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Month: December 2011

Winter Class Sign-ups Now Open!

We hope you’ll check out our class catalog if you’ve been thinking of taking one of my online classes. If you missed the start of the Fall Class, you can take Foundations 1, now offered due to popular demand!

If you’d like to give Raising Happiness as a gift, we’d be thrilled. 

Giving a book?

We’ll personalize a bookplate for you; simply fill out this form and we’ll get it in the mail today.

Giving the Raising Happiness Online Class?

Email Monica (admin@raisinghappiness.com), and she can help you with timing if you don’t want the recipient to get the welcome emails right away. We can also send a lovely eCard notifying your recipient of the gift.

Giving YOURSELF the Class as a gift?

How awesome! You deserve it! We hope you’ll treat yourself to this with a buddy; Raising Happiness discussion groups are fun and effective.  When you join one with a friend, I donate 10% back to the organization of your choice.

Happiness Tip: Simplify Your Holidays

Feeling overwhelmed is not a happiness habit, but many of us start to go into holiday over-drive right about now. Here are two things we can do to increase our happiness and decrease our stress this week:

1) Take the Center for a New American Dream “Simplify the Holidays” challenge. It is jam-packed with ways to de-stress the holidays.

2) Practice gratitude instead of materialism. Check out all the suggestions from readers for how to do this in the comment section of this post. People have come up with some very fun ideas! The photo above is our family’s holiday gratitude garland, inspired by a Raising Happiness reader Margaux O’Malley. (Thank you, Margaux!)

I’m simplifying as a way to participate in the Occupy Movement. That way, I can participate in Occupy without feeling like I’ve taken on a whole new task list. See this post and this one for more about that.

Take One Small Action: The key here is to not become overwhelmed by your attempts to simplify. Maybe just sign the pledge today; tomorrow, implement only one of the Center for a New American Dream’s suggestions for simplifying the holidays. Make changes one day at a time, in small steps.

Gratitude Photo

Today, I am grateful for Grammy and Grampa Snuggles’ persimmon tree!

One of my favorite gratitude practices is to take a picture of something I am grateful for.

Happiness Tip: Feel Madly in Love

A buddy recently stopped by for tea to tell me all about his new love — a whirlwind 50-something romance, a second great love after the death of his beloved wife of 25 years. This is someone who has written books about relationships, a guy who has actually figured out how to make a marriage great. He said something that really struck me.

“I text her three things every day:
“I love you.
“You are beautiful.
“And thank you.

(A side confession: After I heard this, my go-to reaction was an envious wish that my guy would send me texts like this throughout the day, NOT that I could start texting him. So much easier to wish others would change than to take action ourselves.)

Anyhoo, the happiness tip here is that my friend is actually increasing HIS OWN feelings of being in love.

When my friend texts his wife, he is cultivating his own feelings of gratitude, as well as expressing them. Research suggests that when we cultivate feelings of gratitude towards our sweethearts, we feel more satisfied with our relationship, and our partners feel more connected to us and more satisfied with the relationship, too.

Expressing gratitude (rather than just fostering the feeling) to a romantic partner can also make us feel more satisfied with the relationship and increase our sense of responsibility for our partner’s well-being.

Take Action: Reflect on what you are grateful for in your honey right now. (And maybe even send a text!)

This happiness tip is excerpted from my Greater Good blog. Check out the full post!