Happy new year! One of my favorite parts of being a Happiness Coach is reading the many interesting and useful articles about happiness that cross my desk every day. I love learning about the latest research, as well as practical strategies and solutions for incorporating happiness and gratitude into our lives. Each month, I choose a handful of the most helpful pieces I’ve recently read to share with you, and I found these great highlights to kick off 2016:
1. How to Turn a Bad Day Around (Harvard Business Review)
How do you re-start the day when you’ve gotten up on the wrong side of the bed? Or when your day seems to be a series of annoyances? Believe it or not, it is possible! Happiness experts Shawn Achor and Annie McKee share six simple techniques for turning your bad day around. From changing your scenery to resetting your expectations, there are little things you can do to rescue a day gone awry and recognize the positive, productive moments.
2. A Conversation Exit Plan (The Wall Street Journal)
Ever get cornered by someone at a party or conference and not know how to bow out of the conversation gracefully? Instead of making an excuse to break off the conversation, which is essentially code for “I’m done with you,” learn from networking experts how to extricate yourself while leaving the other person feeling good about the interaction. With this useful advice, you’ll have better solutions for those awkward moments, so you don’t have to resort to the lame “Well, I’m going to hit the buffet” excuse.
3. 5 Science-Backed Habits That Lead to Long-Term Happiness (Business Insider)
Yes, part of a person’s happiness is based on their genetic makeup or their life situation. But there are some factors within your control that can lead to long-term happiness. In this article, author David Pogue offers five quick and easy tips that you can adopt to produce greater happiness.
4. The Science of Smiling (News.com.au)
Research on the act of smiling is fascinating! A simple smile—even forcing your facial muscles into a fake smile—has enormous benefits, from relieving stress to reducing blood pressure to making you more successful and attractive. To learn more about how smiling is good for you and those around you, check out this short, uplifting piece.
5. 5 Research-Based Ways to Say No (Greater Good Science Center)
When it comes to happiness—and life in general—one of my most useful pieces of advice is to learn to say no graciously. But how exactly can you do that? Author and happiness expert Christine Carter, Ph.D. has some practical tips to help you turn down requests with tact, diplomacy and kindness. Probably most of us can find value in what she writes in #4: how to say no when your plate is already too full.
6. 47 Things I’ve Learned in My 40s (NY Observer)
Okay, some shameless self-promotion here! I originally published this list of life lessons last May on Huffington Post, where for some crazy reason it proceeded to go viral and was reposted on Huff Post sites in Italy, Spain, Germany, Japan and Korea. In December, Huff Post apparently re-shared the piece on Facebook, and once again it took off. Someone at the NY Observer saw it, loved it and asked to republish it. I was honored! And because of the Observer piece, I was contacted by another large online site who is republishing it this week. Chances are you’ve already read it on some site or other, but if not, here ya go!