Linkage Love: Being Happier

by Lauren Creamer

These past few months I have been on a mission to cultivate more happiness in my life. Generally, I am a positive, upbeat individual and tend to find the silver lining in all situations. I follow the mantras of “people are doing the best they can” and “you can’t change another person, but you can change your attitude.” But, I know that I can do better, and the following two sites have been helping me on my way to a greater happiness.

The Happiness Project chronicles one writer’s quest for everyday happiness over the course of an entire year. Each month Gretchen Rubin, NYC writer, tackels a new topic and sets resolutions for each subject. (Topics include boosting your energy, improving romantic relationships, strengthening parenting skills, etc.). While her focus is on the important themes in life, she improves her happiness through modification of small details. For example, one of the easiest ways to boost your energy everyday is to get eight hours of sleep. Shocking, I know. When you’re well rested, you’re a happier person. Improving romantic relationships? Stop nagging! If you want something done, sometimes it really is easier to do it yourself.

Gretchen encourages readers to create Ten Commandments of their own happiness. (Be Gretchen – one of hers; Be an Optimist Prime – one of mine). The key to her success, she says, is her resolutions chart. While it is easy to set resolutions, it is harder to hold yourself accountable. Her resolutions chart kept her focused on self-improvement each day.

Want to start your own Happiness Project? Check out her tutorial.

My second site? Happier. A site/app devoted to promoting daily happiness and positivity.  Did you know that multiple studies have proven that writing down three happy things each day reduces anxiety, increases happiness, helps people make healthier choices, and gives one a better night’s sleep? Now you do!

Their mission is simple: to spread happiness. While the site explains the science behind their goal, the app puts it into action. Happier will prompt you in the morning, afternoon, and at night to write about something great that happened to you that day. Having a rough time at work? Wish you were doing something you loved? Easy fix. Write about it on the app. Share it with friends and family. Happier is basically a mobile social networking site that is all about positivity. No negative comments. No Debbie Downers. Just happiness.

The only downside at the moment at that it is not available for Android phone. For those of you with iPhones, I highly suggest you download this app! If nothing else, the confetti that rains down after you post will make you smile.

And now I leave you with this: start your own happiness project. It doesn’t have to be as elaborate as Gretchen’s or something you chronicle on your smart phone, it just needs to be an expression of the things that make you happy. Focus on the good and shake off the negative. Be happier!

Linkage Love: Being Happier

Linkage Love

by Jess Faulk

As a techy woman, and curious student affairs professional, I am always looking for free or cheap technology focused professional development opportunities in my city.  I am lucky enough to call Boston my home, a city with an abundance of conferences, tweetups, and socials.  Over the course of the year, I have attended events such as PodCamp6, A11y Tech Accessibility Unconference, Educators & Entrepreneurs Summit: The Future of Education Technology, NY Internet Week, and MegaTweetup3.  At each of these events I always have the opportunity to learn about a new piece of technology that sounds promising.  I come home with a pocketful of business cards, file them, and forget about them.  I am sure you’ve had a similar experience.  It’s not like you meant to forget them, but life just keeps going and you don’t take the time to look into that new piece of tech.

This past weekend, in the process of cleaning up my apartment managed to unearth a stack of cards and notes from the year’s various events and wanted to share some of my favorites with you.

Smarterer
This start up was tabling at one of the conferences to give attendees a look at the future of technology competency.  I believe that our students are not as tech savvy as we give them credit for.  We often think that students have more experience with programs such as Excel, Photoshop, or Google applications just because they are younger than we are.  I find however that our students have a ways to go when it comes to using computer applications in a way that is useful for their organizations and their jobs.  This website, still in it’s infancy, has begun to create a platform for testing and sharing technology competency scores. One day we may be posting our Smarterer scores on our resume, but in the meantime, it is a fun site to visit, test yourself, and perhaps even create a test to challenge your student leaders to grow their tech knowledge.

Rapportive

This gem I just learned about tonight from @robbiesamuels while at the the#MegaTweetup.  Robbie uses Rapportive to be able to pull in all of the information from Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. to help him make connections with all of the people he emails.  When you are in your Gmail account and have the program installed, you can see all of a person’s latest tweets and their contact information just by hovering over their name. Once you connect the program with your LinkedIn contacts, you might also discover connections between your friends and co-workers that you didn’t even know existed!  Gist is another program that does something very similar.  If you are a Gmail user, I suggest you check them out.

myhappypost.com: A social experiment to spread happiness 

This project was one that I was introduced to at a street fair.  I was talking by a table and asked the question “What makes you happy?”  What a great question to ask a stranger I thought.  The team that created this project is spreading joy into the communities around the world by asking them to share of what they enjoy in life, making people smile, and passing along the sense of satisfaction from one person to another.  On the brick wall across from the table was hundreds of post-it notes from people at the fair that wanted to share.  Immediately I thought of what a great project this would be to bring back to my college.  Check out the project, and see if the thought of bringing the happiness project to your institution makes you smile 🙂

 

Linkage Love