23. April 2015

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How Happy Music Makes You… Happy!

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During the Sydney storms that battered our homes this week, a number of vicious thunderstorms had my poor little pooch, Noodle, trembling under my chair as I sat at my computer. No amount of pats, hugs or Schmacko’s can calm the shakes when the distant rumbles begin, so faint at first that no human can hear. As the sound looms closer and transforms into deafening cracks and booms, her eyes bulge so much that I sometimes worry they will burst out of her head.

Interestingly, there is only one sure thing that can bring her back down to normal, happy dog level: the sweet sounds of Bob Seger – lots of bass and strong, simple rhythms. Immediately, her intense anxiety dies down and she becomes responsive, settling in for a cuddle until the storms have passed. For most pups, classical music has been demonstrated time and time again to be calming during periods of high stress, but for Noodle, this upbeat Rock’n’Roll legend does just the trick.

Witnessing this reminded me of a period of my life a couple of years ago when I was halfway through a creative university degree that I was unhappy with. The journey to uni was far, it was winter and the weather was miserable, and I found myself disappointed in the work I was creating. On the bus to and from uni, I would religiously listen to an iPod playlist consisting of typically slow, sad music; with beautiful lyrics and melodies, but very sombre and nostalgic. It took me a long time to figure out that while I couldn’t change the weather or how far I had to travel each day, I could change what I was listening to, and maybe I could change my mood.

As a personal experiment, as hard as it was, I banned myself from listening to my usual tunes and created a new playlist, which I titled, “the yay playlist.” Upbeat, bouncy tunes were now the soundtrack to my bus rides and walks that winter, and I was astounded by how much of an effect something so simple had on my overall outlook on life. And it makes sense doesn’t it? There’s a reason why they pump fast-paced, beat-heavy dance tunes at the gym! Numerous studies, like this one performed by the University of Missouri, have demonstrated that just by listening to upbeat music, you can boost your mood.

However, it is interesting to note that the study shows that participants who listened to positive music with the intention of feeling happier, showed higher levels of happiness than participants who only listened to the music. Unknowingly in those dark, cold and wet winter months I had put this all into practice – by consciously deciding to be happier and to listen only to happy music, I was happier.

For those interested in participating in their own personal music vs. mood experiment, Yuna Fergusson – lead author of the paper – advises that persons should be wary of being too introspective into their mood, and constantly asking themselves, ““Am I happy yet?” Rather than focusing on how much happiness they’ve gained and engaging in that kind of mental calculation, people could focus more on enjoying their experience of the journey towards happiness and not get hung up on the destination,” she says.

Fergusson’s co-author, Kennon Sheldon, continues: “we can stay in the upper half of our ‘set range’ of potential happiness as long as we keep having positive experiences, and avoid wanting too much more than we have. Yuna’s research suggests that we can intentionally seek to make mental changes leading to new positive experiences of life. The fact that we’re aware we’re doing this, has no detrimental effect.”

In a better place now, I still listen to my favourite bands on the regular, and there are actually countless studies that explore the ways that listening to sad music can boost your mood also (that’s another story altogether); but whenever I need a pick-me-up I know “the yay playlist” is there for me, just like that “Old Time Rock and Roll” is there for Noodle.

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15. April 2015

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Happiness Can Come From The Smallest Things

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I used to hold grudges, dwell on negative moments and not appreciate those times when things are just right. Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t that weird guy in the corner that would listen to that type of music that would just be screaming and I wouldn’t talk to people in a bad way or anything. I just kept it to myself. I went about everyday smiling and blending in as that normal funny guy, but had an attitude inside that made me question doing day to day tasks. This wasn’t depression for all you self appointed doctors out there, I was just a teenager. But all of that changed when my dog died. Now stay with me, I know that may seem like a big old depressing note to start off with, but let me finish before you interpret this.

Let’s start at the beginning.

When I was about five years old, my family and I went on a trip to Wagga Wagga, I know I’m so Australian it hurts. This wasn’t out of the ordinary we did have relatives living there, but what I didn’t know was that the purpose of the trip was for my parents to pick up a brand new puppy for me and my brother. I can’t remember the specific details, as it was 16 years ago and there have been many beers since then, but I do remember bringing him home and my parents telling us his name was Socket. I asked the question you’re thinking as well, the breeder was a part time mechanic and named the dogs after his toolbox.

