The Art of Happiness

Research on how to increase positive moods and capitalize on your strengths has proliferated in recent years, thanks to the positive psychology movement, and has shed light on ongoing insights into personality, mood, and cognition. Not everyone is born with a sunny disposition, but experts agree we can all learn how to bring more meaning and satisfaction into our lives.

Recent Posts on Happiness

Finding The Sweetness in LIfe Even When Times Are Tough

By Allison Carmen on February 28, 2015 in The Gift of Maybe
I had just found out my mother had breast cancer, and I was walking to meet her for dinner. My mind was seized by the most frightening thoughts of losing my mother and what this illness would mean. All of a sudden, a beautiful breeze hit my face and an enveloping peace and joy ran through me. Was it okay for me to feel this joy when danger was looming over my family?

How to Find Proof That Hope is Not Lost

By Gregg McBride on February 28, 2015 in The Weight-ing Game
The little, seemingly innocuous ways you take care of yourself are your proof that you care about yourself. And this "proof of caring" can be the first step toward committing yourself to lasting and permanent change when it comes to other matters like losing weight, embracing wellness, and/or getting healthier.

Waldeslust - Joy of the Forest

By Joachim I Krueger Ph.D. on February 27, 2015 in One Among Many
Spending a little time in Nature can break the yoke of self-domestication and bring peace and happiness. Begin with a walk in the woods.

3 Fascinating Ways To Improve Your Wellbeing

When it comes to improving your wellbeing, what would you be willing to try? With studies suggesting, more than seventy percent of people around the world report they are struggling or suffering, as they face into each day ahead it’s clear many of us need a little extra help when it comes to thriving. So where does the science suggest starting?

Should We Fan the Romantic Flame?

By Aaron Ben-Zeév Ph.D. on February 26, 2015 in In the Name of Love
All human experiences, including romantic ones, can be boring. The remedy for boredom is often change and novelty. Should we then change our romantic partners in order to fan our romantic flames? Although change is indeed essential to emotional intensity, there are several types of changes, and emotional intensity is far from being the whole story when it comes to romance.

The Surprising Benefits of Documenting Ordinary Experiences

By Juliana Breines Ph.D. on February 26, 2015 in In Love and War
Typically it’s the big milestones that we document most diligently—the weddings, births, graduations, professional achievements. These are the events we expect we’ll most want to revisit down the road. But research suggests that revisiting ordinary, everyday experiences can bring us a lot more pleasure than we realize.

Is Good Psychotherapy Worth the Investment?

By Judith Coche Ph.D., ABPP on February 26, 2015 in No Ordinary Life
Nick, age 55, gets unstuck when he and wife Barbara join together to invest in their own depth therapy to deal with how to feel passion, be more cognitively flexible, and create a happier marriage. They are glad they did.

Love Yourself Before You Love Others

Compassion starts with self-compassion. Without it you will burn yourself out. Without it you won't be able to share compassion wholeheartedly.

Can Law Improve People's Lives?

Can law make people's lives better? The answer is yes, and treating mental illness more effectively is one place to start.

How to Tidy Your Home Mindfully

By Marlynn Wei M.D., J.D. on February 26, 2015 in Urban Survival
Could the cluttered state of your home be holding you back? Marie Kondo's method of decluttering is about more than tidying the home—surrounding yourself with things that bring you joy can help you achieve a greater clarity and awareness of the mind, too.

The Psychology of Wonder

By Thomas Hills Ph.D. on February 26, 2015 in Statistical Life
Who we are is a consequence of our internal model, and when we change that by learning something new, we change our understanding of ourselves.

The Wonders of Home

By Jaime Kurtz Ph.D. on February 26, 2015 in Happy Trails
Wouldn't it be nice to see your hometown through the eyes of a traveler?

Some Things Get Better With Age

By F. Diane Barth L.C.S.W. on February 26, 2015 in Off the Couch
My ninety year old aunt complains that she does not have much energy anymore. She doesn’t like it that she can’t remember what day it is, or the names of new acquaintances. But when it comes to emotional advice, there’s no one better to ask. Research has shown that as we age, not all of our cognitive abilities are on a steady downward path.

Stop Hating Yourself Once and For All

By Lisa Firestone Ph.D. on February 25, 2015 in Compassion Matters
Throughout a given day, we experience a barrage of sadistic thoughts so smoothly and so frequently that we hardly notice we’re under attack. We may try to compensate for insecurities, but deep down, we are our own worst enemy. So, what causes us to turn against ourselves and how can we stop?

