Simple Rituals for Happiness

Happiness depends upon ourselves.

~ Aristotle

Eric Barker, one of my favorite writers about science-based awesomeness, wrote this piece today about what simple daily rituals (neuroscience-based) that can make one happy.  He said, what if I tell you 8 glasses of water do not make you happy (but just make you go to the bathroom a lot) but 8 hugs do?

From my experiences, happiness and kindness are contagious. One of the best ways to spread happiness is just to smile at people.  And now, a touch on the arm will do that too.

Read here to understand why touches, hugs, massages can bring you more happiness but also why kisses can likely bring you more salaries!

Want to Know More about the Science of Happiness

I have been on the emailing list of the UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Centre, which combines science and practice to explore the science of a happy and meaningful life –  the roots of happy and compassionate individuals, strong social bonds, and altruistic behavior.

Even better, they are offering a free online course in September to learn about the roots of happiness.  Research suggests that up to 40 percent of happiness depends on our habits and activities, and so happiness is not purely due to genetics. Each week, students in this course will learn a new research-tested practice that fosters social and emotional well-being—and the course will help them track their progress along the way.  What an enlightening course!

If you are interested, you can find more information here.  I am all for it.  Radiate happiness!


Happiness and Money

As I scrolled through my favourite writers on LinkedIn today, Noami Simson’s post on the Five strategies on Money and Happiness caught my eye.

Her post was based on the book: Happy Money: The Science of Smarter Spending.  Catchy title!

Quoting from Naomi and the book the 5 main points of the book:

(1) “Time Affluence” – if money can buy time, make sure that you use your time to do the things you like and things that promote your well-being e.g. being with friends/family, volunteering, and hiking in nature.

(2) Make it a treat – “Abundance is the enemy of appreciation.” “Have delightful things occasionally to really appreciate them.” [Think about having caviar everyday – not good!]

(3) Bigger is not always better – e.g. buying a bigger house does not make you happier if there is no one to share with you. “People who spend their money on enhancing their leisure activities report significantly greater satisfaction with their lives.”

(4) Do more have less – “The research shows experiences provide more happiness than material goods in part because experiences are more likely to make us feel connected to others.”

(5) Invest in others – “Volunteer, help, listen, assist, give, donate… and make friends.” If you have a good friend at work, it makes work much more fun, doesn’t it?

photo courtesy of "The Blogger's Daughter"
photo courtesy of “The Blogger’s Daughter”

Three Wellness Resources for the New Year


My list of New Year’s resolution can be summarized in one word – health, which makes it easy – healthy body, healthy relationship, healthy business, and healthy mind.  I would like to share three new resources I am using:

1.  Meditation – try to pick the same time of the day, and just focus on your breathing while relax your entire body.  5 minutes, 10 minutes, or 15 minutes a day, it does not matter.  The most important part is consistency and relaxation.  I have recently discovered Susan Piver (open heart project) who will send you twice a week a meditation email for free so you can practice together.  A wonderful idea!

2. Happiness – Participate in this 30-day Happiness Challenge – you are doing something today that your future self will thank you for.

3. Eat these superfoods to energize yourself:

  • chia (organic) seeds (for lots of omega-3, calcium, protein, potassium and fibre).  You can add these to hot oatmeal, yogurt, juices, smoothies, and even bake with them.
  • black sesame (organic) seeds (for Vitamin E and lots of antioxidants) which are good for your heart, cholesterol, cancer prevention and turning gray hair back into black according to this!