It took a couple of years until I noticed, this wasn’t an ordinary dog, like he was really stupid, no like REALLY stupid, he thought that his reflection was another dog in another house and always tried to walk through the mirror/glass. But what I noticed is the absolute undying loyalty this dog had, he would never bite or even growl. He was just a happy dog. No matter if you accidentally stepped over his tail, or you were just in a bad mood, that dog still pounced over with a huge smile on his face and tail constantly wagging.

All people have hard times in their life, that’s not really what this is about, it’s more about how we look at those times. Don’t let them control you, but don’t forget them. Just as that dog  taught me, never see a day living as a bad day. My dog helped me through tough times by just being there, but again that’s not what this is about. After growing up with this dog as he become a brother, as he had his place at the dinner table…literally, it was really hard to find out that he had cancer when he was 16 years old.

I felt guilty when he passed, like we did the wrong thing, but after a few weeks I started to remember the good times. It was after that I stopped being negative, what’s the point when a smile can make anyone’s day. Sure the last few weeks were pretty horrible, both for him and my family, but I don’t remember him in that way. I remember him through the way that he was always there, being dumb and funny. From the time he caught a bird in his mouth mid flight and mid jump to the time he made friends with a bush turkey. He was always happy. Dumb, but happy. No matter if we accidentally fed him later than usual or kept him outside an hour too long, he would just forgive and forget. The world was so simple for him, but if we have the same attitude as he did, we would all be a lot happier.

This story was not meant to make you sad or happy, but rather show you that life is too short to be unhappy, so if a dog can do it, why can’t you. So get out there and smile and wag that tail, hypothetically, or if you do have a tail seek medical attention.

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11. January 2015

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Change the way you look at things and the things you look at change

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I have a confession…I snuck in from north of the border 17 years ago.  Arriving in Sydney as an 18 year old girl who grew up in Brissy was quite daunting. The sheer size of the city was overwhelming, but more so was how rude Sydney folk appeared to be.

Walking through the streets, no one made eye contact, in fact it appeared they made a concerted effort to look straight through me or the other way as if in disgust.  Driving in Sydney was terrifying, narrow lanes, people sitting on your tail, cutting you off, blocking you from merging, yelling, swearing and flipping you off.  And that was all before I got to work, which happened to be my first experience working with older women who enjoyed driving the younger girls out of the office.  And if they were in tears that was considered an added bonus. Add to it not knowing anyone in the city, being broke and it wasn’t long before I found myself in my tiny bedsitter with my generic brand instant noodles feeling pretty miserable at the end of most days.

So, what does this have to do with happiness? Sounds pretty depressing so far.  I was reflecting the other day why I feel so different these days vs the pain and struggle of the early days and it hit me.  In the early years I think the internal dialogue went something like this, “Why are they trying to make my life harder, I mean come on, what have I done?”  These days I find myself moving through my day asking “how can I help make their life a little easier?”  It is such a simple shift in question, but what an impact it has made on my happiness and on those around me.  If you ever find yourself feeling down and out, go out and help someone.  When you start to look at the world through the lens of how you can contribute to it and make it better, it impossible not to feel good.

There are so many opportunities every day for each of us to make someone’s life a little easier.  Whether they are large or small acts, each creates a wave a good energy and momentum in your world.  You can donate, organise fundraising for a friend who’s struggling or volunteer with a number of wonderful organisations.  I promise you all of these will leave you feeling wonderfully happy.

For every action you can take each day to contribute to others, you increase your own happiness in return.  Try smiling at the people who cross your path, let another driver in front of your during peak hour, pay someone a compliment, give your loose change to the salvo guy, leave your $2 coin in the trolley for the next person, tell someone how much they mean to you, share a positive message, pick up a piece of rubbish you can see on the ground, ask the old lady who looks lost if she is ok.  Really, the list of acts to heighten your happiness is endless.  Just do something, anything to make another persons life a little easier.

I hear people say “they just don’t have the time or money to ‘contribute’ right now.” They have work, families, oh and that really big deadline coming up.  I have some tough love for you, contribution isn’t really something you DO adhoc, it’s how you ARE!  Everyone has the time and capability to bring some compassion and consideration to the way they participate in this world.

The key to bringing more happiness into our own lives  is so simple, contribute to another’s happiness.  Be a part of the happy movement to help restore faith in society.

 

“If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” – Wayne Dyer.

