Happier Has A New Look!

photo_erinHi there, Happiers, it’s Erin here. I’m the Creative Director and Designer at Happier and I’m excited to share some fun news today.

Over the past few months we listened to your valuable feedback and made a lot of improvements to the Happier app, all with the goal of giving you a better, faster, more awesomer, Happier experience.

OUR BIGGEST NEWS

We now have an iPad app! Our awesome iOS developer Brian has been working really hard on giving you more ways to get your Happier fix. Just install the app from the app store and it will adjust to any iOS device.

COMMUNITY NEWS

  • This is about you! We wanted you to shine, so we made it easier for you to see happy moments and photos. The changes we made also allow you to scroll through your friends’ moments even faster.happier-new-look-ipad
  • Quick and easy to use. We simplified our navigation so you can find the things that are important to you—quickly!happier-new-look-EG

COURSES NEWS

  • Your questions answered, fast. Our goal is to get you the answers you need about courses. (For example: Why should I take a Happier course? How do Happier courses help me? Stuff like that.) We also added short videos to give you a quick overview of what you can expect.
  • Easy step-by-step lessons. In each course lesson our step-by-step bar gives you a way to measure your progress, making it easy for you to track how far you’ve come and how close you are to completing the course.

OUR NEW ICON

happier-new-look-new-iconWe also changed up our app icon a little bit. We think this new one is even spiffier, makes us even easier to find, and goes well with the new and improved us. (Don’t worry—as you can see, we’re still orange. Of course.)

Thank you for being part of our community and as always, we love your feedback. Comment here or drop us a line to let us know what you think; you’re the reason we do what we do!

Mindful Break: Are You Loyal? Take The Test

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Loyalty.

What does it mean to you?

  • MARRIAGE

To the married women out there, what if you were on a girls trip in Vegas and Ryan Gosling made the moves on you in the wee hours of the morning?

Could you walk away or would you succumb?

One sacred text says to be really careful as lust, along with anger and greed, are the 3 great dangers on the human journey

  • FRIENDSHIP

When you are down and out, which of your friends stays true?

Take a moment to think who that person is and send them a little love today!

  • SPORTS TEAM

Look at Captain Cleveland, the most hardcore Cleveland Browns fan.

He has been committed for 35 years; even though the Browns haven’t been to the playoffs in 10 years and haven’t won a playoff game in 20 years.

  • ANIMALS

I love the story of a dog named Tommy who would accompany his master Maria on errands and to church.

When Maria died, Tommy would still show up at Church everyday when the church bells rang, paying homage to Maria.

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Of course, we could always be more loyal to our spouse or our teams or even our pets.

But how about loyalty to THE MOMENT.

If you are not present, you miss all the encounters, revelations, and visions that Life delivers right to your doorstep.

It’s like going to a 4 star restaurant and ordering the most amazing meal, but leaving before the food comes.

Sometimes we all get restless when we have to wait.

As it says in the Tao Te Ching, if you feel weak, it is only because you were once strong. If you feel poor, it is only because you were once rich. If you feeling hungry, it is only because you were once full.

Presence is Loyalty.

Show up fully and watch what happens.

Your Meal is coming, your Team will win, your Sun will rise again!

Happier Challenge: The Power of Stillness

happier-challenge-stillness-091514Good Monday morning! I trust you had a happier weekend and are looking forward to an awesome week, ahead. In fact, if you’re like me, Monday morning is prime time to become convinced you need to do everything, and furthermore, you need to do it all quickly. And that’s the inspiration for this week’s Happier Challenge.

Take 5 minutes to be completely still today.

Maybe it sounds silly, or easy, but I suspect you’ll be amazed both at how hard it can be, and what you discover when you do.

Of course, I like to leave you with a few fun links to get you going for the week, too. Here you go:

Have a great week, and don’t forget to come share with the Happier community about all the small joys you’re collecting!

Happier Jump-Starts: Tips For Healthier Connectivity

happier-jumpstarts-091414One of my teenagers recently asked me how we found out the answers to everyday questions when I was a kid. “You know, before you had Google.” The idea that once upon a time you couldn’t whip out a device to figure out who that guy in that commercial is strikes them as foreign. When I explained that some of those burning questions simply remained unanswered—and others had to wait for the library to open—the pity in the room was palpable.

So yes, modern information availability and computer power are wonderful things, but as they say, with great power comes great responsibility. Some of what we think makes us happier when it comes to digital involvement is, in fact, making us less happy. A few quick pointers should help keep you on track.

For a more productive day, never start with email. Most of us get on our email first thing in the morning, even though we know it’s a black hole of distraction. I love Sid Savara’s explanation of why it’s a bad idea, and switching to an “accomplish one big task before touching email” approach made a huge difference in my overall productivity. Try it!

Do as much in person as possible. It’s easy to fall into that trap of saying/doing things online you wouldn’t do in person; it’s happened to the best of us. Even when we remember good online etiquette and avoid this pitfall, many of us begin to prefer online interaction as easier, which leads to social isolation and other relationship damage, even as we perceive ourselves to be “very social.” There’s no substitute for real human contact when it comes to our happiness.

For better sleep, turn off devices (and take them out of your bedroom). It’s clear that engaging with a glowing electronic device prior to bedtime is disruptive to sleep; the research on this is unanimous. What’s less clear is whether this applies to all glowing screens (including the television, which is arguably more passive than email or gaming), and how long before planned slumber one should turn everything off. At a minimum, experts suggest stowing electronics an hour before you plan to sleep, and also that just having devices in your bedroom is likely to cause potentially sleep-disrupting hyper-vigilance for text messages and such.

