Happiness Fundamentals

What To Do When You’re Having Trouble Maintaining Quality Rest

Sleep is important. Scientists recommend the average adult maintain at least seven to eight hours of quality rest every night. Contrary to popular belief, one does not “catch up on” those missed hours. That means even one night of bad sleep can have long-lasting effects. For those insomniacs in the audience, one bad night can lead to two, three, four, or dozens. How do we help ourselves fall asleep more easily?

Download an app for that. There are plenty of ways to measure the sleep we get. Did you know that several apps or wearable devices can help you figure out when you’re in REM sleep and how much you’re getting? They can even help lift us out of light sleep close to wake up time so we feel less groggy throughout the day.

Exercise in the morning. Getting outdoors right away can accomplish a number of things. Not only will exercise fill your brain with those feel-good chemicals, but it’s keep you healthier for longer, give you a boost of energy throughout the day, and help you fall asleep when it’s actually time to fall asleep.

Eat right. Nutrition is a big part of whether or not we’ll sleep okay that night. Avoid too much sugar or caffeine in the latter half of the day. While alcohol might make you feel like it’s easier to go to fall asleep, it’s an illusion. You’ll have even more trouble falling asleep the next day, plus alcohol-induced sleep won’t give you proper rest. You might be unconscious, but your body isn’t regenerating itself the right way.

Avoid blue light. This is hardest for people. We’re more likely to get home from work, eat dinner, and then sit in front of the TV for the rest of the night. And that’s in between staring at our phones. But the blue light from these devices can activate our brains and make it harder to wind down at the end of a long day. Even turning all the lights on in the house can hinder our chances of a good night’s sleep. It’s best to dim those lights and turn the computers and TVs off a couple hours before bed.

Read. This is a great way to shut your brain down. It doesn’t even have to be a boring book! Reading can be soothing and relaxing and is best done an hour or so before bed.

Listen to white noise. While you’re reading, try asking Alexa to turn on soothing white noise like ocean waves, wind, or rain. These outdoors sounds will help your brain tune out other nuisance sounds. The calmer you are, the easier a time you’ll have getting to bed.

Stay Happy By Learning How To Run A Marathon Once A Year!

Exercise releases chemicals in your brain that help you stay happy. That’s why it’s so important to exercise shortly after waking up each day — it puts you in the right frame of mind to stay motivated and productive. It also helps adjust your internal clock to let you fall asleep when you’re supposed to fall asleep. But what kind of exercise should you be doing? Running is a good start!

One of the best ways to build a routine — and keep to it — is making a list of goals for yourself. What kind of goals, you ask? The kind that leave you with room to improve. Try running a little farther every other day, or a little faster, or for longer. Build your endurance, but don’t overdo it — you should be alternating workout regimens every other day at least. That means running one day and swimming or weight lifting the next. Your muscles need time to rest so they can build back up.

One of the greatest goals you can give yourself is working your way to signing up for a big race! First you’ll probably want to do a half-marathon. That means about thirteen miles of running. That’s the number of miles nearly anyone in ordinary health can do before their body starts reminding them that it’s time for a break. Those who aren’t fully prepared can experience pain, dehydration, stress or repetitive action injuries like tendinitis — even hallucinations if they push themselves too hard!

That’s why it’s important to start small and work your way toward the goal.

Once you’ve completed a half-marathon, you might be ready for the true test of fitness: a full marathon that measures about 26 miles. They aren’t easy, but those who complete the full race feel accomplished. Those who have already completed a marathon might decide to enter a race every year to keep themselves motivated to stay in shape. Or they might decide to run in even longer “ultra” marathons for an even bigger challenges.

There are other options as well. A trail marathon is one of them, and the competitions are exactly what they sound like. While normal marathons take place on pavement, trail marathons take place on local trails. You’ll be surrounded by the natural world as you race up and down mountains. Those who prefer the serene outdoor environments away from the hustle and bustle of big towns or cities might choose this option over any other. 

No matter which option you choose, the point is this: stay in shape and you’ll have a better chance to stay happy too!

How To Motivate Yourself To Stay Ahead Of The Game

What determines success? More than anything else, success seems to rely heavily on self-motivation. Those who put every second into doing whatever it is they want to do seem to achieve greatness more often than not, which means success isn’t necessarily determined by talent. Knowing that you need to drive yourself to greatness is one thing, but actually applying what you know in life is another thing entirely.

So how do you do it?

Truth be told, you need to first decide what will really make you feel accomplished in life. For some, marriage is the goal. For a number of us, we just need kids in our lives. Many of us dream of that white picket fence. What about fame and fortune? Changing the world? Success means different things to different people, but many people set the bar too high and fail to achieve whatever it is they set out to do. That itself can be the biggest impediment to success.

