Happiness Tips

9 Ways To Be More Patient

Our guiding word this week is patience, which is one of my biggest challenges. Too often, I get frustrated with the pace of progress, and I let it get to me. My frustration level rises until it’s so high, I almost always do something stupid that will set me back. Inspired by this week’s Angel Word, I put together nine strategies I can refer to when I feel impatience creeping into what I’m doing. I hope they’re helpful to you as well.

1. Identify triggers. Figure out what’s making you feel impatient. Are you running late? Did you take on too much at once? Do you feel like you’re out of control? Once you figure out what kinds of things trigger your impatience, you can…

8 Tips to Build Resilience

Last week’s Angel Word was patience, and I can’t begin to tell you how many times during the week I stopped whatever was frustrating me and reminded myself to slow down, refocus and find some calmness. It really worked!

This week’s Angel Word is resilience and I have a feeling it’s going to be as useful as last week’s word. How can we build resilience? Here are 8 quick tips:

1. Be flexible: Adjust your goals and be willing to adapt.

2. Maintain a positive outlook: Staying optimistic and hopeful is a key to being able to move forward. Remember that the setback is temporary.

3. Have an attitude of gratitude: Think of the blessings you have in your life. Write them down if you…

Growing up, we used to receive loads of holiday cards from family, friends and my dad’s business associates. But the highlight every year was a photo card from cousins who lived on a farm in Pennsylvania. We rarely saw them in person, but we got to watch them grow up in annual photos, first with their adorable Basset Hounds, and eventually with their darling pig, Ruby. I even remember one year when the kids were grown and far flung, the card exclusively featured our swine cousin.

My guys in 1998Once I had a gaggle of babies of my own, I decided to start the annual photo card tradition for our family. Early on, my husband decided it…

The Art of Savoring

Shortly before my wedding, a friend gave me the best piece of advice I’ve ever received.

“A few times during the evening,” she advised, “stop, look around and say to yourself, ‘This is my wedding!’ Otherwise it’ll all go by in a flash and end up being a blur.”

I tasked one of my bridesmaids with reminding me of this wisdom, and I have to say that it worked! More than 21 years later, I still have vivid glimmers of lovely moments from the celebration.

What my friend actually taught me was the art of savoring. Being mindful of your surroundings. Hitting the slow motion button for a brief moment to concentrate on and capture the whole experience. Who, if anyone, is there? What do…

Last week at my twins’ high school graduation, our amazing principal, whom we adore and admire deeply, gave a beautiful address. In it, he delivered the message that happiness and kindness are the basis for a good life—a message that obviously resonated with me. He referenced as inspiration a convocation speech delivered the year before by renowned author George Saunders to graduates at Syracuse University. Intrigued by the mention, I tracked down the speech in which Saunders encourages the graduates to “err in the direction of kindness.” Admits Saunders: “What I regret most in my life are failures of kindness.”

I was genuinely touched by the heartwarming address, and wanted to share it here in its entirety:

Down through the ages, a…

Today is the United Nations’ International Day of Happiness.

The occasion is being celebrated in different ways by different organizations. For example, UK-based charity Action For Happiness is asking people around the world to share a genuine vision of happiness by taking a picture of something they love and using the hashtag #happinessday.

Here’s my #happinessday photo:

Nothing fills my heart with more happiness than sharing a fabulous meal with my loving husband and four amazing sons. I took this photo recently at a restaurant in Washington, DC, and I will always remember looking around the table, counting my blessings and wanting to capture that deeply soul-satisfying feeling forever. The gang was less than thrilled when I asked…

All six of us needed passports.

A lot of forms, originals, copies, and unsmiling 2” x 2” photos ensued. We followed the directions on the State Department website to make sure we had everything we needed (and then some!).

One of my guys ventured by himself yesterday to a local post office to get his passport in process…and wanted to kill himself. He had everything he needed, but the wait was interminable, the facility was crowded and tiny and the postal employee was miserable (I know—shocking!).

I went online and found that the other nearby post office—the bigger one with better parking—also accepted passport applications. And to boot, it opened earlier. This was great news because this morning, the rest of my…

Teaching our kids to say “thank you” is important, but truly instilling a sense of gratitude in them is another matter entirely. Gratitude goes beyond good manners — it’s a mindset and a lifestyle.

A recent Wall Street Journal article about raising kids with gratitude acknowledged a growing interest in the area of gratitude in the younger generation. The piece cited studies showing that kids who count their blessings reap concrete benefits, including greater life satisfaction and a better attitude about school. Sounds good, right?

But before we get to the how, let’s explore the why. What’s the big deal about having an attitude of gratitude anyway?

First of all, gratitude is healthy for us. Believe it or not,…

People are obsessed with finding ways to be happier. With the popularity of Positive Psychology research, there are loads of resources out there sharing tips and advice for finding lasting happiness.

Happiness seekers can turn to books like Gretchen Rubin’s “The Happiness Project,” TED talks like “Dan Gilbert: The Surprising Science of Happiness” and websites like Berkeley’s Greater Good Center, which sponsors scientific research into social and emotional well-being and helps people apply it to their personal and professional lives. There’s even a program at the University of Pennsylvania to pursue a Master’s degree in Applied Positive Psychology so you can incorporate the tools and principles of positive psychology into a related career.

From my…

I Heart My Happy Jar

The winter blues have set in. The holidays are behind us, the weather has been gloomy and gray, and nasty January germs are rampant. One of my favorite ways to brighten up my day is to reach into my Happy Jar and remember something that put a smile on my face.

What’s a Happy Jar? It’s a place to collect reminders of happy moments — maybe something fun that happened or a major accomplishment or milestone or something that you’re looking forward to. You write your happy moment on a little slip of paper, put it in the jar and that’s all there is to it. Then when you need a little dose of cheer, you can pull…