Have rules for the whole family. Many parents bemoan their kids’ dependence on technology, but behave similarly (it’s just that we’re “working” while they’re texting). Decide as a household what is and isn’t acceptable, and then hold everyone to those rules. In our house, for example, phones and other devices aren’t allowed at the table when we’re eating, and that goes for kids and adults. We also have an “electronics bedtime.” What rules make sense for your family are your call, but do take the time to consider what you value and how to best implement it.

Make a point to unplug now and then. Connectivity is part of our world, now, and I personally use it for everything from work to keeping tabs on my kids. I’m not knocking it! On the other hand, the occasional day when we leave phones behind and go on a long hike or otherwise just commit to spending time together, in the moment, distraction-free, are pretty much my favorite thing. Unplugging periodically not only makes us happier, it’s a good barometer of the healthiness of your relationship with technology, too, so that you can make adjustments if needed.

So enjoy your gadgets and the ability to find information, look at cute kittens, and reach loved ones across the world… but moderation and mindfulness can be part of that, too.

Happier Spotlight: Aim High, Let Go

Here at Happier there’s nothing we like better than hearing that something we brought to your attention made your day a little brighter. And now that Happier Notes is going out to so many folks every day, our reach is growing and more folks are writing to let us know how their lives are becoming happier.

Although we try to vary the content of Happier Notes each day, we recently started including a daily mantra from our very our Dave “Yeah Dave” Romanelli. The idea was that a simple phrase could serve as a touchpoint throughout the day, as needed. We hoped it would resonate with the community, and wow, did this one make us smile.

Check out the email we received from Elizabeth:

I LOVED yesterday’s mantra of: Aim high. Let go. Relax. Trust the Flow. Yesterday was the defense of my dissertation. I got my technology set up, all things were a “GO” and I just relaxed. My husband was stunned at my confidence and calmness. But I even tweeted this mantra so I had a record of how I felt on the day of my dissertation defense, and the day I became Dr. Elizabeth Wallace!

Thank you!

Aim high. Let go. Relax.

Trust the flow.

Thank you, Elizabeth… er, Dr. Wallace. We’re thrilled Dave’s mantra helped you on your way to an awesome dissertation defense. It sounds like you aimed high, let go, and rocked.

How To Slow Down Time

Do you ever feel like every year time seems to fly faster and faster? Like this summer went by faster than the one before it? Like your kids are growing faster than before?

I do, all the time. And it turns out there are neurological reasons for this.

The older we get, the less new things we experience and learn. Our brains are built to preserve energy so when there is a lot of routine in our lives, we tune those experiences out. In a way, our brains go on auto-pilot and time seems to just float by. The less attention we pay to the moment we’re in, the faster it seems to move.

So what are we to do? The awesome news is that there ARE ways to slow down time — by introducing mobreathmomentre new experiences into our lives and by pausing to appreciate more moments in our every day.The more present we are, the more beauty we notice around us, the more we pause to actually be in the moment we are in, the slower time will run away from us.

If you feel me smiling as I write this, I am. We created Happier with the goal of helping millions of people find and collect more small happy moments in their lives. It turns out one of the cool things we can also help you do is slow down time just a bit. Yes, that makes me happier.

The weekend is almost here and I’d like to ask you to do something:

Notice and pause to appreciate at least 3 beautiful things around you this weekend. They can be anything – a beautiful sky, a beautiful taste, a beautiful person, a feeling. But really pause and inhale the beauty, be there with it. And notice if the time is flying by just a little bit slower.

Happier Hearts: Happy Feet!

Can we talk about feet for a minute? I don’t mean anything weird or creepy, just that… well… for me, if my feet don’t feel good—good being a relative term, meaning “correct temperature” or “pretty” or “free or pain,” depending—the rest of me doesn’t, either.

Having a stash of happy-foot-making tools in my arsenal tends to keep me happier. Is it true for you, too? If so, read on!

Minty fresh and moisturized
I wouldn’t consider myself a big mint fan, in general, but if I’m going to put lotion on my feet, I want it to be peppermint. It’s invigorating and soothing, all at the same time. I use a few different peppermint foot lotions, but Bliss Foot Patrol and Burt’s Bees Peppermint Foot Lotion are two of my favorites.

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Never underestimate the power of great socks
Can you be sad while wearing fabulous socks? Probably, but it’s a lot harder. For a huge assortment of great socks, I’d head to—where else?—Happy Socks, of course (and not just because they make fabulous orange giraffe socks), but for those super-special occasions, it’s hard to beat caped superhero socks.

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Flip flops don’t have to ruin your feet
I realize that those of you not living on the surface of the sun (a.k.a., the south) like I do may have already put away your sandals for the season, but hear me out: Whether they’re a staple of your footwear or something you throw on to putter around the house, cheap flip flops may be causing you foot fatigue. There’s tons of fancy sandals out there claiming to offer better options (with a price tag to match…), but for about the same price as “regular” flip flops, you could grab a pair of Okibashis and treat yourself. These Indigo Actives (pictured, below) are my absolute favorites—they’re cute, made eco-friendly in the USA, and they have juuuust enough arch support in the ergonomic footbed to keep my feet feeling good. And before you ask: Yep, you can get ‘em in orange!

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