Why “Breathe & Smile”?

Breathe and Smile are two simple things anyone can do to immediately feel better.  The full phrase is “breathe, breathe again, smile and relax” from  Thich Nhat Hanh.  Breathe and smile is at the core of any meditation, relaxation, or mindfulness practice.

There is a lot of advice thrown around about happiness.  Do this, do that.  It can cause one to get very stressed out.  Some experts talk about happiness as if its a matter of will power, like forging ahead on a diet.  Yes, we need to do stuff, and yes, being happy is very much within our control.  But the premise of breathe and smile is that happiness is closer and easier than you think.  It can be as easy as breathing and smiling, at least for a start.

And that’s where we need to be, at the start.  The posts on this blog will hopefully help us get farther down the road, but a practice of breathing and smiling will till your own soil so that you’re ripe and ready to hear it.

Today and every day, be nice to yourself, breathe and smile.

Wearable Health Tracker for Your Brain

By Denise Restauri, Contributor, Forbes.com Muse is wearable technology, but it doesn’t create mind-blowing experiences. Just the opposite. Muse is a brain sensing headband that[...]

Stop Looking and Start Creating Happiness

By Vanae Keiser, Managing Editor of the online magazine, Forward Walking; from the Huffington Post Happiness is the one thing we all want most in this life, the one thing most o[...]

Success Does Not Equal Happiness

Work hard, achieve your goals, become happy -- that's the happiness formula many believe to be universally true. But happiness researcher Shawn Achor says that this success-leads-t[...]

Happiness Needs to Be Practiced Every Day

By BY SHARMILA NAIR, thestar.com.my Author Andrew Matthews believes that being happy is a conscious effort and must be practiced daily. IF Pharrell William’s recent phenomena[...]

How to Get Out of Your Funk

BY LEO BABAUTA, Zen Habits.This morning I didn’t feel like doing anything. It’s a combination of overtiredness from a few days of hard work, and a lack of sleep last night. [...]

How to Measure Your Life

By Dorie Clark of HBR I hadn’t seen Jim in two years. When we reconnected recently, I was shocked. The handsome, dapper professional I knew had gained 30 pounds and started smok[...]

Rewrite Your Life's Stories

By LULU MILLER, NPR Psychologist Tim Wilson of the University of Virginia has been studying how small changes in a person's own stories and memories can help with emotional heal[...]

5 Happiness Myths Debunked

By FastCompany It sometimes feels as if the "happiness industry"--the self-help books, motivational speakers, corporate consultants and the rest--makes its money by being useles[...]

Your 2014 Happiness Calendar

By Henry S. Miller, Author of The Serious Pursuit of Happiness. Amp up the amount of happiness in your life each and every month of the year by intentionally focusing on 12 stra[...]

10 Life Lessons You Should Unlearn

By Martha Beck In the past 10 years, I've realized that our culture is rife with ideas that actually inhibit joy. Here are 10 life lessons I'm most grateful to have unlearned:[...]

12 Powerful Habits of Happy Relationships

BY TIFFANY MASON, Lifehacker.com Habits can have a powerful impact in your relationship. The definition of a habit is: “a consistent and regular pattern of behavior”. You [...]

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Two Truths: Everyone is Seeking What You're Seeking & Everyone Has a Missing Piece

By Me, If you're struggling and looking for happiness, let me tell you two truths - 1) everyone is seeking what you're seeking, and 2) everyone has a missing piece. Reality #1:  Everyone is seeking what you're seeking.  Happiness, belonging, love, acceptance, fulfillment - whatever it is, we are seeking peace by plugging up our  missing piece. Reality #2:  We all have a missing piece, something that we feel must happen before we can feel whole.  You feel like you have potential, but somehow it just can't get out.  You want to show the world your golden nugget, the essence of you, what[...]