  • Make Daily Goals. If you dream of greatness, maybe you can make it happen. Maybe you can’t. Either way you need to take it one step at a time. Don’t think “I’m gonna write the next great American novel” and then expect it will happen tomorrow. Write a page today, a page the next day, and a page the day after that. Small goals will let you achieve the larger goals faster than anything else.
  • Every Day. If you make daily goals, but don’t put in the effort to complete them every day, then you’ll never make it. Once you make a plan, stick to it. Sometimes that means accepting that you can’t do everything at once. Don’t give yourself a hundred small tasks to complete, because you’ll only accomplish half of what you set out to do. Be sure to keep your goals realistic.
  • Exercise. This is one of the most important steps to take. Get out of bed, go for a run, bike ride, or long hike, and then go home to jump in the shower. If you’re not feeling energized or refreshed, then you’ll never feel like checking off the items on your daily list. If you fail to exercise even a little each and every day, then you absolutely will not motivate yourself. You need to feel human.

    Try telling yourself you’re only going to go for a five minute walk down the street. It’s a lot easier for your mind to process going outside for five minutes than for two hours, but you’ll always exercise for longer than five minutes. That’s why each task needs to be bite-sized. You can (and usually will) always do more.
  • Cook. If one item on your daily checklist is exercise, then make sure the next is nutrition. Not only should you attempt to cut back on sugar and alcohol, but you should make sure to eat only lean meats, fish, and add plenty of fruits and veggies to your diet. A fit body means a fit mind. Doing it yourself will help more than you think.
  • Reevaluate. Once a month, revise your daily checklists. Are you getting things done? Figure out why or why not. You might be trying to do too little. You might be trying to do too much. There’s always room for improvement.

Feeling Down? 5 Tips To Make You Feel Good Again!

For many of us, happiness can be hard to find. Once we’ve found it, it can be even harder to keep. There are a number of reasons for this, some biological, some societal. Many of us no longer have to struggle just to survive, but our minds are still built to keep us in that pit of despair all the same. That’s why it doesn’t always feel like everything’s going your way, whether it is or not. Here are a few things you can do to keep the negative feelings at bay.

  • Talk to Yourself. We don’t mean that you should have literal conversations with yourself (but hey, don’t feel bad if you do–totally normal). We mean that sometimes it’s necessary to remind yourself that it’s okay to sit and relax. We don’t need to be productive all day long, nor should we be. Heck, we don’t even need to be productive every day. Take as long as you need to in order to unwind. You know what’s best for you
  • Keep friends. Remind yourself of the important people in your life. Who haven’t you seen in a while? Who would you like to spend more time with? Make a list of people who you care about. When you’re feeling down, take a look at that list. Give someone a call, text, message, or try to get out to see them. Sometimes all you need is that list for a small boost. Knowing that you care about someone and that someone cares about you, can reduce anxiety and distress.
  • Stay Alive. Get outdoors as often as you can to remind yourself when and how you’re happiest. For most of us, that means engaging socially, even if that doesn’t seem like you. Studies indicate that those who live the longest, happiest lives have the closest social connections and family structures.
  • Make A New Plan. Not every goal needs to be achieved, but it’s important to have them all the same. It’s important to acknowledge that these goals change over time. Even more than that it’s important to realize that looking too far ahead can cut motivation in half. Make a list of things you need to get done today, tomorrow, the next day, and focus on those small goals. Keep lists of long-term goals, and keep those goals in mind, but don’t be too upset if you can’t meet them. Learn to make long-term failure a part of your short-term happiness.
  • Train Yourself. It’s easier said than done, but if you’re angry or depressed then you can train yourself to think about something else. Go back to the first item on the list, and call someone you love. Listen to a song you love. Watch a movie you love. Don’t repress the feelings, but don’t let them rage out of control either. Emotions can be both controlled and experienced if you learn how.

Why Do We Celebrate Birthdays?

There are two types of people in this world: people who love celebrating their birthday and people who hate celebrating their birthday. But why do we celebrate birthdays? After all, you didn’t give birth to yourself and you’re basically celebrating the fact that you lived for one more year. And as someone who milks her birthday for all its worth – I was curious as to how this tradition was started. Sadly, there is no official origin story, just bits and pieces across time that brought the birthday tradition to where it is today.

Similar to a coronation date, pharaoh’s had a birth date. The date marked the time where the pharaoh was crowned and become divine himself. There are many biblical references to a pharaoh’s birth date but this refers to when they took control of Ancient Egypt, not the day they were born. But this is the first reference to birthday.

