While happiness is experienced inwardly, its sources are mainly external and found in relationships that sustain us. These relationships are not confined to family but include how we relate to work, our communities and the environment. When we treat them well, the likelihood that our deep and abiding interest in being loved and cared for is increased.

So, no, I’m not willing—or probably even able—to relinquish my life of individualistic yearnings, all of which are the birthright of my modernity. Like most human beings, once I’ve been shown the options, I will always opt for more choices for my life: expressive choices, individualistic choices, inscrutable and indefensible and sometimes risky choices, perhaps . . . but they will all be mine. In fact, the sheer number of choices that I’d already been offered in my life—an almost embarrassing cavalcade of options—would have made the eyes pop out of the head of my friend the Hmong grandmother. As a result of such personal freedoms, my life belongs to me and resembles me to an extent that would be unthinkable in the hills of northern Vietnam, even today. It’s almost as if I’m from an entirely new strain of woman (Homo limitlessness, you might call us). And while we of this brave new species do have possibilities that are vast and magnificent and almost infinate in scope, it’s important to remember that our choice-rich lives have the potential to breed their own brand of trouble. We are susceptible to emotional uncertainties and neuroses that are probably not very common among the Hmong, but that run rampant these days among my contemporaries in, say, Baltimore.


The American Meteorological Society 13 published research in 2011 that found current temperature has a bigger effect on our happiness than variables like wind speed and humidity, or even the average temperature over the course of a day. It also found that happiness is maximized at 13.9°C, so keep an eye on the weather forecast before heading outside for your 20 minutes of fresh air.
A new study led by a Michigan State University business scholar suggests customer-service workers who fake smile throughout the day worsen their mood and withdraw from work, affecting productivity. But workers who smile as a result of cultivating positive thoughts – such as a tropical vacation or a child’s recital – improve their mood and withdraw less.
Again, it depends on the dedication that's present – some people get engaged but then never set a date or make any wedding plans – before you know it you've been engaged for three years and you're not any closer to saying "I do". I think at this stage that his actions are what's important – the more he's actively participating in the planning of the wedding the more committed he is to the relationship.
Celebrating small accomplishments is a valuable skill, not only because it’s one of the ways to feel happier, but also because big things come from many small steps. You won’t take those steps if you are just running on the fumes of the last big thing. Finally, your daily triumph will feel better if it doesn’t depend on one-upping someone. If you have to win in ways that make someone lose, you limit yourself and end up with side effects. You can celebrate what you are creating instead of just who you are defeating.

If you consider that the average life expectancy is between 70 and 80 years of age and that a third of that time is spent sleeping, the fact that you and your sweetheart talk about how to spend the hours you have remaining together is significant. When you’re single you can make decisions based on your wants alone. In a committed relationship, however, it matters what the other person wants to do and where they see themselves in the future. So if you and your partner are making plans together, there’s a good likelihood that your relationship is in for the long haul.
Then you have to look at whether you can realistically live with this difference in light of the rest of who he is and everything else that's good about your relationship, Ida. You don't have to, but if he's the one you want to be with and he's not willing to change on this point - and it's a big one- you have to look at the reality of what this means to you and how long you can accept his terms on this. Pretending you can when you can't never works out. Getting to the bottom of why you feel so strongly on your own point might. Sometimes the reasons we have to have something are more about our programming than our own reality. Hope this helps!
The BPS Research Digest explores another study 4 that proves sleep affects our sensitivity to negative emotions. Using a facial recognition task over the course of a day, the researchers studied how sensitive participants were to positive and negative emotions. Those who worked through the afternoon without taking a nap became more sensitive late in the day to negative emotions like fear and anger.
By day, Christopher Filkins works as a webmaster and site designer for specialty condom distributor Condomania. By night, he's Filchyboy, publisher of a much-read blog. He delivers a running shtick about the futility of dating in Los Angeles. He's tried them all: Match.com, Spring Street Networks, Yahoo! Personals. "I joined a lot of online dating services," he recalls, "but I wound up just dissecting how the sites were put together, which I tend to do with a lot of things."
Figure out a small, meaningful action you can take right now to work toward a better future—what Gielan calls a “now step.” Say, for example, you need a new car but you can’t afford it. Consider what you can you do at this moment—such getting a small coffee instead of a grande mocha. That won’t solve all your money problems, but a small step like that allows your brain to register a small ‘win,’ moving you forward from the problem to what you can do about it right now,” Gielan explains.
So of course the Hmong fall in love. Of course they feel preference for one person over another person, or miss a beloved one who has died, or find that they inexplicably adore somebody’s particular smell, or laugh. But perhaps they don’t believe that any of that romantic love business has very much to do with the actual reasons for marriage. Perhaps they do not assume that those two distinct entities (love and marriage) must necessarily intersect—either at the beginning of the relationship or maybe ever at all. Perhaps they believe that marriage is about something else altogether.
Commitment, on the other hand, is a decision. Based on some combination of feelings and logic, we make a decision about our future plans. We are used to doing this, and we recognize that it’s possible to make both good and bad decisions. Earlier today, for instance, I decided to put honey mustard and swiss cheese onto a panini with arugula. That was a great call. Last night, I decided to stay awake till 2am. Probably not the best. Last month, I decided to act on feelings of love. A year ago, I decided to be single. Some decisions affect your life more than others.

