Happy International Day of Happiness!

Today marks International Day of Happiness, a global celebration when thousands of people around the world take action in their own lives and the lives of others to spread happiness. What an amazing celebration!

If you follow my blog, you know that I have a little obsession with happiness, and that I like to try out different tips and tricks to boost my happiness, whether it is getting outdoors, exercising, or even cleaning up clutter around the house. I love sharing these tips on my blog and hope that I inspire others to live a happier, healthier lifestyle, too! When I found out about International Day of Happiness, I was super excited!

I have been spending International Day of Happiness drinking mugs of tea while burrowing my nose in bridal books. Yes—wedding planning! Today has been chock-full of list making, budgeting, some small yet exciting purchasing, and of course, perusing Pinterest. What can be more of a happiness boost than planning a wedding?

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When it comes to happiness, I do small rituals every day to help make sure that I go to bed with a smile on my face, no matter what trials and obstacles I may face during the day. One ritual is to write in my gratitude journal, where I reflect on things that bring me gratitude. Even if it is one sentence or a couple of bullet points, I find that I am able to find perspective and focus on the positives rather than the negatives. Studies find that being grateful produces positive emotions and fine-tunes the ability to relish good experiences, and keeping a journal can help cultivate gratitude and boost your happiness.

Another ritual I follow each night is to read a page out of “Be Happy: 170 Ways to Transform your Day” by Patrick Lindsay. The volume is filled with happiness-boosting blurbs and advice about ways to be happy. Each page has a blurb and is followed by a famous quote. This book is superb. When I am at my lowest, I pull out this book and always find that I am happier and inspired to create change!

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I wanted to take a moment out of my day to share one of my favorite excerpts with you —one that I read quite often to remind myself to follow one of my personal commandments: “Trust the process.”

Here is the passage:

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Everyone has a different journey, and everyone has a different path to follow. Everyone has different goals, ambitions, and talents. It’s not fair to compare yourself to others, or try to put a time stamp on your life. Enjoy the ride; take advantage of every opportunity that comes your way. The journey matters more than the destination —right? Learn from it. Grow from it.

Happy International Happiness Day! How are you celebrating?

The Productivity of Play-Doh

Play-Doh. That sweet-smelling, ever-so nostalgic modeling compound that we all grew up with. If you were like me as a child, it was your parent’s nightmare. Despite having the ability to dry and make cleaning easier like it says on the container, it was indeed difficult to scrape out of computer vents or cheese graters. Sorry, mom! That being said, I wanted to write a fun post to let you all know that I have discovered a more productive, cleanlier way to use Play-Doh. At work!

Back in December, my mom reached out to me and asked me what childhood toy I wanted for Christmas. I thought to myself: I’m not sure if I really wanted any toys from my childhood.  I then thought of a few things I actually wanted for Christmas. One thing I really wanted was a stress ball that I could use to avoid the wrist pain I frequently encountered at my job.

It clicked.

I would ask for Play-Doh! When I came back to work after the holidays, I brought my purple Play-Doh container. Since then, I haven’t had any wrist pain. I was impressed! I soon discovered, however, that the Play-Doh did other magical, magical things.

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Not only did I not suffer from wrist pain anymore, but my productivity in my job increased tremendously. Throughout the day, I noticed that I was able to tackle big projects with ease, and that I was more creative in my writing. It was incredible. I felt relaxed, less anxious about my work load, and felt more focused when it came to completing specific tasks. I owe it all to Play-Doh.

At first, I thought I made a unique discovery; I was bragging to my friends that I found a great way to increase productivity at work and that I was clearly a genius. It wasn’t until after a little research I discovered that I wasn’t so clever after all. Studies have found that Play-Doh is a great stress-reliever for adults, specifically college students, for it serves as a relaxant similar to the stress ball.

Entrepreneur and motivational speaker Erik Wahl, author of “Unthink: Rediscover Your Creative Genius,” encourages employees to goof off in the office and says that playing with some kind of modeling compound before a meeting can “help people break down the stuffy pretense that exists in so many meetings and helps open their minds.”

I can’t help but agree. For the last few months, I have found that playing with Play-Doh has changed my worth ethic completely. Rarely do I find myself losing focus (unless it’s Friday), and whenever I am given a large task, molding Play-Doh with my hands has really helped ease my anxiety and kept my mind stimulated while I got the task done.

Not only is Play-Doh excellent for your motor skills, but it also helps give you a boost of happiness with a sense of nostalgia which, studies have shown, leads to a happiness boost.

So, Play-Doh works. I suggest your try it out. If you’re not a Play-Doh fan, find something that can work for you, like Silly Putty, or LEGOs. Trust me—it does wonders!