There’s a reason why people always talk about faking it ‘til you make it: “When we smile, the muscles in our face send signals to our brain that help create — biologically — a better mood than when we frown,” said positive psychologist Barbara Holstein, EdD, who has a private practice in Long Branch, N.J. It might sound silly, but Holstein encourages people to sit for a minute and just grin. Or better yet, smile at someone. This helps establish immediate connection — another key to feeling upbeat.
I must add here that all my friends and relatives were raised with varying degrees of this same belief. With the possible exception of the very most conservative families among us, or the very most recently immigrated families among us, everyone I knew—at some basic level—shared this assumed cultural respect for the individual. Whatever our religion, whatever our economic class, we all at least somewhat embraced the same dogma, which I would describe as being very historically recent and very definitely Western and which can effectively be summed up as: “You matter.”
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."
Because love isn't enough. Let me clarify, love, in the way most of us define it, isn't enough. Love isn't what makes you decide to not act out your desires when someone attractive starts showing you attention (and you haven't had sex in months). Love is not what makes you apologize and give your partner a hug after an argument (even though inside you know you're 100% right). Love is not what makes you weather the storm when disaster strikes (which it will). Love is not what makes you decide to treat each other with kindness, respect and empathy during a breakup or divorce (you'd be surprised how quickly love can feel like hate at that time). No, it's not love. It's commitment. It's the responsibility to keeping your commitment. Not just to the other person, but to yourself.
31In a similar vein, the preview scene also allows the romance reader to get a first sense of what in the romance community is often referred to as the author’s voice. In this context, the term “voice” refers to the conglomerate of elements that characterize an individual’s writing (Goris, “Loving by the Book” 80). Voice is determined by both narrative and linguistic elements and includes such things as the rhythm of the text, the cadence of the dialogue, the pace of the story, the tone of the narrative, the development of the characters, etc. As I have pointed out elsewhere, voice is an important evaluation criterion in the popular romance genre and one that both editors and readers frequently cite as a potentially decisive factor in their evaluation of a particular romance novel.15 Although voice is a fluid and compound notion, the preview scene provides the romance reader with a first impression of the author’s voice, which in many ways functions as the primary parameter of singularity in the category romance novel. Given the importance of the voice in the reader’s enjoyment of the narrative, this impression is likely to factor into the reader’s decision to read (and buy) the novel, and it thus bestows a commercially important function on the preview scene.
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."
6 Although it falls outside the scope of this paper to give a complete overview of the romance genre’s conventions, the most important of these have to do with the basic plot of the romance narrative. An authoritative account of this plot is articulated by romance scholar Pamela Regis, who claims the romance narrative has eight conventional elements: “a definition of society, always corrupt, that the romance novel will reform; the meeting between the heroine and the hero; an account of their attraction for each other; the barrier between them; the point of ritual death; the recognition the fells the barrier; the declaration of heroine and hero that they love each other; and their betrothal” (Regis, A Natural History of the Popular Romance Novel 14).
There are two kinds of optimizers: those who write programs, and those who hack what other people have written. Kevin Burton is a perfect example of the latter. With his all-American look, Burton seems to have just stepped out of a Gap ad. But that doesn't mean he can meet women on his own. For that, he relies on a sneaky little program he invented called the AIM Sniffer.
“Generally if people compare themselves to those who are worse off, they’re going to feel better,” continues Bauer, now a research associate at the Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and a clinical psychologist at Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Associates of Toronto. “When they compare themselves to people who are better off, it can make them feel worse.”
Today's Time Travel story "Nightmare Romance!" comes from 1951 -- before the comic book industry started to self-regulate with the Comics Magazine Association of America's Comics Code Authority. As such, this story from Avon's Romantic Love #7 (September/October 1951) with art by Marion Sitton, is quite scandalous! No slumber parties or football games here!
Get enough sleep. Making a habit of sleeping at least 7 or 8 hours each night will definitely make you feel happier. You’d be surprised by how much a good night’s sleep can improve your mood – and by how much a bad night’s sleep can make you think that you hate everybody and that the world is a terrible place. Happier people make taking care of their minds and bodies a priority, and this is something you should prioritize if you want to feel happier, as well.
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.
28As we can see in these examples, these scenes are marked by a strong sense of conventionality. This is no coincidence ; indeed, scenes that are selected as preview scenes usually depict a narrative moment that is instantly recognizable as a conventional part of a traditional romance plot. These scenes frequently zoom in onfeelings of sexual attraction and/or romantic conflict between the protagonists and depict events such as the erotically charged moments preceding the characters’ first kiss or their first time making love. Invariably ending on an (erotic) cliffhanger, the preview scene is often a kind of narrative equivalent of the clinch image and is charged with the same sense of expectation, (sexual) tension and narrative determinism that marks the clinch. Like the clinch, the preview scene also represents a stereotypical image of the romance genre, not only because it depicts a very clichéd moment in the romance narrative, but also because this representation is rendered in a highly conventionalized, even hackneyed discourse.
33These exemplary analyses of three aspects of the category romance’s material packaging indicate the systematic manner in which a double codification of this materiality is created. The potential for a double interpretation is a semiotic pattern that is present in nearly every aspect of these material conditions and that is implemented in a coherent and coordinated way. This suggests that far from being a random or coincidental effect, this semiotic pattern is a deliberate strategy on the part of the category romance novel’s producers, who seek to influence the reception and interpretation of the text.
