I was never great about making my bed growing up. So to those of you rolling your eyes at this week’s tip — I totally get it. I used to make excuses to myself like, “Why bother making the bed? I’m about to leave my room anyway and tonight I’m just going to crawl back into it!”
Deep down, I always appreciated how nice it felt afterwards to have a freshly made bed, but the struggle was in convincing myself to make the effort in the first place. Like so many good habits, it can be hard to see the benefits before the habit is in place.
So, why is making your bed so important? In case your mother never broke it down for you, I will. 😛Read More »
Tracking and organizing personal data with apps can make a huge difference in your life — especially if it helps you become more mindful, healthy, or productive. On top of that, many apps out there make accessing great literature, music, news, and education as easy as a tap or a swipe! Although I often talk about the importance of unplugging and connecting with nature, I won’t deny that technology can also provide valuable tools for increasing happiness, efficiency, and knowledge. It’s just all about the balance!
Here are my top 10 favorite apps that work together to enhance my personal daily life (from waking up to bedtime!)Read More »
Last week, I traveled to São Miguel, the largest and most populated island in the Portuguese archipelago of the Azores. Located at the center of three major tectonic plates, this volcanic island is peppered with gorgeous crater lakes, bubbling hot springs, endless fields of saturated green, and lots of happy cows! And, since the island spans only 9.5 miles at its maximum width, the ocean is always easily within reach. Often called “Ilha Verde”, or “The Green Island,” São Miguel is a breath-taking hidden gem, painted with lush colors and a vibrant, natural energy.Read More »
This week’s tip: Get outside and connect with nature.
When I asked Dionísio, our Azorean tour guide, how he felt about nature, he didn’t hesitate for a moment. He immediately began describing the calming energy that we get from being outside and how important it is to stop and connect with nature to rejuvenate. “In nature, everything is very simple and pure. We are here walking, you know, listening to the water on one side, the birds singing on the other side, the wind sometimes on the leaves on the top, so you just… get back to zero root.”Read More »
They say money can’t buy happiness — but it can buy amazing Groupon deals that get you a 7-day stay and round-trip flight to the Azores!!! And… that makes me very happy. 😉 I adore traveling — it is the one thing I allow myself to “splurge” on, and it’s always worth it. Research shows that spending your money on experiences rather than material things can have a much more profound affect on your happiness!
I write to you feeling slightly sleep-deprived but incredibly blessed to have arrived today in Ponta Delgada, the capital of São Miguel, which is the largest of the group of Portuguese islands known as the Azores that pepper the middle of the Atlantic ocean. My very good friend and travel companion Katie and I are making our second visit to Portugal this week and could not be more excited.
First things first — I’d like to take a moment to thank you for reading this. I am so unbelievably grateful to you. Now, second — I’d like you to pause for a moment to thank yourself for taking some time to consider ways to improve your wellbeing. YOU should be grateful that you have found the motivation to take this little step towards owning your happiness and finding your wings.
Doesn’t gratitude feel good? My heart already feels fuller. Pausing to appreciate some good things in our day allows us to slow down, open our hearts, and magnify the present moment. And in case you haven’t heard, the scientifically-proven benefits of practicing gratitude are astounding. Read More »
Meditation and mindfulness have gotten a lot of buzz lately. Everyone seems to have something to say about mindful eating, or the health benefits of meditation, or mindfulness in the workplace — you name it. I’m not usually one to jump on the bandwagon when something becomes “trendy”, but I am all about this one. In fact, I hope it’s not just a trend. I hope that people are starting to realize the importance of slowing down a pace and living in the moment a little more often.
(That is, until you are SURE you know how you are going to follow through).
When I first heard this idea presented in Derek Sivers’ TED Talk, “Keep Your Goals to Yourself”, it seemed pretty counterintuitive to me. As the kind of person who tends to be motivated by external accountability (e.g., I’m more likely to finish a logo design quickly when it’s for a client than when it’s for myself), I had always thought that sharing my ideas and goals with others would make me feel more accountable for my intentions and thus more likely to accomplish them.
I am not an expert on health, or hardships, or happiness — I’m just a creative soul who is trying to figure out my reason to write and my story to tell.
Over the last few years, I have tried to learn how to be more mindful, and I’ve experienced a few bumps in the road along the way. But I continue to come back to this idea: how can you and I find (and create) more happiness in our lives? I definitely can’t say I have much authority on the topic, or even that my ideas are all that original… but there are a few things that I have learned that I think might be worth sharing with the world. And, how can I become an expert if I don’t commit to learning more?