By Johanna Faccini

 

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4. December 2014

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Happiness & Gratitude

Thrive Happiness & GratitudeLife is such an incredible rollercoaster ride. The last year has been jam packed with peaks and troughs and has been a wild ride! I continually pinch myself.

In the last year I have the woman of my dreams as my wife, an exhilarating new pastime to enjoy with her (motorbike riding). Our humble home that is a peaceful sanctuary (that picture is from my phone only minutes from my door). And my businesses are heading in the right direction. These are just some of the innumerable blessings in my life that I am making a concerted effort to express my gratitude for.

To think that less than a fortnight ago I felt completely overwhelmed and physically ill from stress. I had allowed myself to be all consumed by situations that were beyond my control and full of lunacy.

I accept full responsibility for this slip. I had forgotten to take stock of all the blessings in my life that I have to be grateful for and express that gratitude. In not doing this, I had been directing my attention towards the lunacy, the negativity, which I am well aware: where attention goes, energy flows! (James Redfield)

In the thick of it my lovely wife sent me a message which really resonated and caused me to check what I was allowing myself to receive. Here it is:

One day Buddha was walking through a village. A very angry and rude young man came up to him and began insulting him.

“You have no right to be teaching others!!!” he shouted.

“You are as stupid as everyone else. You are nothing but a fake!!”

Buddha was not upset by these insults. He just smiled. The man insulted him again and again but the only reaction he could get back from the Buddha was a smile and silence. Finally he stomped his feet and left cursing.

The disciples were feeling angry and one of the them couldn’t keep quiet and asked the Buddha, “Why didn’t you reply to the rude man?”

The Buddha replied, “If someone offers you a gift, and you refuse to accept it, to whom does the gift belong?”

“Of course to the person who brought the gift,” replied the disciple. “That is correct,” smiled the Buddha.

It is hard sometimes to stop and consciously choose not to accept a gift of negativity, but oh how liberating it is once you do!

I am writing this first as a reminder to myself, as I am solely responsible for manifesting all that is in my life. It is critical to decide exactly what I want and deliberately focus on them, then express gratitude for ALL the things, people and experiences that come into my life.

A suggestion I have for you is to establish an evening practice to do check in with what has filled your day and find all the things to be grateful for, and express that gratitude, feel it! Gratitude is the key.

I’ll end with a gratitude quote I love:

On a day when the wind is perfect, the sail just needs to open and the world is full of beauty. Today is such a day. ~ Rumi

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14. April 2014

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Why Strangers Make Us Happy And How To Repay Them

Guest Post By Sarah Webb

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“Unexpected kindness is the most powerful, least costly, and most underrated agent of human change.” – Bob Kerrey (1943)

The kindness of strangers has the power to improve our wellbeing and increase our feelings of happiness more than our normal friendship circle. How do I figure this? Imagine you have been hurt or let down by someone you trusted and thought you knew. You’re just looking to vent and for someone to listen to your story.

First you talk to a friend, they listen, and offer you their opinion and give advice in an attempt to try to lift you back up. You can sense their empathy and genuine care in their response which makes you feel somewhat better and your day continues as normal.

Now imagine the same scenario, but this time you’re talking to a complete stranger. You tell them your story and they listen. They then respond in a way that shows they identify or can relate to your situation, they offer you their opinion based on what they have heard and understood, and advise you accordingly. All of a sudden you feel less alone and your faith in humanity is restored and it’s like the sun has started shining through a grey sky – your day almost feels better, more fulfilled than when you spoke to your friend. The happiness you feel as a result of the correspondence with a stranger barely compares to how you felt after communicating with your friend about the same issue.

Why strangers do it better

There are several reasons why strangers have the power to make us feel happier than our usual circle of friends – this could be why Internet dating is becoming more popular and a more acceptable way of meeting someone and finding love. Here are some of the reasons why strangers can appeal to us more than our friends:

Our expectations

The fact is we expect our friends to care about our well-being and therefore subconsciously depend on them to listen to us, side with us, and support us unconditionally through all turbulence. It’s a part of friendship that almost all of us take for granted.

In the case of a complete stranger, we have no expectations. When a stranger is entirely removed from a situation and shows us kindness, we appreciate the time they take to actively listen to our story more than when our friends show us the same courtesy. Then if the stranger passes judgement that validates our feelings or actions, we start to feel better understood and less alone.

Although a stranger may have responded the same way as our friends, they exceed our expectations because we didn’t have any to begin with.

