Vacations usually happen over the course of several days and can sometimes take several weeks, so if you’re going to take company along you’ll want to make sure you really like them. You’re also making memories that last for a lifetime. Generally speaking, people who take vacations together not only enjoy each other’s company, but are happy to make memories together, so if you take vacations together it’s a good sign that you and your love are truly committed.

Feel more compassion. Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama, once said, “If you want others to be happy, practice compassion; if you want to be happy, practice compassion.” You may think that feeling compassion for others has nothing to do with your own level of happiness, but in fact, being able to feel compassion for a friend or stranger in a difficult situation can make you a more whole, self-aware, and grateful person. If you’re so busy obsessing over your own struggles and never look around to see how other people are feeling, you’re bound to be less happy than a truly compassionate person.[3]


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.
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.
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.
Negative thoughts are nasty, powerful, and all too easy to dwell upon—and it goes without saying that doing so can make us feel pretty bummed. One way to relieve your mind: Jot it all down. Try writing down your negative thoughts on a piece of paper, and then throwing the piece of paper away. Research suggests that physically tossing your worries can lessen their hold over you. On the flipside, if you document positive experiences that you feel grateful for, you’re likely to feel happier and more satisfied with life. And if you really want to boost your mood, phone a friend and share some of your happy journal entries—doing so may triple your positive feelings.

I once worked with a colleague who was incredibly dismissive and known for not responding to emails, phone calls or text messages. In addition to being non-responsive, the team member was rude. I worked with him for years and deeply disliked his lack of accountability. At some point, our relationship reached a tipping point, and I actively prayed either he or I would find a new job.
Using smart phones, Matthew A. Killingsworth and Daniel T. Gilbert of Harvard University collected a large sample of experiences and associated happiness. They also measured “mind wandering.” Their database currently contains nearly a quarter million samples from about five thousand people from eighty-three different countries who range in age from eighteen to eighty-eight and who collectively represent every one of eighty-six major occupational categories. Their findings confirm what had been found previously: happiness is high during sex, exercise, or socializing, or while the mind is focused on the here and now, and low during commuting or while the mind is wandering.
Donating your time can have the same effect. In a recent review of 40 studies done over the last 20 years, researchers found that volunteering was one of the most successful ways to boost psychological health. Volunteering was found to be linked with a reduced risk of depression, a higher amount of overall satisfaction, and even a reduced risk of death from of a physical illness as a consequence of mental distress.
Please understand, I am not an anthropologist and I acknowledge that I am operating far above my pay grade when I make any conjectures whatsoever about Hmong culture. My personal experience with these women was limited to a single afternoon’s conversation, with a twelve-year-old child acting as a translator, so I think it’s safe to assume that I probably missed a smidge of nuance about this ancient and intricate society. I also concede that these women may have found my questions intrusive, if not outright offensive. Why should they have told their most intimate stories to me, a nosy interloper? And even if they were somehow trying to impart information to me about their relationships, it’s likely that certain subtle messages fell by the wayside through mistranslation or a simple lack of cross-cultural understanding.
Getting your om on is an excellent way to boost your mood and beat anxiety, research shows. Exercise, yoga, and meditation for depressive and anxiety disorders. Saeed SA, Antonacci DJ, Bloch RM. American Family Physician, 2015, Apr.;81(8):1532-0650. In fact, one study suggests yoga may be more effective at boosting mood than other methods of exercise. Plus, practicing yoga can also help slash stress and improve immunity—both of which contribute to overall, long-term health and happiness.
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.

