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All I Really Want, Is To BE Happy!

I'm Getting There
I feel pretty decent on most days, but I know there's still room for improvement. I have to keep building my happiness skills so I can approach each day with even more gratitude, less stress, and a stronger sense of purpose and meaning. Happiness skills, you say. Yep, that's right skills.  

Some say there are 5 essential happiness skills. Find out what they are.

Come On Get Happify!
I've been visiting a site named Happify. I was initially invited to test drive an 
early version of the service. Happify's science-based activities claims they will 
give one the skills to better handle life's challenges, boost optimism, and 
improve relationships in all areas of their life.  So far, I really enjoy the site.
I know the power of positive thinking. Being a stay at home mom that feels like 
she's going crazy sometimes. I need all the happy I can get. All you moms
know how I feel. The site being all about happiness, positive actions, showing 
love and gratitude really helps. The fact that it's created by scientists 
translating science based research into interactive activities and games makes 
it definitely worth trying out.

Some People Just Don't Know HOW to Be Happy
I'm game, just because anything that talks about scientifically making me 
become happier I'm willing to try. That's all I really want in my life anyway. 
I want to be a happy mother, wife, friend, family member and in my 
profession. I want to be balanced and feel satisfied, but always striving. 
Some people just don't know how to be happy. Maybe if they are open 
minded enough this might surprise them and work. Who knows this 
invite and the service itself could be one big experiment, testing if 
people will believe that certain interactive activities and games will 
make them happier. Could it be a placebo effect conducted online?

A Slave to Our Genes, Not Really
Can we really train ourselves to become happier? Well, science says yes. 
Happify touts a saying of sorts "We Can't Change Our Genes, but We Can 
Change Ourselves". I think that statement speaks volumes. It's two-fold with 
it's profoundness. First, we acknowledge through science that we are a slave 
to our genes so to speak. We can't change our genes, means just that. 
However, the second part says that we don't have to be a slave to repeat 
what's coded in our DNA, but take control and improve ourselves.

Sonja Lyubomirsky, professor of psychology at the University of CA-Riverside, 
is among several researchers who've determined the role genetics plays in 
one's well-being. Although each of us has a certain genetic set point in the 
way we do for weight, genetics only determines 50% of our happiness levels. 
We determine most of the remainder by choosing our behaviors, actions, and 

Follow the Silver Lining Pathway
When we have new experiences or look at something in a different way, 
neurons carve out new pathways in our brain to process that fresh information. 
By practicing certain techniques, we can create stronger neural connections in 
the regions of our brain associated with attention, motivation and empathy. 
And we're just beginning to identify what behavioral and mental techniques 
work best to increase our well-being. I like to think of it as, there is always 
a silver lining. So when you look at something in a different way and carve out 
new pathways. You are making a silver lining pathway in your brain.

Recent research into the kind of “interventions” (i.e. “exercises”) designed 
to promote positive emotional qualities, such as kindness and mindfulness, 
suggests that such qualities may be the product of skills we can learn 
through training—in the same way that practice improves our musical 
or athletic abilities.

My Track
I'm currently a Happify Pioneer and following a track to happiness. You are 
asked a series of questions to determine your level of happiness and what 
areas you need/want to work on based on your answers. I chose to strengthen 
my friendships first and part 1 for me and some of those on the same track is 
to remember the good times. So my first exercise was to write a post to 
someone about why they are awesome and to share my gratefulness.  
I chose my husband, who for those that don't know is my best friend from 
high school. We have literally been in each others lives for 20 years and 
the last 10 years we've been together as a couple. Here is what I wrote:

To My Husband and Best Friend,
I am grateful that loyalty is a big deal and such a part of who you are.

You are such a dependable friend, you're always there when needed. 

All that know you, know they can call on you.

Selfless is the man that you are and I can't argue with that. You are my 
best friend and I thank you for that.

Very short and to the point. It's almost like a journal entry that you share 
with other folks on Happify that are seeking to become happier as well. 
I must say that I do feel good about expressing words of gratitude, 
reminiscing, and sharing my thoughts. I will continue on my track and 
share with you my updates, progress, and the science of happiness. 

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