The “stranger danger” belief

Strangers may also have an advantage over our friends because as children we were made acutely aware of “stranger danger”. These messages shaped our beliefs that strangers are a threat and potential danger.

Even now, despite statistics showing that someone we know who is a greater threat to us than a stranger, the media often highlight stories that demonstrate the opposite. When a stranger offers us kindness, our receptors instantly flick on warning us to be wary and we begin to question their motives and what could be in it for us.

It is when the kindness of a stranger is proven to be genuine and consequence-free, despite what we were programmed to understand, we often find ourselves pleasantly surprised.

As adults, neglecting or rejecting the kindness of strangers can force us to be confined and limited, so if we challenge this “stranger danger” belief, it enables us to work together to make a positive difference in each others lives.

The selfish world we live in

Society often finds people first looking for the “what’s in it for me” before taking action in any situation. We all do it, whether it’s because we’re all time-poor in this fast-paced world or we’re simply becoming more selfish by the generation.

You may even notice that marketing campaigns are starting to lean towards commercial bribery as they become more aware that if they can’t convince the consumers that there’s something in it for them, it’s nearly impossible to motivate anyone to take action, let alone convince people to try a new product.

We are starting to value time more than ever before which is why when a stranger takes a moment to act selflessly towards us it leaves us feeling good because they have given up time to be thoughtful.

About the kindness movement

This theory that strangers can have a greater impact on us than our friends isn’t new. Catherine Ryan Hyde’s novel Pay It Forward published in 2000, which was adapted into the film starring Kevin Spacey, Helen Hunt and Haley Joel Osment in the same year, may have inspired the movement that encourages random acts of kindness towards strangers.

Whenever it began, adults are now being actively encouraged to be more mindful of each other and to demonstrate random acts of kindness where they can. The stigma associated with strangers being dangerous is deteriorating as more people embrace the “Pay it Forward” movement.

How you can make a positive difference to a stranger

The purpose of the following activities is to do something nice for someone without expecting anything in return – It doesn’t have to be expensive and there’s no need to go above and beyond when you choose to demonstrate a random act of kindness for a stranger.

– Buy someone’s coffee in the coffee shop

– Help a student with their tuition

– Teach someone something new

– Volunteer for a charity

– Let someone in front of you in the grocery store line

– Hand-write a letter to someone telling them how important they are to you

– Speak up for someone – sign a petition, write a letter or be a referee for a job

– Work pro bono where your skills are needed

– Compliment a stranger

– Give up your seat when taking crowded public transport

– Listen to someone without interruption

– Greet someone in the elevator

– Hold the door open for someone

– Explain the Pay it Forward concept to someone

– Take part in Pay it Forward Day on 22 April. Find more information here: http://payitforwardday.com

Sarah is the founder of Happiness Weekly – a weekly blog post containing practical tips about staying happy in times of adversity, along with motivating quotes and ideas posted on Facebook and Twitter. To check out the blog visit: www.happinessweekly.org

For more ideas on how you can show kindness to others, follow the free Thrive Happiness Challenge application.

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2. April 2014

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What Makes Me Smile

A friend of the Thrive team emailed something in today that really made us all smile, and we just had to share it with you. Check it out and be as inspired as we are. James, we love your style, keep it up!

Take a smile

About a week ago I was bolting through Central Station in Sydney to get to a meeting. I had seen someone that was homeless on 3 prior occasions of me whisking through the front of the station. The first time I saw them, I stopped and asked if I could buy them something to eat. He said “No” after he stared at me with hollow eyes. I raised my eyebrows and let out “well okay then” as I strolled off. The next 2 times I passed him, I asked him if he wanted some money, as I offered him a $10 note the first time and a $20 note the second time. He did not even reply to me- only gave me a blank stare and then gazed off back into the distance.

After neglecting Luke for about 3 weeks now regarding writing something about what makes you happy, I had time to sit down for 10 minutes and reflect on what happened last Monday and again, it made me smile and made me happy.

I was flying by this homeless man again. With his camping bag and blanket staged out, I stopped. I put my backpack down and sat down in front of him. I said, “Hi, my name is James. What’s yours?” and he just stared at me. I said “I have a task for you. I need your help. Can you help me?” He scoured at me “Help! Let me tell you about blood help. I’ve been to every shelter in Sydney and I’ve been on the streets for nearly 3 months. Help you, you say… argghhh!”

