A Sure Way to Stress Less? Aim for Happiness

Studies show that on average, Americans spend 75-80 percent of their waking time complaining.  When you complain, your body interprets that as a stressful situation & releases adrenaline.


Dr. Frederic Luskin, a consultant in Health Promotion at Stanford University, says “Stress is a perception that I do not have what I need to satisfactorily handle my life,” “Stress is wanting what you do not have, and happiness is wanting what you already have.”

Happiness is Wanting What You Already Have| thewellnessscientist.com

Seems simple enough, right?

As I shared in my previous post, Should I Stay or Should I Go?, today’s emotional stressors trigger the same “fight or flight” response that our long ago ancestors used to feel when running away from wild animals that wanted to make them dinner!

When that happens, stress hormones are released causing your heart to beat faster and your blood pressure to rise (among other harmful things).

We need to learn to slow down a little, practice mindfulness, and taking note of what causes us to feel stressed out.

One way to stress less is to make happiness a goal.  Cultivating happiness means nurturing personal relationships, practicing gratitude, helping others, and shooting for your dreams.

Other posts you might like:

Why Boundaries are Important to Your Health

How to Get Your Happy Fix

Being Inspired by the Ordinary

Multitasking vs. Mindfulness: The Science of Stress





Have You Told Someone Why They Are Awesome Today?

It usually feels pretty good when someone tells you that you’re awesome.  I mean… who doens’t like to be told what they are good at?

About six years ago, a previous employer of mine decided they were going to shut down a pretty large operational facility on the west coast.  It happened to be the office where I worked, as well as a couple thousand other people.

My boss at the time decided that we should do something meaningful for the hard-working people in our department.  She showed myself & the other managers in our group something she had received while working at another company that had decided to shut down a facility.

In an 8 1/2 x 11 frame, she held a document entitled “YOU ARE VALUED”.  Below that, there were bullet points listing things that each person in the department had contributed that they appreciated about her.

We all thought it was a great idea.  We had a group of about 60 people who I can honestly say worked incredibly well together, supported one another, and has been the best group of folks that I have ever had the pleasure of working with.  We knew, given the closeness of the staff, we would really be able to give people a meaningful gift to take with them. And it really felt good when we were presenting them to people.  Everyone was really moved by the kind words that their friends & colleagues had to say about them.  It made them smile!

This is mine below 🙂  I have proudly displayed it in every office that I have had since then, and it now hangs on the wall in my home office.  Any time I need a boost of self-confidence, I take a look at it and it always makes me smile!



Want to create your own DIY “You Are Valued” certificate to give to a group of employees or volunteers you manage for recognition of a job well done?  I created a free image of a blue ribbon that you can use.  Just add the image to your own Microsoft Word document or whatever word processing software you use.  


free image blue ribbonHave you ever gotten a gift like this?  Did it make you smile? Did it inspire you?  Tell me about it below!


Other posts you might like:

What Makes You Smile?

The Science of Gratitude




The Science of Gratitude

gratitude and appreciation

Numerous studies over the years have confirmed a link between a positive attitude and a healthy body. A leading researcher in the field of the psychology of gratitude, Robert A. Emmons, along with Michael E. McCullough have conducted experimental studies in the field. Their research has shown that grateful people report:

  • Improvements in mood and lower levels of depression and stress
  • Better physiological health, including enhanced quality of sleep
  • Increased energy
  • A sense of connectedness with others
  • Greater satisfaction with life in general

Who knew that “Thank You” could be so powerful! Want to see what gratitude can do for you?
Here are a few tips to start benefiting from the effects of gratitude right now:

1) Start a Gratitude journal. Your goal is to find five things to be grateful for every day. At the end of the day, write the five things down in your journal. It can be as simple as being grateful that you have a job or that your family is healthy. Don’t compare yourself to others; when you do this, negative thoughts start to creep in. Focus on YOUR life!
2) Experience what life has to offer without a price tag attached, such as a sunrise or sunset. If you are lucky enough to live near the mountains or the ocean, take a walk and be grateful for the beautiful scenery around you.
3) Make a commitment to being more grateful. Start each day saying “I am grateful”. Before long, you will realize that you are looking for things to write down in your gratitude journal!

For more thoughts on gratitude, I strongly suggest reading Thanks: How Practicing Gratitude Can Make You Happier by Dr. Emmons.