From Transition to Transformation

By Me, For a little over a year now, I've been posting the most interesting, insightful, heartfelt articles I could find on happiness.   There has been a plethora on 'Can Money Buy Happiness?', lots of inspirational quotes, and tidbits of advice dished out in 2nd and 3rd helpings. I named the blog after two very simple things you can do right now that I thought were incredibly useful - breathe and smile - but I have some more things to say that I've learned and think will help other people going through a heartfelt journey. The series is called 'Transition to Transformation' because t[...]

The Phases of Human Metamorphosis

From Martha Beck on Oprah.com All of us will experience metamorphosis several times during our lives, exchanging one identity for another. You've probably already changed from baby to child to adolescent to adult—these are obvious, well-recognized stages in the life cycle. But even after you're all grown up, your identity isn't fixed. You may change marital status, become a parent, switch careers, get sick, win the lottery. Any transition serious enough to alter your definition of self will require not just small adjustments in your way of living and thinking but a full-on metamorphosis. I d[...]

Stop Looking and Start Creating Happiness

By Vanae Keiser, Managing Editor of the online magazine, Forward Walking; from the Huffington Post Happiness is the one thing we all want most in this life, the one thing most o[...]

Success Does Not Equal Happiness

Work hard, achieve your goals, become happy -- that's the happiness formula many believe to be universally true. But happiness researcher Shawn Achor says that this success-leads-t[...]

Happiness Needs to Be Practiced Every Day

By BY SHARMILA NAIR, thestar.com.my Author Andrew Matthews believes that being happy is a conscious effort and must be practiced daily. IF Pharrell William’s recent phenomena[...]

How to Measure Your Life

By Dorie Clark of HBR I hadn’t seen Jim in two years. When we reconnected recently, I was shocked. The handsome, dapper professional I knew had gained 30 pounds and started smok[...]

5 Happiness Myths Debunked

By FastCompany It sometimes feels as if the "happiness industry"--the self-help books, motivational speakers, corporate consultants and the rest--makes its money by being useles[...]

Your 2014 Happiness Calendar

By Henry S. Miller, Author of The Serious Pursuit of Happiness. Amp up the amount of happiness in your life each and every month of the year by intentionally focusing on 12 stra[...]

10 Steps to Happiness. You Can Do This.

By Lisabeth Saunders Medlock, Ph.D., Huffington Post We can create health and happiness by choice. Those choices are in how we think, act and react to the things we cannot contr[...]

A Millennial Redefines Happiness

This is a great post from a millennial who redefines happiness. From Stefanie Williams, Huffington Post When we were little and people asked us what we wanted to be when we g[...]

HAPPINESS MYTHS DEBUNKED

A few things—like chocolate, chick flicks, and clean sheets—are almost guaranteed to boost your mood. But when it comes to achieving true happiness, there are a ton of misconceptio[...]

Does Happiness Have a Downside?

Being happy is, for many people, a primary goal in life. An obvious statement at best, a cliché at worst. That seems like the most basic premise, the easiest assumption, for our so[...]

How To Get Happy Right NOW!

More than any face cream or foundation can illuminate your skin, or finding the perfect mascara and lipstick to highlight your features, or even having the secret to the best hair [...]

Little joy to be had chasing happiness

By Tim Barlass, The Age If someone asks you how your holiday or weekend was, is the answer always ''fantastic''? Do you have those ''my family'' stickers on your car or do you c[...]

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10 Techniques to Shift Your Consciousness

Paul Lenda, Guest, Waking Times In moments of stress, anxiety and other intense harmful mind states that we experience within our lives, it can be difficult to keep our focus on[...]

Mind Your Thinking, Mine Your Self-Confidence

HAZEL MORLEY/SKILLS FOR SUCCESS With Valentine’s Day around the corner, many of us will focus our attention on love and appreciation of someone else. When we feel loved, and ap[...]

Put Yourself on Your To-Do List

by Agapi Stassinopoulos, Huffington Post I used to be one of those people whose happiness was dependent a lot on how good I made others feel. I think this pattern started a [...]