I said calmly to him “I’m sorry, I didn’t catch your name?” and he scoffed back “Mike- what’s it to ya? Ya some undercover (explicit word) trying to see if I got something illegal to hide?? Check me bag mate do whatcha wanna do, but I’d like it if you’d just piss off!”.

I smiled at him and said “Hi Mike. I’m James. I’m really in a bit of a pickle now and I really do need some help. Please hear me out as I know you are a prideful man and you can earn some money by helping me with one small task.” He grunted “What kind of task? I’m not delivering anything for ya mate!” I replied back to him, “No Mike, I’ve had a pretty stressful morning, and I’ve been looking for a smile to make me happy. I have smiled at several people this morning passing by and I haven’t even had a smile back. I’ll pay you $20 for a smile.”

He was hunched over in a sitting position and he raised up and said “Whattttt? What kind of fruitcake are you I swear you’re (explicit word) crazy I can tell ya that!” and then it happened… he smiled. Actually he laughed. Then I laughed at him and he laughed at me laughing. I immediately stood up and slung my backpack over my shoulder and dug into my pocket. I pulled out a $50 note and threw it down in front of him and raced off laughing as quickly as I could, saying, “Thanks for the smile and the laugh Mike, you made my day!”

Random acts of kindness always make me smile. I didn’t care why he smiled or why he laughed, just as long as he did. Thinking that I was a nutjob was just the trick.

I encourage others to do the same. I also encourage others to Thrive with happiness.

Written By James Wester

www.jameswester.com

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18. February 2014

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Life doesn’t happen to you, it happens for you – part deux

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Well, it’s been a MASSIVE five months since I wrote part one of this story. First things first, the amazing co-founder of Thrive who I am honoured to call my friend, I’m now blessed to also call my husband. Yes, it is indeed magical how the universe delivers the most amazingly glorious rainbows to those who wait out the storm.

 

Back in September 2013 I signed off part one with;

“The universe delivers people into your life who you later see are angels and events that we later see are blessings in disguise. We don’t need to understand it, but to see the beauty in the divinity that the universe brings to us gives incredible happiness. I’m not suggesting to sit back and do nothing, but rather surrender to it, work in the direction life is leading you instead of fighting against it. Feel the joy and happiness from the feeling you are progressing vs fighting.”

 

At the time I must admit I didn’t know where those words were really coming from as I typed away, or just how powerful this way of looking at life was going to be for me. I knew deep down in my soul that everything that was happening in my world was for a reason. And that reason was either for the benefit of myself &/or others and would all make sense in time. I really didn’t understand the power that would come from this initial realisation and from living life through that lens each and every day since. I was in the midst of the fact I’d relocated myself to another state for a relationship that was not as it seemed, was soon to be unemployed with no career options in my new geography, and was providing palliative care nursing to my mother who is battling the final stages of cancer. I baulked at writing about happiness, I’d never ‘written’ before and questioned whether I had something worthy to contribute. I’m eternally grateful to my now eternal love for his persistence in having me… just try. The process unlocked a part of me that I either didn’t know, or had forgotten existed. And once that door opened, my appetite to understand more was insatiable.

 

In the last 5 months I have consumed weeks and weeks of audio books, webinars and podcasts, several books, attended classes, week long seminars and expo’s exploring this notion in more detail. What I’ve learned and continue to learn truly fascinates me and I’ve found even greater happiness, peace and joy as a direct result. The pure divinity that lies not only in the universe, but within us is just so magnificent. I think as we get caught up in the cycle of life, we lose sight of how truly remarkable we are and this world is. It’s so easy to look for the negatives, the dangers, the flaws… but a life lived like that that is not easy. By challenging ourselves to return to our essence, our divine nature, the rewards are immeasurable. The world you see and experience is completely fresh and full of opportunity, support and love. Wayne Dyer articulates it so wonderfully with ‘when you change the way your look at things, the things you look at change.’ I can certainly vouch for this. My path has taken beautiful new directions, I’ve just relocated back to Sydney (to be with my amazing husband) and kicked off my first business.

 

On reflection as I type away this beautiful Friday afternoon, I see this joy comes from that surrender, that feeling of growth, that I am indeed progressing in this life vs fighting in it. I have far from mastered it, there are indeed days when I find myself steering away from the path, but now I recognise when this is happening and can bring myself back.

 

I encourage you, as I was, to tap into that part of yourself, just start typing and see what comes out, you may just surprise yourself. I hope to read your words here on Thrive real soon.

