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Tuesday Tip: Make Yourself Guffaw

July 5, 2011 | Tuesday Tips | 0 comments

One thing you can do today to be happier.

Laughter lowers stress hormones (even the expectation of laughter can do this) and elevates feel-good beta-endorphins. For this reason, find something that reliably makes you laugh, and keep it handy.

For me, it’s watching my kids laugh (especially my daughter Molly, who is tiny but has a belly laugh as big as the Buddah’s). All I do when I need a laugh is let them watch a few funny animal videos on YouTube or Animal Planet. They immediately dissolve in laughter, which then lifts my spirits when I laugh at them laughing!

What will you do to laugh today?

© 2011 Christine Carter, Ph.D.

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Tuesday Tip: Take a Break

June 28, 2011 | Tuesday Tips | 0 comments

One thing you can do today to be happier.

In today’s hyperbusy world, most people don’t take real breaks. “We are poisoned by the hypnotic belief,” writes Wayne Muller in his inspirational book Sabbath, “that good things come only through unceasing determination and tireless effort—and so we can never truly rest.”

It is a myth that we’ll only succeed “through unceasing determination and tireless effort,” of course. Olympic athletes must rest or they get hurt. Fruit trees forced to produce for more than one season lose their ability to bear fruit. And parents can slowly develop sleep debt so deep and burnout so profound that we are left too exhausted to function.

Today, lay down. Take a nap. Goof off a little. Stop to chat. All in the name of greater productivity—and happiness.

© 2011 Christine Carter, Ph.D.

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Tuesday Tip: Have a Micro Dance Party

June 21, 2011 | Tuesday Tips | 0 comments

One thing you can do today to be happier.

Today, put on some good tunes and dance around with your kids, even if it just lasts for a song or two and takes place in the kitchen, sans disco ball. (My dancing queens love to play a mix of ‘70s music, which is also good for some laughs.) Dancing around to music you enjoy is a research proven way to feel good!

© 2011 Christine Carter, Ph.D.

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