Make time for “me time.” If you want to feel happier, then you have to spend more time thinking about yourself. This doesn’t mean you should be completely selfish, but it does mean that you should schedule times when you can just be alone with your own thoughts, ideas, and favorite activities. Your life may be hectic, but there’s always time to squeeze in a half hour or an hour here and there just to be by yourself, whether you’re taking a walk, writing in a journal, or just reflecting on the week.
3. Do something fun. Temporarily distract yourself from the stress, and re-charge your battery, with an enjoyable activity. Watching a funny movie is a reliable way to give yourself a pleasant break, and listening to your favorite music is one of the quickest ways to change your mood. When my older daughter was in the intensive-care unit as a newborn, my husband dragged me off to a movie one afternoon -- and that few hours of distraction made me much better able to cope with the situation. Be careful, however, not to “treat” yourself by doing something that’s eventually going to make you feel worse (taking up smoking again, drinking too much, indulging in retail therapy). My comfort-food activity is reading children's literature.
1. Remind yourself of reasons to be grateful. When things look really dark, it's hard to feel grateful, but remembering what's good in your life can help put problems into perspective. I have a friend who recently suffered a big disappointment at work. She said to me, "As long as my family is healthy, I can't get too upset about anything." This may sound like hackneyed advice, but it's really true.
Shooting the breeze may be fun and completely effortless, but small talk won’t lead you to a happier life. In one study, people who engaged in the least amount of meaningless chit-chat were also the happiest. Eavesdropping on Happiness: Well-being is Related to Having Less Small Talk and More Substantive Conversations. Mehl, M.R. and Vazire, S. Psychological Science, Apr 1 2010;21(4):539-541 And speaking of conversation skills, being a good listener may also lead to a greater sense of well-being, stronger relationships, and all-around better experiences.
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.
If you’ve caught yourself spending too much time in the past or the future, read the 4th Pathway of Ken Keyes: “I always remember I have everything I need to enjoy my here and now unless I am letting my consciousness be dominated by demands and expectations based on the dead past or the imagined future.” Remind yourself you have food, clothing, shelter, mobility, vision, hearing and basic necessities. Many people don’t.You needn’t try to convince yourself that everything in your life is fine; just know that right here and right now, if you aren’t stuck in “how awful it is,” you can calm yourself and change your negative thoughts to accepting what is so now. That doesn’t mean you won’t do anything about your situation; it just means that what you are and have right now can be dealt with, minus panic and fear.
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.
This is the type of love that is the stuff of countless poems, songs, films, and fantasies. The all-consuming, heart-skips-a-beat, shooting stars in the sky during a kiss, can’t wait until he/she calls, crazy kind of love. Most committed partnerships start here (romantic love usually doesn’t last more than a year), in the phase of intensity, “connection”, longing, focus, and feeling that is hard to describe and feels special. What a ride this can be! This is the stage where people generally describe being “in love” or “falling in love”, and is the stage of courting and being in a state of “fusion”.
I loved this. I loved programming when I had a great teacher that explained stuff quite well and made me quite excited to try making my own games! But as I progressed through my course my teachers weren't as good and to this day I still have trouble with C++ or object-oriented programming in general. This rekindled that love for typing code and built a bridge between my love for C and my fear of C++. But enough of my story - I want to talk about the game!
This type of love is a much different story. It doesn’t sparkle but for a moment here and there. Our culture does a terrible job of ever showing this except for fleeting moments like “cute old people holding hands” or in the rare example of a healthy couple on television like the Taylor’s on Friday Night Lights (my personal favorite). Maybe we don’t see it because there isn’t much to see. Committed love is about sharing normal life together. It is about being supportive, affectionate, kind, caring, committed, responsive, and loyal. This is the stuff of the healthiest long-term couples, and can be thought of as “standing in love”.
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You probably don’t talk about your groin injury or irritable bowel syndrome around the dinner table. Those conversations are usually reserved for medical appointments and the occasional funny story. However, if you find that you can speak with your lover about intimate bodily functions, you’re probably more than casual friends; especially if you find that typically private and personal conversations become commonplace between the two of you.
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!).
One of the most productive ways to think about popular fiction is in terms of genre, a term that simply means – in our case – the type or species of fiction being written. The entire field of popular fiction is written for, marketed and consumed generically : it provides the primary logic for popular fiction’s means of production, formal and industrial identification and critical evaluation. (Gelder 40)
3This lack of critical attention paid to the romance novel in general and its material characteristics in particular may be a consequence of the widespread cultural prejudice that all romance novels are essentially the same. Although academics are generally taught to be critical of cultural stereotypes, in the case of the popular romance novel the academy seems to overwhelmingly buy into – and frequently even be at the origin of – the ingrained stereotypes of conventionality, formula and simplicity that surround the genre. As a result, the popular romance genre is largely ignored by academics, who deem books that are supposedly all the same unworthy of their critical attention. Somewhat surprisingly, a similar mechanism plays out within the developing field of popular romance studies with regard to the genre’s materiality.2 Underlying this disregard is, I believe, the tacit assumption that the romance novel’s materiality, which even more than other aspects of the genre is imbued with stereotypes and conventions, is a relatively simplistic and straightforward aspect of the genre that is free of the interpretative complexities romance scholars now regularly (and, notably, against the cultural grain) uncover in the genre’s texts.