Spend more time pursuing your passion. Anyone would feel happier if he or she spent more time doing the thing he or she really loved. If you’re a photography fanatic, spend more time taking pictures. If you love to write poems, wake up half an hour earlier each morning to work on your craft. If you love cooking, make time to cook at least twice a week. You may not think that pursuing your passion is a worthy pursuit when you have so many more “practical” things to consider, but it will definitely make an impact on your level of happiness.
Here’s another hack for how to feel good in your life. For forty-five days, experiment with lowering the bar in areas where you have set yourself impossible goals and raising the bar in places where you’ve set it so low that you feel no reward. If you feel you have no choice between frozen dinners and gourmet banquets, define a moderate cooking goal and start your forty-five days now. If you feel you have no choice between sitting on the couch and walking the red carpet, try going out in a middle-of-the-road way, and then try another way.
Committed love offers rewards to couples who stay together. Some couples feel a commited love based on attraction. In this type of relationship your commitment comes from your desire to be with the other person or the romantic love that you feel, according to the article "Commitment in Healthy Relationships" on the North Carolina State University website. The rewards for true loves who commit to each other include regular support, affection and friendship.
Thank you for helping me see things in a new light. Even though "Matt" and I are not exclusive, I did let our mutual friend know that I am not interested in a romantic relationship with him today. I realized, with help from you, that it would just be too awkward and not right. My bad. Please forgive me. I am sure there are other guys in my town who I could date who are not in our circle, but I am not going to go looking.
This is a seemingly simple strategy, but I’ve personally found it to make a huge difference to my outlook. There are lots of ways to practice gratitude, from keeping a journal of things you’re grateful for, sharing three good things that happen each day with a friend or your partner, and going out of your way to show gratitude when others help you.
The first story is the longest and most mature of the issue. “I Was a Pick-Up” tells the story of Toni, a sheltered 17-year-old who makes a dress and goes on the town. During her adventures, Toni takes a ride from a convertible-driving rich boy named Bob, who later abandons her at roadhouse when the place is raided. Luckily, bad boy Stanley rescues her. Sadly, Stanley leaves Toni with a note that says she is better off without him. However, two pages later, Toni has barely escaped another yet another lout, when she meets a reformed and now-successful Stanley in a gas station. They live happily ever after.
Numerous studies have shown that gratitude is intimately connected with happiness, and there are lots of ways to find time for a few, focused moments of reflection daily. Give it some thought in the car, Lyubomirsky said, or on the subway on your way to work. To take it to the next level, write gratitude letters to a specific person (which you don’t even have to send), or try a gratitude journal — just don’t feel pressure to write in it every day. In her research, Lyubomirsky has found that writing just once a week may provide the most pronounced results, in part because it keeps it from feeling like a chore.
But things would change when Jacob Kurtzberg and Joe Simon returned home from World War II. Kurtzberg had previously worked in comics under a variety of pen names, including Jack Curtiss, Curt Davis, Lance Kirby, Ted Grey, Charles Nicholas, Fred Sande, and Teddy, before ultimately settling on the name Jack Kirby. Before the war, Kirby had collaborated with Joe Simon to create memorable superheroes for both Timely (Marvel) and DC comics; most notably, the star-spangled avenger known as Captain America, who debuted in 1940. But as superhero comics lost popularity after the end of World War II, Simon and Kirby were forced to explore and produce comics in other genres such as humor, horror, and crime comics.
As Mai explained, her whole family—almost a dozen of them in total—lived in this one-room home. Everyone slept on the floor together. The kitchen was on one side and the wood stove for winter was on the other side. Rice and corn were stored in a loft above the kitchen, while pigs, chickens, and water buffalo were kept close by at all times. There was only one private space in the whole house and it wasn’t much bigger than a broom closet. This, as I learned later in my reading, was where the newest bride and groom in any family were allowed to sleep alone together for the first few months of their marriage in order to get their sexual explorations out of the way in private. After that initial experience of privacy, though, the young couple joins the rest of the family again, sleeping with everyone else on the floor for the rest of their lives.
Meditation is called a practice because it takes time to become comfortable with sitting still and focusing for a long period of time. However, you will be happy to learn that the effects of meditation are immediate. Just taking five intentional deep breaths at your desk during a stressful day will help to lower your blood pressure and aid in regaining your mental focus and clarity to get you through your day.
The plan: No matter how bad things may seem, find someone who’s worse off than you and help them. Do this for at least 10 minutes a month. Maybe you’ll provide them food, have a conversation or help them solve a problem. Whether it’s large or small, offer something to others. Remember: the secret to living is giving. It’s truly the secret for how to feel happy.
At the end of her memoir Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth Gilbert fell in love with Felipe, a Brazilian living in Indonesia. The couple swore eternal love, but also swore (as skittish divorce survivors) never to marry. However, providence intervened in the form of a U.S. government ultimatum: get married, or Felipe could never enter America again. Told with Gilbert’s trademark humor and intelligence, this fascinating meditation on compatibility and fidelity chronicles Gilbert’s complex and sometimes frightening journey into second marriage, and will enthrall the millions of readers who made Eat, Pray, Love a number one bestseller.
Laughing stimulates endorphin as it spontaneously convulses your innards. Find out what makes you laugh, and make time for it. This is one of the best and easiest ways to feel happy. A big ha-ha laugh is necessary to trigger endorphin—sneering at people you disdain doesn’t do it. Nor does laughing on the outside, although that might prime the pump. It can be hard to find what triggers your laughs, but you can commit to keep sampling comedy until you get your daily laugh.