40The apparent simplicity of the category romance novel’s materiality conceals a complex semiotic system of double encoding. The strong conventionality that marks the material packaging of the novel functions in a complex way that defies the stereotypes of simplicity, formula and repetition that surround the genre even as, on its surface level, it reinforces and perpetuates these same stereotypes. Whereas the mass public relies on this stereotype-confirming surface level to simplistically interpret the book as a formulaic instance of genre fiction, understanding – decoding – the hidden complexities of the underlying secondary semiotic layer requires the romance reader’s extensive knowledge of both the romance genre’s overall conventions and those that are specific to the category romance format. Only on the basis of such generic knowledge can this seemingly overwhelming conventionality be perceived and recognized as markers of variation and deviation instead of repetition and similarity.
At first, Fran wants to go to the police, but Wayde convinces her to keep quiet and the rewards will be theirs to reap. She agrees, but is shaken when the agency auditor finds severe and purposeful errors on their tax returns. Wayde tries to smooth things over, but Fran insists they give the scheme up. Wayde promises they only need to do a few more jobs.
Think about buying toilet paper in 7-Eleven. It will likely be one brand, in one-roll quantities, and it will likely cost you four bucks. 7-Eleven is a great chain of stores, but they excel at convenience, not low price or variety. What does this mean? If you badly need a roll of toilet paper, you’ll take the individually wrapped roll of Scott’s they have and forego your desire to get the Charmin Ultra Soft you normally prefer. (Which, at the risk of oversharing, is my favorite.)
Which would you prefer, compassionate or committed? Don’t you love those questions? I’ve been thinking about this because I’ve been revisiting Psalm 103. So, if you’ll turn there just for a minute. Psalm 103. If you’re using a seat Bible, it’s page 502 in one of the Bibles near you in the seat. What’s happening in Psalm 103 is really a sermon to self. It’s a model of preaching to yourself. And in one sense, it’s almost like a personal soul workout plan.
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.
At some points in life, it's not possible -- or at least not easy -- to feel happy. However, even then, it's sometimes possible to feel happier. By taking whatever steps you can manage to give yourself whatever happiness boost is possible, you give yourself a deeper reservoir to deal with your happiness challenge. Here are some strategies to consider:
13 For the experienced romance reader the difference between these particular lines is in fact even more complex since the line that is now called Harlequin Desire used to be called Silhouette Desire and was published by Harlequin’s subsidiary Silhouette. This subsidiary had a somewhat different profile than Harlequin itself, which was the result of the complex institutional history of the category romance market. Silhouette was originally founded in the early 1980s as a separate publisher and one of the main competitors to Harlequin in the category romance market. This competition ended when Torstar, Harlequin’s parent company, acquired Silhouette in 1984. Although from then on the two publishers essentially belonged to the same business conglomerate, Silhouette continued to be developed as a separate brand name with a somewhat more modern, progressive and specifically American profile than the Canadian Harlequin. Over time the differences between the two brands became less and less pronounced, and in April 2011 the Silhouette brand was discontinued and the imprints published under this brand, such as the Silhouette Desire line, underwent a slight name change. The distinction between Harlequin and Silhouette (or between such lines as Harlequin Desire and Harlequin Blaze) may seem insignificant to readers who are unfamiliar with the category market and its complex institutional history, yet it is highly significant to experienced romance readers, as is indicated by the fact that the two brands existed side by side within one publisher for twenty-five years. For more on this complex institutional history of the genre, see Paul Grescoe’s The Merchants of Venus: Inside Harlequin and the Empire of Romance and Joseph McAleer’s Passion’s Fortune: The Story of Mills & Boon.

Negative stimuli get processed by the amygdala; positive or neutral memories gets processed by the hippocampus. Sleep deprivation hits the hippocampus harder than the amygdala. The result is that sleep-deprived people fail to recall pleasant memories, yet recall gloomy memories just fine. In one experiment by Walker, sleep-deprived college students tried to memorize a list of words. They could remember 81% of the words with a negative connotation, like “cancer.” But they could remember only 31% of the words with a positive or neutral connotation, like “sunshine” or “basket.”
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.
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.
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.
Do nice things for others. One study shows that people who were given a cash bonus at work were happiest when they spent a significant amount of it on other people. This doesn’t mean that you should spend all of your cash on your best friend, but it does mean that you should make a more concerted effort to do nice things for others, whether you’re helping a friend cope with her breakup just by being there or you’re volunteering at a homeless shelter. No act is 100% selfless, and it’s okay to help others while helping yourself feel happier, too.[8]
One day last summer, I missed the bus to the train station, and when I asked a cyclist for directions, he offered to carry me to the station. How nice! How many examples of happy things in your life can you list, that you did or someone did for you? Take ten minutes: the first five to think of something nice to do, and the last five to do it. Life has nothing to offer if not optimism, and if you honestly think about it, you realize there are a lot of happy things people do for each other. You don't need to be optimistic about life, it is better to realize that life is optimistic, whether you are or not.
Correctly “reading” the signs of commitment in a potential long-term partner is crucial. This is most important earlier on, of course, prior to “settling down” with someone, particularly when one partner wants to know if the relationship has a future. You can press for this information too soon, but you can also wait too long to get the big question clarified: Is this person as into me as I am into them? Can this relationship turn into a commitment? When you don’t get solid information about commitment as things progress, you can miss important signs of unequal commitment. That’s a lousy place to land.
Gary Smalley was one of the country's best-known authors and speakers on family relationships. He was the award-winning, best-selling author or coauthor of sixteen books, as well as several popular films and videos. The Blessing and The Two Sides of Love have won Gold Medallions, The Language of Love won the Angel Award as the best contribution to family life, and his other titles have received Si ...more
Mix up your routine. If you want to feel happier, then all you may need is a little change. If you’re not happy, it may be because you feel like you’ve fallen into a rut and that you’re sick of doing the same old thing day after day. Try having something different for breakfast. Take that yoga class at night instead of in the morning. Hang out with a new friend instead of the same old ones. Walk to work instead of driving. All of these little things can add up and make you feel happier.
15This double semiotic codification – and its concomitant potential for divergent interpretations – is present in nearly every aspect of the category romance novel’s materiality. To illustrate how the dual semiotic decoding of these properties may work, I will focus on three illustrative examples in the rest of this paper. These analyses focus on three standard elements of the category romance’s paratexts : the front cover iconography, the line template in the design of the category romance’s material packaging and the preview scene that is routinely printed on the first page of a category romance novel.

