Monday, January 13, 2014

happier at home

Blake is really good about finding cool stuff to do around the city. Sometimes I forget we are still young and need to get out of the house during the week- we can't have a Scandal marathon everyday after all ;)

A couple of weeks back he bought tickets to a book lecture by Gretchen Rubin author of the Happiness Project and Happier at Home. We went last week and I was so impressed with her! She was fabulous speaker and all of her points really resonated with me. I consider Blake and myself to be pretty happy people but who doesn't want to be happier?! 
I wanted to blog some of her points more for my own sake but if you're interested read away! 
  • Rather than having a vague goal of being happy, it's more realistic to think about being happIER. Think of happiness as a range, you are probably doing OK but you could also probably be doing better.
  • According to Gretchen's research, 50% of happiness is genetic (thankfully I have a happy mom!), 10% is life circumstance but the other 40% is the way you think/act!
  • Sometimes it can feel selfish to want to be happier for some reason. But research shows that happy people are more interested in the problems of the world and are more altruistic. So in fact, being happy makes the world better :) 
  • 3 good places to start on the journey to being happIER
    • Body
      • Gretchen's biggest piece of advice is to GET ENOUGH SLEEP [I'm looking at you mom ;)] It can be hard to do, but it's very hard to feel happy when you are consistently tired. 
      • Get some exercise. You don't have to go crazy, but give your body the energy it needs and deserves.
      • Cultivate good smells. I've never thought about this but Gretchen brought up a good point- smells don't cost anything. Take time to soak in your surroundings- smell the dinner you are cooking, smell the rain outside, smell your baby's skin after bath time  ---- smells make us feel more alive.
        • This is so true! Lighting a yummy candle definitely changes my mood
    • Possessions
      • She wasn't talking about having a lot of possessions but rather what you do with your possessions.
        • Mindfully arrange things in your environment to make you happier (a shrine to Harry Potter, a corner dedicated to books, whatever it is). 
          • This makes our home feel more connected to us
      • You don't need a lot of possessions but rather intentional items that make you feel happier forever- not just in the moment you buy them. 
      • Outer order contributes to inner calm! *** I'm a big believer in this!
    • Relationships
      • People need to confide, belong, support and give support to be happy
      • Make traditions! *** I'm a big believer in this! Blake is always teasing me for making a big deal about holidays, etc. but traditions make life special. 
        • "The days are long but the years are short"- Gretchen's most famous quote
  • For a lot of things--- including happiness --- there is no finish line. You don't really reach a happiness 'stopping point' but rather you keep going! There are always exciting ways to improve.

The lecture was in a beautiful old synagogue in DC and it was a great night. She signed everyone's copy of her book and even took an awkward picture with us. Bless her.
We can't wait to start reading! Here's to a happIER new year!

1 comment:

  1. I haven't read her new one, but really enjoyed The Happiness Project! Glad yu guys got to meet her!