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!
Now they all really did lose it. Even the grandmother was openly howling with laughter. Which was fine, right? As has already been established, I am always perfectly willing to be mocked in a foreign country for somebody else’s entertainment. But in this case, I must confess, all the hilarity was a bit unsettling on account of the fact that I really did not get the joke. All I could understand was that these Hmong ladies and I were clearly speaking an entirely different language here (I mean, above and beyond the fact that we were literally speaking an entirely different language here). But what was so specifically absurd to them about my questions?

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.
Getting rid of the clock is a great way to experiment with control, because you can’t control time. We all have habits for managing the harsh reality of time. For some it’s chronic lateness and for others it’s constant clock-checking. You may think you can’t change your relationship with time, but here are three great ways to feel good by ignoring the clock and make friends with the passage of time:

Pride is a rudder that helps you navigate opportunities to get social recognition. It helps you steer between the opposite extremes of constant approval-seeking and cynical dejection, which actually can help you feel quite happy and content. Taking pride in yourself means more than just thinking it silently. It means daring to say, “Look what I did!” to another living soul. Asking others to respect your accomplishment is risky because you may be disappointed. People often protect themselves by insisting that social respect doesn’t matter or that it’s hopelessly unfair. But these rationales don’t help you feel better because they don’t soothe the mammal brain’s longing for the sense of security that social respect brings.
1 The few studies of the popular romance novel that do consider the genre’s material conditions are Juliet Flesch’s From Australia with Love: The History of Australian Popular Romance Novels, Janice Radway’s Reading the Romance: Women, Patriarchy and Popular Literature, Jayashree Kamble’s Uncovering and Recovering the Popular Romance Novel and Jennifer McKnight-Trontz’s The Look of Love: The Art of the Popular Romance Novel.
To be in a sustainable relationship, you need other things too, and many of them are outside of your control. Love is something you own within, along with your decision to commit to your partner. Other parts of the partnership, however, are very much independent of you. External forces, such as careers, sickness, money, family issues. Your partner’s commitment to you. Your partner’s ability to deal with stress. You can’t control that.
It's because of our culture, our programming, the double-standard that we feel even as we know, as you say, Kate, that he could have been doing the same thing as well! The messages for women - and the labels attached to them - are so strong! It's why I always get such resistance when I suggest dating (not sleeping with) a few men at a time. And yet, it's doing exactly this that keeps everything in balance and keeps you from jumping too far ahead with anyone before they've shown you that they're truly worthy of you!
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?
But surely something has been lost, as well, in our modern and intensely private, closed-off homes. Watching the Hmong women interact with each other, I got to wondering whether the evolution of the ever smaller and ever more nuclear Western family has put a particular strain on modern marriages. In Hmong society, for instance, men and women don’t spend all that much time together. Yes, you have a spouse. Yes, you have sex with that spouse. Yes, your fortunes are tied together. Yes, there might very well be love. But aside from that, men’s and women’s lives are quite firmly separated into the divided realms of their gender-specific tasks. Men work and socialize with other men; women work and socialize with other women. Case in point: there was not a single man to be found anywhere that day around Mai’s house. Whatever the men were off doing (farming, drinking, talking, gambling) they were doing it somewhere else, alone together, separated from the universe of the women. If you are a Hmong woman, then, you don’t necessarily expect your husband to be your best friend, your most intimate confidant, your emotional advisor, your intellectual equal, your comfort in times of sorrow. Hmong women, instead, get a lot of that emotional nourishment and support from other women—from sisters, aunties, mothers, grandmothers. A Hmong woman has many voices in her life, many opinions and emotional buttresses surrounding her at all times. Kinship is to be found within arm’s reach in any direction, and many female hands make light work, or at least lighter work, of the serious burdens of living.
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.
The app sent alerts asking people how happy they felt — on an 11-point scale from "not at all" to "extremely" — throughout the day. By analyzing over 3 million submissions from more than 50,000 volunteers, the researchers discovered that on average, people experienced an 8% increase in happiness when they were with friends, compared to a 1.4% increase with parents, and just a 0.7% increase when they were with their children.
Just try to frown while listening to upbeat songs (like any of the ones on our Ultimate Happy Playlist)—we dare you! Jamming out can help reduce stress—which leads to greater happiness in general. Plus, research shows listening to music with the goal and desire to become happier may actually lead to greater happiness than simply listening for the sake of listening. So the next time you pump up the volume, keep that positive intention in mind—you may just find yourself smiling a little wider.
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