People seem to have a pretty good understanding of what love feels like, and we do a good job respecting love as an important feeling. But our culture sends a pretty contradictory message about what commitment is. We say marriage requires love and commitment, and yet somehow “love is all you need” prevails as a logical sentiment. Our collective divorce rate speaks for our confusion.
I so agree with Centaine, Karen , and Jane. Well said ladies! This has opened my mind to search deeper within and figure out what commitment means to me. I think it is very important to also build a friendship first and like they say "marry your best friend " I encourage all women who desire love and true commitment like me to keep the faith! We have to believe we will have it and that's the excitement and motivation for me each day, to know that I will soon find my best friend/partner . I recommend the book I started reading called "The Secret" it teaches about the law of attraction. I find it so helpful and inspirational for my daily living and feeling good about finally finding the commitment I want. Another great post Jane! <3
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.
I don’t want to suggest here that everything about the shrunken modern family unit is necessarily bad. Certainly women’s lives and women’s health improve whenever they reduce the number of babies they have, which is a resounding strike against the lure of bustling clan culture. Also, sociologists have long known that incidences of incest and child molestation increase whenever so many relatives of different ages live together in such close proximity. In a crowd so big, it can become diffi cult to keep track of or defend individuals—not to mention individuality.
Your dreaded task may miraculously resolve itself in less than forty-five days! If so, don’t stop. Find another painful mess so you keep going for forty-five more days. That’s what builds the habit of facing tough challenges in small increments instead of being intimidated by them. Remember to feel good about what you’ve done each day. Soon, you’ll have the habit of tackling obstacles and feeling rewarded by it, which is a great way to feel happy.
Commitment is marriage. Anything less is a verbal pact. Its is a want. Maybe even a desire. Dating is the introduction to the plan (engagement) of commitment (marriage). I think people also confuse marriage with wedding. The fact that two people can be married without actually being committed is an example of a wedding participant. They like the look but not the effort. Being married is the act of being committed and choosing this day after day. It's the embodiment of dedication and affection and patience... this is commitment. Friends with benefits... well... that's just putting a "free" sign on your personal energy. Sex isn't commitment... and you may find out years into a marriage that you don't have sex anymore, but you are intimate in deeper ways. Being fully committed is just that. There are no degrees to full. A full glass of water is a full glass of water. It's 100%. A half glass is a half glass. When you start to add half full or half empty, the confusion strikes. Fully committed via not half effort. I have a boyfriend that is very sweet, I love him. He loves me. He lives an hour away and his kids live close to him. We will not move forward until everyone is ready. In reality that could mean we never do. He says he's committed so we don't need marriage. I am not hell bent on marriage, but I will not commit myself to someone who doesn't see me worthy of that sort of outward commitment. If it's no big deal, and you don't believe it will make a difference, then why not do it? We are in fact, exclusive. Because dedicated to making it work requires 100% effort on both sides. He has self inflicted restrictions on his end... and I have legal restrictions on my end. (I have kids too) I'm all about making it work... I am dedicated. But not at my own expense. Beacuse of that, we are not committed.
Yes! You read correctly. You now have one more (very legitimate) excuse to eat that yummy chocolate bar you love. Eating chocolate releases neurotransmitters in the brain that absolutely lift your spirits. One of these neurotransmitters is Phenylethylamine aka “the love drug” which arouses the same feelings you experience when you are in love and who isn’t happy when they are feeling in love?! Enjoy a guiltless treat but remember, everything in moderation!
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.
“Everyone needs something to look forward to,” Holstein said, and while dreaming about a fantasy trip, or a job you’d love to have 5 or 10 years down the road can provide a boost (as can having fun right-this-minute), there’s value in putting something tangible on your calendar within the coming weeks or months. The anticipation of having a nice experience coming up not-too-far-down-the road — like dinner at a new restaurant or a day trip to the country — breeds joy.
19Various elements of the clinch image are subjected to this genre-internal system of secondary codification. For example, the attire worn by the cover models can function as a code for the novel’s subgenre. That models on the cover of historical category romances wear clothes that are instantly recognizable as period costumes comes as no big surprise and is a fairly obvious example of such a secondary codification of the clinch image. Other clothing-based codifications that are common in the romance genre are perhaps less obvious to the public at large. The relatively recent trend in paranormal romance to deck out cover models (particularly women) in leather clothing is probably not well-known outside the genre. Nonetheless, as romance bloggers Sarah Wendell and Candy Tan have observed, within the romance genre a female cover model dressed in leather or spandex-like clothing serves as a reliable semiotic sign that the novel in question features a paranormal storyline (178).
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.