 

Written by: Johanna Plowman

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4. February 2014

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Thrive is Contagious

What Thrive Means to Me
How awesome is it that we live in a day-and-age where there is an organisation solely dedicated to making people happy! When I first came across Thrive I was inspired. Seeing such a vibrant, energetic and unique organisation created purely to make others happy immediately made me want to be a part of it. I’m sure you do too!

We are all seeking more than just a nine-to-five job, and we finally have the opportunity to do so. This proves especially relevant for Generation Y. We not only want our jobs—but our life—to be interesting, inspiring, challenging and most off all, meaningful.The Pursuit of Happyness

Would you agree that most of us are in “the pursuit of happiness”? We seek happiness from money, the gifts that we buy with it, and whatever one may do to fill this emotional void inside us. While we may never stop pursuing happiness, there is in fact one key ingredient some people tend to miss, that is; to inspire happiness in others.

One Thing That Makes Me Happy
Personally, skateboarding is something that truly makes me happy; it creates a sense of freedom. What makes me even happier is that I was able to create the same effect for others, and I did this by creating a community-based skateboarding “school”. Being able to teach and improve the skills of others around me is inspiring and highly rewarding; especially when your influence helps them to grow and achieve new things. My thoughts are; if you’ve found something that makes you happy, why not try to share it with someone else?

What is is about inspiring happiness in others?
Whether it be through random acts of kindness or being that trusty friend in need, inspiring happiness in others is one of the best ways to make yourself happy. And interestingly, one of the best ways to make other people happy is to be happy yourself. This is where Thrive can lend a hand!

Ever heard of the domino effect? This is what excites me the most about Thrive; the opportunity to inspire happiness that will hopefully be contagious. In a good way!

Thrives Future
Thrive has a massive task ahead of itself. Inspiring happiness in 100, 000, 000 people is something easier said than done. Personally, I couldn’t think of a better challenge!

The ideas being generated here at the “Thrive Happiness Lab” are beyond exciting. At this very moment, the opportunities for Thrive to grow happiness in others are endless. Whether it’s the projects that are still being conceptualised, or the projects we have in store, I will tell you this; keep your eyes on Thrive!

Thrive Happiness Challenge App

Smiles for miles, Coehn

PS. If you also feel that inspiring happiness in others is a key ingredient, let me know in the comment section below!

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25. October 2013

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The Secret To Feeling Oh-So-Good

thrive happiness

Every day we find ourselves searching for new and creative ways to get happy. We dabble in an array of questionable tasks, seek great achievement, search for true love and sometimes even find ourselves on board with deep spiritual quests. Why? Because happiness can be found from within. Cliché, but true. The body provides us with many chemicals that make us happy – and in the quest for happiness; we have the head honcho of happiness chemicals to thank: endorphins.

So why are endorphins the crème de la crème of happiness chemicals? Simple, they’re pretty damn good for the body. Why? Well, endorphins are neurotransmitters, chemicals that when they’re linked to specific parts of the nervous system, kick that part into motion. The release of endorphins can perform many powerful wonders on the body. They can up the ante on the happiness Richter scale, allow people to overcome pain, decrease hunger, and increase the immune response. The neat thing is, there are twenty-something endorphins that have the ability to bring much-needed pleasure to certain things.

Below we have compiled some helpful and creative ways for you to kick-start these wonderful happiness chemicals into gear!

Think Positive Thoughts

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Yep, it’s that simple. When people take placebo pain medication that they believe will help them, it generally does help them. Scientists believe this is more a direct result from positive thinking and it’s ability to release endorphins. By smiling, laughing and thinking about pleasurable activities, such as people that make you smile and happy events in your life, you will be on the road to an endorphin overload of good times. Studies have also revealed that 8 to 10 minutes of laughing aloud will produce an extended elevation of endorphins that will help you get a better night’s sleep! Seinfeld marathon, anyone?

Click here: http://on.fb.me/1a3GSIv to soak up more instant feel-good moments.

Get physical

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When it comes to exercise, endorphins are the new buzzword. This is because endorphins are naturally released during exercise and really make a scene during lengthy periods of strenuous exercise. Large amounts of endorphins are released to combat pain and give you that extra oomph you need to get past your normal threshold. This feeling is commonly referred to as the “runner’s high.” What’s that you say? Well, a high level of endorphins stick around in your system after exercising allowing your body to feel cheerful and energised for the next few hours as opposed to feeling tired and run down.

