Archive for the ‘happiness studies’ Category

“An amazing life requires connection”.  So says Loretta LaRoche in her wonderful book “Life is Short-Wear Your Party Pants”.  iStock_000005341958XSmallIn this crazy-busy world, we can get so caught up running in five directions at the same time, that even when we are with the people we care about most, we’re probably multi-tasking three different things.   Sometimes we forget how important it is and how nurturing, to be fully present when we are with our family, friends, co-workers or the person we meet standing in line.  Take time to make the connection.  Our fellow human beings are our companions and our community.

If life is to be a party, then we need to share the singing, dancing, chatting and laughing with those around us.  Loretta tells us that the more people we draw into our lives…the more interesting, varied, lively and fun the party will be.  I don’t know about you, but I always love a great party.  Especially the kind with funny hats and noisemakers.

Connect with kindness, compassion, empathy and good humor.  Life is truly worthy of a celebration.

Here are ten easy ways to start connecting (or re-connecting) today.

1.  Smile and share eye contact with the person in the elevator or behind you in line.

2.  Give someone a compliment – and mean it.

3.  Call a friend you haven’t spoken to in a long time just to say hi.

4.   Spend time talking with your family during dinner.  Bring back the family dinner table.

5.  Start a conversation with the person behind the counter at your coffee shop.  Learn something about them.

6.  Call your mother!

7.   Invite someone you just met to lunch.

8.  Give a gift for no special reason other than you think the recipient would enjoy it.

9.  Tell people how much you appreciate them and what they do for you.  Go out on a limb here – your mail carrier, a fireman, your child’s teacher.  Make their day!

10.  Be thoughtful.  Hold the door and smile to the person behind you.  Let someone merge in traffic.

We are all in this together.  How much nicer a world this would be if we could all remember that.


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We’re borrowing a line from a great Monty Python song here because we wanted to share a fun idea.  This month’s Flourish salon topic is the Science of Happiness with our local happiness guru, Ellen Raim, and judging from the large sign up, it seems like a very timely topic.  Seems like we’re all getting just a little bit tired of the barrage of downer news and media hype and most of us are ready to once again “look on the bright side of life”.  Ellen was telling me about  the playlist of happy music she put together for the beginning of the event.  She’s going to set the mood from the minute women walk in the door.  The music is fun, upbeat and all containing the word “happy“.

That got me to thinking!  How could I use this music and keep the happy going long after the event is over?   Wouldn’t it be fun to have my own, on-demand playlist of happy songs on my iPod!  Who wouldn’t feel better after a 30 minute walk listening to nothing but happy songs?  Maybe you want to give it a try too.   You’ll burn off a few calories and probably add a spring to your step and a smile to your face.  Add a little sunshine and you’ll be singing What a Wonderful World!

Here’s a few song titles to get you started –  Happy Talk, Happy Trails to You, Don’t Worry – Be Happy, Come On Get Happy, Always Look on the Bright Side of Life, Happy Together, Bring Me Sunshine, Happy Birthday.

What are your picks for your all time favorite “happy” song?

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There’s no doubt about it, lately it’s been a bit of a challenge for many of us to feel just plain old “happiness”.   That’s why Flourish has declared April Be Happy Month.  We believe that a smile can change your day.  It can lighten your heart and change your attitude.  If that’s the case, what can you achieve with a laugh or a giggle?  Laughter could be the perfect medicine for these tough times.

When we found this video of a flight attendant at Southwest Airlines, we laughed so hard we had to watch it several times.  What a gift this young man gives every day to the travel weary passengers in his charge.   Check it out and enjoy!

What can you do that will put a smile on someone’s face?  Give it a try and let us know what happens.

And, if you want to learn all about the Science of Happiness, register for our Flourish Salon on April 19 with happiness expert Ellen Raim.  Find out more at www.flourish-pdx.com

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“Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success.” ~Albert Schweitzer

So, what has science learned about what makes us happy? More than you might think…and a few surprising things that don’t really ring our inner chimes. Turns out, that for all the lovely things it allows us to buy, money really doesn’t make us happier. Youth? Not so much!

Want to know exactly what does make us happy? It’s time to explore the Science of Happiness. It’s caused a revolution in psychotherapy. It’s the topic of the most popular course ever offered at Harvard. And it can transform how you feel about your job. Positive psychology often referred to as “happiness studies”- offers proven evidence of what makes some people happier than others. Ellen Raim has become an expert on the science of happiness and shares her knowledge with us. Ellen will speak to us about happiness in general, happiness at work and offer concrete advice on what actions we can take to make change. Come to this talk and leave thinking differently about yourself, your colleagues, your work and maybe even your life.

Meet Our Expert:

Ellen began her career more than 20 years ago as a labor and employment attorney for one of the largest law firms in thecorragio_ellen_0001-webcrop country. She has held senior roles inside large organizations, including several years as head of worldwide staffing for Intel where she designed and deployed people strategies to complement the company’s strategic direction.  As an Organizational Development consultant, her work has included large scale change management, improving innovation practices, business strategy and building employee engagement. Ellen has a B.A. in Economics from Brown University; a M.A. in Organizational Design from Seattle University and a J.D. from the University of Miami School of Law.

Join us for this fun and inspiring Flourish salon event!

Date:  Sunday, April 19, 2009 ~ 12:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Location:  Rilassi Coffee House ~ 3580 S River Parkway, Portland OR  97239

Cost:  $25 includes brunch and presentation.

REGISTER TODAY or learn more about all our Flourish events at the Flourish website

P.S. If you loved the theme song from the Partridge Family as much as we did, you will get a kick out this video of Diane Lane and Elizabeth Perkins singing the Come On Get Happy song!

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