Candles were first put on top of cake back in Ancient Greece. Traditionally, the Greeks would offer moon-shaped cakes to their deity Artemis. They would put candles on the cake to give the cake a glow like the moon.

The Ancient Romans were the first to celebrate birthdays (the day of birth) for the everyday man. They would celebrate with friends, families and famous citizens would even have a holiday for their birthday. However, emphasis on everyday man. Women didn’t have their birthday’s celebrating until almost the 12th century.

For a while, Christians didn’t celebrate birthdays because they were associated with paganism (see above). However, around the 4th century, Christians turned the birth of Jesus Christ into a holiday that we all know and love – Christmas. They did this in an effort to recruit Roman pagans who were celebrating Saturnalia and convert them.

In the 18th century, the first contemporary evidence of a birthday party can be found. Germany’s Kinderfest (child party) involved a cake and one candle for each year the child was alive. This is where the tradition of blowing out candles also started.

A century later during the industrial revolution and the use of mass production techniques brought cake (which was a luxury item) to the masses. In 1893, Patty Hill and Mildred J. Hill wrote the song “Good Morning To All” and through a long game of telephone the lyrics have changed to “Happy Birthday To You”.


Make Lists: Think Happy To Be Happy

If you’re in a slump or angry and can’t control the way you feel, you might try to train yourself to shut it off. While that may not be the ideal way to deal with actual problems head-on, some of us simply have seasonal or random bouts of depression that crop up for no discernable reason. When that’s the case, the best way to get back on track is to think about the things that make you feel at your best. That’s why you can make lists in order to think happy.

Lots of different things might make you happy, and it’s up to you to think about what they are. The most obvious choice is music. Science has proven that music can enhance your mood and even help you learn, and that’s why you should keep a list of your favorite songs for future reference. Sure, keep the best of the best on your phone or computer, but be sure to have a backup copy so you don’t miss out on any of your favorites down the line.

If you meet someone you don’t like, then you aren’t alone. It happens to everyone. That’s why it makes sense to counteract the bad experience with a good one. Create a list of the people who mean the most to you. When you can’t make a quick visit or call, just take a look at the list to know that you have people in your life who can make you feel on top of the world. There is another benefit to keeping these people around: according to Harvard researchers, those of us with the strongest relationships are more likely to stay healthier longer and increase our longevity.

If you have the travel bug, then it can be helpful to keep a journal of your favorite destinations. If you have a good experience while on vacation, then write it down in order to recall it more easily later. If the winter weather or rainy day has you down, then keep your mind on where you’ve been, what you’ve done, and what you might do again. Psychologists have found that traveling can enhance our creativity, make us more amenable to others, relieve stress, and boost overall happiness. Believe it or not, you can get these benefits just by walking down the street. It’s the change of scenery that benefits us the most, not the exotic locations.

3 Keys to Happiness That You Might Overlook

Have you ever noticed the boost you get after a bout of exercise? There are a number of reasons. Exercise equalizes the amounts of glucose, leptin, and insulin in your body, helps keep you alert, increases sexual function, improves the health of your skin, elevates mood, helps you sleep, creates the conditions necessary for your nerve cells to replicate–thereby helping keep your brain at peak performance–and the list goes on and on.

We all know the benefits of exercise, but not all of us know that spreading it out during the course of a week can help even more than if you stuff a hardcore workout here or there. In other words, you won’t get the same beneficial effects of exercise if you do it one day and then sit around to play video games the next. Exercise needs to be consistent, and that’s what you’re likely doing wrong.

Exercise can also help you get outside. That’s a good thing, because another key ingredient to happiness is a lot of vitamin D. Because of genome sequencing, we now know that vitamin D plays a part in perhaps 2,000 genes. You can consume the vitamin through food or supplements, but the best means of consumption is via the sun. Vitamin D plays a role in keeping our immune system healthy, and also helps us absorb other vitamins and nutrients such as calcium and phosphorous.

Even if all you do is take a long walk in the sun, you’ll still notice elevated amounts of energy over the next few days. That’s because vitamin D regulates mood in order to combat depression, helps you lose weight, and combats disease–so keep at it!

The third key to happiness is one of the most important, and can influence anything else you do to keep yourself upbeat: get enough sleep! Believe it or not, the way your brain works changes when you don’t sleep. Scientists at Western University in Ontario found that brains are much less active with less sleep, and can lead to a number of psychiatric conditions such as depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorders, etc.

Sometimes it isn’t easy to do everything we need to do, but these are three of the most important. Exercise regularly, get outside for some good old-fashioned vitamin D and get enough sleep.

The Odd Little Things That Make Life Worth Living

Commercialism and pop culture will tell you that you need unlimited financial resources to break the smallest smile, but that’s a load of hogwash. The fact is and has always been the same: the things that really make life a joy are absolutely free.

