening up a whole new universe of creepiness. "You could do all sorts of mean things," he says.
When I meet Vuong for lunch at a hip LA diner near Beverly Hills, it's clear he's not kidding. As soon as we sit down, he whips out his laptop to show off its 12-hour battery. He tells me about the Grid. "It's just like bioinformatics, where you're searching for a sequence of code in a pool of DNA," he explains. "But the DNA is all the Web pages in the world."
One of the very first signs of commitment in a relationship is when two people spend lots of time together. Outside of normal working hours and with all the things you could be doing in a day, there usually isn’t much time left over to spare. And since time is one of the few commodities that none of us can get back, the fact that you and your significant other choose to make time for each other on a regular basis is a good sign that you’re both committed.
If I'm hearing my mom's white friends really mocking my dad's accent and really making it more effeminate throughout my childhood — especially after he passed away, and they felt safer that they could do that — that's going to affect me and that's of course going to affect my self-esteem. And if I hear friends from every race telling me pointblank, "I do not find Asian men attractive," there is going to be a point where yes my self-esteem will be effected.
A partnership is not just about the emotions and feelings of love. A partnership is about commitment, and being responsible to that commitment regardless of what the external variables of the time are. It’s about the commitment to choosing decisions that will serve the relationship even when it would “feel” better to not. Married or not married, when you decide to enter into a partnership with another, commitment means you act with integrity, respect and care –even when your emotions are telling you otherwise.
I used to be such a starry-eyed believer of love. I thought that love conquered all – and that as long as you shared that feeling with someone, it meant that the relationship would last, In the theory of fairytales and movies, this may be the case, but in North American reality – not quite. Instead, love is only one of the many ingredients needed for a long-lasting partnership. But the concerning issue is – people put so much weight on the feeling of love, a feeling that inevitably changes, takes different forms and can get blinded easily.
As an example of just the opposite of sufficient commitment, I vividly recall a little scene of a young couple at an airport. I was on a layover when I overheard their argument. (I wasn’t eavesdropping as much as they were talking so loudly that I could not help but notice.) The tension was about her wanting to dress warmer for the flight and him wanting her to stay dressed just as she was. She was in quite short shorts and some type of sleeveless, very light shirt. She didn’t want to be cold on the flight. 
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Never before and never again, did a single genre of the comic book — an original American commercial concept — explode in such an orgy of financial opportunism. . . . Some historians have theorized that the demise of the pulp magazines had something to do with the frenzy for love . . . . No, the answer — if there is a rational answer — is that it was just time for love.  Teenage American girls — for it was they that read the majority of romance comics — were ready for romance. No young miss could possibly avoid spotting love on the racks when it was that freely available. And more love begat even more love.

We all want to revel in the Romantic Love Stage of our relationships. We crave that passionate, intense energy because it feeds us and makes us feel alive. This is how we identify love. We fear that we have fallen out of love when that energy fades. Believe it or not, the fire felt during the Romantic Love Stage is the result of chemicals in your brain. Your body releases hormones and brain chemicals, endorphins that make you feel high and promote attachment to your partner.
Ironically, the astounding sales of Marvel’s romance-soaked super-hero books helped hasten the demise of traditional romance comics (and other genres.) “The success of the Marvel super-heroes made DC change their priorities and chase Marvel super-heroes,” comments [Dick] Giordano. “Remember that Westerns, mysteries, and crime titles all disappeared to make room for the Spandex crowd.”

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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