Is Sadomasochism a Uniquely Human Form of Sexuality?

By Hal Herzog Ph.D. on February 25, 2015 in Animals and Us
From an evolutionary point of view, the enjoyment of pain would seem to be maladaptive. Is there an animal analog of finding sexual satisfaction in being whipped, poked with needles, or having hot wax dripped on your skin?

One Way to Use Someone Else to Strengthen Your Good Habits

By Gretchen Rubin on February 25, 2015 in The Happiness Project
Because accountability is so important, I’m always looking for new, ingenious ways that people have created accountability.

When’s the Right Time to Reignite That Old Flame?

By Duana C. Welch Ph.D. on February 25, 2015 in Love Proof
Do you have an old flame you’ve never stopped thinking about? Here’s how to tell if it was the real deal~and whether to reconnect.

You Can't Be Mad at Your Mind - Part 2

By Elizabeth R Thornton on February 25, 2015 in The Objective Leader
How often do you do this? You have the power to do this less by learning to be more objective!

Work Smarter, Not Harder by Breaking Bad Habits

Just like a chain is only as strong as its weakest link, we're only as good as our worst habits. Getting rid of worst habits allows us to operate more efficiently.

Anxiety is a Mindfulness Problem

By Linda Esposito LCSW on February 25, 2015 in From Anxiety to Zen
Awareness is everything to anxiety. The solution isn’t identifying why you’re anxious—but recognizing the signs of anxiety before nervousness, panic and rapid breathing hijack your emotional wellness.

What Do Scientists Know About Finding a Purpose in Life?

By Todd B Kashdan Ph.D. on February 24, 2015 in Curious?
Providing information on the science of a purpose in life. heavy, beautiful, and of paramount importance

The Seasons of Life: or How to Survive Life's Winter Moments

By Daryl R. Van Tongeren Ph.D., on February 24, 2015 in Meaning Making
What can surviving February teach us about enjoy all of life's seasons?

Ebb and Flow

By Stephen Gray Wallace on February 24, 2015 in Decisions Teens Make
Overuse of technology by young people may result in distraction, stress and impaired performance. Help them find flow!

5 Ways to Get the Most out of Your Relationship

Relationships are an important part of our overall happiness and even our health. As satisfying as they can be, they can also present us with significant challenges. These research-based 5 suggestions will help you tip the cost-reward balance in your favor, for your sake, and that of your partner.

Follow Your Bliss

By Ryan M. Niemiec Psy.D. on February 24, 2015 in What Matters Most?
Interests and character strengths are two natural energy resources within us. What would your life be like if you maximized both? How might you merge the two together?

How to Slow Down Your Busy Life

By Leslie Becker-Phelps Ph.D. on February 24, 2015 in Making Change
If you feel overwhelmed by the pace of your life, it is time that you slow it all down and take back control. It will make your life better and you happier. You can do this by using four basic approaches.

How to Talk to Yourself

By Toni Bernhard J.D. on February 23, 2015 in Turning Straw Into Gold
When the going gets rough, I often speak to myself silently or softly in a soothing and compassionate voice. If I feel let down by a friend, I might repeat silently, “I feel hurt by her behavior but I mustn’t blame myself.” When I don’t deny that I feel bad, and even acknowledge it in a self-compassionate way, I’m better able to cope with disappointment and sorrow.

Your Inner Monkey: Learning From Your Way-Way-Back Past

How far back do you look when you want to learn from the past? Your monkey ancestors actually can teach you much about why you do what you do now.

Addicted to Busy: 4 Strategies to Ease the Guilt & Burnout

Keeping busy at all costs is the cultural status quo, but the drive to do more is impacting our families, our work, and our health. The result of being Addicted to Busy is not only a lack of time, but also exhaustion, anxiety, guilt, fear, social comparison, inauthenticity and physical illness.

Grow a Key Inner Strength

By Rick Hanson Ph.D. on February 23, 2015 in Your Wise Brain
Use these four questions help grow inner strengths. 1) What's the issue? 2) What psychological resource - inner strength - if it were more present in your mind, would really help with this issue? 3) How could you have experiences of this inner strength? 4) How could you help this experience of the inner strength really sink in to you?