If you want some endless sources of smiles that come from the oddest places this following list of strange pleasures is sure to put a smile on your face and remind you of what a privileged individual you truly are.

1. The clean feeling after a shower

The day was long and tiring, the demands were high and the AC was out of order, but all that is gone with the flick of some magical chrome knobs. The miracle of indoor plumbing is a source of pleasure few take for granted. The feeling of the day’s battles, filth, and distress washed away and the evening of hallowed relaxation awaiting is a priceless joy.

2. Doing something for others

Society and civilization teach us to look after for No. 1 and it can get lonely and cynical in your own little world. But, try a little stretching of the soul and what a great feeling comes over you. It really is more blessed to give than to receive.

3. Good Company on a Soft Sofa

It can be difficult to make a good connection with another soul i this techno-paradise. But curling up on a warm couch with a beloved friend, lover or even house pet is a prize to be valued. There is something in the shared warmth of human life that strengthens bonds and makes the lonely trip life is less solitary.

4. Laughing so hard it hurts

Do you remember the last time you laughed so hard you felt your sides would split? Science has proven that those who reach this point or exertion from sheer gaiety are likely to live longer and less likely to suffer from a degenerative disease. If you need a good subject to unleash the bellows of joviality just look at your own life and situation, you got to admit it, you’re pretty funny.

5. Finding lucky money in unexpected places

Have you ever been making your way through your day; your mind a pleasant blank or a ball of confusion when a lucky stack of cash that seems to be completely forgotten by the world suddenly introduces themselves? Whatta feelin’! Finding money in unexpected places like old clothes books, drawers and car seats is like a gift that keeps on giving.

For more ways to be happy, you can visit website.

Weird Things That Make People Happy

You know how people have pet peeves? Little things that get on their nerves? Well, there’s no name for it, but there are little things that make us ridiculous happy – even if it’s nonsensical. Here’s a few things that make us innately happy:

  1. Cleaning Wax From Your Ears – especially if you feel the pressure being built by the wax, the relief of cleaning the wax out can bring you great joy.
  2. The Pop From Opening A New Jar – there’s nothing more satisfying than hearing that noise after you’ve struggled to open the jar for a few minutes
  3. Finding A Seat On Mass Transit – for commuters who end up having to stand, finding a seat can be the biggest victory of the day
  4. Watching Your Breath In Cold Air – you can’t deny it: you’ve pretended to be smoking cigarettes and watched to see how far your breath can go
  5. The Smell of The Library – we probably all own a kindle but when you get a new book or walk into a bookstore or library it’s absolutely amazing and nostalgic
  6. New Car Smell – the scent of fresh leather tingles your senses and makes you feel that you’ve accomplished the American Dream by owning a brand new car
  7. Popping Bubble Wrap – if you don’t find this enjoyable then you are fundamentally wrong with you. This is the best stress reliever
  8. Stepping on Autumn Leaves – hearing them crunch and crackle under your feet makes you feel powerful
  9. Waking Up & Realizing You Can Sleep Longer – that moment when you wake up before your alarm goes off and you have another half hour of sleep! Priceless
  10. Hearing An Old Song That Used To Be Your Jam – turn the radio up, roll the windows down, and get ready to do your best performance – it’s your jam!

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Land Of Free and Home Of The Brave

What is the American Dream? According to Wikipedia, “The American Dream is a national ethos of the United States, the set of ideals (democracy, rights, liberty, opportunity, and equality) in which freedom includes the opportunity for prosperity and success, and an upward social mobility for the family and children, achieved through hard work in a society with few barriers.” This idea, which stems from the declaration of independence that all men are created equal, is what drove people to conquer the western frontier leading to manifest destiny and drove the wave of immigration into our country into the 19th century (according to the lawyers at http://visaserve.com/), which led to the industrial revolution in the roaring 20s, which was also inspiration for the Civil Rights Movement in 1964.

Does the American Dream still exist in today’s world? Although originally “all men” meant white men, it has now come to include all of humankind. The American Dream has shifted from what used to be about material things (like owning a car, owning a house with a white picket fence) to now focusing on creating a meaningful life by being charitable, giving back to the community and society as a whole, spending time with friends and family and being able to maintain their socioeconomic lifestyle.

Another shift in the American Dream comes from parents wanting the American Dream for their children, whereas now that these children are grown, want the American Dream for themselves. With more and more millennials now being of working age, they want to have a good income to support their lifestyle but they are also the most charitable and globally conscious generation. With that being said, there’s a chance that this generation turns the American Dream into something international.

What do you believe? Do you believe that the American Dream still exists or is it something that is long in the past?