Here are some fun and efficient ways you can sneak exercise into your busy schedule without needing to acquire a gym membership:

Speed walk your errands – Kill two birds with one stone. Combine your exercise for the day with your list of errands. Get your heart rate pumping along with your checklist.

Play in the park – Instead of having a drink at the pub after the daily grind, head to the park with a ball and kick that ball around!

Stand and flex – Next time you’re waiting in a line at the shops or bank, flex those abs for 10 seconds and repeat 10 times. Nobody will notice!

Go the long way – Take the stairs rather than the elevator. If traveling via bus or train, get off one stop before your destination and walk the rest of the way.

Have a proactive weekend – The weekend is a great window for getting in some workout time. The only problem is that it also a great window for finally getting some household duties done. Rather than trying to juggle both, combine both by manually washing your car, maintaining your lawn and cleaning your home.

You are what you eat

thrive healthy

Did you know endorphins are made from fats and sugars? This means that those who have limited body fat or an eating disorder are extremely moody and depressed, as opposed to those who have the right amount of meat on their bones.

To properly supplement and maintain your endorphins levels, you need to have a moderate level of fats and sugars in your diet. Sorry guys, devouring an entire tub of ice cream in one sitting will not provide you with the happy high that you seek. Binging on the wrong types of fatty and sugary food will actually change the opiate receptors in your brain that can make you feel depleted of endorphins.

Try eating good fats such as fish, nuts, avocados and fruits, as they will provide you with natural sugars and essential vitamins that will keep your emotional maintenance and overall well being happy and healthy!

For some healthy recipes, check out: http://www.eatingwell.com/

 

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1. October 2013

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Ain’t Nothin’ Gonna Break My Stride

Sarah's Happy

Hello, I’m Sarah and I have recently been welcomed into the ThinkSocial team. Some would best describe me as a bit of a big kid. I like cartoons, candy and toys. Lots of toys.

Sure, I’m in my twenties, I have my shit together, I don’t live at home and I pay my own bills. But there is something privately and intrinsically attractive about having an arrested adolescence. I don’t know about you, but sometimes I find it hard to wake up each morning in a society that does not permit culture unless it is conforming to very narrow moral parameters. For example, I have this t-shirt. Actually lets call it a “sartorial gem.” Sure it’s starting to show it’s age with what, some minor holes here and there… But really, it just reinforces the adage, “what’s old is new.”  Oh yeah, did I mention it is a bright green 1990’s Ninja Turtles T-shirt? Pretty cool, huh. Well, not so cool, according to one middle aged woman walking two children around on a leash in my neighborhood. Yeah, that happened – are they part canine or something?

Populated by the usual smattering of hipsters and an elderly vanguard that has camped out in the suburb for thirty-something years, my place of residence has a bit of street cred. Some say it’s even a cauldron of cultural cool reminiscent of New York in the ’80s. But what I like about this town is it’s climate of tolerance, openness and experimentation. Well, generally anyway.

The other day I was walking around, soaking up the vibrancy of my surroundings in my sartorial gem, when out of nowhere, the homosapien-confused woman walking her children shoots me a pretty hefty judgmental sneer – we’re talking inflamed nostrils and a facial expression that suggests constipation.

A series of questions hit my immediate attention: Is my fly undone? Do I have an involuntary Hitler ‘stache on my face from my melted Snickers bar? What’s going on here? All of a sudden, the woman marches over to me – abruptly yanking her two children along in the process, and visually burns a hole through my sartorial gem. Meanwhile, I am awkwardly standing there, confused and a little alarmed. I make direct eye contact with the woman as she proceeds to tell me to “grow up,” and then walks away.

I probably should have retaliated. Perhaps even addressed the issue of her questionable desire to align her children with dog culture, where they are free to pee on the sidewalk and sniff other people on the street. But I didn’t.

There will always be people out there who don’t agree with certain things. And while, yes you do have the option to finally execute those one-syllable words of profanity in a creative manner, it’s best not to. It’s better to revisit primary school and silently revise that sticks and stones’ saying we all used to exercise with a conculsive tongue poke.

In other words, say nothing, think nothing and don’t take off the sartorial gem.

Herm Albright once said, “A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort.”

This strange experience only pushed me to sport more adolescent t-shirts and perhaps even push the boundaries with some ironic slogans. I am happy because I am me – eternally pubescent and answerable to nothing.

That’s the dream, anyway.

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