Gratitude Begets Happiness

I'm currently reading the book "The How of Happiness" to aid me in my happiness project. They give you a few tests throughout the book and one of them was the Person-Activity Fit Diagnostic - it measures the top four activities that would be the best fit for you. You can take yours here. My results were:
  1. Committing to your goals
  2. Expressing gratitude
  3. Savoring life's joys
  4. Doing more activities that truly engage you

One of my goals is actually to be more aware of my blessings. (How fitting to the above!) The author discusses how gratitude affects happiness in more detail in her book. I highlighted those reasons below (4.83-84):
  1. "Grateful thinking promotes the savoring of positive life experiences."
  2. "Expressing gratitude bolsters self-worth and self-esteem."
  3. "Gratitude helps people cope with stress and trauma."
  4. "The expression of gratitude encourages moral behavior."
  5. "Gratitude can help build social bonds, strengthening existing relationships and nurturing new ones."
  6. "Expressing gratitude tends to inhibit invidious comparisons with others."
  7. "The practice of gratitude is incompatible with negative emotions and may actually diminish or deter such feelings as anger, bitterness, and greed."
  8. "Gratitude helps us thwart hedonic adaptation." (← our natural ability to adjust to changing circumstances)

In the book, the author suggests writing down what you are grateful for once a week and I'm challenging myself (and you!) to blog every week of what I'm grateful for....starting tomorrow.

Book Report: "On Becoming Toddler Wise"

As Grey is growing and learning more about himself and the magical stage of talking back to his sole providers, I am having a difficult time not putting him up for adoption. This parenting business is NO. JOKE.

I read the Baby Wise book that Shelia gave us when I was pregnant in L.A. and it changed our lives!! That and Happiest Baby on the Block. (I bought my sister and her husband both.) Total game changers, I tell ya. Naturally, I had to check out the Toddler Wise book.

There were quite a few note-worthy tidbits I wanted to share with you other mamas if you are like me and not a toddler whisperer. I'll share my notes with you guys.. Wink.

What I bought at 2 AM this morning while half-asleep..

  1. Tahari tank top from ThredUp (Get $10 off thru my ref link!)
  2. Calvin Klein tank top from ThredUp
  3. J.Crew tank top from Twice (Get $10 off here too!)
  4. Gap racer-back tank top from Twice
  5. Clarks Daelyn Towne platform flats | $100

Lots of gently used tank tops. I currently have three that I wear in rotation, AKA whichever smells the least, so I desperately needed more for this hot and dry California weather. Plus, I gotta show off my guns.

But let's talk about THOSE SHOES. How awesome are they?!? It was time for a replacement and I wanted to switch things up from plain old boring flats from yesteryears and, while half-asleep, chose these! My languid self is pretty badass..

Things that make me happy: Music

I forgot how much I loved music. When we were living in L.A. and I was going through a rough period, I listened to a lot of Gregory Alan Isakov (I think that is also one of the reasons why I'm still so obsessed with him....his music.) My I-GOTTA-CALM-THE-F-DOWN-RIGHT-NOW music is still Beethoven's Symphony No. 7, 2nd Movement. I like to blast it real loud and have it thumping until my ear drums are about to pop.

Going back to my happiness project, I am pursuing old hobbies such as playing the piano. I grew up playing since I was 6 and took a class in college, which allowed me to be a little more serious in my playing and practice. Oh, man, you should've seen (and felt?) my forearms. They were sooo toned and muscular from practicing an hour everyday. I hate scales now.

Playing the piano forced me to learn new music that I didn't want to, that I didn't think I was able to and overcome it! That feeling of achievement is so gratifying. I missed that. I really missed the structure and discipline of taking things step-by-step with patience, practice, precision, and, most importantly, not giving up.

Look at me learning a life lesson from PIANO... So Asian. My mom totally Tiger-Mommed me.

Do you play piano or an instrument? What's your story??

Yesterday in the car....

Grey: Aby song?
Me: *sings* The babies on the bus go wah-wah-wah...
Grey: No!! The aby song.. a, b, c, d...

His favorite song is Wheels on the Bus, so I naturally thought he said baby.. He's been learning so much at daycare. He knows (kind of) how to count to ten in Spanish. He SINGS - he hated singing before. Whenever Chase or I started singing, he would say, "NO, UMMA/APPA."

Man, I love this kid.

A Happiness Project

The best smile in the world to me. *heart eyes*

One of the main reasons I started blogging again is because I want to be active in my pursuit of happiness. That kind of sounds cheesy, doesn't it... Working from home by myself for the past two and a half years has been uncomfortable and difficult in certain aspects and, dare I say, depressive.

For one it's been harder to meet people during the week since everyone is at work, naturally. I've been to a few Meet Up groups, but the majority of the times coincide with when Chase and Grey are home and I want to be with them. Also, since our inactivity from the Mormon church, I realized I depended on church to meet new people and make friends. Without it our potential social circle in Sacramento was gone.

Second, it may be indicative of my discomfort that I don't like myself. This is an issue I know I need to sort out with a therapist and am in the means of doing. (First session tomorrow.. I've had a couple bad experiences in the past so it's distorted my views on therapy and counseling..) And being forced to be by myself was almost torturous. (<--Drama queen!) I mean, don't get me wrong - I am an introvert. I need time away from others to recharge. But not all day 5x a week for 2.5 years. That's a bit too excessive for me.

I have a few ideas on how I want to go about this. Things like taking up new hobbies, widening my social circle, and being nicer to myself. But then there are the little things I want to focus on. I want to be able to easily recognize the happy things because without them I'm afraid I'll always be dissatisfied and wanting.

Every week or so, I'll do an update on how my project is going and of the little things I'm grateful for and happy about. I'd love it if you could join me too either on your own blog or here.

I'm back, baby.

Hi, it's me again after a small blog break. I'm sure the Internet has sorely missed my presence. (Har har.) I needed to disconnect and simplify my life, but blogging is in my DNA apparently because I can't seem to quit it.

Au naturale!!! #whatacne

I'll be back with slightly more exciting posts soon... In the mean time, imagine me awkwardly dancing because that's what Chase and I are doing tonight!!
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