Vacations usually happen over the course of several days and can sometimes take several weeks, so if you’re going to take company along you’ll want to make sure you really like them. You’re also making memories that last for a lifetime. Generally speaking, people who take vacations together not only enjoy each other’s company, but are happy to make memories together, so if you take vacations together it’s a good sign that you and your love are truly committed.

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.


Not with vices like drugs or alcohol, but rather, things that allow you to escape from the negative situation and feel fully absorbed in something else, Lyubomirsky says—like seeing a movie, working on a creative hobby, or going to your favorite restaurant. This can help us change our thinking patterns—and stop us from ruminating and imagining the worse, which is a trait that women, unfortunately, tend to display more than men, Gielan notes (aha!).
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 🙂
Not with vices like drugs or alcohol, but rather, things that allow you to escape from the negative situation and feel fully absorbed in something else, Lyubomirsky says—like seeing a movie, working on a creative hobby, or going to your favorite restaurant. This can help us change our thinking patterns—and stop us from ruminating and imagining the worse, which is a trait that women, unfortunately, tend to display more than men, Gielan notes (aha!).
Moore has written several Unix shell scripts that run on-the-fly background checks on people who use wireless networks in his neighborhood. With the help of the popular network-traffic analysis utility Netcat, his script "sniffs all the traffic on the Wi-Fi network, greps for email addresses, and looks them up on Friendster." Then the script sends Moore an email that includes a link to the users' Friendster profiles, along with their pictures and login IDs.
When market congestion caused the roof to fall in, Marvel cut its 31 romance titles down to 7. Quality cancelled all 14 of its titles and brought back three of them six months later in 1951. The other companies either scaled down the romance thing or got out of it. There were even a couple who had published moderately before the glut and continued moderately after it. But what about Fox? Fox got rid of all 21 of its love books, mostly by converting them into other genres: My Love Affair became March of Crime at #7 after only six issues; My past continued as Crimes Inc after #11; Women in Love became Feature Presentation after four issues; My Experience changed again, this time to Judy Canova after #22; My Love story became Hoot Gibson; My Great Love became Will Rogers Western; My Secret Affair became Martin Kane , Private Eye from #4; My Secret Romance became Star Presentation from #3; My intimate Affair changed to Inside Crime; My Private Life became Pedro Fox at #18 after previously being
“Love” comics had suddenly become popular and so Marvel introduced My Romance in September 1948. Close behind it were Love Romances, Love Adventures, Love Tales, Love Dramas and a load of others, including My Love and Our Love. Again, Marvel was playing follow the leader, and again, some of the titles in this new genre would enjoy unusually long runs. The redundantly titled Love Romances, kept on chronicling the trials of the heartbroken until July, 1963.
“Hangry” people are not happy people, and sometimes the simplest mood-upping-fix is a quick nosh on something relatively healthy, Mramor said. “Dark chocolate, in moderation, is a good thing,” she added. “Eat a balanced snack with proteins, carbs and fats, which balances blood sugar and improves mood.” Maybe grab an apple with some cheddar cheese or peanut butter, spread an avocado on toast or dip into a greek yogurt with whatever fruit topping suits your fancy.
Stop comparing yourself to others. If you learn to look at your life on its own terms instead of wishing you had as much money, as many friends, or the same amazing body as the person next to you, then you’ll be able to let go of bitterness and jealousy. Remind yourself that each and every person has his own struggles and strong suits, and that you can’t have everything – and neither can anyone else. Focus on doing your own thing instead of looking around you and you’ll quickly feel happier for it.
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