One of the Best Books I've Read

Shambhala:  The Sacred Path of the Warrior is not about how to become a ninja, how to do manly drum circles, or face-paint yourself for a hunt.  It's about how to be genuine to y[...]

#Happiness that Doesn't Depend on What Happens Next

By Sarah Wilson at www.sarahwilson.com.au I’m facing a big challenge at the moment. It’s something that’s been building up for a while: finding out what life is like – and what I’[...]

Assess Your Thoughts Better

By Jim Rettew Note:  This is the third part in a three-part series.  The first two parts can be found at http://breatheoutandsmile.wordpress.com/2012/03/28/moving-beyond-happiness[...]

Quiet the Mind

By Jim Rettew Note:  This is the second of a three part series.  The first part can be found at http://breatheoutandsmile.wordpress.com/2012/03/28/moving-beyond-happiness-is-a-cho[...]

Moving Beyond 'Happiness is a Choice'

By Jim Rettew Every happiness author keeps saying, 'happiness is a choice.'  OK, I choose happiness.  Really and truly.  However, I find my disposition relatively unchanged. Is it[...]

12 Powerful Habits of Happy Relationships

BY TIFFANY MASON, Lifehacker.com Habits can have a powerful impact in your relationship. The definition of a habit is: “a consistent and regular pattern of behavior”. You [...]

After Divorce, Creeping Around Happiness

By Amy Lawton, New York Times Lately I’ve become a “creeper.” I didn’t even know what this word meant until about a month ago, when my ninth-grade students enlightened me. We ha[...]

7 Principles to a Happy Marriage

By TOM MUHA, For The Capital Psychologists know so much about how relationships work that it’s sad to see so many people struggling to establish and maintain a loving connec[...]

#Happiness is about how we relate to each other.

By Roko Belic, Creative Activist Member, Creative Visions Foundation A dirt poor rickshaw puller in a slum in India once told me that he was the luckiest person alive. His hut w[...]

5 Gifts You Can Give and Receive Today

Welcome to the new year.  May it be your best ever. by Lori Deschene “Each day comes bearing its own gifts. Untie the ribbons.”  ~Ruth Ann Schabacker Regardless of what holiday [...]

Finding happiness in five easy lessons

By Ina Hughs Some 30 years ago, Robert Fulghum made a name for himself by saying everything he really needed to know he learned in kindergarten: Share everything. Play Fair. Don'[...]

Happiness Defined: When Was I Happy?

What makes us happy? What puts a sparkle in our eyes? What makes our step lively and our heart quicken? Do we know? Where do we find happiness? Some look for it in a special someo[...]

Find Happiness Before Marriage

By Rachel Keith With many of us starting to talk “happily ever after” with our significant others, it’s fairly common to see updates on Facebook and Twitter about our friends bec[...]

A nasal spray that can stop arguments?

By CRAIG MACKENZIE, Daily Mail UK Scientists might be a bit sniffy about this latest research, but a nasal spray containing a hormone can help bring happiness to warring couples l[...]

Early relationships key to adult happiness

MELBOURNE, Aug. 3 (UPI) -- Social connectedness during adolescence -- including attachment with parents, peers and school -- are key to adult well-being, Australian researchers say[...]

'Can Women Have It All?' is the Wrong Question.

Sheela Raja, PhD, Huffington Post In her excellent piece "Why Women Still Can't Have It All," Anne-Marie Slaughter says she wanted to start a dialogue about women, work, ambition [...]

Money can buy happiness...up to a point.

From the Atlantic, DEREK THOMPSON - Derek Thompson is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where he oversees business coverage for the website. Money can buy happiness, but up to what[...]

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#Happiness Vending Machine

This is not an advertisement for Coke.  However, it's a very cute idea. For this past Valentine’s day, Coca-Cola installed special vending machines inside one of the most crowded [...]

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