Indeed, Mai was from Vietnam, but I realized later she would never have called herself Vietnamese. She was Hmong—a member of a small, proud, isolated ethnic minority (what anthropologists call “an original people”) who inhabit the highest mountain peaks of Vietnam, Thailand, Laos, and China. Kurdish-like, the Hmong have never really belonged to any of the countries in which they live. They remain some of the world’s most spectacularly independent people—nomads, storytellers, warriors, natural-born anticonformists, and a terrible bane to any nation that has ever tried to control them.
We have all heard the feedback of sandwiching negative feedback between two positives. I am not sure how I feel about this recommendation because it can lead to confusion. If there is a conflict in the workplace, lovingly but directly outline the problem. Do not wait until the point you are frustrated, because that is counterproductive. I have made this mistake countless times.

While we laugh at this story, it is a great illustration of what we are focused on this month – committed love. The difference here between the pig and the chicken, as illustrated, is that for one the donation was a contribution and for the other it was a commitment. This story aids our understanding of the difference between committed love and a love “contribution.” We are not called to contribute love to others, we are called to be committed to loving others.


Here we’ll cover the five principles to make you thrive, not just survive. You’ll learn how to feel happier, as well as become more focused and energized. In fact, you’ll likely find that as you work toward becoming a more joyful version of yourself, your efforts will quickly spill over into all aspects of your life, making you happier and more fulfilled overall:

Fact: Since it prevents us from accomplishing goals, procrastination diminishes happiness. Avoid putting off tasks and continue working towards your goals in order to give yourself a mental boost. Though conquering something challenging may stress us out while we’re doing it, it also makes us happier in the long run (hey, who doesn’t love an accomplishment?). Plus, when we set goals (and meet or surpass our hopes and expectations), it can help us feel more purpose and control and boosts our self-esteem.
Felipe and I had arrived in this particular village after an overnight journey from Hanoi on a loud, dirty, Soviet-era train. I can’t rightly remember now why we went to this specific town, but I think some young Danish backpackers had recommended it to us. In any case, after the loud, dirty train journey, there had been a long, loud, dirty bus ride. The bus had finally dropped us off in a staggeringly beautiful place that teetered on the border with China—remote and verdant and wild. We found a hotel and when I stepped out alone to explore the town, to try to shake the stiffness of travel out of my legs, the little girl approached me.
Spend more time with your loved ones. Spending more time with the people you love – and the people who make you happy – is guaranteed to make you feel happier. If you’re feeling just a little bit down in the dumps, call up a good friend or family member instead of wallowing, and plan something fun to do later. You may feel like your mopey mood will drag people down, but instead, being with your close friends will lift you up and make you feel happier.
The issue of gender is linked to violence in Wertham’s study, since women are generally victims in comic books. Wertham believed the blending of sensuality with cruelty was a particularly disturbing aspect of comic book ideology that had a great deal of resonance with the disdain for the opposite sex that young male readers often had. In many comic books, women were portrayed as objects to be abused or to be used as decoys in crime settings. Women who did not fall into the role of victim were generally cast as villains, often with masculine or witchlike powers. These plots suggested that men had to present a united front against such women. Wertham commented, “In these stories there are practically no decent, attractive, successful women” (191). Wertham also objected to the genre known as romance or love comics. Such comics moved from the realm of physical violence against women to psychological violence in which the main female character is often humiliated or shown to be inadequate in some way.
Humans have this insatiable need to live for something greater than themselves. Take the time to appreciate and trust that your life is being guided by something greater than yourself. Understand that every stage of your life is part of a stunning master plan that will work for the greater good of those around you. How can you not feel beyond happy when you embrace the idea you are contributing to the greater good?!
Walk away now. He's selfish. Whenever a man tells you he can't commit or you deserve better, BELIEVE HIM and drop him immediately. No buts. Choose yourself always. "He doesn't want to lose me". Of course he freaking doesn't, but that means NOTHING. Staying would be you letting him using you. We are the ones who lose when we stick around for crumbs. It's not about you or your family life. His issues are his and his alone and they don't matter. A man (or any person for that matter) who is worth your time accepts you and your family life as is. Anything less is not what you want.
17The clinch image carries a double semiotic code and has the potential to be interpreted differently by the public and the romance reader. To the public at large, the clinch image likely signifies simply the genre identity of the popular romance. This interpretation is based on the strong semantic connection between this image and the popular romance genre that exists in our culture as a result of the incessant reformulation of this type of image on the front cover of category romance novels since the 1970s.10 As a visually striking and instantly recognizable image with only a limited range of potential variations, the clinch quickly attained an iconic status and has become the cover design shorthand par excellence for popular romance. Although the constant reformulations of the image on a seemingly endless string of category romance front covers reinforce and perpetuate a number of cultural stereotypes about the romance genre, including interpretations of the genre as formulaic, overly sexualized and more than a little ridiculous, the category romance is steadfast in its love for the clinch cover.11
What was the result of this committed love by Christ toward us? God lifted Him up – giving Him the highest place possible and the name that is above all names. But because Christ was committed, we benefitted! We are saved. We have a restored relationship with the God of the universe. We have the opportunity to help others. The Bible is filled with promises that if we are committed to doing for others, God will lift us up as well – and – we will impact others for eternity.
Make a gratitude list. Reminding yourself of all of the things you have to be thankful for will instantly make you feel happier. Take a pen and paper into a quiet room and write down at least 10-15 things that you are grateful for. They can be as big as the friends and family in your life and as small as the new garden that was planted near your home. Think of anything that makes you smile and which makes your life a little happier. Having all of these things written down will help you see how much you have to be thankful for – and happy about.[1]
First off, you’re not alone. Take Tony. He came up with the concepts behind 5 to Thrive after he’d been kicked out of his house by his angry mother on Christmas Eve. He was still in high school, had no money and going home was no longer an option. An action plan was born, one that Tony has used in his own life – a plan that you, too, can use to achieve a happier life.
8/6/10: Love, one of the most central components to human life, is such an amorphous concept that it is nearly impossible for people to completely agree on what it actually is or means. That is some of the beauty of love, but also some of the reasons we find ourselves confused. The following is a crash-course in what psychologists understand of “love”, and I hope that it may highlight new ideas, or name some things that can help you in your own journey of understanding it.

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.
This rite of committed relationship passage is so iconic that entire movie scenes and magazine articles have been dedicated to its discussion. If one or both of you have keys to the other’s house, you’re in! I mean, how many people have keys to your place? Chances are not many, but if they do and they’re not your parents, it’s a good sign you’re in a committed relationship.

Believe me, modern Western marriage has much to recommend it over traditional Hmong marriage (starting with its kidnapping-free spirit), and I will say it again: I would not trade lives with those women. They will never know my range of freedom; they will never have my education; they will never have my health and prosperity; they will never be allowed to explore so many aspects of their own natures. But there is one critical gift that a traditional Hmong bride almost always receives on her wedding day which all too often eludes the modern Western bride, and that is the gift of certainty. When you have only one path set before you, you can generally feel confident that it was the correct path to have taken. And a bride whose expectations for happiness are kept necessarily low to begin with is more protected, perhaps, from the risk of devastating disappointments down the road.


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If you are a person who likes everything neat, let junk pile up for six weeks as a surprising way to feel happy and good. But if you are a person who hates order and loves chaos, put things away as soon as you use them for six weeks. Color outside the lines if that’s new for you, but if you already pride yourself on that, courageously stay inside the lines. It might feel awful on Day One, but forty-four days later it will feel curiously safe.
You may think that there’s nothing you can do to feel a little bit happier. In reality, being happier is completely within your control, no matter what situation you’re in. If you want to be happier, then you have to be willing to change your perspective to be more accepting of whatever life may throw at you, while also trying to change the things that aren’t working. If you want to feel happier in no time at all, just follow these steps. But sometimes you just have to do what you think you might need to do or make happen.
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